In addition, the quarter made it six in a row where the inventory of properties for sale declined. There was 4.6 months of inventory in 4Q12, 1.8 months less than in 4Q11.
Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said, "This positive performance is evidence of a true rebound in Texas real estate that reaches broadly around the state.
"We're moving briskly down the road to recovery, thanks to positive economic activity in Texas and improvements in the attitudes homeowners have about the market. Looking ahead, I expect to see that confidence inspire more buyers and sellers to jump off the fence and into the market this year."
The Real Estate Center considers 6.5 months of inventory a market that has a supply/demand balance. The imbalance, he said, could be a driver of those higher prices.
Gaines added, “Those price increases could give sellers confidence, spurring them to consider listing their homes in 2013."