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Texas Sales Volume Down Five Percent in 2010, While Prices Rise Slightly

Feb 01, 2011

According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report released by the Texas Association of Realtors, Texans bought and sold fewer homes in 2010 than in 2009, but the median price of those homes remained stable from year to year. "It's clear Texas was not immune to the economic downturn in 2010 and that showed in the number of homes sold. However, it's encouraging to see that Texas real estate held its value so well during the year, which bodes well for homeowners as the recovery continues," said Dwight Hale, 2011 chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. Specifically, in 2010, 202,916 homes were sold in Texas, which is five percent fewer than 2009, and the median price for 2010 was $147,600, one percent more than 2009. The report also included statistics for the fourth quarter of 2010. During that period, 43,605 homes were sold in Texas, which was 18.9 percent fewer than the same quarter of 2009. During the same time period, the median price of homes in Texas was $147,400, three percent more than fourth quarter 2009. Jim Gaines, Ph.D., an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said, "In evaluating the fourth quarter of 2010, we must remember we're comparing it to the fourth quarter of 2009, which was the most heavily government-stimulated quarter of that year with the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit. So, it's not surprising to see a substantial difference in sales volumes when comparing those quarters. Also, the extension of the tax credits into early 2010 pulled significant demand into the first half of the year, further explaining the gap in sales volume between those quarters." The report also included information about the months of inventory available in Texas. This figure indicates the balance between the number of homes available for sale and the demand to buy those homes. For the fourth quarter of 2010, Texas had 7.6 months of inventory. That figure is more than the fourth quarter of 2009, when the state had 6.5 months of inventory, but less than the third quarter of 2010, when the state had 8 months of inventory. "We use 6.5 months as a point estimate, but consider the range between 5.5 and 7.5 months of inventory to represent approximate balance between supply and demand in the market," Gaines said. "Currently, Texas is at the upper end of that range." One particularly bright spot in the report was the real estate recovery evident in Galveston, Texas. Having weathered very difficult market conditions since Hurricane Ike battered the coastal area two years ago, that market experienced a quarter-over-quarter increase in sales volume of almost 30 percent and an increase in the median price of more than 30 percent compared to 2009. Chairman Hale said, "Despite the difficulties of 2010, census figures have confirmed that Texas has emerged in a stronger position than almost anywhere else in the country. Our homes are some of the most affordable in the country, and we're seeing job growth substantially greater than national averages, which will continue to fuel the recovery in Texas." The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times per year by the Texas Association of Realtors with multiple listing service data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. To view the report for 2010-Q4 in its entirety, click here. For more information, visit www.TexasRealEstate.com.
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