North Texas home prices jump 12% in November as inventories fall

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By STEVE BROWN stevebrown@dallasnews.com
Real Estate Editor
Published: 08 December 2014 09:48 PM
Updated: 08 December 2014 09:48 PM

With the number of houses for sale in North Texas at the lowest level in more than a decade, prices jumped in November as demand for properties surpassed supply.
Median home prices in the area rose 12 percent last month from November 2013, according to the latest report on local home sales. It was the second-largest annual price increase this year.
Real estate agents sold 5,994 preowned single-family homes through their multiple listing service, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. November’s sales were down 1 percent from the same month last year.
The tight supply of homes on the market is limiting sales, property agents say.
So far in 2014, preowned home sales in North Texas are unchanged from a year ago and median prices are up 7 percent from the first 11 months of last year.
Annual home price gains are running more than twice the average rate of increase in this market.
“We are going to continue to see aggressive price increases,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center. “You do run the risk of having artificially high prices.
“But we aren’t there yet.”
The strong local economy is driving a high demand for homes at a time when fewer properties are available for purchase.
In November, only 18,461 single-family homes were listed for sale with real estate agents — the fewest number of properties on the market in more than 15 years.
Only a 2.5-month supply of houses was available in North Texas. A six-month inventory is considered a normal market.
Median home prices in North Texas have been at an all-time high this year.
“Some of that is a real increase and some of it is because of the shift in sales to the upper end of the market,” Gaines said.
First-time and moderate-income homebuyers are having a harder time obtaining financing, which has reduced lower-price home purchases.
Dallas-area home prices are now about 12 percent higher than they were in 2007 before the recession hit.

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