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Dallas-Fort Worth’s hot housing market hits new highs in latest local and national surveys

Houses sold at a breakneck pace in July and in the second quarter in North Texas. There was only a 3.5-month supply of listings at this pace, a Realtors report said.

By STEVE BROWN – Real Estate Editor – Published: 08 August 2013 09:52 PM

North Texas’ housing market may be the only thing more torrid than the temperature outside. Sales of pre-owned homes jumped 27 percent in July from a year earlier to set a record. And median home sales prices were up 12 percent last month, according to the latest local home sales data. Dallas-Fort Worth home prices also hit a new high in a second-quarter nationwide comparison by the National Association of Realtors.

“We have had significant prices increases for almost a year now,” said James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “We are at the peak of the housing market in June and July. “We expected it to be something like this.” Real estate agents sold 9,397 pre-owned single-family homes in July in North Texas, according to a new report by the Real Estate Center and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

That’s the largest one-month total for home sales ever recorded in North Texas. Gaines said some buyers are motivated by rising mortgage costs.

“People are beginning to figure out interest rates are going to go up, and they are jumping into the market,” he said. Median sales prices in July were $185,000 in the almost 50-county area surveyed by North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

So far in 2013, real estate agents have sold almost 53,000 North Texas houses through the Multiple Listing Service. That’s 21 percent more than in the first seven months of 2012.

On average, it took only 49 days to sell a house in North Texas. The inventory of pre-owned houses on the market fell 16 percent from July 2012 levels. There was just a 3.5-month supply of homes listed for sale with real estate agents. Dallas-Fort Worth home prices were 11.5 percent higher in the second quarter than they were a year earlier in the report, released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The D-FW increase was the largest in more than a decade in the quarterly metropolitan home price comparison. Nationwide prices were up 12.2 percent in the same report. Home prices rose in the second quarter in almost 90 percent of the U.S. markets the Realtors surveyed.

“There continue to be more buyers than sellers, and that is placing pressure on home prices, with multiple bids common in some areas of the country,” Lawrence Young, economist for the Realtors group, said in the report. “Higher interest rates are now causing sales to level out, but the tight supply conditions look to be with us for the balance of the year in most of the country.”

The national median price for pre-owned single-family homes in the second quarter was $203,500, compared with $181,800 in the D-FW area. The D-FW price was a record high for this quarterly survey.

The cities with the largest second-quarter price increases from a year ago were Sacramento, Calif., up 39.2 percent; Atlanta, 38.9 percent; and Cape Coral, Fla., 36.1 percent. In Texas, the largest quarterly home price rise was Houston’s 12.3 percent gain from second quarter 2012.

Most housing analysts are projecting some moderation in the housing market next year because of higher financing costs and the surge in buying in 2013.

“A year from today, it won’t look anything like this,” Gaines said. “Maybe next year at this time it’s up 5 percent — some reasonable number.”

North Texas home resales
July pre-owned home sales and prices in North Texas and change from a year earlier:
Single-family homes Condos/townhomes
Resales 9,397 27% 570 47%
Median price $185,000 12% $157,500 17%
Average days on market 49 -27% 57 -32%
Pending sales 7,629 15% 479 40%
Listed for sale 24,439 -16% 1,606 -25%
SOURCES: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems
Existing home price changes
Prices were higher in 133 of 150 U.S. markets in the second quarter from a year earlier. Here are the prices and the percentage change.
Sacramento, Calif. $237,000 39.2%
Atlanta $143,300 38.9%
Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. $177,900 36.1%
Peoria, Ill. $117,000 -9.2%
Florence, S.C. $124,600 -8.4%
Erie, Pa. $112,800 -5.7%
U.S. median $203,500 12.2%
Austin $231,300 7.8%
Corpus Christi $153,400 4.4%
Dallas-Fort Worth $181,800 11.5%
El Paso $138,600 2.7%
Houston $189,000 12.3%
San Antonio $175,500 7.8%
SOURCE: National Association of Realtors
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