2013 Housing Forecast: More gains ahead for sales & prices in the Dallas area

Courtesy of Steve Brown and the Dallas Morning News:case_shiller_home_prices

2012 is turning out to be one of the best years in almost a decade for the Dallas-area housing market.

New and pre-owned home sales are rising sharply, and the number of houses for sale is at the lowest point in a decade.

Most North Texas neighborhoods have made up the bulk of the housing value losses suffered during the recession.

Housing analysts expect that the spring will be strong. And 2013 should see more gains for the local housing sector.

“As long as the local economy holds up, I think the housing market will continue to improve,” said D’Ann Petersen, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “The very low level of new and existing home inventories should give rise to prices as well.

“Low interest rates and relatively affordable prices are a boost to those deciding now is a good time to buy.”

North Texas’ rebounding labor market is also boosting confidence.Prices of pre-owned homes sold by local Realtors this year are up 8 percent from the first 11 months of 2011, and total pre-owned home sales are running 17 percent higher.

“I just upped my forecast for 2012; I think it’s going to end a little bit better than I originally thought,” said James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “I think 2013 for Texas is looking pretty good.

“We see the economy getting better, but not by leaps and bounds.”

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