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Texas real estate upswing rooted in population growth

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Texas home prices dipped in the great recession before doing an about face and heading back up in 2010, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Overall, the state's housing market is heading towards greener pastures compared to other parts due to a growing population, relatively stable pricing, and strong position in terms of jobs growth. The estimated median home sales price in Texas for the year 2012 is $152,000, compared to $148,800 in 2011, according to data from the Real Estate Center. The median Texas home price peaked at $147,300 during the real estate bubble before falling to $146,900 in 2008 and $145,800 in 2009. Prices started to turn around in 2010 when the median sale's price edged back up to $147,600. Several factors could contribute to dramatic growth in the Texas housing market over the course of the next decade, the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women said in a report. One of those factors is the dramatic population shift impacting the state today. Texas' population grew 20.6% over the past ten years, reaching a population of 25 million, compared to 20 million in 2000. By 2040, 33.7 million people will reside in the four largest metro areas in the state, pushing up housing demand. Furthermore, Texas is expected to add another 14 million people between 2010 and 2030. The group providing the most promise for increased housing demand is the echo boomers (or Texans born between 1977 and 1995). The echo boomers make up 30% of the state's population, outpacing, Gen X (15.9% of the population), the Baby Boomers (21.8%) and the Millenials, which represent 23% of the population. The silent generation, born between 1909 to 1945, remains 9.3% of the state's population. At the moment, first-time buyers, or those mostly likely in the Y and millenial generations, are struggling with economic security and an ability to quality for mortgages. Still, the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women highlighted areas of confidence, which includes four years of pent-up demand, more retiring boomers and more people moving to new locations in the state or relocating businesses from other states.  All of these factors could lift housing demand. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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