Buoyed by historically low mortgage rates and robust home sales activity, Dallas-Fort Worth is basking in record-high homeownership rates.
In the third quarter of this year, the homeownership rate in DFW climbed to 69 percent, according to a report released November 17 by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center.
That compares with 64.9 percent in the second quarter of this year and 61.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019. Federal homeownership data for DFW dates back to 2005.
Statewide, Texas’ homeownership rate clocks in at an all-time high of 70 percent, exceeding the nation’s 67.4 percent for the first time since 2012, according to the report.
"Strong sales activity during the third quarter pushed the Texas homeownership rate to the unprecedented high," says TAMU Real Estate Center’s chief economist Jim Gaines in the report. "Nationally, homeownership fell across all races and every age group, except those 65 and older."
And while DFW has seen growth, the numbers are even higher in Austin. In the Austin metro area, the homeownership rate skyrocketed to 74.7 percent in the third quarter of this year, up almost 9 percentage points from 65.8 percent in the second quarter.
The Real Estate Center notes that, among the state's four major metro areas, Austin’s homeownership rate is the highest for the first time in 12 years.
Elsewhere in Texas, the homeownership rate in the San Antonio rate barely budged. The report shows the rate went from 66 percent in the second quarter of this year to 66.3 percent in the third quarter. That compares with 61.1 percent in the third quarter of last year and the record high of 76 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004. San Antonio’s data goes back to 1996.
Houston, which has been battered by the pandemic recession and a downtown in the oil industry, saw the regional homeownership rate drop from the second quarter of this year (67.9 percent, a record high) to the third quarter (65.5 percent), the report says. In the third quarter of last year, the rate sat at 61.9 percent. Houston’s data dates back to 2005.
Gaines warns that homeownership rates around Texas could slide next year as pandemic-era protections against home foreclosures expire.
"Homeownership could suffer in 2021," he says, "as COVID-19 foreclosure-protection policies expire. Texas has a higher proportion of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans."