Home Sales Set D-FW Record in July Up 7% From 2018
Lower mortgage rates sent Dallas-Fort Worth homebuyers to the closing table in record numbers in July.
North Texas home sales rose 7% from a year ago — enough of an increase to turn sales slightly positive for the first seven months of the year. Real estate agents have sold 63,126 single-family homes in the area through the end of July. That's a 1% increase from the first seven months of 2018, according to new data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
In July, 11,198 homes were sold through the North Texas real estate agents' multiple listing service, according to preliminary sales numbers. It was the largest single-month sales total on record in North Texas.
"The spring selling season, while good, started a bit late than anticipated," said Paige Shipp, who heads the Dallas office of housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. "Continued low mortgage rates, outstanding job growth, high consumer confidence and low inventory levels sustain our strong home market. "It's shocking that mortgage rates are so low," she said. "I hope buyers take advantage of this, as I don't foresee them dipping lower."
Through the first seven months of 2019, real estate agents have sold 63,126 area homes.
Home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have bounced up and down this year. Sales fell on a year-over-year basis in three of the first six months of 2019. Real estate agents and housing analysts say there has been a pickup in buyer traffic with recent declines in home financing costs.
After approaching 5% in late 2018, long-term home mortgage rates have fallen sharply in the last couple of months. This week, nationwide mortgage rates averaged 3.6% — the lowest level in three years, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
The lower mortgage rates are expected to boost home sales during the remainder of the year. "There is a tug of war in the financial markets between weaker business sentiment and consumer sentiment," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a statement. "Business sentiment is declining on negative trade and manufacturing headlines, but consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall."
The rise in North Texas home sales in July came as housing costs continued to rise. The median sales price last month was $272,880, up 3% from a year earlier. There were 26,990 single-family homes listed for sale with agents in the almost two dozen North Texas counties included in the survey, 6% more than in July 2018. A 3.1-month inventory of houses were on the market.
Pending home sales — properties under contract but not yet sold — were up 7%, indicating that August could be another strong month for D-FW area home purchases.
"The lower rates most definitely kicked in, and most people feel like they may go even lower in the next few months, so the market should be strong for next several months," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "June, July and August are always the best months, and while June was disappointing, July and August should make up for it.
"Anyone on the fence about buying should jump in rather than wait — rates will be low and prices will not go down anytime soon..."