North Texas home sales boomed in November, increasing 26 percent from a year earlier. It was the biggest year-over-year home sales gain for the area in almost four years. "The November numbers just rocked," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "We've been tracking it on a daily basis and have been amazed.
"I don't know if it was the election or the interest rates rising, but people have been buying a lot of houses — more than we expected for sure." North Texas real estate agents sold almost 7,900 pre-owned single-family homes in November, according to data from the Real Estate Center and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. The jump in sales came at a time of year when traditionally, the home market is slowing down with the holidays approaching. "We suspect what is happening is a lot of people got nervous about interest rates going up and went ahead and locked in their rate and brought sales forward and got it done," Gaines said. "The general expectation is rates are going to go up during the course of the year ahead." Higher home finance costs in the last month have already added about $80 a month to the payments on a mid-priced, pre-owned Dallas-Fort Worth home and have driven up the monthly cost on a median-priced new house almost $120 a month.
Along with the higher finance costs, the price tags on homes in North Texas are still soaring. The median price of a pre-owned house in the area jumped 15 percent in November compared with a year earlier. A mid-priced house sold by real estate agents traded for $230,000 last month — near the all-time high. Prices are rising rapidly because the supply of homes up for sale in North Texas remains at rock bottom with only a 2.1-month inventory in November. About 18,000 houses were listed with real estate agents in the almost two dozen North Texas counties at the end of the month.
- Dallas Morning News, December 8, 2016