Major Texas Markets See New Home Sales Gains: Report

AUSTIN, TX — Austin new home sales are up as prices have improved in December, even with homes having remained on the market a little longer, according to a new analysis.

The new findings are detailed in the HomesUSA.com® New Homes Sales Index and other data released on Wednesday. The Index is a 12-month rolling average of the Days on Market (DOM) for new homes listed in local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) for the four largest Texas markets, including Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

According to the study, the pace of new home sales slowed somewhat in Austin, with the DOM increasing from 112.28 days in November to 112.65 days in December. This might sound like a contradiction but here’s the way it was explained to Patch: Total home sales are up for the month, but what’s slowing is the pace of the new home sales is the DOM. “So it is taking a little longer for new homes to sell,” an official told Patch.

Austin was the only major new homes market in Texas among the four largest to see a slight slowdown of new home sales, according to the report. Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio new home markets all saw some improvement in their new home sales pace.

Ben Caballero, owner of HomesUSA.com and the number one real estate agent in the U.S., provided insight into the findings: “We are coming off one of the best years in recent Texas new home construction history, despite the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey,” he said. “For Austin area home builders and buyers, new home sales appear to be starting the year strong, as buyers are continuing to benefit from generally lower new home prices. With the strength and diversity of the Austin economy – this could be a great year. And if the Amazon HQ2 decision goes Austin’s way, the next decade would be astonishing.”

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In Austin, the average price dropped from $377,277 in November to $376,770 in December. In Houston, the average new home sales price dropped from $360,908 in November to $358,176 in December, while in San Antonio, the average price dropped from $290.627 in November to $290,337 in December. However, in Dallas-Forth Worth, the average price increased from $346,563 in November to $346,563 in December. (See Chart 1 – Texas New Home Sale Prices).

According to data compiled by HomesUSA.com® from the Austin Board of REALTORS®, new home sales were also up in Austin, with posted sales of 589 for December, up from 571 in November, according to the research.

Here are some of the report’s main findings:

New Home Sales Show Record Strength

In all four of the Texas major housing markets, new home sales continue to show record strength, researchers found. The rolling 12-month average of home sales in these markets increased from 3,480 in November to 3,548 in November. That’s according to data compiled by HomesUSA.com® from local MLS and trade associations, including the Houston Association of REALTORS®, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, San Antonio Board of REALTORS® and the Austin Board of REALTORS®, researchers noted.

According to HomesUSA.com®, based on a 12-month rolling average, Dallas-Ft. Worth posted sales of 1,322 in December, up from 1,279 in November. Houston posted new homes sales of 1,182 for December, up from 1,178 sales in November. And San Antonio posted an increase in sales with 455 in December, up from 452 in November. (See Chart 2 – New Home Sales | Texas)

Home Sales Pace Improves in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio

In Dallas-Fort Worth –now the largest new home market in Texas in terms of number of average monthly sales – the Days on Market decreased from 121.21 days in November to 120.40 days in December. In Houston, the average DOM for new homes decreased from 133.90 days in November to 133.74 days in December, while in San Antonio, the average DOM decreased from 107.34 days in November to 106.94 days in December.

Understanding the new “Days on Market” Index

Caballero notes the average Days on Market for New Homes “is about 65 days higher for new homes than for existing or ‘pre-owned’ homes.”

He explains why: “There’s a huge difference between selling a new home and a pre-owned or existing home,” Caballero explained. “New homes are often listed for sale during the early stages of construction. This early market exposure allows buyers the opportunity to customize the home. Plus, by placing more inventory on the market, as it is being built, it expands the inventory of available homes, and that’s especially helpful for buyers and agents in a tight housing market.”

Caballero adds, “There really is no apples-to-apples comparison for the Days on Market for new homes under construction with existing homes.” (See Chart 3 – New Home Sales Index – Days on Market – Monthly numbers1).

The HomesUSA.com® New Home Sales Index is a first of its kind index to track new home sales. Created by Caballero, who was named “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent” by real estate news firm Inman News, the index is an analysis by HomesUSA.com of sales of homes listed in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio local Multiple Listing Services (MLS). (See Chart 4 – New Home Sales Index – Days on Market – Tracking)

1Prior month DOM numbers are subject to adjustment

The monthly data is based on information reported to the MLS that may be incomplete or subject to further revision by the MLS. While licensed real estate professionals are required to report closed sales to their local MLS in Texas within 72 hours of a closed sale, not all sales, unfortunately, are reported promptly and some are reported more than 30 days later. This late reporting causes the prior month’s reported index number to change to include newly reported sales. Only the prior month index number is impacted and that number, once adjusted, is the final and correct index number.

About Ben Caballero and HomesUSA.com® (provided text):

Ben Caballero is the world’s most productive real estate agent, ranked #1 in America for the last six years, according to REAL Trends as published in the Wall Street Journal. He is the first and only agent in U.S. history ever to exceed the $1 billion mark for residential sales transaction volume in a single year, accomplished in both 2015 and 2016. An award-winning innovator, Caballero is founder and CEO of HomesUSA.com®, Inc., working with more than 65 home builders in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Learn more at HomesUSA.com | Twitter: @BenCaballero – @HomesUSA | Facebook: /HomesUSAdotcom.

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