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Amarillo Area Housing Market Commentary

YTD March 31, 2018


667 single family homes closed during the first quarter of 2018 as compared with 676 closed sales during 1Q 2017; a decrease of 1.33%. Both November and December experienced a decrease in contracts pended so the decrease in 1st quarter closings was not a surprise. On the other hand, pended activity during the first quarter of 2018 has built steadily since the beginning of the year and should translate into stronger closing numbers in the second quarter. 


Other market metrics are very positive relative to housing demand, including the average sales price which is up 5.14% to $185,091 along with the median sales price increasing 3.95% to $158,000; both all-time highs for sold prices in the first quarter.


The average days on market remains the same as last year at 92 days. At the same time, the sales-price-to-list-price ratio rose slightly to 97.28% from 96.84% a year ago.


The available inventory of homes for sale continues to challenge the market with only 1,027 active MLS listings as of March 31, 2018, up 61 homes for sale from one year ago, but up only 6 listings from December 31, 2017. Much of the inventory increase has taken place in those price ranges above $300,000.


Factors influencing the local housing market include the local unemployment rate which stood at 2.8% according to the January report from the Texas Workforce Commission with only 100 more people employed than one year ago; conventional 30-year mortgage loan interest rates are 4.625%, up one-half percent from where rates stood a year ago. On another positive economic note, foreclosure activity is basically flat from 1Q 2017 with 62 foreclosures in 1Q 2018 compared to 61 foreclosures in 1Q 2017. Additionally, current foreclosure activity is 25% below the 5-year moving average for first quarter foreclosures.



Buyers remain challenged by the lack of available MLS inventory which stands at 4.62 months of inventory as compared to Texas A&M’s Real Estate Center’s definition of a balanced market as being 6.5 months of available inventory. Buyers continue facing fewer choices and higher sales prices, especially for those homes priced below $250,000. Multiple offers remain quite normal for those homes that are competitively priced and in good condition. 


2018 Amarillo Housing Market Activity

Closed Sales

667 closed sales in 1Q 2018 compared with 676 closed sales in 1Q 2017, a (1.33%) decrease from one year ago. 

Single Family Home Prices

Average single-family home prices are up 5.14% to $185,091. Median single-family home prices are up 3.95% to $158,000. 

Listing Inventory

There were 1,027 active single family listings in the multiple listing service (MLS) as of March 31, 2018. This represents an increase of 61 listings from one year ago. 

There are 4.62 months of available listing inventory, up slightly from the 4.12 months of inventory one year ago, but still well below the Texas A&M Real Estate Center’s balanced market benchmark of 6.5 months.

Building Permits

151 new single family homes were permitted during 1Q 2018 compared with 110 in 1Q 2017, an increase of 37.27%. For the first time in at least five years, the lack of buildable single family lots is not an issue for the market.

Foreclosure Activity 

Foreclosure activity in 1Q 2018 is basically flat from 1Q 2017 with 62 foreclosures in 1Q 2018 compared to 61 one year ago.


2018 Forecast

3,100-3,300 Single Family Sales 

$197,000 Average Sales Price and $168,500 Median Sales Price 

1,000-1,100 Active Listings at year-end 2018

450-500 Single Family Building Permits 

225-275 Foreclosures 


Sources:
Amarillo Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service

Texas A&M Real Estate Center

City of Amarillo Building Safety Department

Texas Workforce Commission
Amarillo Foreclosure Report

 

*CB First Equity, Realtors has reported on the Amarillo Area housing market since 1977. Those reports have been based on reported sales/listings provided by the Amarillo Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS has grown, territorially, over the years and technological advances have made it easier for data to be processed from virtually every corner of the Texas panhandle. We have always focused on the immediate Amarillo area, including Canyon, Claude, Bushland, and Panhandle. However, as the MLS has grown, it has become more difficult to filter out data from outside the immediate Amarillo, resulting in minor distortions in our reports. 
Data now considered is specific to five counties that comprise the  *Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).  Armstrong, Carson, Oldham, Potter, and Randall counties. This mirrors current reporting at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. 


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