Shared: Luxury home sales are booming in North Texas

    Home sales in North Texas were flat in 2014, basically unchanged from a strong year in 2013.

    4506-normandy-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-1While overall preowned home purchases have leveled off, luxury housing sales are soaring in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

    Sales of homes priced at $1 million and above jumped 15 percent in 2014, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

    North Texas had the second-highest luxury home sales increase in Texas, behind only San Antonio, where $1 million property purchases rose by 26 percent last year.

    “The overall economic growth and prosperity in Texas have contributed heavily to the luxury market, making it one of the strongest segments of housing in Texas in 2014,” Jim Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in the new report. “We also saw a lot of people moving to Texas from places like California, where a modest two-bedroom condo can be valued upward of $1 million.

    “Those people sell their home in California, move to Texas and realize their money goes much further in our market.”

    Luxury home sales last year increased 13 percent in Houston and 11 percent in Austin.

    Through November, 926 North Texas homes priced at $1 million or more were sold by real estate agents through their multiple listing service. And that total may be low because of the large number of off-market sales.

    Only Houston had a larger number of luxury home sales than North Texas.

    About 880 homes listed for sale with agents in the D-FW area are priced at $1 million and up. That’s only about a 10.2-month supply, according to the Realtors.

    “We’re seeing more demand for luxury properties from Texans whose incomes are increasing, enabling them to move up, and from those moving to our state from elsewhere in the country,” Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said in the report.

    With oil prices plunging and a slowdown in job growth expected, some analysts have predicted a slowdown in Texas home purchases and price increases.

    But Gaines said it’s too early to tell what this year’s luxury home market will see. He remains optimistic.

    “The wealth and income effect from energy the past several years has fostered a market for higher-priced houses that should maintain this year,” Gaines said. “The real difference might show up in people buying a $1 million to $2 million home instead of a $3 million or $4 million home.”

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