North Texas home sales off to strong start in January

Sales of existing homes in North Texas grew by 3 percent in January.
Sales of existing homes in North Texas grew by 3 percent in January. Star-Telegram

Coming off of one of its best years ever, the North Texas housing market started 2015 on a strong note.

Sale prices of existing homes in the 29-county region rose 12 percent in January from a year ago, and the number of homes sold increased by 3 percent.

The median price in January was $182,000 compared with the previous year, according to the latest monthly report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The center compiles its reports from North Texas Realtors’ multiple listing service.

For December, the median sales price was up 11 percent to $193,940, compared with December 2013.

The latest report showed 4,852 homes sold in January. But North Texas had only 16,358 existing homes listed for sale in the month, 14 percent lower than in January 2014.

And among homes sold last month, properties were on the market an average of 60 days, down 8 percent from a year ago.

Existing home sales soared to 90,028 in 2014, making it one of the best years since sales peaked in 2006. The total was boosted by a strong showing in December, historically a slow month, which had a 12 percent gain over 2013.

Low interest rates continue drawing customers to the market, but some housing economists have expressed concern that lower oil prices may affect the market statewide.

“Texas home sales in the first half of 2015 are expected to be similar to what we’ve seen in 2014, but continued increases in home prices and record-low inventory levels should still continue,” said Jim Gaines, a housing economist at the Real Estate Center. “Historically, Texas home prices have only risen 4.5 percent year over year. Continued housing demand, especially in Texas’ metro areas, will be critical to sustaining our market’s strong housing development in 2015.”

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST