Dallas-area home sales soar.

Dallas-area home sales and prices soar as listings trail demand. A shortage of homes on the market in many neighborhoods caused median first quarter pre-owned home sales and prices to rise in many residential districts.

It doesn’t take an economics degree to know that when demand outstrips supply, prices are bound to rise.

That was sure the case for the North Texas housing market during the first quarter of 2013.

A shortage of homes on the market in many neighborhoods caused median pre-owned home sales prices to rise in all but three of the 45 Dallas-area residential districts The Dallas Morning News tracks.

Some of the price increases were significant — including the 38 percent year-over-year jump in Fairview and the 28 percent gain in Mesquite.

The average price increase in the areas The News surveys each quarter was 13 percent. That’s one of the best price performances the local home sector has seen in over a decade.

Sales of pre-owned homes in the first quarter rose in all but six of the Dallas-area residential district included in the survey.

Some of the biggest home sales increases since first quarter 2012 were in Euless, 70 percent; Keller, 53 percent; and Duncanville, 43 percent.

The gains might have been even larger if more properties had been for sale.

The number of pre-owned single-family homes listed for sale with real estate agents in the Dallas area is the lowest in more than two decades. At the end of the first quarter, on average there was just a 2.6-month supply of houses on the market in the area.

The number of homes listed for sale with agents at the end of March was down more than 20 percent from a year earlier.

And the average time it took to sell a house in the first quarter in the Dallas area was only about 65 days. That’s down from almost three months in the first quarter of 2009.

Real estate agents say that in popular neighborhoods it’s not uncommon for homes to get multiple offers the day the property comes on the market.

“I’ve been through many market cycles where we had multiple offers, but this has ratcheted up far beyond that,” said Rich Thomas, executive director of the MetroTexas Association of Realtors.

Demand is so strong in some neighborhoods that agents are selling the houses before they are included in the multiple listing service.

“This will hang around probably through this spring,” Thomas said. “As we get into a more normal market, I think it will diminish.”

“The proof of it is the sales volume keeps exceeding the listings,” said James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “There is no way we should be having the sales volumes we are seeing given the number of listings we have.”

Source: Dallas Morning News