North Texas Home Sales Blew the Roof off in January
North Texas home sales started 2020 with a bang, surging 21% in January from a year earlier.
It was the biggest such year-over-year sales gain in four years.
The 6,390 single-family homes sold last month by real estate agents was also the largest number of properties ever to trade in January, which is usually a slow month, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
January’s more than 20% jump in sales comes after a 15% year-over-year increase in December and several months of rising sales due to lower mortgage rates.
One reason January’s sales increase was so high was that home purchases were depressed in the first month of 2019 due to higher mortgage rates that then dominated the market.
Home loan costs started falling in mid-2019 and have remained low in recent months.
“January was a fantastic month all around — for both new and resale homes,” said Paige Shipp with housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. “We ended 2019 on a very high note, and I hoped it would continue into 2020.
“I expect more of the same as the spring selling season kicks into full gear,” Shipp said. “We finally have a trifecta of strong fundamentals — exceptional job growth, mortgage rates at historic lows and long overdue wage growth.”
In 2019, a record of more than 108,000 single-family homes sold in North Texas — up 3% from 2018 levels.
Along with the surge in sales in January, the median price of single-family homes sold in the area rose 8% from a year earlier. January’s price increase was more than twice the 3% gain recorded for all of 2019.
“With the shortage of resale listings at year end, I’m not surprised to see house prices tick up slightly,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. “I think much of the price increase on the resale side is due to a glaring lack of listing inventory under $200,000.
“That is certainly pushing up the median home price. “
Wilson is expecting the robust home sales activity to continue in the months ahead.
“We think that the spring 2020 housing market is shaping up to be especially strong,” he said. “The very low mortgage rates, combined with record employment growth in fourth quarter 2019, have revved up the housing market for both new and resale.”
Home sales activity in January was so strong that it caused a 6% decline in the number of area homes listed for sale with real estate agents.
At the end of the month, there were 20,631 single-family homes listed for sale with real estate agents in the more than two dozen North Texas counties included in the survey. That works out to only a 2.3-month inventory of homes on the market.
Posted on nationalmortgagenews.com on 2/17/2020.