Lone Star State house prices experiencing strong gains

House with Stars & Stripes flag down the front

According to the second quarter reports for 2016 that have been released by the Texas Association of Realtors, the state’s house prices have been experiencing very strong gains. The report, entitled the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, states that the last few months in particular, have been one of the biggest beginnings to the summer selling season for Texas real estate. Homes of all price classes and all types are now in really high demand, and this is especially the case for houses that are priced beneath $200,000. Continue reading to learn more about this great news for sellers, investors, and realtors.

Houston city skyline

Increases in homes

Real estate experts have noted increases in the prices of homes across the state, from rural Austin suburbs like Dripping Springs, to houses in big cities like Dallas, and every residential area in between. The report specifically stated that a total of 91,418 Texas houses were sold in just the second quarter of this year. This is an incredible 4.4% boost from the second quarter of 2015, and it is also the biggest volume of home sales in the state’s history.

On top of that, over 45% of the houses that were sold within the second quarter of 2016 were priced below $200,000, but almost 47% of the houses were priced anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000. This means that first-time home-buyers, as well as those with higher budgets, have been able to take advantage of the many homes found throughout the state in some of the country’s most beautiful cities and towns.

Austin waterfront and skyline

Expectations for continued growth

It is expected that home prices will continue to rise. After all, they did continue to climb, thanks to a surge in population numbers and a lower inventory of homes throughout the state. This high demand has made the current average price for a home in Texas $215,000. The reason for this increase in the median home price is partly due to the fact that the inventory of available homes for sale remained pretty much unchanged from the first quarter of 2016, so it is a seller’s market.

Arial view of a Texas suburb

Not all markets are benefiting

There are some housing markets throughout the state of Texas where these gains have not been seen, however. This is because there are many areas that are still impacted by the recent declines within the energy industry.

Despite this, on the whole, the housing market in Texas is continuing to do very well. Active listings increased by about 4.1%, and the second quarter of 2016 shows more than 98,000 listings that were active. Homes also spent less time for sale, with an average of 54 days on the market before being sold.

Because Texas homes are in such high demand and because prices are set to continue climbing, if you’ve been hoping to invest in real estate there, whether you want to raise your family in the state or retire there for a more affordable way of life, it is best to make your move sooner rather than later.


Why 2015 is the best year to buy a house

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For sale signs

Buying a house can be a pretty daunting prospect. It’s a process that is expensive, stressful, tricky to get right and long-winded. Yet, despite all of that it’s still something many of us want to do. The safety and security of a permanent roof over our heads makes buying a house an attractive prospect – and the prospect of investing in something tangible makes the hassle financially worthwhile. So, with many people wanting to make that step into home ownership, what makes 2015 the year that they should take the plunge? What about people looking to move up the ladder too?

Stamp duty illustration

Stamp duty

One of the changes all buyers can benefit from in 2015 is those made to Stamp Duty. Brought in in December, these rules make a difference to the up-front cost that you’ll need to bear. Previously you had to fork out 1% of the purchase price in Stamp Duty on properties between £125,000 and £250,000 and 3% up to £500,000. Under the new system you still pay nothing below £125,000 and then above that you pay 2% of the cost over and above that figure, i.e. if your house is £130,000 you now pay 2% of £5,000, instead of 1% of the full cost, or £100 instead of £1,300. In Scotland the duty was rebranded as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and although it operates in a similar way it carries no charge for the first £145,000 of the cost.

Monopoly board showing Mayfair


As with any decision there are push and pull factors when it comes to buying a house. One thing that may well ‘push’ you into buying a house this year is the increased cost of renting. The price of renting is rising to a point where the cost far outstrips the amount you could be paying towards your own bricks and mortar – with more than a quarter of landlords plotting above-inflation rent increases during this calendar year.

'Help to Buy' logo


If you’re renting then chances are you can afford the mortgage payments, but it could be the deposit that you’re struggling with. The good news is that there are a whole host of schemes on offer during 2015 that can help you to overcome that hurdle. Check out the latest home buying schemes information to see how Help To Buy, Right To Buy and NewBuy all work. Essentially, Help To Buy sees the government stepping in to provide a loan – refundable on sale of the property – so that you’ll only need a 5% deposit. Right To Buy aims to help social housing tenants and NewBuy looks, as you’d expect, at freshly constructed properties.

Red Monopoly houses on pound coins


Forget the squabbling of the political parties; for house-hunters, the economy is in a relatively good shape to take the plunge in 2015. Low interest rates mean there are some excellent sub-2% deals out there and a host of options on fixed and flexible rates. It’s a competitive mortgage market and that’s a good sign for the buyer. Price increases have slowed – at least outside London – too, making this a steady year to invest.

Rising rents, falling Stamp Duty, a relatively stable economy and support schemes all mean 2015 could well be the ideal year to dip into the housing market.