Austin boasts Texas’ biggest increase in homeownership, says report

The Austin area home ownership rate has been driven in large part by the rock bottom mortgage rates.

A report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center dated Aug. 12 shows that Austin home ownership was 65.3 percent for the second quarter of this year. That’s a 59.4 percent increase in Q1 2020 and the steepest increase in home ownership among cities in Texas.

Since the real estate center began tracking Austin home ownership in 1996, the highest rate in the third quarter of 2006 was 69.3 percent. The lowest rate in the fourth quarter of 1996 was 49.2 percent.

The upward trend reflects what is happening across the country. In June, the home ownership rate in Texas hit a new high.

According to the report, 67.5 percent of Texans owned their homes in the second quarter of this year, up from 64.5 percent in the first quarter and a record low of 60.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997.

“Despite falling sales in April and May, Texas home ownership was the highest since records began in 1996. Texas is only half a percent behind the national rate, the lowest in eight years,” said James Gaines from the center’s chief economist, says in a press release dated Aug. 12.

This is how the numbers are distributed in the other major cities in the state:

In the second quarter of 2020, the Houston metropolitan area had the highest home ownership rate since the center began tracking the regional rate in 2005. The home ownership rate in the region was 68.2 percent for the second quarter of this year, up from 65.5 percent in the previous quarter and one Low of 57.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Dallas-Fort Worth achieved 64.7 percent in the second quarter of this year. This is an increase of 62.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 and is slightly below the high of 65 percent in the first quarter of 2010. The real estate center began recording the DFW home ownership rate in 2005.

In the San Antonio area, the home ownership rate in the second quarter was between its highest and lowest level since 1996. The rate for the second quarter of this year was 66.2 percent, compared with 66 percent in the previous quarter. Since 1996, the highest rate in the fourth quarter of 2004 was 76 percent and the lowest in the first quarter of 1996 was 56.3 percent.

Despite a recent rise in median sales prices, home ownership rates have risen in the state’s four major metropolitan areas. The real estate platform Zillow reports that the median sales price of a single-family home at the end of June was:

  • $ 342,345 in Austin, up 3.7 percent from the same period last year.

  • $ 289,000 in DFW, up 2.3 percent over the same period last year.

  • $ 256,400 in Houston, up 1.7 percent from the same period last year.

  • $ 246,753 in San Antonio, up 3.8 percent from the same period last year.

Gaines said pent-up demand and record-low mortgage rates drove nationwide home sales 29.4 percent higher in June.

“The homes in Texas are selling at record speed. A dwindling supply of active offers and a resurgence in home sales have brought inventory levels in Texas to an all-time low of 2.8 months, ”the property center report said.

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