A year after a federal home buyer tax credit expired, May marked the 12th consecutive month of declining sales of existing homes in North Texas.
Sales dropped 15 percent from a year earlier, the Texas A&M Real Estate Center reported Wednesday. The data is compiled from the Multiple Listing Service used by real estate agents to list and record property sales.
In the 29-county region, agents recorded 6,224 sales of existing homes.
In Tarrant County, northeast Arlington and Kennedale were the hardest-hit areas, each recording drops of 67 percent. Yet, five areas recorded increases in sales, with Colleyville posting the highest at 76 percent.
The Rosedale corridor of southeast Fort Worth, the Forest Hill/Everman area, Watauga and the Park Glen/Summerfields area of far north Fort Worth also saw more homes sold in May compared with a year earlier.
Sales in downtown Fort Worth and the Texas Christian University neighborhood remained unchanged.
The median home price for May also remained unchanged from a year earlier at $150,000.
Housing experts expected home sales to fall for several months as the market recovered from the expiration of the federal first-time home buyer tax credit in April 2010. The credit, offered for more than a year, boosted home sales numbers.
Year-to-date sales are also down 15 percent compared with the same period of 2010. In all, 24,091 homes were sold in North Texas.
Jim Gaines, a research economist with the Real Estate Center, said the figures show that the economy and housing market "are slowing down from even the abysmal pace they've been for the past year or more."
May was the last month of comparison with higher sales generated by the tax credit, he said. But the market might not improve until 2012, he said.
"We're down by a much larger percentage number than the past couple of months," Gaines said. "The rest of the year is going to be problematic to see any substantive gains. ... Right now, probably the best we can hope for is to get through the rest of this year roughly equal to last year."
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727