3 trends in the San Antonio housing market leading to growth

The San Antonio housing market in September saw strong sales that realtors are hoping will continue into the fall buying season, according to a report by the city’s board of realtors. San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) said 2014 is on track to surpass the number of homes sold last year with 18,840 deals closed this year as of the report, up 4 percent from the past year.

“All year we have seen increases over the previous year in terms of prices and total sales, and September is no different,” said SABOR President and CEO Angela Shields. “While the spring often brings out shoppers who may just be looking, we expect to see more serious buyers in the fall.”

Here are three trends seen in the San Antonio housing market this year:

1. Houses are spending less time on the market

SABOR said properties are being sold at a faster rate than the previous year as the average days spent on the market was shortened from 69 in 2013 to 63 days in September this year. The latest rates in September have been some of the lowest in years, noted SABOR Chairman of the Board Missy Stagers.

2. Low yet balanced inventory

The report also showed that months of inventory decreased as a long term pattern. Stagers said this downward trend continued for almost two years as September was found to have 4.3 months of inventory. Despite the decreasing inventory, which could result in home prices being pushed up, the inventory for low- and middle-tiered properties in terms of price also seems to suggest homes are affordable. Low-tiered homes, or homes priced under $200,000, represented more than half of September sales with 56.1 percent. There was a rise in homes that had a selling price between $200,000 and $500,000, accounting for 39.4 percent, up 5.4 percent compared to the previous year. Just 4.4 percent of homes that were more than $500,000 were sold in September.

3. Rise in single family homes

With the improvement in the San Antonio housing market, sales of single-family homes have steadily increased. SABOR found that 2,280 single-family homes have been sold in 2014, up from 2,005 in the same period in 2013. Families may feel better about entering the market after the recession. This may be because Fannie Mae’s September 2014 National Housing Survey found more Americans are optimistic about growth in the housing market with 68 percent of consumers saying now is a good time to buy. Despite this positive outlook, Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, noted that consumers may be uncertain about the direction of the housing market.

“The results of the past few months show that consumer optimism remains cautious and somewhat volatile, and we’ll likely continue to see bumps on the housing recovery path reflected in our survey results,” Duncan said.

With consumers still unsure whether they want to enter the market, they may be more inclined to rent. Single-family rentals are popular with families who are not financially ready to own a home. Investors looking at San Antonio investment properties could partner with a real estate investment firm to learn about their options for this housing option.

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