Study: Texas Housing Construction Goes From Bust To Robust

By David Jones, Texas A&M University Mays Business School

Home construction is ramping up across America, and in no place is that more apparent than in Texas.

“After an anemic start to the year, the number of Texas single-family home construction permits soared 11.5 percent in March to a record 10,481,” said Luis Torres, a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

“Texas led the nation in total permits issued and ranked fifth in permits per capita,” he said. “Construction permits increased up significantly in the Texas Urban Triangle.”

Houston and Dallas were the national permits-issued leaders. Houston (No. 1) issued 3,543 and Dallas (No. 2) 2,405. Fort Worth recorded 863 new permits for the month, a 45.4 percent increase since January.

The permit boom is highlighted in the center’s latest issue of Texas Housing Insight released today. Torres, Center Chief Economist Jim Gaines, and Research Assistant Wesley Miller author the monthly update.

“After lagging in February, permits in Austin and San Antonio surged as well,” said Torres. “The 1,527 permits issued in Austin were the most in a decade. San Antonio’s 705 new home permits was a 27.2 percent increase.”

Texas housing starts, which generally lag construction permits, were up 28.7 percent quarter-over-quarter, the strongest showing in more than a decade. Quarterly starts were up 4.6 percent in Dallas, 5.3 percent in Houston, and 5.8 percent in San Antonio.

“Housing starts fell in Austin,” said Torres, “but should gain momentum from positive permit numbers.”

Despite all the good housing news, there is not much relief in sight for Texans seeking homes priced at $200,000 or less, the most constricted price range.

“Lower-priced housing is in short supply,” said Torres. “Texas has only a 3.1-month supply of homes for sale in that price range, and around six months is considered balanced. Increasing land, labor and lumber prices have forced homebuilders to concentrate on the higher-end market.”

As demand for Texas housing goes up, the time the average home is on the market goes down.

“The average time a Texas home is on the market has held steady at 57 days for the last three months,” said Torres. “Homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range are driving this demand as shown by an even shorter time-on-market of 52 days.”

Texas’ total housing sales rose 3.3 percent during March after a weak showing in the previous month. March prices rose in every price range in every major Texas metro, according to the Real Estate Center report, which is available online at


Media contact: David Jones, Real Estate Center, at (979) 845-2039 or

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