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The Lone Star State remains strong

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While housing markets deflated and subsequently bumped along a trough for several years, how many times did you hear that Texas appeared unscathed by the housing downturn? While significant lumber volumes continued to enter Texas, sales in other markets, such as those in Georgia and particularly the Atlanta market, were so scarce that empty and closed lumberyards in those markets became the norm.

Apparently, not much in Texas has changed. The state is still building new homes and selling them at a strong pace. In fact, four of the top 10 new-home sales markets in the country over the past year reside there, according to recent analysis from CoreLogic. Those markets are Houston (1), Dallas (3), San Antonio (5) and Austin (6). Furthermore, out of all homes sold, El Paso has the highest percentage of new-home sales in the country.

Another region of the country where a high rate of new homes versus existing homes is occurring is the Carolinas, where Columbia, S.C. (2); Charleston, S.C. (4); Charlotte, N.C. (6); Raleigh, N.C. (7) and Greenville, S.C. (9) rank in the top 10.

Six of the 10 markets rebounding the fastest are found in the West, particularly in California. According to CoreLogic, much of this is due to "the fact that the recovery there is from a very low base, so moderate increases in new-home sales can be magnified relative to markets that did not experience a large decline during the bust."

What is the difference between the fastest-growing markets and those that remained relatively strong throughout the housing downturn? According to CoreLogic, the decline in distressed inventory (foreclosed or short sale properties) is key to markets, such as those in California, rebounding the fastest. Sound fundamentals, such as increased population, job growth and affordability, have made markets in Texas and the Carolinas strong.

This article was provided by Crow's Market and Price Service/RISI. For a free trial of this service, visit RISI.com/crowsfree.


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