Texas homebuyers broaden in diversity, household composition while affordability challenges grow

A new Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors revealed growing diversity in the household composition and ethnicity of Texas homeowners as well as rising housing affordability challenges across the state.

“The profile of Texas homebuyers is as diverse as Texas itself, continually broadening as the demand for Texas real estate grows,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “At the same time, rising home prices, lower household incomes, and tight lending standards are making it increasingly difficult for some Texans to afford a home.”

The ratio of single Texas homebuyers continued to rise from the previous year’s report, with single female homebuyers increasing 5 percentage points to 19 percent and single male buyers rising 2 percentage points to 9 percent of all Texas homebuyers.

The report also showed a broader ethnic diversity among Texas homebuyers. Among all Texas homebuyers, 14 percent identified as Hispanic, 6 percent identified as African-American and 4 percent identified as Asian. Minorities among first-time homebuyers were most likely to be Hispanic (27 percent), while minorities among repeat buyers were most likely to African-American (27 percent).

Indicating that Texans are buying later and moving earlier in life, the median age of first-time buyers increased three years to 35 years old, while the median age of Texas home sellers decreased eight years to 46 years old.

The 2017 report also illustrated growing affordability challenges across the state. The median household income among Texas homebuyers declined nearly 3 percent year-over-year to $94,200. The median home price paid among Texas homebuyers was $215,000, significantly higher than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s estimation of $150,000 as a typical home price for entry-level and first-time homebuyers.

According to the report, debt delayed Texans from saving for or purchasing a home for a median of three years. Forty-four percent of Texas homebuyers waited six to 12 months to save for a down payment, compared to only 10 percent of homebuyers in the previous year’s report.

“As obstacles to purchasing a home increase, soaring property taxes due to a lack of accountability when tax rates are set at the local level have made it difficult for Texans to continue to afford that home,” concluded Fullerton. “The Texas Association of Realtors supports Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 15 to bring honesty and transparency to the property tax rate setting process and facilitate property owner engagement in that process.”