The homeownership rate in Texas rose to an all-time high of 70% in the third quarter, exceeding the national metric for the first time since 2012, according to a report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.
Texas home sales pushed third-quarter activity up compared to “depressed” Q2 levels, rebounding 6.3%. The report said that thanks to record low mortgage rates, new home transactions increased over 8%.
Although mortgage rates are low, survey data indicated that Texas mortgagees may be at a higher risk of foreclosure due to higher proportions of FHA and VA loans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau‘s Household Pulse Survey, 7% of Texas homeowners were behind on September mortgage payments, compared to the national rate of 6%.
The report said that although lot development slowed in Q3, single-family permits and construction values “trended upward.”
Total Texas housing starts rose 20.6% on a monthly basis, according to the report. In the “Texas Urban Triangle” of Dallas/Fort Worth-Houston-Austin/San Antonio, 27,100 single-family homes broke ground in Q3, up 6.1%.
Housing inventory in Texas has dropped to 2.2 months of supply, an all-time low. In fact, inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 sits at 1.6 months. Inventory for homes priced over $500,000 is at 5.7 months.
Specifically, inventory fell in Dallas to 1.8 months; Fort Worth to 1.6 months; Austin to one month; San Antonio to 2.2 months; and Houston to 2.5 months.
Low inventory has contributed to a growth in median home prices in the state, which rose 9.9% year over year in September to a record high of $266,500. The median home price in Austin reached $359,300; Dallas reached $326,100; San Antonio reached $261,000; Fort Worth reached $269,900; and Houston reached $266,400.
More people are working from home during the pandemic, causing an outflow from the cities and inflow to the suburbs and beyond.