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Texas Housing Inventory Hits All-time Low as Sales Still High

home for saleAccording to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, even though median home prices were up statewide in the first quarter of 2015, housing inventory hit an all-time low.

In Austin, home sales in 1Q 2015 were up 6.47 percent from the same period last year, and the median price increased nearly 8 percent — from $227,900 to $245,900. Monthly inventory is up slightly, from 2.1 months to 2.2 months.

Across Texas, the 1Q 2015 numbers look like this: Sales were up a little more than 4 percent; the median price went up nearly 8 percent; and inventory was down almost 9 percent, to 3.1 months, a new record low.

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

The news isn’t entirely rosy if you’re a first-time homebuyer, because low inventory and high prices can spell trouble down the road.

“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,” says Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

You can read the first-quarter report in its entirety at the Texas Association of Realtors website.

BY LINDSEY WILSON at Culturemap Austin

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