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El Paso housing market: Everything you need to know

There’s a lot to love about this city in the far west corner of the Lone Star State. Located on the border with Mexico, El Paso is a melting pot of American and Mexican culture — which is great for the local arts and culinary scenes. Plus, the city’s cost of living is lower than all the other major hubs in Texas. Whether you are ready to buy a home here or are looking to sell and move on, read on to put your finger on the pulse of the El Paso housing market.

El Paso housing market overview

The real estate scene here has managed to stay quite strong in 2023. While the overall Texas housing market has begun to cool in the wake of higher mortgage rates and economic uncertainty, El Paso’s market still feels like a hot Texas summer. The median price of a single-family home here increased by about 8 percent between April 2022 and April 2023, according to the Greater El Paso Association of Realtors (GEPAR). At the same, there is some good news for buyers, too: The amount of active inventory and the number of new listings also increased year-over-year.

El Paso housing trends and stats

Mortgage

  • Home prices in El Paso have been increasing. The median price tag for a single-family home in April 2023 was $251,600, according to GEPAR data.

  • That’s a 7.2 percent increase versus April 2022, though still significantly below the National Association of Realtors’ nationwide median of $388,800.

  • Homes sell quickly here, with a median of just 12 days on the market before going to contract.

  • Inventory is on the rise in a big way, up 20 percent from this time last year.

  • Data from Redfin shows that homes are typically selling for just 0.2 percent less than their listing price — a drop from last year, when they typically sold just above list price.

  • Closing costs in Texas typically total about 1.5 percent of the purchase price, according to figures from CoreLogic’s ClosingCorp. On a median-priced $251,600 home, that comes to $3,774.

Should you buy or sell in the El Paso housing market?

Wondering whether El Paso is a buyer’s or a seller’s market? Most of the power is still in the seller’s corner, but even so, the city’s relatively low home prices are not as tough on buyers as many other markets are.

If you’re a home seller

If you’re thinking of selling your home in El Paso, the past few years have been very kind to your property value. Median prices here stood at $163,000 near the end of 2019, before the pandemic fueled a runup in prices. While price growth has slowed, the current median is nearly $100K more than that, so you are still sitting on a prized asset.

Before you start taking steps to put your home on the market, be sure you understand just how much your home is worth. Keep in mind that online algorithms can offer a good starting point, but they don’t know the full story of your property. The best way to get a firm idea of what your home can command is to review comps — information on nearby properties similar to yours that have sold recently — with a local real estate agent.

If you’re a homebuyer

El Paso is a hot market, so the most important piece of the homebuying puzzle here may well be getting preapproved for a mortgage. With a preapproval letter in hand, you’ll have a solid idea of what you will be able to afford without stretching yourself too thin. Additionally, that letter will show any seller that you’re ready — and qualified — to make a deal, which can give you an edge over less prepared buyers.

Be sure to cast a wide net in your house hunting search. Real estate is a hyper-local business, and El Paso covers a big stretch of land. While homes in the Lower Valley are selling for a median price just under $225,000, according to GEPAR data, the median for properties in the Upper Valley is more than $335,000. And no matter where you’re looking, be ready to act fast. Homes in El Paso sell very quickly. The median days on market is less than two weeks, and in the Northeast area, for example, it’s just 8 days.

El Paso housing market predictions

There is a lot of speculation about the potential for a housing market crash across the country, but experts say there’s no crash coming. In El Paso, the market is slowing down — the number of closed deals dropped by around 17 percent compared to the same time last year — but the fundamentals still look strong. In fact, a 2023 report from Realtor.com pegged El Paso as the number-two real estate market in the entire country.

And as you look ahead to the summer, experts expect mortgage rates to be less volatile, which can help buyers plan out a homebuying budget. Sellers should retain the edge, though: Real estate company Knock projects that El Paso will continue to be a seller’s market through the rest of the year.

Find an El Paso real estate agent

While there are unique considerations for buyers versus sellers, there is one common need for both parties: a good real estate agent. Realtors are professionals who study the market’s movements and know how to get you the best deal, no matter which side of the transaction you’re on. They’re all different, though, so it’s important to connect with a few to get a sense of whose expertise aligns with your specific needs. Ask plenty of questions to make sure you choose the best candidate to navigate the El Paso housing market.

FAQs

  • Are home prices in El Paso dropping?

    No. In fact, the median price for a single-family home in El Paso increased 8 percent from April 2022 to April 2023. Even so, the price currently stands at $251,600, which is well below the national median of $388,800.

  • Is El Paso a good place to buy a house?

    It’s hard to beat El Paso when it comes to home affordability. With a median price tag of $251,600, buying a house here is significantly cheaper than in most big cities — and the nationwide median as well. Plus, the cost of living here is lower than other major Texas hubs like Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio.

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