Texas Housing Insight January 2024 Summary

Housing sales rebounded from last month’s drop despite mortgage rates remaining at elevated levels. The average home price grew alongside sales, with the cost rising over $9,000 since December 2023. Single-family starts decreased while permits increased.

Home Sales Skyrocket

According to the latest data, Texas had a 14.6 percent increase in total home sales month over month (MOM), resulting in 29,209 homes sold (Table 1). Notably, all major cities in Texas experienced an upswing in housing sales compared to fourth quarter 2023. The most significant increase was in Houston (37.3 percent) with a remarkable surge of over 2,000 additional sales compared to December. The rest of the Big Four experienced strong monthly gains of over 10 percent.

The state’s average days on market remained unchanged with both Dallas and Houston hovering at 50 days for the second consecutive month. Both Austin (74 days) and San Antonio (64 days) recorded decreases, falling by four and three days, respectively.

Statewide active listings rose slightly to 105,475. For the second straight month, San Antonio (12,542) was the only one of the Big Four to post a monthly increase at 2.4 percent. Austin had the largest drop in active listings with a 2.4 percent loss to 8,109. Dallas (22,008) and Houston (24,699) had reductions of less than half a percent.

The state’s new listings rose to 43,817 in January. All four major metros posted monthly increases with San Antonio leading the way at 14 percent. Houston also had a strong increase of 9 percent. Amid the rise in active listings, the months of inventory (MOI) increased to 3.7. Dallas fell from 3.1 to 2.7 since November.by 0.5 percent in January.

Mortgage Rates Remain Below Peak Values

Treasury and mortgage rates remain below their elevated 2023 levels as the ten-year U.S. Treasury Bondyield rose four basis points to 4.06 percent. However, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate rose 18 basis points to 6.64 percent.

Permits Rise, Starts Unchanged

Texas’ single-family construction permits increased 1.8 percent MOM to 12,723 issuances. Dallas continued its fall from last month, dropping 2.6 percent to 3,415 starts while Houston experienced a minor fluctuation of less than 1 percent. Austin and San Antonio reported strong increases of 7.9 and 14.3 percent, respectively.

Construction starts fell alongside permits, according to data from Dodge Construction Network. Single-family starts decreased 1 percent MOM to 11,908 units. Austin reported the only monthly increase among the Big Four, rising just shy of 2 percent. Houston (1.3 percent) and San Antonio (0.5 percent) moderated. Dallas starts plummeted in January, falling 22.1 percent to 2,537 starts.

The state’s total single-family starts value climbed from $2 billion in January 2023 to $2.7 billion in January 2024. Houston accounted for a third of the state’s total starts value. Starts activity is up from last year as Austin and San Antonio posted moderate increases.

Home Price Changes Mixed after Last Month’s Plunge

The state’s median home price rose 2.8 percent, reaching $341,840 (Figure 1). Among the major metropolitan areas, Houston and Dallas recorded the only increases, with 3.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Conversely, San Antonio saw home prices decline by 4.3 percent, which was the lowest among the Big Four. Notably, Austin had previously experienced the most significant price surge of 4.2 percent, but median prices decreased by 0.5 percent in January.

The majority of sales fall into the $200,000-$300,000 and $300,000-$400,000 price range cohorts, accounting for 27 and 25 percent of total home sales, respectively.

The Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index (Jan 2004=100) grew 0.3 percent MOM and remains 2.6 percent higher year over year. Austin’s annual appreciation remains well below the states average, falling to 3.2 percent.

Source – Texas Housing Insight | Texas Real Estate Research Center (tamu.edu) – Joshua Roberson (March 29, 2024)

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