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Here we go again: CoreLogic’s latest HPI report is telling us what our boots-on-the-ground Realtor sources already know. Fewer homes on the market has meant higher-than-average home price appreciation ahead of one of the most brisk times of year for Dallas-area Realtors. The spring selling season has been filled with cold calls and pleas from Realtors for homeowners who are on the fence about selling to just get off their duffs and do it.

But, while the limited inventory may be a pain in the posterior for those searching for the right home, it has had one side-effect worth mentioning: Market stabilization.

“Since the second half of 2014, the dwindling supply of affordable inventory has led to stabilization in home price growth, with a particular uptick in low-end home price growth over the last few months,” said CoreLogic chief economist Dr. Frank Nothaft. “From February 2014 to February 2015, low-end home prices increased by 9.3 percent compared to 4.8 percent for high-end home prices, a gap that is three times the historical difference.”

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The Lone Star State isn’t the same place as it was during the big 1980s oil bust, and is better weathering falling oil prices, but further price plunges and worker layoffs could negatively impact home sales and construction.

This is according to new research by Texas A&M Real Estate Center research economist James Gaines, who published Texas 2015 Housing Market and the Price of Oil last week. The six-page report explains that Texas’ economy has diversified significantly since the 80s bust, relying much more on healthcare, technology, and other sectors.

Here’s the takeaway:

The price of Texas oil and the upstream energy sector is a prime cause of concern for Texas’ 2015 economy and housing market. History shows that Texas’ housing does not depend on high oil prices. In fact, the state’s housing market has thrived at prices within a wide range of oil prices lower than those experienced in 2013 and the first half of 2014.

Read the full story over on MidlandDirt.com!

 

 

 

3417 Villanova ext

“Texas is one of the best states to buy a home in the U.S. because it’s one of the best places to work, do business and raise a family. Our state’s lasting job and economic growth continues to bring higher incomes for Texas families and reaffirms new home sales and development as a critical component in meeting market demand,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors.

And TAR’s 2015 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report backs up Kesner’s optimism. The median household income of homebuyers in the great state shot up 5.9 percent between July 2013 to June 2014 to $97,500. That’s a much more substantial increase than the national median household income among homebuyers, which increased only 1.4 percent to $84,500.

So, who is buying Texas dirt, and what are they buying? Find out at the jump!

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Case Shiller December 2014

 

Case-Shiller’s recent Dec.2014 report shows home prices inching even further skyward, with an increase of 7.5 percent year-over-year, topping the national average of 4.5 percent by a healthy margin. Shrinking inventory is to blame, but one must wonder if supply will ever catch up at this rate.

“As long as we have a tight sellers’ market, it’s going to be in that area,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in this story by Steve Brown. “The good news is it’s not 12 or 15 percent.

“We can live with this for a while.”

But really, can we?

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Home Prices for Dallas-Plano-Irving are projected to increase in the coming years, according to Local Market Monitor.

Home Prices for Dallas-Plano-Irving are projected to increase in the coming years, according to Local Market Monitor.

Sure, economists are saying that the Dallas-Fort Worth area have posted new gains in 2014, and that home price growth for the North Texas metro areas is projected to increase in 2015 to the tune of 9 to 11 percent, but more and more people are starting to take a closer look at those numbers and see that, while it’s good news overall, home prices need to be viewed with greater local perspective. Afterall, the MSA that includes Dallas — Dallas-Plano-Irving — is vast and diverse. The same can be said for the Fort Worth MSA — Fort Worth-Arlington.

So, while we are encouraged to see both Local Market Monitor and CoreLogic give glowing reviews of the Dallas area and Texas as a whole, we need to get more specific data to get a clearer picture of home prices, home values, and where you can buy a property that will actually appraise. After all, real estate isn’t just local, it’s hyper-local.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, home prices will have a year-over-year boost of 9 percent, according to Local Market Monitor.

In the Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, home prices will have a year-over-year boost of 9 percent, according to Local Market Monitor.

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Oil prices may or may not influence home values and sales in Dallas, but Houston and the Permian Basin may feel the effects of the dropping price per barrel.

Oil prices may or may not influence home values and sales in Dallas, but Houston and the Permian Basin may feel the effects of the dropping price per barrel.

It seems like economists can’t make heads or tails of the dropping oil prices, other than it’s good for consumers. I filled my little hybrid up the other day for less than $30, so I’m going to call it an obvious win in that column. But with the high demand and limited supply of housing in the Permian Basin, and how Houston home values have skyrocketed, we’re left wondering if these two Texas regions will bear the brunt of cheap oil.

“Oil prices are certainly something to keep an eye on,” said Metrostudy’s David Brown in this DMN report. “As long as oil prices do not continue to decline and don’t stay at a level below $55 a barrel for a sustained period, we should continue to see solid demand for housing in the region.”

On the other hand, Trulia’s Jed Kolko says the impact on home values is coming, but it won’t be felt immediately.

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Home For Sale Sign Dallas

Let’s just say that my eyes widened a little without the help of coffee when I read this story from Steve Brown. According to Fitch Ratings, Texas home prices are way overvalued, by 11 percent they say, and there could be a reckoning coming thanks to falling oil prices.

The financial analysts at Fitch are concerned about the year-over-year growth in Houston, Austin, and Dallas, which posted home price increases of 20 percent since 2011.

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One of the great things about the reports published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University is that you don’t have to be an economist to understand them. Luis Torres, Jim Gaines, and Mark Dotzour all do a fantastic job of breaking down the information into digestible bits. I was very impressed by Torres when I heard him speak at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Houston, and having previously worked with Gaines and Dotzour, I know that they are brilliant.

Of course, as the Real Estate Center publishes its annual outlook, we enjoyed taking a more in-depth gaze at inventory and what the numbers really mean. Months of inventory is a significant indicator for housing demand, and inventory can greatly influence pricing.

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