According to the Texas Association of Realtors’ annual housing report, the state has maintained its role as a national leader in population, economic, and housing market growth throughout 2014. Dan Hatfield, TAR chairman, says that “it’s a great time to live in Texas.” According to Hatfield, “the high demand for Texas real estate is not being fueled by speculation and investment activity – it’s driven by the thousands of people who move to the Lone Star State daily…People are moving to Texas from across America and around the world to take part in our state’s booming economy, business-friendly environment and quality of life.”
Currently ranked #1 in population growth from out-of-state relocations, Texas also leads the market in home sales to international buyers. Over 584,000 people relocated to Texas in 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Relocation Report released in October. The Texas International Homebuyers report, published in September, indicated that 2013 saw Texas experience the highest level of international home buyers in five years. International buyers contributed an estimated $11 billion to the state economy that year.
The improvement of the job market has improved the state’s economy, which has positively impacted the state housing market. TAR’s 2014 Homebuyers and Sellers Report showed an increase in median household income during 2013, with an increase of 9.6%, which equals about $91,700. Texas outperformed the rest of the nation, which saw only a 5.6% increase to about $83,000 during the same period.
These numbers echo what Hatfield has observed during the last year. According to Hatfield, “Virtually every segment of the Texas housing market has benefitted from our state’s continued growth.” He also noted specific market sectors beginning to recover from the recession, adding that “over the last year, however, we saw several areas of Texas real estate that were still recovering from the recession in 2012 really begin to take off in 2013 and 2014, including luxury home sales and housing development.”
The rapid market growth belies the tough lending standards new homeowners face. These challenges led many Texans to remodel their current homes rather than buy new ones. These remodeling projects, however, tended to add value to the existing homes by enhancing the kitchen and bath areas and boosting curb appeal.
“The Texas housing market will likely continue to be highly competitive in 2015, but rising housing development and inventory levels as well as greater access to homebuyer education programs like those promoted through Get Ready Texas will help make the dream of homeownership attainable for all Texans.,” Hatfield concludes, adding, “ This has been a glowing year for Texas real estate, and 2015 is on-pace to be just as bright.”