LOWER-THAN-AVERAGE PRICES DELAYED TEXAS’ ENTRY INTO THE NATIONWIDE DOWNTURN
AND MAY HAVE PULLED IT OUT QUICKER.
3 Cities to Watch
Year-to-year prices began depreciating statewide in January 2008, a year after the U.S. trend, according
to real estate analytics-provider CoreLogic. Texas’ price growth returned in September 2009, four months
before the national decline ended.
The Lone Star State’s median single-family home price of $148,500 this
past May trailed the national median of $179,400, according to the
Real Estate Center at Texas A&M
University and the National Association of Realtors.
Below-average prices also have
powered the state’s population
and job growth, according to a
Real Estate Center report. Texas’
population grew 18. 3 percent from
2000 to ’09, the sixth-greatest expansion nationally among states
in that time, according to the U.S.
YEAR-TO-YEAR EXISTING-HOME-PRICE CHANGE
Source: Core Logic
Relocation.com named Austin, the state capital and home to the University of Texas at Austin, the third-best city nationwide to move to
this year. The city saw a 24.2-percent increase
in home sales and only a 2.1-percent decrease
in prices from May 2009 to this past May, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas
Meanwhile, Texas placed six metropolitan areas — more than any other state — on a Brookings Institution list of the nation’s strongest metropolitan areas this past first quarter.
Texas’ unemployment rate dipped below the national average in January ’07 and has stayed there since,
the U.S. Department of Labor reported.
The Real Estate Center reported an increase of 24,400 nonfarm jobs in Texas during the 12-month period ending this past May. The nation as a whole lost jobs in the same period, according to the report.
FHA and VA Loans
Federal Housing Administration
(FHA) loans have gained steam
everywhere — but they’re especially popular in Texas. The state
accounted for 11. 7 percent of all
FHA loans serviced nationally this
past first quarter, according to a
Mortgage Bankers Association survey, and had almost twice as many
FHA loans and U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as any
Source: Mortgage Bankers Association
More than 20 percent of Texas bor-
rowers had FHA loans, compared to
12.1 percent of borrowers nationally, and 5. 5 percent had VA loans, compared to 2. 8 percent nationally,
according to the survey.
Only California and Florida have more mortgage-holders than Texas, but six states had more foreclosure filings in the first half of this year.
Texas’ foreclosure rate for the first half of this year did increase 32 percent from the same period in ’09
to one filing per 148 housing units, according to Realty Trac. The national rate increased only 8. 3 percent.
Despite the above-average upsurge, Texas still ranked 28th among states by foreclosure percentage in
the first six months of this year.
Home prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arling-ton metropolitan statistical area (MSA) decreased only 4. 7 percent from first quarter ’07
through this past first quarter, according to the
Brookings Institution. The group’s first-quarter
MetroMonitor report called the MSA one of the
21 strongest-performing nationwide, based
largely on housing and employment data.
Texas’ second-biggest city is one of the country’s most-affordable places to buy a home, according to Money magazine this past August.
For ’09, Money reported a median home price
of $78,627 for homes within the city limits and
a median family income of $55,958 during the
WHAT THE LOCALS SAY
“One huge asset to our state is our cash-out law,
which sets a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 80
percent for cash-out refinances. This correlates
as to why we have fewer foreclosures than
other states. Another reason we didn’t see huge
appreciations [is] we have pretty high property
taxes on the whole. That can take a big chunk
out of the monthly payment clients can afford.”
— JOSHUA SIGMAN, MINORIT Y OWNER AND VICE PRESIDEN T,
LEGAC Y MU TUAL MOR TGAGE
Sources: Brookings Institution, CNNMoney.com, CoreLogic, MarketWatch,
Money, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors,
Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Realty Trac, Relocation.com,
Texas Association of Realtors, U. S. Census Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor,
The Wall Street Journal.