The Texas housing market kicked off 2017 with strong gains in sales volume and home prices, according to the 2017-Q1 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors.

“On the heels of a second consecutive record year for Texas home sales, the positive momentum experienced in the Texas housing market during the last quarter of 2016 has continued in 2017,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Annual gains in both sales and listing activity in the first quarter indicate that a strong summer selling season could be ahead.”

In the first quarter of 2017, Texas home sales volume increased 4.6 percent year-over-year to 68,420 sales. The median price for Texas homes increased 9.4 percent in the same time frame to $213,325.

However, Amarillo home sales decreased 7.5 percent to 665 single-family home sales, while median price increased 3.3 percent to $155,000.

The price distribution of Texas homes showed a decline in sales volume among lower-priced homes typically considered affordable for entry-level homebuyers in Texas. The amount of Texas homes sold for less than $200,000 decreased 5.7 percentage points from 2016-Q1 to 45.6 percent of all Texas homes sold in 2017-Q1.

Dr. Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, commented, “Texas leads the country in new home development, but its rapid pace of housing development is still not enough to keep pace with population growth and housing demand throughout the state. As Texas home prices and U.S. interest rates are projected to increase in 2017, now is an opportune time to buy a home in Texas.”’

Active listings increased 6 percent year-over-year to 98,399 listings in the first quarter of 2017. Texas homes spent an average of 64 days on the market during the same time frame, which is unchanged from last year.

Monthly housing inventory in Texas increased 0.1 months from 2016-Q1 to 3.6 months of inventory. This is the first time since 2011 that monthly housing inventory in Texas has posted annual gains in the first quarter. At the same time, statewide housing stock remains well below the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s benchmark of 6 to 6.5 months of inventory as a balanced housing market.

Chairman Fullerton concluded, “The growing shortage of lower-priced housing inventory is directly impacting the ability for Texas residents to afford a home. Texas Realtors have expert knowledge of affordability programs and financing tools available to Texas homebuyers. Homebuyers seeking to purchase a home this summer should begin working with a Texas Realtor now to determine what resources are available to them.”