DFW housing market rated hottest in the nation by Realtor.com

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the hottest housing market in the country, according to a new report by Realtor.com.

Analysts rated the top markets in April based on demand for housing and how long it takes to sell a property.

After the DFW area, other cities near the top of the 15 hot housing markets list include Santa Rosa, Calif.; Denver; Boston and San Diego.

“As the market shows strong signs of health and improvement during the start of spring home buying season, these 15 markets are the best in the country from both a supply and demand perspective,” Realtor.com economist Jonathan Smoke said in the report.

“Sellers are seeing listings move between 29 and 49 days, more quickly than in the rest of the country and at an accelerating pace from just last month — an average of five days faster,” he said.

“Meanwhile, these markets are especially attractive to buyers, as listings are viewed two to three times more often than the national average.”

So far in 2015, median single-family home sales prices in North Texas are up about 9 percent from a year ago. And the number of homes sold in the area so far this year by Realtors is 4 percent higher than in 2014.

“The large increases in price appreciation in Dallas and Houston appear to be slowing down slightly,” Smoke said. “But it is tough to say that some returning to normal wouldn’t have occurred anyway, as these markets traditionally don’t see that kind of price appreciation.”

He said there are some signs that Houston’s housing market will moderate, but not Dallas.

“Dallas is one of the top 15 hottest, so it’s definitely not slowing down,” Smoke said. “I’m expecting Houston to see some slowdown from the crazy pace of last year, but no pullback as the economy appears to be diversified enough to survive a downturn in energy.

“But Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio seem poised for continued strong momentum, and as a result this may be the year that Dallas can clearly earn bragging rights over Houston.”

Texas home sales rose by more than 4 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Record low supply

The increase came even as the supply of properties on the market in the state dropped to an all-time low, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

“The first quarter of the year is typically a slow period for homebuying and selling, so we were thrilled to see strong home sales gains statewide in the first part of 2015,” Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in the report.

“Market conditions are ripe for another competitive summer selling season in 2015,” he said.

Real estate agents sold 57,818 homes in Texas in the first quarter of 2015 — a 4.16 percent increase from the same quarter last year.

The supply of houses listed for sale with agents across the state dropped to just 3.1 months — 8.8 percent less than a year earlier.

Statewide median home sales prices rose 7.8 percent from first quarter 2014.

“The demand for Texas real estate is still strong, but our state’s housing market growth will not be sustainable if high homeownership costs, low housing inventory and unfunded transportation needs are allowed to continue,” Kesner said.

Texas increases

The increase in Texas home sales in the first quarter was good news given the decline in employment in the state’s energy industry.

“The impact of falling oil prices has not yet hit Texas real estate, especially in its metro areas,” Jim Gaines, economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in the report. “Texas home sales could experience a slowdown in the last half of 2015 and, depending on when and at what level oil prices stabilize, end 2015 at a lower level than previous years.”

Among the major Texas markets, the biggest increase in home sales was in San Antonio — up 12.22 percent from last year.

Dallas-area sales were up about 1.8 percent and sales rose by 4.4 percent in Fort Worth from 2014 levels.

Real estate agents in North Texas say they could sell more houses if there were properties on the market.

In the Dallas area, there was only a 1.8-month supply of houses listed for sale with agents, according to the Texas Realtors’ report.

“Homes are being built as quickly as possible, yet most are not in the price range where inventory is needed most — the entry-level market,” Gaines said. “Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

Follow Steve Brown on Twitter at @SteveBrownDMN.

Hot spots

Hottest markets based on April demand for housing and how long it takes to sell a property in major markets across the nation.

1. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington

2. Santa Rosa, Calif.

3. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

5. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass./N.H.

6. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

7. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro

and Franklin, Tenn.

8. Ann Arbor, Mich.

9. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

10. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

11. Boulder, Colo.

12. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

13. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.

14. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

15. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.

SOURCE: Realtor.com

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