North Texas home inventories at record low

real estate

North Texas’ housing market started the new year with another surge in January sales despite a dramatic drop in supply.

At the end of January, only about 7,800 single-family homes were listed with area real estate agents. That’s a more than 60% drop in inventory from a year ago and one of the lowest supplies of homes for sale in North Texas in decades.

Real estate agents sold 7,010 houses in January — up 10% year over year, according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. January’s sales were the largest ever for the first month of the year.

Last month’s sales gain comes on top of a record of almost 120,000 North Texas home sales in 2020, a 10% increase from 2019 levels.

Median home sale prices in January were $285,000, 10% higher than in January 2020.

Tight home supplies and strong buyer demand are fueling the increase in prices.

Less than a one-month supply of houses was listed with real estate agents in the more than two dozen counties included in the North Texas survey.

“The number of listings is incredibly low, especially for houses priced under $350,000,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. “With a very limited selection available in the resale market, increasingly buyers are having to turn to the new home market.

“The tight supply of listings has also resurrected housing inflation in a meaningful way,” Wilson said. “Fortunately, very low mortgage rates, for now, are allowing the consumer to digest these higher prices.”

On average, it took only 42 days to sell a home listed by real estate agents, 33% less than in January 2020.

At the end of the month, there were more than 9,900 pending home sales in North Texas — properties under contract but not yet closed.

With near record low mortgage rates, housing analysts are predicting that home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will continue to rise in 2021.

But the rate of increases is likely to slow unless more properties are put on the market.

“Headed into 2021, I was hopeful that more homes would be listed for sale, but I can understand why homeowners are choosing not to sell right now,” said Paige Shipp, vice president of research with CDCG Asset Management. “Between the high number of COVID cases and the thought of showing your home to prospective buyers while working from home, they probably feel it’s better to wait to sell.

“This will be an interesting year for home sales.”

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