Condos on the Climb

Texas home sales are really heating up in this category

Texas home sales are really heating up in this category

3111 Welborn in Dallas
Condo sales are going up — but so are prices. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates

Texas buyers aren't just in the market for single-family homes: The 2016 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report shows that condo sales — and prices — are going up. 

All of the state's major metros — Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio — saw an increase in condo sales from January through May 2016. In Dallas, 1,536 condos were sold, a 3.8 percent increase from 2015.

Why the jump? The Texas Association of Realtors attributes the uptick to retirees and first-time buyers seeking a more affordable alternative to single-family homes. "Millennials and retirees who don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities also see condos as an attractive housing option," adds the report.

The more desirable condos become, the higher the prices rise. The median price for a condo in Dallas increased 10.3 percent year-over-year, but at $160,000, condos are still an affordable option.

"Existing condos are typically the predominant properties left in Texas’ major metro areas that can be purchased for under $200,000, the price range best suited for first-time, entry-level homebuyers," says Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, in a release. Most new condos, on the other hand, are not being built under $200,000, due to high land and labor costs. 

Condos remain affordable for buyers in San Antonio and Houston. Despite double-digit growth, the median prices for condos in those markets are $125,000 and $130,000, respectively. In Austin, the median price is $235,000, well above the preferred price range for most first-time buyers.