Leasing and New Home Starts Surge in Second Quarter, But Will Optimism Flag Before New Homes and Units Reach The Market?

Housing Starts

(Photo: Dallas Morning News)

I am very cautiously optimistic about our market, y’all. I want to be just ridiculously, pie-in-the-sky buoyant about North Texas resilience that has us leading multi-family construction as well as seeing gains in new home starts.

According to Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Brown, North Texas is building multi-family developments faster than any other state in the nation, raising rents an average of 3 percent, as well as hitting an annual leasing record in June. From his July 3 story:

Analysts at Carrollton-based MPF Research credit the apartment sector’s recent gains to the area’s growing business environment.

“They clearly reflect the strength of the local economy,” MPF’s Jay Parsons said in a report released Tuesday. “Dallas-Fort Worth isn’t just adding a lot of jobs, it’s adding the types of jobs that draw the key demographic for the apartment market — educated young adults.”

Developers are certainly doing their part to meet the demand for new apartments.

At the end of June there were 24,697 apartments under construction in North Texas — just a hair below what was in the development pipeline at the last construction peak before the recession.

There’s the “R” word — recession, of course. So we’re building almost as many apartments as we did before the economy tanked. But what about new home starts? How do they compare to levels from North Texas’ real estate hey day? Steve breaks it down in his story today:

Metrostudy reports that D-FW homebuilders started almost 6,000 homes in the second quarter.

They sold 5,127 houses – a 25 percent increase from second quarter 2012. The quarterly D-FW new home sales were at the highest level since 2008.

“It is likely homebuilders will start 22,000 homes in 2013, which is at the high end of our forecast”, said [Metrostudy's David] Brown.

But even with the big recent gains, home starts in 2013 will still be almost 60 percent below the peak of local building in 2006.

OK, that makes me feel a little better. We still have a ways to go as far as growing the market. Of course, if I wanted to temper my optimism with a healthy swig of facts with a chaser of statistics, there’s the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s database to help out with that.

So, do you think we should remain only cautiously optimistic? Or is there a ceiling to our growth?

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