North Texas home sales headed higher in August

Lower mortgage rates helped boost North Texas home sales in August.

Sales of single-family homes by real estate agents rose 5% last month — the second month in a row that sales were higher than levels a year ago.

The 10,911 homes sold set a record for August purchases, according to preliminary data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

“Both August and September have been very good months,” said housing analyst Ted Wilson with Dallas-based Residential Strategies. “These lower mortgage rates have definitely pulled people off the sidelines and helped with the affordability issues.

“It’s definitely been a boon for the home market,” Wilson said. “This time last year rates were on the rise, from mid-September through November, and during that period, sales were off.”

With August’s increase, North Texas home sales for the first eight months of 2019 are 1% ahead of where they were at this point last year.

Home sales in the area were down slightly in the early months of 2019 when mortgages costs soared. But with mortgage interest rates now at the lowest level in three years, more buyers are making a move on the market.

Potential buyers still face an under supply of houses on the market. In August, there was a 3-month inventory of homes listed for sale with real estate agents — about half what is considered a balanced market.

Real estate agents have listings for 26,754 houses in the more than two dozen North Texas counties included in the survey, which is 4% more than a year ago.

“Inventory is still low,” Wilson said. “There is not much if you get under $250,000.”

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