A flood of North Texas houses hitting the market in January means it will take longer to sell a Dallas-Fort Worth home.
The number of houses up for sale in Dallas County rose more than 43% in January compared with a year earlier, according to the latest numbers from the MetroTex Association of Realtors.
Home listings were also up by more than 42% in Denton County and were 37% higher than a year ago in Collin County.
The wave of properties hitting the market comes at a time when home sales in the area are declining and price increases have evaporated.
At the end of last month, there were almost 22,000 houses listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents — the largest January inventory in six years. More than 10,000 additional home listings hit the market in January alone.
Real estate agents are warning sellers not to expect a quick sale like the market was seeing few years ago.
“You can’t expect to get 30 offers in 30 minutes,” said Cathy Mitchell, 2019 president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. “It’s a market correction — we couldn’t be sustainable the way the market was.”
At the same time the number of “for sale” signs is growing, home sales in the area are falling.
In Dallas County, home sales by real estate agents fell more than 12% in January from the same month in 2018. Sales were down almost 13% in Denton County and down 10.5% year-over-year in Collin County.
The smallest sales decline was in Tarrant County — 8.5% — where a larger inventory of more affordable houses on the market has made purchase activity stronger.
Tarrant County also had the largest increase in median sales prices — up 3.9% from January 2018.
Median home sales prices were flat in Dallas County and were up less than 1% in Collin County.
For the second month in a row, Tarrant County had the largest number of house sales by real estate agents — 1,440 properties changed hands in January.
Real estate agents are scrambling to adjust to the downshift in the local home market.
“We are being realistic with our sellers, telling them you need to price your house at what it will sell for,” Mitchell said. “I think this market correction is good for us.”
There was about a four-month supply of houses on the market in North Texas at the end of January.
Mitchell said that higher mortgage rates this fall put off some potential homebuyers.
“We have a whole generation of buyers that have never seen a 5% interest rate,” she said.
Mortgage costs have fallen since then. The average this week was at the lowest level in 12 months at 4.37%, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Tribune Content Agency