North Texas Home Sales Bounced Back in May
North Texas home sales gave their best showing of the year in May.
Local real estate agents sold 11,308 single-family homes last month — 6% more than in May 2018. May's jump in area home buys pushed total sales up 1% higher so far in 2019 than in the first five months of last year, according to preliminary data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
So far this year, more than 41,700 houses have changed hands in the area through the real estate agents' multiple listing service. Gains in the last couple of months reversed declines in North Texas home sales early in the year.
"I think lower mortgage rates are the big change," said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. "There is a little bit of renewed enthusiasm for housing with a less expensive cost of money." Late last year, when average mortgage costs approached 5% for long-term loans, buyers took a break from the market. The higher finance costs combined with years of home price increases to make homeownership less affordable. "Mortgage rates last week dropped below 4%, and that has pulled more people off the sideline to make a home purchase decision," Wilson said. "After a clunker of a fourth quarter and a slow start to the year, it's nice to see some renewed enthusiasm in the housing market."
Along with the increase in sales, North Texas median home purchase prices rose 3% year-over-year in August to an all-time high of $275,000. At the end of May, there were more than 26,000 single-family homes listed for sale with real estate agents in the more than two dozen North Texas counties included in the survey. Inventories of houses on the market are 17% higher than a year ago.
More than a three-month supply of houses were on the market last month — about half what is considered a balanced market. Most of the houses on the market are higher-priced properties...