Texas home sales down 12% in 2Q, trending at '09 levels
Real estate markets nationwide reported steep drops after the federal homebuyer tax credit expired last year, but Texas sales continue to track alongside 2009 levels, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report. While the Lone Star State's second-quarter sales fell 12% from a year earlier, Texas' total sales volume of 58,795 homes was inline with 2009 levels, suggesting the market is maintaining a steady pace with or without federal stimulus. "Texas has dominated national headlines for economic strength, which makes it clear the recovery continues in our state," said Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, which publishes the report. "Given the impact of last year's tax credits, I'm not surprised to see fewer sales this quarter compared to last year," Gaines said. "If anything, I'm surprised to see that sales volumes didn't lag further behind 2010." The median sales price in Texas hit $150,400 in the second quarter, up 1% from a year ago. The average price rose 4.6% to $201,288, suggesting strength in the high-end market. In both areas, Texas is an outlier since many other markets have experienced drops in both average and median price. "The increase in the average price of Texas homes indicates more activity among higher priced homes," Gaines said. "Buyers of higher priced homes have been less impacted by tightened mortgage lending standards and real estate has been an attractive investment vehicle due to instability in other investments, such as securities." Write to Kerri Panchuk.