Homes Sales Up In Austin, Prices Down, Yet Sales Slowed

Small Red Brick American Home

AUSTIN, TX — New home sales are up in Austin with prices down yet homes sold a little bit slower in November, according to a newly released index.

That snapshot is according to the HomesUSA.com® New Homes Sales Index and other data released on Friday, officials of the former website said. 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 Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio, according to analysts.

The pace of new home sales slowed some in Austin, as it did in San Antonio this last month, researchers found. The DOM in Austin increased from 111.42 days in October to 112.06 days in November, analysts added.

Ben Caballero, owner of HomesUSA.com and the number one real estate agent in the U.S., notes the Texas data he released on Friday is in strong alignment with the Commerce Department’s announcement today on New Home Sales for November, which reported new home sales were up more than 17% nationally from October. He does note that we are likely seeing some signs of the impact of Hurricane Harvey in some of Houston’s housing numbers.

“As we head into the holidays, we are starting to see some seasonal impact on new home sales in Austin, but that’s to be expected,” said Caballero. “But for builders and buyers, it remains a very happy year, as new home sales have hit a record pace. Buyers are continuing to benefit from lower new home prices,” he added.

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In Austin, the average price dropped from $378,318 in October to $377,294 in November; a trend that continues throughout the state, according to Cabellero’s findings. In Houston, the average new home sales price dropped from $361,904 in October to $361,140 in November, while in Dallas-Ft. Worth, the average price dropped from $349,906 in October to $346,050 in November. And in San Antonio, the average price in November was $290,768, down from $290,822 in October. (See Chart 1 – Texas New Home Sale Prices).

New home sales were also up Austin, with posted sales of 567 for November, up from 560 in October, according to data compiled by HomesUSA.com® from the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

New Home Sales Show Record Strength

In all four of the Texas major housing markets, new home sales continue to show record strength, analysts found. The rolling 12-month average of home sales in these markets increased from 3,422 in October to 3,451 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®.

According to HomesUSA.com®, based on a 12-month rolling average, Dallas-Ft. Worth posted sales of 1,272 in November, up from 1,246 in October. Houston posted new homes sales of 1,164 for November, but that’s down from 1,170 sales in October. “That slight decline is very likely to be from the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” said Caballero.

San Antonio posted the smallest increase in new home sales of 448 for November, up from 446 in October. (See Chart 2 – New Home Sales | Texas)

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

In Dallas-Fort Worth – which has become the largest new home market in Texas in terms of number of average monthly sales – the Days on Market (DOM) decreased from 122.26 days in October to 121.19 days in November. In Houston, the average DOM for new homes decreased from 134.74 days in October to 134.00 days in November. Like Austin, San Antonio’s new home sales pace also slowed slightly, as the DOM increased from 106.05 days in October to 106.94 days in November.

Understanding the new “Days on Market” Index

Caballero noted the average Days on Market for New Homes “is about 65 days higher for new homes than for existing or ‘pre-owned’ homes. He explained why that is.

“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 added: “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 numbers).

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).

Prior 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, Caballero cautioned. 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, he noted. 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.

>>> Photo of Ben Caballero, charts courtesy of HomesUSA.com

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