New report shows Texas housing market is booming; Lubbock sales - FOX34 Lubbock

New report shows Texas housing market is booming; Lubbock sales increase 18 percent since last year

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

A new Texas Quarterly Housing report found over the last year, Lubbock home sales increased by 18.2 percent.

Statewide, the number is up five percent.

Greg Garland, president of First Bank and Trust, said the city's expansion is driving home sales.

"We're having people move into Lubbock. Lubbock continues to grow, so the demand for housing continues to stay strong and I think that's causing the increase in year-over-year sales," Garland said.

Realtor Doug Duncan said that is tied to its cost of living. 

"I'd say that affordability is certainly, compared to the other markets in Texas, we're in the top ten in terms of market areas for affordability, compared to your bigger markets up and down the corridor. It just pales in comparison to what affordability is in Lubbock. So people are coming to Lubbock and finding way more for their dollar per square foot. And also, the market here is strong and these jobs are super solid," Duncan said.

As interest rates go up, the demand for housing goes up as well, and Duncan said this is a key indicator for home sales in Lubbock going forward.

"We've been told rates were going to go up and they've gone up this year. And so people who were on the fence at the beginning of the year got off the fence and decided to purchase," Duncan said.

He added the significance of an interest rate spike cannot be understated. 

"In fact, we've even seen buying power change. Most people don't know this, but even one percent of a loan interest rate hike and increase over a 12 month period, changes literally your buying power by about $30,000," Duncan said.

As a result, Garland said you should buy right now, while you can, because the risk may be too high if you wait. 

"If you're looking for a house in the Lubbock market today, this is a good time to buy. People who are waiting to find a chance for the rates to drop aren't going to get that anytime soon. When you look at it, an eighth of a point makes a lot of difference over the life of a loan, you're running a lot more risk on the upside of rates moving up, then you are going down anytime soon in the foreseeable future," Garland said.

According to the Texas Quarterly Housing report, the state is trending toward a record-breaking year in real estate.

Duncan said the surge in college students and investment in downtown will only increase the housing market in Lubbock.

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