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February
4

Explosive Growth: Christian Schools and Homeschooling Enrollment

Christian Schools – 12% growth in 2021, 15% Growth Expected in 2022, Homeschooling Tripled in Past 3 Years

You want a Christian School for your child?  Expect a waitlist to enroll.  Homeschooling – unprecedented growth as well.  Some 16.1% of all Black children are now homeschooled.   It's happening in the city.  It's happening in the suburbs.  It's happening in small towns.  Parents are opting for reading, writing, arithmetic – and moral and spiritual values.   Over 35,000 North Texas children have been pulled from public schools in the past three years going to Christian schools or homeschooling.  And this phenomena may accelerate.

Some 750 attendees are expected in March to the Christian Schools Conference in San Diego.  One of the hosts, Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), state that the growth of faith-based schools in the United States is unprecedented.    One of the reasons is that over 90% of Christian schools remained in-person open over the past two years.  Consequently, student testing and academic excellence continued.  The other reason of course is the parent's belief that the religious schools help provide the moral and spiritual compass for their children.  Based on April 2020 statistics, some 11% of all students in the United States are now homeschooled, up from 3.3% some four years ago.   In addition, approximately 11% of all students now attend either Catholic or Evangelical Protestant schools – a huge increase particularly in the Evangelical schools.

  • Dr Susan Berry, University of Minnesota (excerpts)
June
28

U.S Census: Texas adding 9 Hispanic New Residents for every one White New Resident

 

The state of Texas is adding about nine Hispanic residents to its population for every one white resident, the United States Census Bureau states.  The Texas Tribune published the latest Census Bureau data and projections which indicate that between 2010 and 2018 the Hispanic population in Texas has grown at nearly four times the rate of the white resident population and more than three times the rate of the black resident population.  Today, the Texas Hispanic population stands at almost 11.4 million. This indicates that Texas adds nearly 215,000 Hispanic residents every year, while the black resident population grows by only 60,000 a year and the white resident population grows by about 54,000, on average, a year.  Last year, alone, the white resident population of Texas grew by only about 24,000.

Hispanics, the Census data indicates, could become the largest population group in the state by as early as 2022, outpacing the 11.9 million white residents who currently live in Texas.

  • Texas Tribune, June 20, 2019
May
7

U.S. Creates 263,000 Jobs in April, Unemployment Falls to 3.6%

The economy generated a stronger than expected 263,000 new jobs in April, helping to drive down the unemployment rate to a 49-year low of 3.6%. The increase in new jobs easily topped the 217,000 MarketWatch forecast. The jobless rate slid from 3.8% in March to hit the lowest level since December 1969. The average wage paid to American workers rose 6 cents, or 0.2%, to $27.77 an hour. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains was unchanged at 3.2%. Hours worked each week fell 0.1 hour in April to 34.4. The government revised the increase in new jobs in March to 189,000 from a preliminary 196,000. February's gain was raised to 56,000 from 33,000.

  • Market Watch, May 3, 2019
March
31

Dallas Home Price Hikes Are Turning Buyers Into Renters

 

Should you buy or rent?

Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score."  Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2019
February
27

2019: New Home Sales Up 2%, Preowned Sales Down 2-4% Nationwide

U.S. Home Starts

Homebuilders are starting off 2019 with hopes of another increase in U.S. sales, especially newly built houses. But the building industry also sees an upcoming drop nationally in purchases of preowned homes because of rising affordability issues. "2019 looks like a year of solid, if not spectacular, growth," said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. "I think new-home sales will be up a tad and existing home sales down." The building industry forecasts a 2 percent rise in nationwide home starts in 2019, making it the best year since the Great Recession. That's the most positive sign in this year's outlook. "We actually have existing home sales declining year-over-year in 2019," Dietz said at the industry's annual meeting this week in Las Vegas. The drop in existing home sales is likely to be between 2 percent and 4 percent this year, according to the latest industry outlook. Preowned home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth fell slightly in 2018 after several years of increases. The decline continued into the new year. Higher mortgage rates and record prices are blamed for the slowdown.

  • Dallas Morning News, February 19, 2019

 

February
23

American Airlines to Add 700 More Dallas-Based Flight Attendants

American Airlines to add more Dallas-based Flight Attendants

American Airlines is beefing up its flight attendant base in North Texas as the carrier strives to reach its goal of 900 daily departures from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines Group, Inc. will add 700 flight attendants to each of its bases in North Texas and Los Angeles, and move 700 employees from the Phoenix area, a company spokesperson said. US Airways was based in the Phoenix area before merging with American in December 2015. Being "based" in a particular region means that's where flight attendants trips begin and end. There are already 5,700 flight attendants' based in DFW, so with the additions American will grow its flight attendant base at its largest hub by more than 12 percent.

  • Dallas Business Journal, January 18, 2019

 

February
21

1800 Companies Have Left California

299 California companies have moved to Texas

299 California companies have moved to Texas

A group of Texas business leaders is traveling this week to the state's favorite place to lure away companies: California.The three-day trip to San Francisco is the latest effort by Texas to snag corporate offices, company headquarters and jobs from its West Coast rival. For years, California has been a favorite punching bag of Texas politicians who describe the Lone Star State as a refuge from California's burdensome regulations, hefty taxes and higher cost of living. The delegation is led by the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

Most of the 299 companies that have uprooted their California headquarters for Texas have landed in Dallas-Fort Worth in recent years. Toyota opened its new North American headquarters in Plano in 2017. McKesson, the nation's largest pharmaceutical distributor, moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Irving. Jamba Juice moved to Frisco. Jacobs Engineering moved to Dallas. Frozen food manufacturer Pegasus Foods moved to Rockwall. And Kubota Tractor moved to Grapevine.

  • Dallas Morning News, February 18, 2019

 

February
19

DFW Area Home Sales Listings Explode in January

An increase in Home Listings in JanuaryA flood of North Texas houses hitting the market in January means it will take longer to sell a Dallas-Fort Worth home. The number of houses up for sale in Dallas County rose more than 43 percent in January compared with a year earlier, according to the latest numbers from the MetroTex Association of Realtors. Home listings were also up by more than 42 percent in Denton County and were 37 percent higher than a year ago in Collin County.

The wave of properties hitting the market comes at a time when home sales in the area are declining and price increases have evaporated. At the end of last month, there were almost 22,000 houses listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents — the largest January inventory in six years. More than 10,000 additional home listings hit the market in January alone. Real estate agents are warning sellers not to expect a quick sale like the market was seeing few years ago. "You can't expect to get 30 offers in 30 minutes," said Cathy Mitchell, 2019 president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. "It's a market correction — we couldn't be sustainable the way the market was."

  • Dallas Morning News, February 16,2019
February
18

DFW Area Leads Nation in Job Growth in 2018; Expect Same in 2019

DFW area expects to remain in continued Job Growth for 2019Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation's metro areas in job growth in 2018, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The DFW region added 16,400 jobs over the course of the year. New York and Houston followed closely behind, with 115,500 and 108,300 new jobs. Cheryl Abbo, regional economist for BLS's Southwest office, said D-FW's showing is "somewhat unusual" on a national scale, especially considering the size difference between it and New York. D-FW has about 7.4 million people, compared with New York's 8.6 million. A handful of large companies moved workers and expanded operations in the region in 2018, including Charles SchwabLiberty MutualCognizantand NTT Data. Two Fortune 500 companies — McKesson and Core-Mark— announced plans to move corporate headquarters from California to North Texas this year. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently forecast a slowing in this year's employment gains, with the region expected to add 113,671 jobs.

  • Dallas Morning News, January 30, 2019
January
23

Dallas Net Gained 127,000 Jobs in 2018

DFW Area Unemployment Rate Now 3.3%, Population 7.7 Million

Dallas Net Gained 127,000 Jobs in 2018

The Texas economy saw another month of low unemployment in December, a historic 43-year low that has continued since October, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The DFW area unemployment rate dropped to 3.3%, with 127,000 net gain in jobs in the Dallas area for 2018. Texas has a net gain of 391,800 jobs, leading the nation in job gain.The demand is there for more job positions, but with the area tight labor market some jobs remain unfilled. 

  • Dallas Morning News, January 18, 2019
January
18

Dallas Leads Nation with In-Coming Moves

Dallas Leads Nation with In-Coming Moves

Even migration is bigger in Texas. 

Dallas-Fort Worth leads all U.S. metropolitan areas as the largest net gainer with 246 people arriving daily, according to a Bloomberg analysis of 2017 Census data on migration for the nation's 100 largest regions. In 2014, the crown belonged to Houston with 269 migrants per day.   After Dallas-Fort Worth, the rest of the top five also are Sun Belt beacons -- Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta and Orlando. Seattle, at number six with a gain of 116 people daily, is the only cold-weather destination in the top 10. The daily influx surpassed 100 people in nine cities, while Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles saw an exodus of more than 100 people every day.

These figures exclude the natural increase in population, which is the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths.  The migration trend has two channels -- international and domestic. Relocations can lead to large skill and investment transfers. People who choose to relocate to other parts of the country are taking their talents with them. States and local governments make a large investment in educating people and many people further this by investing in a college education, so when one moves, a large investment transfer is occurring.

Dallas-Fort Worth was the greatest beneficiary of domestic migration, adding nearly 59,000 domestic movers in 2017. Business relocations to North Texas have been steady since the Great Recession. In just the last few weeks, Fortune 500 companies McKesson and Core-Mark announced moves to the area. Both are leaving California.

  • Dallas Morning News, December 14, 2018
January
9

Dallas Home Prices Up 5% in 2018

Home Prices have risen over 40% in the last five years

Dallas-area home price gains slightly outperformed the national average in 2018.Dallas home prices rose 5.3 percent from 2017 levels while the U.S. price increase was 5.1 percent, CoreLogic reports. CoreLogic is forecasting that nationwide home prices will grow less than 5 percent in the year ahead."The rise in mortgage rates has dampened buyer demand and slowed home-price growth," Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in the report. "These higher rates and home prices have reduced buyer affordability," he said. "Home sellers are responding by lowering their asking price, which is reflected in the slowing growth of the CoreLogic Home Price Index." Along with Dallas' 5.3 percent year-over-year home price gain, CoreLogic found that prices were up 6.9 percent annually in the Fort Worth area and were 5.8 percent higher in San Antonio. Houston prices rose by just under 4 percent from a year ago. And prices in the Austin area were only 3.4 percent higher than in November 2017. 

Homeowners that CoreLogic surveyed attributed the growing home values as part of a strong national and local economy. "A strong economy helps homeowners feel confident about the value of their property," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "If recent declines in the stock market shake consumer confidence in the national economy, we may see homeowners' perception of home values change and a subsequent buyers' market emerge in 2019." Even with the declines in the rate of home appreciation, Dallas-Fort Worth home prices are at record levels and have risen more than 40 percent in the last five years.

  • Dallas Morning News, January 2, 2019
December
14

Dallas – One of Top 10 Cities With Market Change

It's no secret that Dallas' home market has a winter chill.Home sales have slowed, along with the rate of home price increase in North Texas.The market changes have put Dallas on Realtor.com's list of the 10 cities hit hardest by a housing slowdown."In the last few months, the real estate market has actually begun slowing down. including in some of the big cities that have been leading the go-go post-recession housing boom," according to a report on the website. "To be clear, prices aren't always dropping in these places, which are predominantly located on the West Coast."Mostly, they're decelerating, coming back down to earth."

Realtor.com based its rankings on a year-over-year rise in home price markdowns, increases in listings and changes in overall list prices."There's a rebalancing that needs to happen," Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, told Realtor.com. "Prices have risen so high in some of these markets that it's very tough from an affordability perspective [for buyers]. ... It's not surprising to me that we're seeing a little bit of a leveling off."

Median home prices in North Texas are still up about 5 percent compared with 2017 levels. But that's a much smaller number than the double-digit annual gains seen in recent years. Home list prices in the Dallas area are down 1.4 percent from a year ago, and the number of listings has grown 15 percent year over year, according to Realtor.com

  • Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2018
December
13

Buyer Perceptions in this Changing Market

Buyer Perceptions in this Changing MarketThe declines in D-FW home sales and slower price appreciation are having a bigger impact on consumers' attitudes than their pocketbooks, analysts said.  "I am more concerned about the psychological impact of not-so-rosy housing news than I am about the actual underlying fundamentals of the housing market in the Dallas-Fort Worth market," said Daren Blomquist, top economist with Attom Data Solutions. "Certainly the data shows that the market has gotten somewhat overheated and is due for a slowdown, but that slowdown should just be a chance for the market to catch its breath rather than a trigger a panic attack.  "Jobs and people are still moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in large numbers, which ultimately should keep demand for housing solid," Blomquist said. "But the psychology of the market is more of a wild card and could result in a bigger slowdown or correction."

North Texas home sales would be higher if there were more moderately priced properties up for grabs, Paige Shipp of housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. said. "I believe the 1 percent decrease in sales this year is due to the lack of homes on the market below $200,000, not a lack of buyers," Shipp said. "D-FW has strong job and population growth, which equates to demand for homes.  "However, the increasing interest rates have exposed the fact that D-FW buyers cannot all afford homes priced above $400,000, she said.

  • Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2018
December
12

New Forecast: Dallas' Home Market Will Outperform U.S. in 2019 Even as Growth Slows

New Forecast: Dallas' Home Market Will Outperform U.S. in 2019 Even as Growth SlowsNot so fast with the gloomy forecasts for Dallas' housing economy. Yes, the local home market appears to be cooling after years of scorching hot sales. And some analysts have suggested there's a Dallas home price bubble getting ready to burst.  But a new forecast by Zillow says the market is likely to outperform the rest of the country in 2019 when it comes to home price gains and housing market health.

Zillow surveyed more than 100 real estate economists and investment experts for their take on the U.S. housing market and future home value growth.  According to Zillow's research, markets in Denver; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Dallas; Las Vegas; Phoenix; and San Jose, Calif., are likely to outperform the rest of America in 2019.  The economists on Zillow's panel said they expected U.S. home value to grow an average of 3.8 percent in 2019.

North Texas home prices are about 5 percent higher in 2018 after several years of double-digit annual appreciation. D-FW home prices were forecast to grow 4.3 percent next year in a recent Realtor.com report. Local analysts don't expect declines in home values in 2019. Instead, they say the rate of home price gains and overall home sales are likely to moderate.

  • Dallas Morning News, December 7, 2018
November
20

Why the Housing Market Is Slumping Despite a Booming Economy

Home prices are out of reach relative to incomes and mortgage rates. The big question for the economy is how the imbalance adjusts.

These should be happy times for the housing sector. The economy is booming, with more people working at higher pay, and with the sizable millennial generation reaching prime home buying age.  Instead, the housing market has gone soft, acting as a drag on the overall economy rather than as a force propelling it forward.

Sales of new single-family homes were down 22 percent in September from their recent high in November 2017, and existing home sales in September were down 10 percent. This tepid residential investment subtracted from G.D.P. growth in each of the first three quarters of 2018.

Home prices have not declined nationally, at least according to the most widely followed indexes. But their rate of increase has declined, and more and more home sellers are finding they must reduce asking prices to find a buyer.  Given how central housing is to the broader economy — it is the biggest driver of both wealth and indebtedness for most families, and its fluctuations have frequently been major factors in past booms and busts — this slump isn't something to be taken lightly for anyone hoping the good times will last.

So what's going on?

When you look closely at the data, it appears this paradox of a strong economy and a weak housing market is, at its core, an illustration of a fundamental rule in economics: If something can't go on forever, it won't.  Home prices in a given location are ultimately tethered to the incomes of the people who either live there or want to. But for much of the last six years, that relationship has come undone.  Nationally, personal income per capita has risen 25 percent since the end of 2011, while the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index is up 48 percent (neither figure is adjusted for inflation).

The gap is even larger in the big coastal cities with high wages and booming job markets, but where legal and other barriers make it hard for builders to add to the supply of homes. In the San Francisco metro area, per capita personal income rose 40 percent from 2011 to 2017, while home prices rose 96 percent. Similar patterns are evident in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York and Washington.  In less high-flying markets, there was still a disconnect. In the Minneapolis area, for example, incomes rose 22 percent while home prices rose 46 percent.

Those rising home prices got help from years of very low mortgage rates, which put more expensive homes within reach for people at a given income level. Activity was also probably boosted by some bounce-back effect after the housing market crash of 2007-09, a result of pent-up demand for homes that were not bought while the market was collapsing.

Rates bottomed out in late 2012 at 3.31 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. They have been moving upward in fits and starts since, including a full percentage point in the last year alone to nearly 5 percent — still low by historical standards, but high compared with the ultralow levels that had enabled these huge price gains.

There's no doubt that demographics are favorable for housing demand. The peak birth year for millennials was 1990; it's a group that is turning 28 this year and thus entering prime years for home buying. As it happens, 28 is exactly the median response in a Bankrate survey that asked adults for the ideal age to buy a home.

But that doesn't matter if prices are out of reach relative to incomes. Moreover, lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it has been harder for people to stretch to buy a home. The inability of people to buy homes they can't really afford is great news in terms of avoiding another crisis, but not so great for the near-term outlook for housing.

"Buyers can only stomach so many price increases until it gets unsustainable," said Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the online brokerage Redfin. "Prices reached a breaking point where buyers were fed up and started to consider other options," she said, including renting and moving away from the expensive coastal markets where prices are most out of whack with incomes. 

As Economics 101 teaches, price movements are the way that supply and demand match up with each other. But in the housing sector especially, that adjustment can take a while.  In contrast with the stock market, where relatively unemotional traders are buying and selling shares every day and the market stays liquid, home purchase and sales decisions can take months and are deeply emotional for the participants.

What seems to be happening is that sellers are trying to cling to the spring 2018 prices that their neighbors received, while there aren't enough buyers in late 2018 willing or able to pay those prices.  In a Fannie Mae survey of home purchase sentiment, the proportion of people who think it is a good time to buy a home has decreased significantly since the spring, to a net 21 percent from 29 percent. But so has the proportion who think it is a good time to sell, which has dropped to 35 percent from 45 percent.

You would expect, in a zero-sum transaction like a home sale, for those numbers to move in opposite directions. Instead, it seems that sellers are unhappily realizing that they aren't going to get what they thought their house was worth six months ago, and buyers still think homes are too expensive.  That helps explain why transaction volume, especially for new houses, has fallen substantially while prices haven't (at least yet). It's a standoff. And the outcome of the standoff will, in the aggregate, play a role in shaping the future of the economy.

There is precedent for this, and it isn't a happy one. In the last housing boom, new home sales peaked in July 2005, and home prices didn't start declining until May 2006. It didn't start to hurt the overall economy until December 2007, when the damage had spread through an overleveraged global financial system.

But that doesn't mean this episode has to end in tears. Home prices are not nearly as out of line with incomes as they were then; speculative activity hasn't been nearly as frothy; and consumer debt levels are considerably more measured.   "I think income growth will help us get out of this period," said Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "We're probably looking at a period where existing home sales volume is flat to declining, and it now looks like 2017 was the peak year for transaction volume."

A strong (nonhousing) economy makes it more likely that this housing slump will end without a steep 2008-style downturn. So does the basic reality that young adults are forming families and need a place to house them.

But in the meantime, it could be a soft few months or even years of standoffs between buyers and sellers, with the big question of which comes first: sellers who settle for less after recognizing that the price they thought they would get is beyond the reach of buyers, or incomes that catch up with a housing market that got a little ahead of itself.

 

  • Neil Irwin, New York Times, November 15, 2018
November
6

Dallas is Top U.S. Homebuilder Market

Top U.S. Homebuilding Markets

No place builds more new houses than Dallas-Fort Worth.  As of the third quarter of this year, D-FW was the solid leader in U.S. homebuilding with almost 35,000 single-family annual home starts, according to a new report by housing market analysts at Metrostudy Inc.  Houston was second nationally with 29,370 home starts in the 12-month period ending in September. D-FW and Houston have topped the country in home construction for several years.  And the two Texas titan building markets show no sign of a slowdown. D-FW starts were up 8.7 percent and Houston starts were 6 percent higher than a year ago, Transwestern found.

 

While D-FW builders are still busy, what they are building has changed, according to Metrostudy's Paige Shipp. "Over the past 12 months, builders and developers have been addressing the need for affordable new homes by developing in previously overlooked submarkets and building smaller, less amenitized homes," said Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy's D-FW market. "As such, the median price has dropped since last year.The decrease in price is not devaluation, rather it's an indication that buyers are purchasing smaller, more affordable homes."

 

Shipp said that homebuyer traffic has slowed in North Texas in recent months. "While this cooling may worry some, it should be viewed as a positive stabilization of an overheated, frenzied market," she said. "Builders and developers should use this opportunity to catch their breaths and return to the fundamentals of homebuilding including land acquisition and selling." Shipp said the inventory of vacant new homes in the D-FW has increased to the highest level since 2012.

 

October
19

DFW Homes Sales Stumbled in 3rd Quarter

Texas Quarterly Report

Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2018

Dallas-Fort Worth was the only major Texas market that saw a decline in third quarter home sales. D-FW preowned homes sales fell 2.3 percent from third quarter 2017, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors. Statewide sales were 4.4 percent higher than in the previous year. Among the big metro areas, the largest sales increase was in Houston were real estate agents sold 11.6 percent more houses than they did in third quarter 2017. 

"Our market remains extremely strong but is still slowly moving toward normalization," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in the report. "Median home prices and home sales are up, but the rate of increase statewide is beginning to slow compared to prior years."

Even with the year-over-year sales decline, D-FW had the largest number of preowned property sales in the state with 27,660 properties changing hands, according to the Realtors association. The Houston-area was second with 24,028 home sales. Median home sales prices rose 4.4 percent in the third quarter from the previous year to $235,000. In D-FW, prices were up 3.9 percent to a median of $265,034.

Residential appreciation in North Texas has slowed this year after median home values grew by more than 40 percent during the last five years. D-FW had the largest inventory increase of any of the major metros - up 14.5 percent from third quarter 2017. "At the current rate that home sales and active listings are increasing, we are trending towards another record-breaking year in Texas real estate," Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said.

October
18

Dallas Expected to Have Only 2.7% Home Price Growth in 2019

The latest forecast from CoreLogic calls for only about 2.7 percent home price growth in D-FW in the next 12 months.  -	Dallas Morning News, October 15, 2018

The latest forecast from CoreLogic calls for only about 2.7 percent home price growth in D-FW in the next 12 months.
- Dallas Morning News, October 15, 2018

Don't look for Dallas-Fort Worth on the list of cities economists expect to have the biggest home price gains in the year ahead. Nationwide prices are expected to rise by less than 5 percent in the year ahead, according Veros, a risk management and valuation firm. "Our latest VeroForecast indicates that on average, for the top 100 most populated metro areas, we expect 4.5 percent appreciation over the next 12 months," Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling at Veros, said in the report. "We are forecasting that the overwhelming number of metros across the nation, approximately 97 percent, will appreciate, with just three percent depreciating during this period."

"The days of easy 10 percent price gains in one year are over," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, told real estate agents. For sure that is so in Dallas-Fort Worth. Median sales prices in North Texas were up 9 percent last year, and rose 10 percent in 2016 and 2015 and were 11 percent higher in 2014. Through the first nine months of 2018, median sales prices of houses sold by local real estate agents are just 5 percent greater than the same period last year.

A forecast for the next 12 months sees 2.1 percent home price growth in the D-FW area, according to CoreLogic. That's much less than their U.S. 1-year price forecast rise of 4.7 percent. After several years of double-digit percentage home appreciation in North Texas, the latest price forecasts may seem dismal. But a slowdown in home price gains is just what the D-FW area needs at this point in the cycle. The best way to prevent another housing bubble is to let a little air out of the market before things get too overvalued.

 

October
13

Why DFW was named top real estate market to watch in 2019

Dallas-Fort Worth has been named the top real estate market to watch in 2019         By Claire Ballor  – Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal, October 10, 2018

With a relatively low cost of living and population growth projections that outstrip other U.S. cities by two times, Dallas-Fort Worth has been named the top real estate market to watch in 2019.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate for 2019 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute ranked the Metroplex as the number one market for overall real estate prospects in 2019 out of 78 other cities.  Austin and San Antonio also made it into the top 20 for overall real estate prospects in the annual forecast report, which is compiled from thousands of interviews with real estate experts across a spectrum of industries.

Mitch Roschelle, a partner at PwC, said the economic data points analyzed for the report suggest the strength of the economy and the discipline being practiced in the real estate market.  "If there is a downturn ahead of us, it won't be real estate that caused it," he said. "Right now there's way more discipline in all activities in real estate than there has been in any other time in the modern era. We haven't gotten ahead of ourselves in terms of real estate development. I hope that real estate folks remain as conservative as they have in creating new supply."

Roschelle said he's seeing that conservative behavior in Dallas-Fort Worth and it has kept the market from getting ahead of itself despite the ever-growing demand and push for growth.

As for what makes North Texas the one to watch next year, he said several factors come into play.

"The things that have been important in years past have been markets that have low cost of living and low, relative to the national average, cost of doing business. That's where companies want to be and that's where people want to be," Roschelle said.

The low cost of living, low cost of doing business and tax efficiency continue to draw people to Dallas-Fort Worth, he said. And so much so that the area's population growth rate is projected to be more than two times the national average in 2019.

"The growth in the population is skewed towards younger folks in Dallas," Roschelle said. "The growth in the 0 to 24 age category is high and in the 25 to 40 category. [The population] is becoming younger, and those people are all the workers for the future."

But as the population in the Metroplex grows, affordable housing is becoming more of an issue. Although affordable single-family homes are a contributor to Dallas-Fort Worth's success, there aren't enough of them, according to the report.  The report says focus group respondents in the Dallas area pointed to an increasingly prevalent "not in my backyard" mentality as the reason for the slow down in available workforce housing.

"Dallas traditionally was a place where there was a piece of land, and if someone wanted to build on it, they just built on it," Roschelle said.  Now, though, developers are often met with a "you're not building that thing near me" attitude, which tends to add hurdles like cost and time, he said. This contributes to the problem that Dallas-Fort Worth is facing with additions to housing supply not keeping pace with demand.

What the Dallas area has going for it, though, is a diverse and stable employment base thanks to the wide spectrum of industries represented in the area, Roschelle said. The report indicates that the market is expected to have high growth and low volatility when it comes to employment in 2019.

Here are a few things the report says to keep an eye on in 2019:

Best bets

  • Industrial development investments: With the expansion of the e-commerce industry, industrial facilities, which are seeing historically low vacancy rates, will continue to be in high demand. "Barring a trade war of serious proportions, industrials offer great risk-adjusted returns," according to the report.
  • Garden apartments: "While the multifamily sector registered an overall NCREIF total return of 6.38 percent, the garden apartment component was near a double-digit total return at 9.33 percent," the report says. Appreciation in value is what accounted the over-performance for such properties. And the pricing for garden apartments, or low-rise complexes typically with direct access to outdoor space, reflects a higher-yield 5.7 percent cap rate compared to the 4.9 percent cap rate for mid-to-high-rise properties.
  • Quick-flip, value-add deals: Timing with these deals is key, the report says. They should be executed by 2020 to maximize late-cycle opportunity, "and the geographic focus needs to be in markets where assets have not yet been priced to perfection."
  • Redeployment of retail properties: "Many shopping center properties are just not going to come back as successful retail assets," the report says. But many have potential for alternative uses like mixed use for properties in close-in suburbs or distribution centers that can capitalize on the e-commerce trend.

Issues on the horizon

  • Insurance costs related to increasing natural disasters: The report says the volume of natural disasters in 2018 is evidence that the risk of such catastrophes – "most due to climate change" – has been intensifying. Because of this, insurers and reinsurers are experiencing massive payouts and will be pricing this into premiums in the future. "Having adequate coverage and budgeting for increased operating expenses should definitely be high on the list of items that property owners need to watch in 2019," according to the report.
  • Cybersecurity vulnerabilities: Cybersecurity issues that come with increasing interconnectedness have become more and more obvious and have affected many industries including real estate. "One REIT interviewee highlighted a need to establish industry norms and best practices for both primary defense purposes and for evaluating risk/reward parameters stemming from technology," the report says.
  • Infrastructure: Deficiencies in infrastructure are impactful for real estate. The report pulled data from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which shows the multitrillion-dollar shortfalls in investment in key assets and the associated costs that affect businesses. "By 2025, the United States sacrifices $3.9 trillion in GDP and $7 trillion in reduced business sales. Failure to address the issue means 2.5 million fewer jobs created and a shortfall of household income of $3,400 annually," according to the report.
  • Immigration: "The draconian approach to border security is a massive self-inflicted wound with immediate negative economic consequences and long-term weakening of our national growth potential," the report says. The impacts on demand growth, the reduction in the baseline for real potential GDP growth and the implications for bringing the country's fertility rate below population replacement level should be reasons for pause, it says.

 

July
24

Californians Continue Moving to Texas

Dallas-Fort Worth was one of the top destinations for domestic migrants from California in 2017, according to a recent study.  There were 1,051 moves from coastal California, the home of some of the country's toughest housing markets, to Dallas in the first quarter of 2017, according to Alexandra Lee, a housing analyst with the real estate listing and research site Trulia, which did the study.  Out of 19,132 moves out of the region during that time period, 5.5 percent went to D-FW.   Houston is also a popular destination for people fleeing the California coast — 3 percent of the migrants in the study came to Texas' most populous city, meaning that 8.5 percent of those in the study came to either Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.   The Trulia report looked at census data for transplants from four coastal California hubs: San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. Homes in those markets listed for an average of $720,000 in March 2017, Trulia says, compared to $313,000 in Dallas and $250,000 nationally.   The home prices in these cities is clearly a major determinant in whether people leave California and to where they move, Lee said over email, but it's not the be-all and end-all.  Texas is a big destination for job-to-job flows, a U.S. Census Bureau-designed statistic that measures flows of employees from one company to another when they've been at each company longer than three quarters. The biggest source of these flows is California, which contributed 6,884 in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Dallas Morning News, June 28, 2018

 

Californians Continue Moving to Texas

July
23

Dallas is Top Housing Market in New Consumer Poll by Chase

Dallas' housing market gets top marks in a new consumer study by JPMorgan Chase.  The banking giant teamed up with Pulsenomics to ask homeowners about current market conditions, their aspirations for homeownership and outlooks for home values and affordability.  Dallas headed the housing confidence ranking ahead of Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco, according to Chase.  "These record results were driven by healthy assessments of local real estate market conditions among existing homeowners, but even more so by surging expectations among renters," Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, said in the report. "Seven in ten renters now express confidence in their ability to afford a home someday, and nearly three-quarters of those with an opinion say that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make."  Dallas-area residents polled by Chase in the survey had the strongest homeownership aspirations.  Eighty percent of Dallas renters Chase surveyed said they are confident they will eventually own a home. And 70 percent said they plan to purchase in the next five years.

  • Dallas Morning News, July 5, 2018

 

Chase Housing Confidence index

June
18

Dallas Unemployment at 3.6% - Among Lowest in Nation

Unemployment Rates

Dallas continues to add over 100,000 jobs annually and the unemployment rate has remained at 3.6 percent, a very low level not seen in the past 20 years.   While the outlook is for continued rapid growth in the region, it depends critically on a steady flow of workers into the state and on trade-friendly policies.  Already the fourth largest metro area, Dallas-Fort Worth is growing faster than the nation — about 2 percentage points faster so far this year. However, this outsized performance is only possible with robust labor force expansion. The D-FW labor force increased 3.1 percent over the past year, while the participation rate — the share of people working or seeking employment — was little changed. Thus, the bulk of workforce growth is due to migration.  Net migration from other U.S. states was responsible for 40 percent of D-FW's population increase in 2017, while arrivals from other countries accounted for 20 percent. In fact, since 2010, D-FW has had the highest population gains from total net migration among all U.S. metro areas.

  • Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2018
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