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What do savvy sellers ask their agents in the pre-listing interview? About getting their home in the newspaper?  Ha! Only if it’s a nursing home! Smart sellers care about two things: internet exposure and –

“Do you belong to one of the top hip pocket Facebook groups in town?

Pre-sizzle seals the sale. In this white-hot market of low inventory, buyers need an agent with ESP, one who knows which homes will be listed even before their owners know it! Or at least before every other Realtor.

In Dallas, south of LBJ, that would be an agent who belongs to Real Estate Friends, a private, closed Facebook group of about 800 agents.

But now, there’s a new kid in town who wants to let ALL real estate agents join the pre-listing party.

Daylon Pereira is a top agent with Allie Beth Allman’s Urban team who has partnered with two Stanford MBA graduates to create a website for agents to share hip pockets called The Unlisted.  Already up and running in Dallas, Pereira’s team plans to open in multiple major cities from Miami to Chicago, LA, Austin, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, anywhere where real estate inventory is tighter than an East Texas tick.

“Our team has a deep knowledge of the residential real estate market. We see tremendous demand and not enough supply in the largest US cities,” says Pereira. “We see a market where privacy and exclusivity results in additional value for buyers and sellers. We see agents leveraging their networks and struggling with sub-optimal tools to find the right properties for their clients, and the right buyers for their properties. We want to give agents the modern and easy to use tools they need to be successful in this ever-changing, fast-paced environment. (more…)

Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Strong economic factors, job gains, and population increases have experts predicting strong growth in North Texas home prices in 2015, and a 35 percent increase in home prices over the next three years in the Dallas-Plano-Irving areas.

Local Market Monitor, Inc. released its December 2014 local market reports for North Texas, looking at factors like jobs, migration, housing permits, local market risk premium, and average home prices. Based on those analytics, they say home prices will likely grow 11 percent in the eastern counties of North Texas and 8 percent in the western counties over the next 12 months. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 6.3 percent.

They’ve extended their forecast two and three years, as well. In the eastern DFW counties, home values are predicted to increase 11 percent in 2016 and 10 percent in 2017.

In the western counties, home values are expected to increase 8 percent in both 2016 and 2017. The report predicts home prices to increase 25 percent over the next three years, noting that market is currently underpriced 17 percent relative to income.

County level forecast for Home Values

These reports echo the sentiments of local realtors and real estate experts, who have been crowing about strong North Texas job growth, more buyer and seller confidence, continued low interest rates, and investor demand. Jump to read more!

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Photo courtesy Charleston's TheDigitel via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Charleston’s TheDigitel via Creative Commons

DFW rents were 6.2 higher last year, averaging $919 per month, but demand still soared, with North Texas leading the nation in apartment rentals, and vacancies at a 13-year low, according to new real estate research from Zillow and MPF Research.

The increased rent translated to an extra $600 million paid to landlords last year, Zillow reported. For North Texans, that meant a median increase of $35 a month, higher than the nationwide rate of $26.

Rising rents are nothing new, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” he said. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.”

For 2015, expect more of the same.

(more…)

Photo courtesy Creative Commons from Flickr user Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

Photo courtesy Creative Commons license from Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

As we see strong job growth in North Texas, and housing inventory remaining low, it follows that office vacancies should be affected by economic conditions in the area.

A new report issued by Cushman & Wakefield confirms this, stating that only 16 percent of DFW’s office space was empty at the end of 2014. This is the lowest vacancy rate in over a decade.

The lowest level of vacancies was found in North Dallas, averaging less than 9 percent during the year.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report says DFW had the highest net leasing in more than 15 years during 2014, translating to about 5 million square feet of office space rented.

There’s plenty of room for more growth: area developers are currently building more than 6 million square feet of office space, which is the largest volume in North Texas since the 1990s. Much of it is happening at the CityLine development in Richardson. That master plan calls for more than 5 million square feet of office space, as well as 300,000 square feet of retail, and 4,000 residential units.

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Toyota logo

Happy New Year! Steve Brown posted his year end wrap of Dallas real estate, residential and commercial, calling it one for the history books. Tis true: Dallas Real estate values are at their highest EVER, exceeding where we were even before the bubble. And he is right — this boom is fueled by the right stuff: jobs and population. We did not overbuild in Dallas during the boom. We did not over extend, thanks mostly to state laws that limit how much you can borrow against your homestead. So when the economy turned on — it was just about two years ago January when agents told me that  “a lightbulb had turned on”  — there was no stopping us except for one little bugaboo: inventory.

Steve says : “Construction cranes stretch from Uptown to Frisco.”

I would say even further north — Prosper is the new hot spot you will be hearing more of here on CandysDirt because we are in love and cannot wait to see what they do with Deion’s place. (If that house ever sells…) And then there’s Celina, just north, and it’s rocking. Spent a day at Light Farms which you will soon be hearing about as we are blown away: 3200 homes on the site of an old family farm that has become a veritable condo farm: tractors, gardens, mini farm plots, Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, a holistic food consultant and even a beekeeper! Here’s the way they describe it: ten minutes from downtown FRISCO.  Whoa, now that’s interesting. Oh the public schools — amazing! Here we go with Steve’s biggies and mine:  (more…)

CaseShiller Oct 2014

Graphic: The Dallas Morning News

So here’s the reason why a lot of Realtors, I do mean a lot, will be drinking Veuve Cliquot tonight: Dallas is one of the top five markets in the country for home price increases, according to the folks at Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller.

The numbers from October home sales are in, and Dallas home prices rose 7.6 percent in October from the same month in 2013. Makes me kind of proud we are right up there with Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas — the only cities with higher price appreciation than us.

The October appreciation was almost identical to the annual increase we saw in September,  7.4 percent.

“We are seeing hints that prices could end 2014 on a strong note and accelerate into 2015,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “Two months ago, all 20 cities were experiencing weakening annual price increases.

“This time, 12 cities had weaker annual price growth, but eight saw the pace of price gains pick up,” he said. “Seasonally adjusted, all 20 cities had higher prices than a month ago.”

And you may need a sip or two of bubbly to comprehend this fact : Dallas-area home prices are 13 percent higher NOW than they were before the recession hit. That’s right, we have out-bubbled the bubble.

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4326 Lorraine

Back in the fall a few real estate pros said, “this is the peak”.

Were they right?

Take 4236 Lorraine Avenue, one of my favorite Highland Park homes originally built for Tim Headington, but bought and remodelled by Al Hill who brought in Elizabeth Robertson to completely renovate. The 14-year-old mansion was designed by  architect Patrick Ford. Originally the home was listed at $6.4 million. Then that real estate dynamo Caroline Summers of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s got the listing and worked it, worked it, worked it.

The home, which is stunning, closed October 24 for $5.7 million. The 6,574-square-foot Mediterranean home in Highland Park sold for $867 per square foot, not too shabby.

And Caroline tells the Dallas Business Journal that she has been involved with three $5 million plus deals in Highland Park just since November.

“In the past 400 days, all of the sudden, the market has turned into a frenzy. This has been a phenomenal year.”

No kidding. (more…)