Texas housing market improves in Q3

The housing situation in Texas continued to strengthen during the third quarter, as price and sales rose compared to the same quarter last year.

The housing situation in Texas continued to strengthen during the third quarter, as price and sales rose compared to the same quarter last year.

Home sales increased more than 14 percent during the third quarter, compared to the same three-month period last year, according to property data from the Texas Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. In total, there were nearly 66,800 units sold during the quarter.

The median home price for the third quarter was $161,400, nearly 6.5 percent higher than the figure recorded one year earlier, the report explained. One expert noted the situation helped the state's economy improve. However, with the upcoming election, lawmakers in the Lone Star State must continue policy making that is friendly to the state's housing market.

"Previously, it was unclear whether the positive momentum of the first half of the year was a temporary surge or a sustainable improvement," said Dr. Jim Gaines, economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "These third quarter results clarify that picture, indicating that the housing market has recovered in Texas. Assuming the national economy doesn't falter in a significant way, I think we'll see this positive momentum continue in Texas."

Inventory continues decline this year
The inventory level in the state dropped during the third quarter to 5.5 months at the current sales rate, the report explained. This was the fifth straight quarter where the inventory declined from the previous three months. Additionally, this inventory level was nearly two months lower than the level recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2011. The current level of inventory is approximately one month lower than what is considered to be balanced.

The improvements in the Texas housing market may be similar to the strengthening housing situation throughout much of the country. Real estate records from Trulia showed home prices strengthened during September when looking month-over-month, quarterly and compared to the same month last year.

Specifically, the firm's Price Monitor showed that the asking price level rose nearly 3 percent compared to the same month in 2011. When looking quarterly, the figure increased close to 2 percent, as well. When compared to the previous month, asking prices increased 0.7 percent.



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