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Here's how Texas is dealing with growing affordability concerns

A spotlight on down payment programs in Texas

The continuous increase in Texas home prices is creating a greater demand for local down payment assistance programs, as more people could use the financial help, a new report from Down Payment Resource stated.

The report interviewed Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Executive Director Tim Irvine and Director of Bond Finance Monica Galuski.

When asked how affordability is affecting demand for homeownership programs in Texas, Irvine said that housing market conditions in Texas have been different than those in Silicon Valley or the Northeast.

Just earlier this month, the California Association of Realtors reported that only 29% of California households could afford to purchase the $553,260 median-priced home in the second quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, Irvine said, “Texas has enjoyed solid and steady appreciation as a result of a good solid broad-based economy, and we are seeing prices increasing steadily in all of our markets.”

But this doesn’t mean Texas is exempt from being a hot market. The Texas Association of Realtors revealed at the start of the year that home prices in Texas reached a new all-time high in 2016, surpassing 2015’s previous record total.

Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors explained the increase, saying, “Last year’s record home sales activity was fueled by the momentum of multiple years’ strong job and population growth across the state, despite the fact that Texas job and economic growth began to slow in 2016.”

So as a result of the state’s housing boom, Galuski said that while they’ve always seen very strong demand for down payment assistance programs, due to affordability concerns, they are seeing more layering — more people adding the Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate program and a lot more creativity.

“The key is buyer awareness. Our homeownership division does a really good job of working with lenders and Realtors,” said Galuski.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs created the Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate Program to help make ownership of new and existing homes more affordable for individuals and families of low and moderate income, especially first-time buyers, according to the department’s website. The Mortgage Credit Certificate allows the homebuyer to claim a tax credit for some portion of the mortgage interest paid per year. 

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