San Antonio housing market shows no signs of cooling
The San Antonio housing market showed no signs of cooling in October with sales and prices keeping pace to set another record this year.
Just over 2,500 homes were sold in the local metro area last month, a 4.5 percent increase from the 2,399 sales logged in October 2016, according to data released Tuesday by the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
The total number of homes sold so far this year stands at 25,961, which is 3.8 percent above the total during the first ten months of 2016. The market is set to pass the record set last year, when 29,545 homes were sold.
The median price of a home in the local area was $207,100 last month, which is 2.4 percent above the median of $202,300 in October 2016, according to SABOR’s data. Local home prices have surged in recent years as San Antonio’s growing population pushes up demand and developers grapple with a shortage of construction workers.
Interest rates remain low, fueling the housing market’s growth. The national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.9 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 for sale in San Antonio remains tight, giving sellers leverage over buyers. The inventory of available homes — measured by the average time it takes for a home to be sold if no new homes are listed — was at 3.6 months in October, according to SABOR. An inventory of six months indicates a balance between buyers and sellers, analysts say. The local inventory hit a record low of 3.1 months in December.
The national housing market is also on the rise due to job growth and strong consumer confidence, according to a recent news release from the National Association of Realtors.
The association predicts that existing-home sales — homes that were previously built, rather than new ones — will climb across the U.S. next year. But a nationwide shortage of homes, and a tax reform bill making its way through Congress that many fear would hurt the real estate industry, could “handcuff what should be stronger activity,” the organization said in the release.
The tight inventory of homes nationwide has pushed up home sales 48 percent since 2011, while wages have grown by only 15 percent, the NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in the release.
“Despite considerable demand all year, pending sales have lost a step in recent months because low supply is pushing prices higher and making homebuying less affordable in several parts of the country,” Yun said.
Yun predicts that nationwide sales of existing homes will end up at 5.47 million this year, the highest since 2006. He forecasts that sales will grow 3.7 percent next year to 5.67 million, according to the release. The median price for existing homes nationwide is expected to rise 5.5 percent this year and next year.
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