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We talk about the impact of rising home prices all the time, but that’s only half the affordable housing story. Across the country, rents in suburban areas also show dramatic increases over the last year, with no signs of stopping.

A recent study from RentCafe shows that while urban Dallas continued to post fairly consistent rent increases in 2016 (5.9 percent), the farther you travel away from the city, the greater the hikes renters experienced. In Dallas proper, rental housing remains relatively affordable when compared to the rest of the Metroplex (and the country, as a whole). We have all that apartment construction to thank for that. More than 6,000 new apartment units became available in 2016, alone.

But in Fort Worth, where apartment inventory has stagnated, rents grew 6.3 percent over 12 months. And that’s nothing compared to areas like Weatherford and Midlothian where rent skyrocketed over 10 percent in 2016.

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Klyde Warren Park during the Arts District Block Party June 20.

Hundreds of people flock to Klyde Warren Park during the Dallas Arts District Block Party June 20.

We know that North Texas’ strong and growing job market keeps people flocking to our metro area, and that population increase, along with corporate relocations and an attractive business environment, is driving our local economy. It’s driving up housing demand and home prices, too.

So we’re not surprised to hear that the U.S. Metro Economies report ranks the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area as one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. “Booming,” by their estimates. The North Texas area ranks No. 6 in the nation with a Gross Metropolitan Product of $440.1 billion in 2013. The news, which was announced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors by analysts IHS Global Insight, has everyone buzzing about our fair burg. And for good reason.

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Corelogic Housing-market-map May 2013We have been telling you this for months now: home prices around North Texas have never been higher. Sales of pre-owned home in the first half of 2013 are running more than 20 percent higher than in the same period of 2012. In fact, that is a new North Texas sales record for a single six-month period.

Deja vue 2006!

Steve Brown says, and I agree, that some Dallas neighborhoods are experiencing the largest home price gains this area has seen since the early 1980s. Park Cities would be one, Lakewood two, Bluffview three, Preston Hollow four, and Frisco, yes Frisco, five.

And it looks like prices will continue to rise, at least until next year, even with creeping mortgage rates that mostly affect home sales below a million. Why is our market doing so well while others are not?

Jobs and our strong Texas economy.

“The increase of sales we are seeing is a pure function of economics,” said Ted Jones, chief economist for Stewart Title Co. “This is not false hopes.”

When people move into an area, they need a place to live. D/FW created 104,600 new jobs in the last 12 months, said Jones, which led to 34,720 residential building permits being issued. Jones also says we could have built twice as many home and apartments and still not overbuilt this market.

That’s because we have a shortage of homes for sale. Builders froze during the deep recession, and financing was scarce. Which has led to our dwindling home inventory: 1.5 to 3 month supplies of homes for sale. Normal is considered 6 months.

And according to Core-Logic, WE are back to our pre-2006 price value levels. That means that if you purchased your home at the tip top of the market in 2006, your values have more or less inched back up there, depending, of course, on the condition of your home. Interesting to see that even the pricey highly sought markets like San Francisco and Boston, have still not reached 2006 levels. But Dallas Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Dakota are back to 2006 levels while every other state is in the negative, still!

All this makes people here feel more secure. Rich, even. And it spurs some people to sell.

If folks are selling in higher priced states and moving here, they almost have an “O” when they see what all their money can buy. James Gaines over at Texas A&M says our advantage is and always has been our reasonably priced homes:

“Texas enjoys a comparative housing advantage to other high-growth states,” said James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Prices here are significantly below those in other states that people are now leaving.”

The median Dallas pre-owned sales price is now close to $186,000. The median cost of a home in Frisco is a sweet spot of about $280,000 to $300,000, a community where most transplants settle. A whole world of outsiders is moving there, says Redfin agent Connie Durnal, who specializes in Frisco sales. They do their research on the web and they land on Frisco.

“It has proximity to downtown Dallas and D/FW, the infrastructure, the schools, ” says Durnal. “You can buy a home in Frisco for $125,000 or pay over a million dollars.”

Transplants from other more congested parts of the U.S. don’t fret over the commute to downtown Dallas, says Connie. Some may be more interested in D/FW than downtown, like the pilot she just helped snag a home in Little Elm.

Yes, even Little Elm is hot again.

4815 Royal lane ext frontAs for the luxury market, it’s cooking, too, if homes are well-priced and attractive. Let’s look at 4815 Royal Lane as a great example. I loved this house so much when I wrote about it, it truly reminds me of the “Home Alone” house. It is on Royal Lane, true, but the setback and generous lot more than make up for any busy street negativity. The 6871 square foot home was built in 1985 but, like Demi Moore, was kept up beautifully and very open to younger lovers owners. The walk-in master closet rivals those I’ve seen in $10 million dollar homes. Originally listed at $1,695,000, Doris Jacobs just sold it for $1.460,000. Perfect example, this home.

That, my dear readers, is the story of Dallas luxury real estate, at least this week!4815 Royal Lane kitchen 4815 Royal lane study 4815 Royal LR 4815 Royal pool

 

 

Rangers Fans After World Series

 

 

(Photo: The Dallas Morning News)

Today’s the home opener for your Texas Rangers. We go as a family every year, but I have to tell you — I hate the drive. I hate driving to Arlington. Interstate 30 is always a parking lot from Arlington to Grand Prairie, sometimes even to Hampton Road. Driving to and from sporting events is a huge nightmare.

Until mass transit to Arlington makes the trip to see our favorite baseball franchise less headache-inducing, perhaps the hubby and I should consider buying a townhome within walking distance to Rangers Ballpark?

Check out a few great options for second homes that are close to clutch in Arlington, Texas, at Second Shelters!

Rangers Fans After World Series

 

 

(Photo: The Dallas Morning News)

Today’s the home opener for your Texas Rangers. We go as a family every year, but I have to tell you — I hate the drive. I hate driving to Arlington. Interstate 30 is always a parking lot from Arlington to Grand Prairie, sometimes even to Hampton Road. Driving to and from sporting events is a huge nightmare.

Until mass transit to Arlington makes the trip to see our favorite baseball franchise less headache-inducing, perhaps the hubby and I should consider buying a townhome within walking distance to Rangers Ballpark?

Check out a few great options for second homes that are close to clutch in Arlington, Texas, at Second Shelters!

5108 Silver Lake Drive extIs it faster to get to DFW now from Plano over Dallas?

Last Thursday Ebby Halliday agent extraordinaire Cindy O’Gorman was in the national spotlight on  CNBC talking about our uber hot real estate market, focusing on Plano, though the spot was teased “we are going to go to Dallas.” Cindy is a mega producing agent — number 33 nationally on the Wall Street Journal’s list, and her group closed $143 million last year, mostly in the Plano/Bent Tree area. She’s got 105 plus listings on her site, mostly in Plano and Frisco, but a good bit on Flower Mound, Southlake, and Preston Hollow. Cindy told The Power House peeps you can get a pretty decent home in Plano for under $100 a square foot, with great schools to boot. Oh, don’t we know it?

Cindy on CNBC

The only thing I disagree with Cindy on is her estimate of how far Plano is from downtown Dallas, or even, let’s say, Preston Center. Cindy said Plano is 20 minutes from BOTH DFW and downtown Dallas. We just got back from the airport and right now, it’s a good 30 minutes to/from DFW from north Dallas traveling the mess that is LBJ. That is barring any traffic!

Cindy O Gorman

And I disagree that Plano is just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas, again because of the traffic. But Cindy may be right about getting to DFW in 20 minutes from Plano. I mean, I think you can get to Amarillo now faster than you can get to DFW from North Dallas on LBJ.

Here are the three listings Cindy chatted up on CNBC: 2800 Longtown Drive for $374,900, 5737 River Rock Lane at $549,900 and 6901 Crystal Falls at $750,000. I don’t know why she didn’t show this $1.299 million deal at 5108 Silver Lake Drive: they said everything’s bigger in Texas, and have you ever seen such a huge master shower? And do those front windows look like photos in an album to you, too?5108 Silver Lake Drive master bath 5108 Silver Lake Drive kitchen

 

Let the games begin! It’s the first ever Battle at the Bridges Feast & Tournament, sponsored by Centurion American and the development genius behind the company, Mehrdad Moayedi. In case you have not heard, he is the hottest developer in town, his company, Centurion American, buying up so many developments (The Stoneleigh, the land next door to Champ D’Or, The Courtyards at Normandy, etc.)  I have to keep an Exel spread just sheet to keep up with his acquisitions. His adorable wife tells me she looks for property bargains while driving car pool! Tonight, Wednesday June 20, Centurion offers an opportunity for local home builders to participate with a foursome representing their charity of choice to compete against rival DFW builders in a friendly scramble for The Battle at the Bridges trophy. The booty: complimentary green fees for 1 year to the Bridges Golf Club (great course) and a donation to the Charity of the winner’s choice.

Word is teams are signing up fast and Centurion expects reps from the top 50 DFW builders to tee off in the Battle.

Mehrdad’s vision is to offer a four man scramble golf tournament every year at his newly-acquired, Fred Couples designed golf course called The Bridges Golf Club located in The Bridges at Preston Crossings community in Gunter, TX about 30 miles north of Dallas. Builders, city reps, and community partners compete in a four man scramble with mulligan’s and games for the opportunity to be the Builder who wins the Battle at The Bridges. The event is a tournament and feast. Several local restaurants provide goodies, like Rudy’s BBQ in Frisco, Albertsons of DFW, and Daddy Rex BBQ of Anna. The awards dinner is by Addison’s Texas De Brazil.

Where, I ask, are the horses? Because Mehrdad’s latest acquisition is a 1580 acre development with an amazing equestrian center, a former private horse farm. (Cattle Barons was here twice and no cars got stuck in the mud.)  There’s the Fred Couples 18 hole golf course, a clubhouse, pool, 24 acre fishing lake, greenbelts and forests and yes this is all in Gunter, which is like a little Marble Falls (minus river) north of Prosper. Serious horse country: kiddos can come home from school when they live here and take riding lessons. (Sometimes they even offer FREE riding!)

Lots range from one-third to two full acres and get this pricing — don’t fall off your horse: $70,000 to $120,000.

 

 

 

 

 

I have not seen it yet, but I am heading there Friday. The Richwoods development in Frisco seems to be on everyone’s radar. It’s only 3 minutes to Highway 121, 4 minutes to the grocery store and 8 minutes to Stonebriar Mall. 121 George W. Bush, by the way, is my new favorite highway to get to DFW or I-30 lickety-split.

It’s a gated community with homes starting in the $300,000’s PLUS Frisco ISD, one of the most sought after school districts for families relocating to DFW. There is also a way cool $1 million dollar amenity center including a resort-style pool, fitness center, 10 sports fields and hike and bike trails-all in the master plan. Anyhoo, this info came from chit chat today with Realtor dynamo Myla Patton, while we were waiting in the Green Room. I’ll let you know what I think after I visit, but if you have any opinions on Richwood, let us know in the comments.

 Know what else I like about this place? The name. Reminds me of Richey Rich.

 

Update: I have this problem. I confuse 121 and George W. Bush in my head ALL THE TIME. I must be road dyslexic. My daughter, Cassie, is trying to drill the correct roads into my brain, alas, it’s not working!