San Antonio’s housing market on record pace
Local home sales continued to climb in August, staying on track for another record-breaking year despite a tightening supply of homes on the market.
Last month, 2,984 homes were sold in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro area, a 2.3 percent increase from August the year before, according to data released Tuesday by the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
Total home sales so far this year now stand at 20,867, which is 4.3 percent above the total at this point in 2016. The market is on a trajectory to eclipse the record set last year, when 29,545 homes were sold.
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The median home price in San Antonio rose by 3.1 percent in August, to $218,400, according to SABOR’s data. That’s the fourth-highest median price ever recorded for the local market, below only the medians for May, June and July. Local home prices have soared in recent years due in large part to a shortage of construction workers and increased demand caused by San Antonio’s growing population.
Click through the slideshow above for a closer look at homes for sale around the Alamo City’s median-priced market, dwellings listed for under $300K.
Low interest rates are helping to fuel the housing market’s growth. The national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.8 percent last week, well below historical norms and down from 4.2 percent at the beginning of the year, according to Freddie Mac.
The supply of homes on the local market tightened between July and August after loosening up earlier this year, giving sellers more leverage.
The inventory of available homes — measured by the average time it takes for a home to be sold if no new homes are listed — dropped to 3.6 months in August from 3.9 in July. An inventory of six months indicates a balance between buyers and sellers, analysts say. In December, the inventory hit a record low of 3.1 months.
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Yet there are signs that home construction is picking up in the Alamo City. Slightly more than 3,000 homes started construction in the local area in the second quarter of this year, which is 3.6 percent above the building pace set in the first quarter and 9.5 percent above that of the second quarter last year, according to Metrostudy, a research firm that analyzes the local market.
A shortage of homes is restricting sales nationwide, said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, in a news release from late August. The shortage is to blame for a recent decline across the U.S. in homes that are under contract to be sold, he said.
Yun noted that the national median sales price of a home has risen 38 percent over the last five years, while hourly earnings have risen by only 12 percent.
“Sales in coming months will not break out unless supply miraculously improves,” he said. “This seems unlikely given the inadequate pace of housing starts in recent months and the lack of interest from real estate investors looking to sell.”