The housing industry of Texas is improving, albeit in a gradual manner. Majority of the state's local markets are recording rising sales and increases in median home prices. Foreclosure filings are also dropping, with third quarter numbers showing a healthy year-on-year decline.
Realtors, though, have admitted that things are far from perfect. Some local areas still worry about higher-than-normal inventory, while others are reporting longer market stays for homes that are up for sale.
Foreclosure Numbers Dwindling
Texas is one of the non-judicial states in the U.S., which means that a foreclosure action can proceed in the state without having to go through the courts. On average, it takes three months to foreclose on a property in TX, compared with judicial states where it can take as long as three years.
National housing data has shown that in the third quarter of 2012, foreclosures have declined by 29% in non-judicial states compared with last year. Housing experts believe that the faster process is preventing Texas and other similar states from experiencing a long, drawn-out procedure that is likely to hinder recovery.
Signs of an Improving Housing Market
In most local housing markets in the state, sales have picked up in the third quarter, while prices are also rising. In Hunt County, for example, realtors reveal that majority of home sellers are able to get their asking price, with sellers getting 91.1% of their original asking rates.
However, there are still concerns in certain local markets over a higher-than-normal inventory. Although home sellers believe that these inventories will eventually dwindle, they admit that the length of time it takes to work through the supply of unsold homes may vary from one county or city to another. In Hunt County, houses remain unsold for an average of 106 days during the third quarter, representing a 9.3% increase from the same period of 2011.
What's in Store After the Election?
Realtors have reported healthy home-selling activities during the spring, as is traditionally expected in normal housing markets and in areas that are on their way to stability. Despite concerns over market stays and inventories in certain areas, realtors are optimistic that the momentum that home sellers are experiencing in Texas will continue right after the elections.
They predict that the growing confidence among consumers and the slowly recovering economy will bring buyers out after the presidential election and the holiday season. It is expected that in 2013, majority of the state's local housing markets will be able to bring their inventories down to healthier levels.