So we know what the experts say — expect 2017 to be a more “normal” real estate market in North Texas and across the nation, with continued softness at the luxury level. Recall it was just in September that Starlight Capital chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht said you couldn’t give away homes in the rich community of Greenwich, Ct — what he calls the “worst real estate market in the United States”:
“You can’t give away a house in Greenwich,” Sternlicht said Tuesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.
The town — about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of midtown Manhattan and home to some of the country’s largest hedge funds — is seeing a pile-up of houses on the market and prices that are faltering as properties linger. Home sales in the second quarter fell 18 percent from a year earlier to 169 deals, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
At the same time, new listings surged 27 percent. The absorption period, or the time it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the current pace, was 12 months, compared with 7.7 months a year earlier, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.
Greenwich is hurting because the luxury home market is soft. But it’s a totally different story at the other end of the spectrum, the market for affordable homes. North Texas is still so chock full of affordable housing, the folks at Realtor.com crowned us the most searched zip code of the year.
So, as it turns out, deep in the heart of Texas lies serious love for this humble site on behalf of hungry home searchers. The 10 most popular ZIPs of 2016 all hail from the state, and 18 of the top 20 ZIPs are from the biggest state in the lower 48.
I’m even quoted! But hey, we owe a whole lot to these two for boosting North Texas real estate in 2016:
Of course we know that Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” have transformed Waco’s brand from that of wacko central, the buckle of the Bible Belt, to chic house flip central. Talk about the power of HGTV. If anyone recalls, Waco is where David Koresh and his Branch Davidians holed up at Mount Carmel Center in 1993 and held off the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for 51 days before the compound ended in flames. More than 75 members of the sect, including children and their leader, Koresh, perished along with four ATF agents. (Has anyone ever done a story on what his many offspring are doing?)
In 2016, it was three Waco zip codes that were the most searched for real estate buying & flipping on Realtor.com. David who?
Looking at the other hot zips on that list, we see the mid cities area is attractive in Hurst, just south of Coppell, Bedford, Arlington, and then the hot pocket around 35E and 635 from Dallas to Carrollton, where new homes are going up fast as they can be constructed. The eastern edge of Plano is very hot, as we know, from Coit to Central, Park to Legacy skirting Central. Farmer’s Branch actually pays people to tear down homes and is one of the fastest-growing residential communities as buyers shun the city limits of Dallas for surrounding suburbs.