Dallas-Fort Worth home sales fall 29% from a year ago
North Texas home sales fell 29 percent in July compared with a year earlier, but the median home sales price still rose 1 percent, to $155,000, the latest Texas A&M Real Estate Center report shows.
«Its good news, bad news,» said Jim Gaines, an economist with the real estate center.
The slight increase in prices shows that sales of distressed properties and foreclosures werent enough to depress market values, he said. But while a double-digit drop in sales was expected, the «magnitude» of the decline was not, Gaines said.
There were 5,143 single-family homes sold last month, the least in about five months. Sales were down 24 percent from June.
In Tarrant County, only five markets bucked the sales decline: Colleyville, Southlake, Roanoke, Trophy Club/Westlake and Forest Hill/Everman.
Home sales will likely continue to fall going into the third quarter because federal tax incentives that expired April 30 probably accelerated home purchases that otherwise might have occurred in the second half of the year. A home needed to be under contract by the deadline date for the buyer to receive the credit, either $8,000 or $6,500.
«If you knew you were going to buy a house, there was no reason to wait,» Gaines said.
Its challenging to compare last months numbers to a year ago, when the incentives were active, he said. Last years numbers dont reflect the natural market, Gaines said. And, he added, lending is still tight.
«Right now, the housing market depends on the economy improving,» and that means job creation, Gaines said. «You need to have a job with history. Lenders are still making mortgage credit tight.»
Home sales fell the most, by 64 percent, in east Fort Worth.
Prices rose the most in downtown Fort Worth, more than doubling to $599,000, although the low number of sales, just three in the month, skewed that average. Southlake was the next priciest, at $582,000.
Despite the July slowdown, sales in the years first seven months are up 3 percent from the same period a year ago, to 40,060 homes, the report shows.
As of July, 42,649 homes were listed for sale in North Texas, a 15 percent increase from July 2009. There were 4,892 sales pending, a 20 percent decrease.