Strong regional economic growth helped the housing market in Texas rebound faster than in other areas of the country, and there’s no reason it won’t continue, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.Job growth, particularly in the energy sector, and the overall expansion of the Texas economy has boosted home sales, which are now reaching pre-housing-boom levels. As a result, home prices and apartment rents have risen faster than usual, said the report, which was released on Thursday.Through April, the state’s home sales rose at an annualized 23 percent, an increase seen just before the housing collapse, the report said.“Further improvement is anticipated in the housing sector,” the report said. “Anecdotal reports from Dallas Fed industry contacts suggest a very competitive marketplace for buyers, with multiple offers on homes driving up prices.”Sales of existing homes have risen statewide and in major metro areas by 33 percent since the start of the housing recovery in 2011, the report said.And through the first quarter, Texas home prices exceeded by 7 percent the pre-recession peak recorded in the fourth quarter of 2007, said the report’s authors D’Ann Petersen, a business economist, and Christina Daly, research analyst.Home prices nationally are 13.8 percent below their peak six years ago, the report said.“Texas prices have especially improved since single-family demand began turning the corner in late 2011,” the report said. “Prices rose 6.2 percent in the 12 months ended March 31.”Single-family home sales in Texas in the first quarter reached 53,937 homes, a 17.5 percent increase from the same quarter of 2012, the Texas Association of Realtors reported in May.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST