Dallas, Texas – May 22, 2018 – Once again the two biggest new home markets in Texas went in opposite directions. Last month Dallas-Ft. Worth, the state and nation’s biggest new home market in total sales volume, saw a faster sales pace of new home sales and a jump in average home prices in April.
Houston, the second biggest new home sales market in Texas, saw its new home sales pace slow in April and its average sales price fall, according to the HomesUSA.com New Homes Sales Index and other information released today based on data from local Multiple Listing Services. Both Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston reported similar news for February home sales activity.
The HomesUSA.com Index is a 12-month rolling average of the Days on Market (DOM) for new homes listed in the local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) for the four largest Texas markets, including Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
The pace of new home sales slowed statewide in April, from 122.49 in March to 123.78 in April. However, the sales of new homes in Dallas-Ft. Worth accelerated. The DOM decreased in Dallas from 115.39 days in March to 114.53 days in April. In Houston – as was reported for February activity – the opposite happened. Its DOM increased nearly 5 days, from 140.76 days in March to 145.37 days in April.
The new home sales pace slowed in Austin, as its DOM increased from 112.91 days in March to 113.20 days in April, while the new home sales pace ramped up in San Antonio, with the DOM decreasing from 107.57 in March to 105.93 days in April.
Ben Caballero, owner of HomesUSA.com and recently named by Guinness World Records as the top ranked real estate agent in the world based on home sales, is sharing this Texas new homes data in advance of tomorrow’s announcement by the Commerce Department on New Home Sales for March. The Commerce Department will report nationwide new home construction data at 10:00 am Eastern, tomorrow, Wednesday, May 23.
“If you look at the trend lines over the last year, when it comes to the pace of new home sales, Dallas and Houston are going in the opposite direction,” said Caballero. “The strength of the Dallas-Ft. Worth new home sales market continues to impress,” he said, adding, “and the slowing sales pace in Houston is looking more like a trend than a bump in the road. Overall, Austin and San Antonio are still posting impressive new home market numbers, and the Texas economy is not showing any major signs of slowing down.”
New home prices continue to stabilize
Statewide home prices remain fairly stable, which is great news for new home buyers. The statewide average new home price fell slightly from $350,301 in March to $349,542 in April.
Dallas-Ft. Worth average new home prices went higher in April, climbing from $356,108 in March to $357,340. Houston’s average new home prices fell significantly, from $357,414 in March to $354,750. In Austin, the average new home price fell slightly from $369,407 in March to $368,643 in April. The average new home price in San Antonio dropped slightly $292,866 in March to $292,648 in April. (See Chart 1 – Texas New Home Sale Prices)
Texas New Home Sales Strong, But Growth Relatively Flat
While new home sales were strong statewide in Texas for April, sales growth was relatively flat. The rolling 12-month average of new home sales statewide was up from 3,655 in March to 3,672 in April. 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.
The state’s two biggest markets – Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston – both experienced relatively flat home sales in April. According to HomesUSA.com, Dallas-Ft. Worth home sales in April were 1,338, down slightly from 1,340 sales in March. Houston home sales in April were 1,207, up from 1,198 sales in March. New home sales were up in Austin from 638 in March to 644 in April. In San Antonio, home sales were also higher last month with 483 sales in April, up from 479 sales in March. (See Chart 2 – New Home Sales | Texas)
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.” 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, expands the inventory of available homes, and that’s especially helpful for buyers and agents in a tight housing market.” (See Chart 3 – New Home Sales Index – Days on Market – Monthly numbers1)
The HomesUSA.com® New Home Sales Index is the first 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)