Statistics have proven in the past that home sales soar in the early Spring to early Summer….and this year is no different. Sales of pre-owned single-family homes rose 22 percent in March from last year, with 7,483 properties sold. It was the most homes sold for the month of March since 2007. And single-family home sales prices were 8 percent higher this March than in March of 2012.
These numbers have made sales prices in North Texas at a record high. Homes are currently listing for about $10,000 higher than they were in 2007 before the recession hit.
“Part of the increase is from demand growth, part is from the short inventory of available properties,” said Dr. James Gaines, Real Estate Center economist. “It’s a double-whammy on prices.”
Even with these high numbers the actual amount of houses available on the market is actually down by 22 percent from a year ago March. And it is actually at its lowest number of listings in more than 20 years.
George DeCourcy, associate director of the real estate program at the University of Texas at Dallas, said it will take more than the recent price increases to cause a big jump in homes on the market. “Prices have come back, but not like a bull,” DeCourcy said Monday. “People feel there is no compelling reason they should move at these prices. I think you will have to see significant move-up from here before people decide to list their homes,” he said.
“Even as prices escalate, does it make sense to sell my house and buy another one?” he said. “If home prices went up dramatically, people who had a lot of equity might cash it in, but what would you do with it?”
Since there is a shortage of houses on the market…it can become a sort of bidding war between potential buyers.
In March it was only taking about 65 days for a home in North Texas to sell….which is significantly less than last year.
Another factor in the market is what is called, Hip-pocket deals. Meaning that a transaction happens on a house privately with out it ever going out to the open market. “We are hearing that in some neighborhoods as many as 30 percent of the sales are hip-pocket deals,” said Ted Wilson, a housing analyst with Residential Strategies Inc. “Those sales never make it into the MLS numbers.”
New home sales in North Texas are seeing a rise also. During the first quarter, new home sales in the D-FW area rose 25 percent from a year ago, according to recent reports by Metrostudy Inc.
Kevin Rhodes with Keller Williams Realty-Dallas/Fort Worth Region
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