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Report: The Texas pandemic housing frenzy is over and prices are cooling

D-FW, Houston, and Austin have seen home prices drop off a bit in recent months. But prices are expected to keep climbing in the years ahead.

It's been one wild house party in Texas -- that might be over now. But predictions are that Texas will still have an after-party. It’ll just be a whole lot more chill. 

The pandemic price run-up for homes has been heady. The median house price soared in major Texas cities from the end of 2020 through much of 2021. 

Here's the difference in cost between September 2021 and September 2022:

  • D-FW: $298,884 (Sept. '20) to $350,000 (Sept. '21). Change: + $51,116 
  • Houston: $261,000 (Sept. '20) to $300,000 (Sept. '21). Change: + $39,000 
  • San Antonio: $255,000 (Sept. '20) to 294,950 (Sept. '21). Change: + $39,950 
  • Austin: $350,318 (Sept. '20) to $448,00 (Sept. '21). Change: + $97,682 

Home prices in several large metros starting to cool

Now, let’s back it up just a bit to July 2021, because except for San Antonio, that is the month the median home hit a high point in the major metros in Texas. 

Since then, prices have ticked down (again, in all but San Antonio).

  • D-FW: $355,000 (July '21 high point) to $350,000 (September '21)
  • Houston: $307,000 (July '21 high point) to $300,000 (September '21)
  • San Antonio: $293,900 (July '21 high point) to $294,950 (September '21)
  • Austin: $478,000 (July '21 high point) to $250,000 (September '21)

The Texas A&M Texas Real Estate Research Center laid out these numbers in its data section. And they are out with a new report that asks whether the pandemic housing frenzy is over. 

And then, the research center answers its own question, saying housing sales growth and housing price growth have peaked and are slowing. 

But don’t expect a plummet if you are looking for a home. 

Let’s look at one square foot of a house. In the major Texas cities, the cost of that square foot went up decently in 2020:

  • D-FW: + 6.3%
  • Houston: + 5%
  • San Antonio: + 7%
  • Austin: + 8.3%

Now, look at the price per square foot appreciation in 2021:

  • D-FW: + 17%
  • Houston: + 13.3%
  • San Antonio: + 12.8%
  • Austin: + 31.4%

The A&M researchers expect the price per square foot to keep going up in the next several years, but not anything like what we have just seen.

Home prices have risen and so have property taxes. And renters are not immune.

Since this article started by talking about a house party, it is important to note that we had to invite the tax collector, because increased home values have made many property tax bills go way up. This is one you have to pay. 

But if you don't have the cash, there are some options: Some taxpayers can defer payments, or pay by credit card, or split payments, or in installments. 

You may have to check with your local central appraisal district for some of these alternatives.