New Single Fam Homes Selling, Sprouting in Dallas Real Estate, But Here’s the New Sweet Spot

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This week the Commerce Department reported that sales and prices of newly constructed single-family homes fell in August despite historically low mortgage rates. Reason: stagnant job market, lots of inventory, and fewer home builders out there churning dirt. We are at about 1970s home building activity, when interest rates were even higher! Last month new home sales slipped 2.3 percent.

Well, in Texas we are still building. And people are buying! Hillwood just announced breaking ground today on the final phase of Lexington Village in the 2,400 acre Twin Creeks residential community in Allen, Texas.  The last phase of the project provides 30 new lots with homes to be built by Sanders and Associates Custom Homes and priced from the $590’s. I was up at Jerry Jones’ Star Creek other day, off Stacy Road, the place is hopping and a gorgeous Darling Home that I admired was sold — $550k ish. Hmm. Must be the sweet spot.

And then, recall this Sale of the Week? Well, it’s sold. Jeff Dworkin of JLD CustomHomes says he cannot build this Prairie style home fast enough in Lakewood. He is churning them out, about to begin construction on another. Little Q&A with Jeff after I went through his amazing 2734 square foot home:

CD: So how long was this home on the market?

JD: Two weeks. I had 2 offers in 3 days.

CD: You are telling me one Realtor offered $15,000 below the list price — wow, why?

JD: They said it’s the norm in the production home community, but it’s not the norm in urban infill areas or tear downs.

CD: Well, they didn’t get it. Honestly, are there any builders left?

JD: There are fewer of us. HBA membership is at about 60% of what it was during the boom years.

CD: Belmont Homes is gone, Liz Newman is in Houston, Gregory & Sons are outa here, right.

JD: Right. Some left for family reasons but it’s just really hard to get financing. Banks want a clear track record and are ultra conservative. They prefer spec homes under $750k.

CD: And there’s a lot of builders cropping up I’ve never heard of! But I’m glad someone’s building! OK, so are building costs lower these days?

JD: Yes, for the most part. The cost of lumber (your number one expense) and concrete are down. Labor prices might actually be up because so many people have left the industry. Dirt’s less, interest rates are low.

CD: So it’s a good time to build?

JD: A great time to build

mm

Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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Comments

  1. John Hankins says

    Glad to see things are turning around. It definitely feels that way in the Lakewood area.

    Just to note, HBA membership being down isn't necessarily a bad thing. There were a lot of shoddy and unscrupulous builders out there during the real-estate boom, with former HBA President Liz Newman being one of the most prominent of them. It was satisfying to see her removed from her position in the HBA and that she's moved onto other things somewhere else.

    Hope the forward momentum continues!

  2. John Hankins says

    Glad to see things are turning around. It definitely feels that way in the Lakewood area.

    Just to note, HBA membership being down isn't necessarily a bad thing. There were a lot of shoddy and unscrupulous builders out there during the real-estate boom, with former HBA President Liz Newman being one of the most prominent of them. It was satisfying to see her removed from her position in the HBA and that she's moved onto other things somewhere else.

    Hope the forward momentum continues!

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