Home sales and median home prices across Texas experienced a moderate increase in the first quarter of 2020, according to the 2020-Q1 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by Texas REALTORS®. Although this time period includes the beginning stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, the statistical representation of its impact on the Texas housing market will be made more apparent in the second and third quarters of the year.
“The housing statistics for the first three months of the year show the continuation of more than a decade of growth in the Texas housing market,” said Cindi Bulla, chairman of Texas REALTORS®. “However, the rapid growth of the global pandemic we are facing is poised to affect this momentum. Before this unprecedented event and the economic downturn and shelter-in-place orders, our biggest market concern was the lack of affordable housing to meet the tremendous demand.”
During the first quarter of 2020, 75,052 homes were sold in Texas, jumping 7% compared to the first quarter of 2019. Statewide, the median price increased 5.1% to $241,500. Price class distribution showed that the largest percentage of homes sold across the state (33.8%) were in the $200,000-$299,000 price range.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, commented, “Sales activity in the first quarter experienced strong momentum. However, as a result of COVID-19, many sellers have begun pulling their listings to wait out the quarantine. This will only add to our housing shortage and strained inventory availability. Sales are anticipated to drastically drop in Q2, as we’ll be comparing our market to the previous record-breaking year. In the long-term, there will be continued demand within the Texas housing market as long as the job market is able to rebound quickly.”
Active listings dropped 8.9% to 91,363 listings in the first quarter of 2020. Texas homes spent an average of 67 days on the market during the same time frame, one day more than the first quarter of 2019. Housing inventory in Texas decreased 0.5 months from 2019-Q1 to 3.0 months of inventory.
Chairman Bulla concluded, “While these statistics will serve as an important historical reference and benchmark for future recovery, they don’t represent the full market impact of COVID-19. The data for the second and third quarter of 2020 will be the market story, giving us a better look at the post-crisis implications on the Texas housing market. The good news is we went into the disruption with positive velocity and will be ready to come out the other side with a swift recovery. In the meantime, opportunities are everywhere, and we Texans always outperform expectations.”