Home sales fall in D-FW, across Texas

Tarrant County home sales slid in the third quarter along with sales statewide, according to the latest Texas Quarterly Housing report issued Monday.

In the three months ending Sept. 30, sales of existing homes in Texas fell 20.1 percent to 48,625, from 60,899 in the third quarter of 2009. For the year's first nine months, 158,699 homes were sold statewide, down less than 1 percent from 2009.

The median home price in Texas rose 1.1 percent to $152,000 from $150,400 in the same quarter a year earlier.

"If you view these results only within the third quarter, they appear discouraging," said Bill Jones, Texas Association of Realtors chairman. "However, the expiration of home buyer tax credits distorts the picture. When evaluated on a broader year-to-date basis, it becomes clear the market is performing consistently compared to 2009."

The Realtors report uses data from multiple listing services compiled and analyzed by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center.

Arlington saw a 29 percent drop in sales in the third quarter, to 867 from 1,222 a year earlier. The median price rose slightly, to $132,800 from $130,500. Half of all homes cost more than the median, and half cost less.

In Fort Worth, sales dropped 22 percent to 1,873, compared with 2,402 a year earlier. The median price dipped 1.3 percent to $114,600, from $116,200 a year earlier.

And in Northeast Tarrant County, there were 1,509 sales, down 23 percent from 1,964 a year earlier. The median price jumped 10 percent, to $182,200 from $165,500.

Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center, said the market is in good shape.

"We're comparing two very different markets, one with substantial support from the federal government in the form of tax credits, and one without that support," he said. "If you look at the long-term trends that determine real estate growth, Texas is in a good position."

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727