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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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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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Troy Aikman's home on Normandy in Highland Park went up in price within the first week on MLS, showing strong demand in the luxury market. (Photos: Shoot2Sell

Troy Aikman’s home on Normandy in Highland Park went up in price within the first week on MLS, showing strong demand in the luxury market. (Photos: Shoot2Sell)

I find it so interesting that just after our boy Troy Aikman upped the price on his Highland Park abode by 12 percent, CoreLogic released its HPI saying home prices are up 6.1 percent year-over-year from October 2013 and 0.5 percent from September to October 2014 nationwide.

In Texas, though, our market is seeing record gains that, while slower than last year, still show moderate growth. The Lone Star State is among four other states to post year-over-year gains with an HPI 8.7 percent higher in Oct. 2014 from a year ago including distressed sales, and 8.1 percent higher without distressed sales.

“Home price growth is moderating as we head into the late fall and is currently running at half the pace it was in the spring of 2014,” said CoreLogic deputy chief economist Sam Khater. “However, there are still pockets of strength, especially in several Texas markets, as well as Seattle, Denver, and other markets with strong economic fundamentals.”

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New House under Construction

Recent reports show that new home sales are at their highest since 2008, while prices of existing homes are up year-over-year.

New home sales are up 17 percent from the same time last year, according to Residential Strategies, and new home starts are up 11.4 percent, too, at 6,511. Builders are trying to keep up with demand while also trying to keep new homes affordable for buyers, according to a story from Steve Brown:

“Start activity remains strong as builders maintain healthy sales backlogs and are working to reestablish depleted speculative inventory,” Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson said in the report. “Robust job formation, in combination with tight housing inventories, has kept builders optimistic about sustained new housing demand.”

Rising new home prices have caused a slowdown in sales for some buyers.

Since 2007 the median price of a new home in North Texas has increased $69,000 – 33 percent – to $275,000.

“Affordability continues to be a primary concern for new home builders,” Wilson said.

“Many are anticipating that at some point down the road, interest rates will increase, and they want to ensure that their housing prices are still within reach of the consumer.”

Additionally, a new report from CoreLogic shows that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area is posting an 8.5 percent increase in home price appreciation according to the firm’s most recent HPI.

“Home prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly, across most of the U.S., ” said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Major Metropolitan Areas such as Riverside and Los Angeles, California, and Houston continue to lead the way with strong price gains buoyed by tight supplies and a gradual rebound in economic activity.”

In Texas, that means we’re holding steady at our return-to-peak price levels, with no major increases. With new home construction up, a positive outlook for investors in several niche markets, and with prices still on the rise, are you optimistic about the Dallas/Fort Worth real estate market going into Q4 2014?

CoreLogic HPI Jan 14

CoreLogic’s newest HPI report released today showed that Texas real estate professionals have good reason to blame their busy days on the hot market. Home prices in Texas are at new highs (yes, higher than pre-bubble manic market highs!), with January 2014 up 10.1 percent over a year ago, and home prices up 1.2 percent from Dec. 2013 (numbers include distressed sales).

In the Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA, home prices are up 12.2 percent year-over-year including distressed sales, and up 10.4 percent excluding distressed sales. National numbers show home prices up 12 percent year over year for January. This is the 23rd consecutive month that home prices have increased, and Texas is one of only three states that has reached a new peak in home prices after the housing bust. And despite near-record appreciation, Nevada is still 40.1 percent below peak prices, CoreLogic’s report showed. Incredible.

“Polar vortices and a string of snow storms did not manage to weaken house price appreciation in January,” said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming. “The last time January month-over-month and year-over-year price appreciation was this strong was at the height of the housing bubble in 2006.”

So, winter didn’t slow Dallas down, and we’re looking at a brisk spring selling season ahead. Still, real estate prices are a hyper-local economy, and while some areas are seeing hand-over-fist sales and appreciation (we’re looking at you, Lake Highlands and University Park) some areas will only see more modest gains. The key, of course, is pricing a home correctly and being flexible.

Where are you seeing break-neck appreciation and sales pace?

Dallas Housing Prices Go up

According to the most recent report from CoreLogic, the Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA ranked seventh in year-over-year home price growth among the 100 statistical areas the firm measures in its Housing Price Index with a 9.4 percent increase in prices (excluding distressed sales) through the year ending in December 2013.

Houston, which ranked sixth, showed a 10.7 percent increase in prices YoY. Leading the pack was the East Los Angeles suburban MSA of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

CoreLogic’s report showed some pretty optimistic predictions for 2014, saying that home prices, excluding distressed sales, should rise 9.4 percent over the next year, or 10.2 percent overall. That’s a decline from 2013 numbers, which had 11 percent growth in home prices nationwide. Still, national housing prices are 18 percent below their August 2006 peak.

“Last year, home prices rose 11 percent, the highest rate of annual increase since 2005, and 10 states and the District of Columbia reached all-time price peaks,”said CoreLogic chief economist Dr. Mark Fleming. “We expect the rising prices to attract more sellers, unlocking this pent-up supply, which will have a moderating effect on prices in 2014.”

Goodness knows we could use some of that moderating effect in Dallas, where investors have bought up many of the homes usually purchased by first-time homebuyers, and the prices of single-family homes are keeping younger buyers out of the market.

Spoken For

It’s official: According to the latest numbers from CoreLogic, the Dallas-area real estate market is fully recovered from the recession and housing bubble. Dallas real estate prices are up 9.7 percent according to the CoreLogic HPI report.

Nationally, prices are up 12 percent year-over-year, too, the report showed, showing that regions across the U.S. are making great strides. It’s the 19th straight month that the housing market has showed gains.

“U.S. home prices continued their ascent in September. Average home prices in nearly half the states are now within striking distance of their pre-downturn pricing peaks,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We are seeing a slowdown in the rate of price appreciation over the past few months from the rapid pace experienced over the first half of this year. This deceleration is natural and should help keep market fundamentals in balance over the longer-term.”

Let’s juxtapose that great news (and it is great!) with some less-than-stellar reports from the National Association of Realtors. According to the NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, fewer people are poised to buy homes. The index fell for the fourth month in a row this past September, down 5.6 percent. It was a shock to economists who had forecasted a slight increase.

It’s been attributed to the rise in mortgage rates and an increase in prices in some markets, as well as the shrinking middle class income.

Does the NAR report affect your optimism about the Dallas real estate market?

corelist.jpgOct 2013You know why I like the folks at CoreLogic, right, and why I put more weight in their real estate reports than I do the lovelies at Case-Shiller? CoreLogic filters out distressed sales in its reports, which is important. So it’s like that old Paine-Webber commercial: when CoreLogic talks, I listen.

And the Irvine, CA based company says nationwide home prices rose 12.4 percent in August from a year earlier. Dallas-area home prices were up just over 10 percent in the latest comparison. The study compared August, 2013 home prices with where they were a year ago.

Looking back, there has been cooling off as the rate of home price growth slowed between July and August. This could mean moderation in the hot housing market.

“We anticipate moderate gains in home prices over the balance of this year, supported by the recent downward trend in rates and continued tight supplies of homes in many markets,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Shocker: the biggest August price increases were in Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., up 23.4 percent, and Los Angeles, up 22.5 percent. And lookie there at Phoenix-Mesa. I just interviewed a major broker in Phoenix, Walt Danley, owner and CEO of Walt Danley Real Estate in Phoenix and Scottsdale. He told me prices are perking back up, 12 to 15% from that bottom, which pretty much correlates with the non-distressed side of the chart above.

“There is no doubt that at the peak, we were overvalued, and at the trough, we were undervalued,” he says. “Which mean our prices now are getting to the RIGHT values.”

Phoenix home prices are up 8% year over year, says Danley,  a slow, gradual trend translating to a point to a half point per month on a square foot basis. Paradise Valley, which is in-between Scottsdale and Phoenix, is Arizona’s most affluent neighborhood and Danley told me of an interesting phenomenon there: snowbirds and pre-retirees buying homes now to lease for a few years, before they settle into them as permanent retirement homes.

And oh my word: here’s a Paradise Valley listing with a Lazy River AND putting green right in the back yard. 10,000 plus square feet, five bedrooms, six baths, a fireplace in the kitchen and breakfast room, open floor plan, telescoping walls of glass open to the outdoors and views of Mummy Mountain.  There’ s a library/office,  game room, theater, and onyx wet bar. Now this is a master suite: its own exercise room, furniture grade cabinetry and luxurious spa-inspired bathroom.  The backyard has a lazy river pool, two spas, two barbecue areas, and numerous private patios. I think there’s also two kitchens. This home will set you back $5,750,000 in Paradise Valley, but jeeze louise, look at what all you get? Psst: It’s empty!Paradise Valley overview Paradise Valley 1 Paradise valley 2 Paradise Valley family room Paradise Valley FR 2 Paradise Valley lazy river & slide Paradise valley master bath Paradise Valley theater