Slipping sales

Houston's new-home sales cool off over summer 2019, new data shows

Houston's new-home sales cool off over summer 2019, new data shows

Austin Photo Set: News_steven_home buying need a job to qualify_may 2012_sold house
Sales declined between June and July, but year-over-year sales are up in Houston. Courtesy photo

It may be hot as you-know-what outside, but the new-home market in Houston is cooling off just a tad, according to data compiled by HomesUSA.com.

New-home sales in Houston totaled 1,297 in July, down 6.6 percent from 1,388 in June but up 3.3 percent from 1,256 in July 2018, HomesUSA.com says in an August 19 release.

Meanwhile, the average price of a new home in Houston has held fairly steady over the past year. The average price in July was $357,118, compared with $358,810 in June and $355,842 last July, according to Addison, Texas-based HomesUSA.com, whose technology platform helps builders sell homes.

The state’s three other major metro areas saw similar trends in new-home sales, the HomesUSA.com data shows.

Ben Caballero, founder and CEO of HomesUSA.com, says all four of Texas’ major new-home markets remain healthy.

“After a good 2018, the market is steady, but as last fall proved, it is very sensitive to interest rates,” Caballero says. “At the moment, I expect a good market and expect prices to be in check due to builder competition. With current interest rates, this is a good time to buy.”

The most dramatic change outside Houston happened in San Antonio. There, the average number of new-home sales dropped 13.1 percent from June to July (going from 534 to 491). The decline from July 2018 (519 sales) to July 2019 was 5.4 percent, HomesUSA.com says.

At the other end of the spectrum, Austin experienced the smallest year-over-year decline in average new-home sales — from 667 in July 2018 to 653 in July 2019, a decrease of 2.1 percent. The month-to-month fall-off was bigger, however, with the number shrinking 6.7 percent from June 2019 (700 sales) to July 2019.

Similarly, Dallas-Fort Worth witnessed a 6.9 percent drop in new-home sales from June to July 2019 (1,364 to 1,270), along with a 2.8 percent year-over-year decrease from the 1,306 sales in July 2018.

The waning number of new-home sales in Austin, San Antonio, and DFW coincided with a slight overall uptick in new-home prices, according to HomesUSA.com.

Austin witnessed the biggest jump in average new-home prices, the HomesUSA.com data indicates. The average price in July 2019 was $372,365, up 1.9 percent from July 2018 ($365,495) and up 1.5 percent from June 2019 ($367,041).

San Antonio saw less movement in prices than Austin. The average new-home sale price in San Antonio stood at $299,151 in July 2019, up from 1.8 percent in July 2018 ($293,842) and up 0.6 percent from June 2019 ($297,387), HomesUSA.com says.

In DFW, new-home prices barely budged. The average price in July 2019 was $375,694, up 0.5 percent from June 2019 ($373,960) but down 0.2 percent from July 2018 ($376,596).

HomesUSA.com relied on Multiple Listing Service data from Realtors groups in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and DFW to produce its analysis.