North Texas home sales in June saw the first year-over-year decline in almost two years.
Area real estate agents sold 10,754 preowned single-family homes last month — 3 percent less than in June 2017, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
With June’s decline, preowned home sales in the area are up just 1 percent for the first six months compared with last year’s record sales in the same period.
North Texas’ housing markets has been cooling this year with fewer sales in some neighborhoods and rising home inventories.
Industry insiders blame the slowdown on fewer corporate relocations to the area and the impact of several years of steep price increases. Higher mortgage rates this year may also be a factor for some potential buyers.
“From what I am hearing in the field we are definitely seeing a tempering of the home market this year,” said Paige Shipp with housing analyst Metrostudy. “A lot of these big relocations have already occurred.
“We are still going to see them, but the mass amounts of people moving in all at once we are not seeing to the extent we did a year or two ago.”
Big corporate moves to North Texas by Toyota, State Farm Insurance and others drove thousands of home sales in the northern suburbs in recent years. Many of those companies have now shifted the majority of their workers to new corporate campuses in Dallas’ northern suburbs.
Jim Fite, CEO of Dallas-based Century 21 Judge Fite Realtors, says his firm has seen a slight decrease in relocation activity.
“The other factor continues to be inventory — high demand and low supply,” Fite said. “I hear about folks putting off buying a house because they are discouraged.
“They make offer after offer and get nowhere.”
Fite said June’s year-over-year decline in area home sales isn’t a definitive indicator of a significant change in the market.
“It’s only one month, but something to monitor,” he said.
Median home sales prices in June were up 7 percent from a year ago to a new record high of $273,000.
About a three-month supply of homes was on the market in June — an increase from recent years where inventories had amounted to just two months or less.
More than 24,000 single-family homes were listed for sale with real estate agents in the more than two dozen counties included in the survey. That’s 12 percent more home listings than in June 2017.
Sales of all North Texas homes priced below $190,000 are down this year because of a severe lack of inventory in the lower and moderate price ranges.
Purchases of more expensive houses — between $700,000 and $900,000 — are also lower so far in 2018. The strongest sales have been of homes priced from $200,000 to $500,000, according to data from real estate agents.
Several years of double-digit percentage home price increases have impacted affordability in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Shipp said.
“A $500,000 house today three or four years ago was a $350,000 or $400,000 house,” she said. “The true demand for resale is under $300,000.”
Homebuilders have also lured more buyers out of the preowned housing market in North Texas by constructing more lower priced homes than in recent years.
“The median new home price is about $323,000 — which has come down,” Shipp said. “They are selling more affordable, smaller homes.”