Both home sales and prices in North Texas were higher in September than a year ago.

But the rate of increase in local housing activity is slowing, which analysts say is good for the market.

Real estate agents sold 9,285 preowned single-family homes in the area last month. That's a 3% gain from September 2016 sales, according to new data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

Median home prices rose by 8% from year-ago levels to $242,000.

While still strong, the annual gain in home prices in North Texas is less than the double-digit price hikes the market has seen in recent years.

"We've had a several year run of way above average growth in home prices," said James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center. "You'd like to see the market more balanced."

"You don't want to see the prices jumping up so high," Gaines said. 'That's what causes problems with affordability."

Home sales prices in North Texas are up almost 10% so far this year. And for the first nine months of the year, the number of houses sold through the real estate agents' multiple listing service is 4% above 2016's record volume.

Gaines said housing markets across Texas are starting to moderate.

"We are seeing sales around the state slowdown a little bit," he said. "We are finally reverting to a more normal market."

Last year real estate agents in more than two-dozen counties included in the North Texas housing survey sold more than 101,000 preowned houses — a record number.

And median home sales prices in the area are at an all-time high and have risen by more than 40% in the last four years.

More than 22,000 preowned houses were listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents at the end up September — 11% more than a year earlier. The inventory works out to about a 2.5-month supply, which is still less than half of what is considered a normal supply.

On average it took just 42 days to sell a house that was closed in September, according to the Real Estate Center numbers.

More than 9,000 home sales were contracted but not yet closed at the start of this month — 4% more than in September 2016.

Tribune Content Agency