Texas has a vibrant property market with competitive prices. The state's large area presents many options that can please different types of buyers. The lowest prices will be found in the Southwest, along the state's border with Mexico. Although home values increase moving north, excellent values can still be found, especially when compared to median incomes.
Home prices in the state of Texas have been steadily increasing since 2012, according to recent property data, which shows the median home value to be roughly $170,000 in the Lone Star State. The median list price of an occupied home on the market is $100,000 higher than the median value. Per square foot, the typical list price is around $120.
According to real estate data, home prices recently increased 6.5% over a 12-month period. Real estate experts foresee prices continuing to rise, but at a slower pace. They see property inflation at about 4.3%.
Values of existing single-family homes in Texas are below the national average, where the median home value is slightly north of $200,000. However, the median list price across the country is approximately $260,000, slightly lower than Texas. The median national per-square-foot list price is roughly $139, more than 10% higher than Texas's figure.
The National Association of Realtors estimates a 6% increase in Texas home values during the past 12 months. The real estate group calculates the median single-family home value to be $255,600, which is also very close to other market research.
According to Texas A&M's Real Estate Center, permits for the construction of new single-family homes increased 12.5% from 2016 to 2017. This increase gave the state the top spot in the country for total permits issued. On a per-capita basis, the Lone Star State was sixth, which shows a very robust new housing market.
The real estate analysis from Texas A&M University also shows months of inventory (MOI) steadily increasing in the state. MOI is the estimate in months of how long it would hypothetically take for all of an area's listings to sell if no additional properties came on the market.
MOI is a good estimate of whether a property environment is a seller's market or buyer's market. Anything below 4 is considered a seller's market, because homes tend to sell fairly quickly at that level. Above 9 is a buyer's market.
For new homes, the MOI in Texas has recently reached 3.9 months, the first time it's been that high since 2014. The MOI for existing properties has climbed to 3.6 months. Although still a seller's market, the numbers are approaching neutral territory.
Home prices in Texas experienced a gradual decline in the late 1980's, according to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. A housing bubble burst between 1985 and 86, sending prices down. Rapid growth in crude oil prices during the early 80's had sent home values up significantly. The price of oil of course has a history of affecting the Texan economy, and this reality shows no signs of abating.
In the early 1990's, home prices began to climb back. The state's largest cities saw gradual increases in the values of single-family detached homes. This upward movement stalled when the Great Recession arrived in 2007. Nevertheless, Texas fared better than most regions in the United States during the housing crisis.
Judged by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, one of the country's leading property indicators, the Dallas area only experienced a small decline during the mortgage debacle. Home prices took a haircut of 12%, which was much better than many other regions. By comparison, Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona, saw its home price index decline by 66%, more than four times Dallas's decline.
Not only did Texas experience limited drops in home prices during the 2007 Recession, the state's real estate market quickly recovered from them as well. The Lincoln Institute at Texas A&M estimates that Houston had only a minor decline in home values during the credit crisis, and that all four of the biggest cities in the state recovered by 2012.
From 1985 to 2012, home values actually increased 3.8% annually in Houston, 3% year-over-year in San Antonio, 2.2% in Fort Worth, and 1.8% in Dallas. This time period includes two property bubble busts. Such long-term vitality in the state's real estate market speaks favorably for both home buyers and sellers in the Lone Star State.
Texas has some of the highest property tax rates in the country, which in turn has held down real estate prices & made price shifts across the state more tame than in other states like California which have had repeated booms & busts.
|Texas Rank||US Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △|
|2||5||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land||6,772,470||5,920,416||852,054||14.39%|
|3||24||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metro Area||2,429,609||2,142,508||287,101||13.40%|
|5||66||McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metro Area||849,843||774,769||75,074||9.69%|
Because Texas is a large state both in terms of population and geography, there is a lot of variation from area to area in terms of price and availability. The largest populated region is the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which residents call The Metroplex. The most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate the number of people living there at more than 7 million.
The Metroplex has a very strong and robust economy, boasting headquarters for many companies, including both American Airlines and Southwest. Other businesses with facilities in the area include Microsoft, Nokia, Google, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Texas Instruments. Of course, there is an important oil and gas industry in the region. ExxonMobil has its headquarters in Irving, one of the cities in the Metroplex. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the median income in the area to be roughly $62,000.
The median home price in the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw an increase of 12.6% from 2016 to 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors. The property group calculates the selling price of the median home in the metro area to be $237,000. This puts the Metroplex above the national average. Residential Strategies, a housing analyst in Dallas, calculates that median home prices in the area have risen by nearly $100,000 in six years. That's an annual price increase of almost $17,000.
San Antonio has seen smaller increases in property values, but prices are definitely increasing. The latest market research estimates the annual increase at 8.2%. The property company forecasts a slower annual increase of 5.5% in the future.
Real estate experts view the San Antonio real estate environment as a buyer's market. They grade the city's property market as very healthy, giving San Antonio a 9.1 out of 10. Property trackers look at various real estate characteristics, such as foreclosure rates, negative equity, delinquencies, and how quickly homes are selling compared to previous figures.
The median home value in the San Antonio metro area is slightly higher than $165,000. The current median list price hovers around $275,000, more than $100,000 higher than estimated values. Per square foot, the list price averages out to $119. With a median income in San Antonio of $47,000, the home value-to-income ratio in the city is roughly 3.5, not spectacular but not bad either.
San Antonio's economy is driven by tourism, oil and gas operations, and military installations. Tourism alone employees nearly 100,000 people and produces billions of dollars in revenue. Valero Energy, Tesoro Corporation, and iHeartMedia are all headquartered in the city.
Lower home prices can be found in Lubbock, located two hours south of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. The metro area has a population of roughly 300,000. The largest employers in Lubbock are Texas Tech University, AT&T, and Covenant Health System.
The most recent figures at the U.S. Census Bureau show a median home value in Lubbock of $114,000. According to recent property data, the median home value in the city is a slightly higher $122,000. This figure represents an increase of 3.8% from previous data. The typical list price, however, is a much steeper $210,000. This produces a per-square-figure of roughly $98.
With a median household income of $45,000, the city has a home value-to-income rate of 2.7, which is much better than San Antonio's figure and many other cities in the United States for that matter.
The state capital of Austin is home to the University of Texas with a strong footprint in the digital media, green energy and biotech fields. It is a popular destinaton for artists and technologists alike, hosting popular events like SXSW & the Austin City Limits Festival.
The city of Conroe, 40 miles north of Houston, has been the fastest growing area in Texas. However, Conroe's northern location did not spare it from significant damage after Hurricane Harvey swept through the region. Some homes in Conroe had up to 20 inches of flood water inside. There is no reliable way to estimate home values at this time, and it will take many years for the property market in the Houston area to recover.
According to the United States Census an estimated 27,862,596 people live in the state of Texas. Here is a list of cities, towns & Census Designated Places (CDP) with more than 10,000 residents, with their estimated population as of July 1, 2016. For The Woodlands developer data from January 1, 2016 was used. Other CDPs did not have official Census estimates for 2016, so their 2010 Census data was used.
|Rank||Geography||County||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △||Land mi²||Pop Den mi²|
|1||Houston||Harris, Fort Bend & Montgomery||2,303,482||2,099,451||204,031||9.72%||599.59||3,841.76|
|2||San Antonio||Bexar, Medina & Comal||1,492,510||1,327,407||165,103||12.44%||460.93||3,238.04|
|3||Dallas||Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall & Kaufman||1,317,929||1,197,816||120,113||10.03%||340.52||3,870.34|
|4||Austin||Travis, Williamson & Hays||947,890||790,390||157,500||19.93%||297.9||3,181.91|
|5||Fort Worth||Tarrant, Denton, Parker & Wise||854,113||741,206||112,907||15.23%||339.82||2,513.43|
|6||El Paso||El Paso||683,080||649,121||33,959||5.23%||255.24||2,676.23|
|8||Corpus Christi||Nueces, Kleberg & Aransas||325,733||305,215||20,518||6.72%||160.61||2,028.10|
|9||Plano||Collin & Denton||286,057||259,841||26,216||10.09%||71.58||3,996.33|
|13||Garland||Dallas, Collin & Rockwall||234,943||226,876||8,067||3.56%||57.08||4,116.03|
|14||Amarillo||Potter & Randall||199,582||190,695||8,887||4.66%||99.48||2,006.25|
|15||Grand Prairie||Dallas, Tarrant & Ellis||190,682||175,396||15,286||8.72%||72.1||2,644.69|
|18||Frisco||Collin & Denton||163,656||116,989||46,667||39.89%||61.8||2,648.16|
|20||Mesquite||Dallas & Kaufman||143,736||139,824||3,912||2.80%||46.02||3,123.34|
|23||Midland||Midland & Martin||134,610||111,147||23,463||21.11%||72.07||1,867.77|
|26||Carrollton||Denton, Dallas & Collin||133,351||119,097||14,254||11.97%||36.3||3,673.58|
|27||Abilene||Taylor & Jones||122,225||117,063||5,162||4.41%||106.79||1,144.54|
|28||Round Rock||Williamson & Travis||120,892||99,887||21,005||21.03%||34.11||3,544.18|
|30||Odessa||Ector & Midland||117,871||99,940||17,931||17.94%||41.95||2,809.80|
|31||Pearland||Brazoria, Harris & Fort Bend||113,570||91,252||22,318||24.46%||47.02||2,415.36|
|32||Richardson||Dallas & Collin||113,347||99,223||14,124||14.23%||28.56||3,968.73|
|The Woodlands CDP||The Woodlands CDP||112,505||93,847||18,658||19.88%||43.27||2,600.07|
|36||Lewisville||Denton & Dallas||104,659||95,290||9,369||9.83%||36.4||2,875.25|
|37||League City||Galveston & Harris||102,010||83,560||18,450||22.08%||51.29||1,988.89|
|38||San Angelo||Tom Green||100,702||93,200||7,502||8.05%||56.86||1,771.05|
|40||Sugar Land||Fort Bend||88,177||78,817||9,360||11.88%||32.38||2,723.19|
|45||Longview||Gregg & Harrison||82,055||80,455||1,600||1.99%||55.69||1,473.42|
|47||Baytown||Harris & Chambers||75,992||71,802||4,190||5.84%||35.44||2,144.24|
|48||Missouri City||Fort Bend & Harris||74,561||67,358||7,203||10.69%||28.42||2,623.54|
|49||New Braunfels||Comal & Guadalupe||73,959||57,740||16,219||28.09%||43.87||1,685.87|
|51||Flower Mound||Denton & Tarrant||73,547||64,669||8,878||13.73%||41.39||1,776.93|
|52||North Richland Hills||Tarrant||69,798||63,343||6,455||10.19%||18.17||3,841.39|
|53||Cedar Park||Williamson & Travis||68,918||48,937||19,981||40.83%||22.85||3,016.11|
|56||Mansfield||Tarrant, Johnson & Ellis||65,631||56,368||9,263||16.43%||36.38||1,804.04|
|58||Rowlett||Dallas & Rockwall||61,999||56,199||5,800||10.32%||19.89||3,117.09|
|59||San Marcos||Hays, Caldwell & Guadalupe||61,980||44,894||17,086||38.06%||30.22||2,050.96|
|60||Pflugerville||Travis & Williamson||59,245||46,936||12,309||26.23%||22.32||2,654.35|
|61||Port Arthur||Jefferson & Orange||55,427||53,818||1,609||2.99%||76.9||720.77|
|64||Grapevine||Tarrant, Dallas & Denton||51,971||46,334||5,637||12.17%||31.93||1,627.65|
|67||Cedar Hill||Dallas & Ellis||48,343||45,028||3,315||7.36%||35.82||1,349.61|
|68||Texas City||Galveston & Chambers||48,262||45,099||3,163||7.01%||63.8||756.46|
|69||Wylie||Collin, Rockwall & Dallas||47,701||41,427||6,274||15.14%||21.04||2,267.16|
|71||Burleson||Johnson & Tarrant||45,016||36,690||8,326||22.69%||26.01||1,730.72|
|74||Leander||Williamson & Travis||42,761||26,521||16,240||61.23%||22.85||1,871.38|
|78||Coppell||Dallas & Denton||41,360||38,659||2,701||6.99%||14.39||2,874.22|
|82||Schertz||Guadalupe, Bexar & Comal||39,453||31,465||7,988||25.39%||28.41||1,388.70|
|83||Friendswood||Galveston & Harris||39,396||35,805||3,591||10.03%||20.74||1,899.52|
|Mission Bend CDP||Mission Bend CDP||36,501||36,501||0||0.00%||4.88||7,479.71|
|91||Del Rio||Val Verde||35,998||35,591||407||1.14%||20.15||1,786.50|
|98||Copperas Cove||Coryell & Bell||32,808||32,032||776||2.42%||18.03||1,819.63|
|99||Southlake||Tarrant & Denton||30,991||26,575||4,416||16.62%||21.88||1,416.41|
|Fort Hood CDP||Fort Hood CDP||29,589||29,589||0||0.00%||15.51||1,907.74|
|106||Cibolo||Guadalupe & Bexar||27,855||15,349||12,506||81.48%||6.57||4,239.73|
|112||Sachse||Dallas & Collin||25,039||20,329||4,710||23.17%||9.79||2,557.61|
|West Odessa CDP||Ector||22,707||22,707||0||0.00%||62.66||362.38|
|Brushy Creek CDP||Williamson||21,764||21,764||0||0.00%||6.96||3,127.01|
|Canyon Lake CDP||Comal||21,262||21,262||0||0.00%||143.33||148.34|
|137||Horizon City||El Paso||19,266||16,735||2,531||15.12%||8.71||2,211.94|
|Fresno CDP||Fort Bend||19,069||19,069||0||0.00%||9.18||2,077.23|
|143||Stafford||Fort Bend & Harris||18,422||17,693||729||4.12%||6.99||2,635.48|
|145||Prosper||Collin & Denton||18,379||9,423||8,956||95.04%||22.58||813.95|
|Cinco Ranch CDP||Cinco Ranch CDP||18,274||18,274||0||0.00%||4.87||3,752.36|
|152||Katy||Harris, Fort Bend & Waller||17,116||14,102||3,014||21.37%||11.25||1,521.42|
|158||Portland||San Patricio & Nueces||16,618||15,099||1,519||10.06%||7.01||2,370.61|
|Jollyville CDP||Jollyville CDP||16,151||16,151||0||0.00%||2.75||5,873.09|
|165||Seagoville||Dallas & Kaufman||16,093||14,835||1,258||8.48%||18.68||861.51|
|Pecan Grove CDP||Fort Bend||15,963||15,963||0||0.00%||8.7||1,834.83|
|169||West University Place||Harris||15,516||14,787||729||4.93%||2||7,758.00|
|New Territory CDP||Fort Bend||15,186||15,186||0||0.00%||4.64||3,272.84|
|173||Crowley||Tarrant & Johnson||14,969||12,838||2,131||16.60%||7.25||2,064.69|
|177||Kilgore||Gregg & Rusk||14,836||12,975||1,861||14.34%||15.68||946.17|
|178||Mineral Wells||Palo Pinto & Parker||14,826||16,788||-1,962||-11.69%||20.4||726.76|
|181||Rio Grande City||Starr||14,483||13,834||649||4.69%||11.35||1,276.04|
|Sienna Plantation CDP||Fort Bend||13,721||13,721||0||0.00%||13.61||1,008.16|
|185||Seabrook||Harris, Galveston & Chambers||13,656||11,952||1,704||14.26%||5.32||2,566.92|
|San Elizario CDP||El Paso||13,603||13,603||0||0.00%||10.27||1,324.54|
|Timberwood Park CDP||Bexar||13,447||13,447||0||0.00%||12.69||1,059.65|
|Four Corners CDP||Fort Bend||12,382||12,382||0||0.00%||2.54||4,874.80|
|199||Glenn Heights||Dallas & Ellis||12,336||11,278||1,058||9.38%||7.22||1,708.59|
|200||Trophy Club||Denton & Tarrant||12,166||8,024||4,142||51.62%||3.95||3,080.00|
|Wells Branch CDP||Travis||12,120||12,120||0||0.00%||2.53||4,790.51|
|202||Royse City||Rockwall, Collin & Hunt||12,093||9,349||2,744||29.35%||15.01||805.66|
|204||Azle||Tarrant & Parker||12,064||10,947||1,117||10.20%||8.82||1,367.80|
|La Homa CDP||Hidalgo||11,985||11,985||0||0.00%||6.88||1,742.01|
|207||Tomball||Harris & Montgomery||11,643||10,753||890||8.28%||11.77||989.21|
|Greatwood CDP||Fort Bend||11,538||11,538||0||0.00%||2.69||4,289.22|
|223||Ingleside||San Patricio & Nueces||10,488||9,387||1,101||11.73%||16.29||643.83|
|230||Selma||Bexar, Comal & Guadalupe||10,088||5,540||4,548||82.09%||5.05||1,997.62|
|Lackland AFB CDP||Bexar||9,918||9,918||0||0.00%||4.23||2,344.68|
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.
There are a variety of mortgage types available to homebuyers in the in the Lone Star State. For example, there are fixed-rate loans, typically of 15 or 30 years of duration. Also available are adjustable-rate loans. The federal government offers its own selection of financing options through the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The most common mortgage that Texans use is the 30-year fixed-rate loan. The interest rate does not change during the lifetime of the mortgage, which is why it's called fixed.' The length of this mortgage is attractive to borrowers, because it produces a low monthly payment. However, interest rates are higher compared to 15-year loans. Using the shorter mortgage can save many thousands of dollars in interest alone during the course of the mortgage.
Adjustable-rate mortgages, also called ARM loans, have interest rates that can increase during the course of the loan. While the initial ARM rate can in some cases be lower than 30-year fixed-rate APR's, there is an advantage to having a guarantee that your interest rate won't spike while you're living in your house. ARM loans make sense for people who are flipping houses, know they won't live in a house for an extended period of time, or want to take advantage of the home interest tax write off while investing their capital elsewhere where they have higher returns.
Most private banks give their best rates to borrowers with credit scores above 740, but loans with higher interest rates can be obtained with lower scores. They also prefer debt-to income ratios to be no greater than 40% & a minimum 20% down payment, but other factors are considered on the loan application.
The piggyback loan is another type of mortgage available to Texas residents. This is simply two mortgages in one. The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment. This mortgage is a good way to avoid the standard 20% down payment, which is required by most private banks issuing loans.
Veterans of the U.S. armed forces can get a home loan through the VA with no down payment, a luxury not to be found anywhere else. The mortgage is underwritten by a private mortgage company, and the VA insures the loan.
The FHA offers home loans to borrowers with a credit score of at least 580 with a 3.5% down payment. A credit score of 579 or lower might still qualify for an FHA loan, but the governmental agency will require at least 10% down. If any FHA loan has a down payment less than 20%, insurance premiums are required.
USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.
Housing assistance is available to low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs operates the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Many Public Housing Agencies are located throughout the Lone Star State. They have Internet sites, phone numbers, and weekday hours at many locations.
Texas is a community property state. This means that any property (such as a home) that is purchased during marriage is legally considered the property of the couple. Under this legal system, the credit report of a non-borrowing spouse will be considered by the Veteran's Administration and the Federal Housing Administration when one spouse applies for a mortgage. Applying for a loan through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae will circumvent some of these policies, however.
Texas does not charge income tax, but they offset the lack of income tax by charging relatively high property taxes. The higher property tax rates help hold down real estate prices during booms which in turn makes Texas real estate less cyclical than states like California. The average tax rate across the state is 2.06%, costing homeowners around $,660 per year. In Austin average property taxes cost an average of $7,012 per year.
Texas has the Homestead Law, which protects a home from creditors should the homeowner spouse die. This law prevents a forced sale of the property, protects the surviving spouse, and creates an exemption from property taxes.
According to Texas law, home equity loans are non-recourse, while first and second mortgages are recourse. Under non-recourse guidelines, a mortgage company can only pursue the collateral of a loan in the case of a default. Typically in a mortgage, this is the house. A recourse loan, on the other hand, allows the lender to pursue other assets besides collateral if the borrower defaults.
A foreclosure in Texas is usually conducted outside of the judicial system. Hence, it is called a non-judicial foreclosure. Under this type of procedure, the lender notifies the trustee that the borrower has defaulted on the mortgage. The trustee then sells the home at auction, which is publicized in newspapers, to pay off the mortgage. The whole process generally takes less than two months.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding.
Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.
The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners dont incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the governments costs in the next disaster.
Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult or very expensive to insure.
Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common. The Houston area will take many years to recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Many opportunities abound in Texas for property buyers. The most expensive areas of the state offer acceptable prices compared to local incomes. The Lone Star State's remarkable resiliency during the 2007 housing crisis bodes well for the future of real estate there.
For more information about Texas's property market, check out the following real estate sites: