New home prices rose for the first time in the last ten months as total new home sales stabilized and the pace of home sales slowed in three of the top four major Texas markets, according to the HomesUSA.com® New Homes Sales Index and other data released today. The 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.
New home prices were higher in Dallas at $351,434 for January 2018, jumping up from a 12-month rolling average of $346,382 in December 2017. Prices were also higher in San Antonio, increasing from $290,422 in December to $292,035 in January. The statewide average also rose from $347,798 in December to $349,025 in January.
The pace of new home sales in December slowed statewide, except in Dallas, the state’s largest new homes market. In Texas, the combined DOM increased from 121.71 days in December to 122.12 days in December. Houston, Austin, and San Antonio also saw their sales pace slow last month, but according to the HomesUSA.com Index for December, the sales pace for new homes picked up in Dallas-Ft. Worth.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, the DOM decreased from 120.27 days in December to 119.02 days in January. In Houston, the average for new homes increased from 133.75 days in December to 135.18 days in January, while in San Antonio, the average DOM rose from 107.11 days in December to 108.27 days in January. In Austin, the DOM increased from 112.75 days in December to 113.60 days in January.
Ben Caballero, the owner of HomesUSA.com and the number one real estate agent in the U.S., notes the Texas data echoes some of the findings of today’s announcement by the Commerce Department on New Home Sales for January, which reported total new home sales were 7.8 percent below the December rate, and 1 percent below the January 2017 estimate.
“Though the statewide average shows that new home prices were higher, they appear to be stabilizing,” said Caballero. “And while total new home sales continue to be strong, we also know that last month it took a little longer for homes to sell in all the big markets but Dallas. Dallas continues to be one of America’s strongest housing markets,” he added.
New home prices stabilize
New home buyers saw the overall rolling 12-month average price increase in Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio, while home prices dropped in Houston and Austin.
In Houston, the average new home sales price dropped from $358,173 in December to $356,928 in January. In Austin, the average price fell from $376,482 in December to $373,795 in January.
New Home Sales Up Marginally in 3 of 4 Major Texas Markets
While new home sales were higher in three-of-four of the Texas major housing markets last month, the amount of the increase suggests new home sales are stabilizing. The rolling 12-month average of home sales statewide increased from 3,573 in December to 3,585 in January. 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 was the one market where total sales were marginally lower: 1,331 homes sold in January, down from 1,333 in December. Houston posted new homes sales of 1,191 for January, up from 1,188 sales in November. Austin posted sales of 600 for January, up from 593 in December. San Antonio posted an increase in sales with 462 in January, up from 459 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.” 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.”
Caballero adds, “When analyzing DOM for new homes under construction, with existing homes, there are no comparable terms.”
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).