Do you know what North Texas city has the highest rent, and which has seen the biggest year-over-year increases? Who has the longer commute — Dallas or Fort Worth? Where are foreign buyers moving to in the U.S.? We’ll find out all that and more in this week’s real estate news roundup.
WHICH CITY HAS THE HIGHEST RENTS IN NORTH TEXAS?
Rents in North Texas continued to rise in July in most cases, but the biggest bumps in rents came in the Permian Basin, RENTCafe’s monthly apartment market report revealed.
In Dallas, average rent on a two-bedroom apartment was $1,356, a month-over-month increase of 0.4 percent and year-over-year of 4.5 percent. The average rent overall for apartments in the city was $1,117, a year-over-year increase of 3.4 percent.
In Fort Worth, the average two-bedroom apartment rented for $1,175, a month-over-month increase of 0.2 percent, and year-over-year of 3.3 percent. Average overall rent was $1,068, with a YOY increase of 3.1 percent.
Where was the most expensive rent for a two-bedroom apartment in North Texas? Frisco came in at $1,523 in July, a YOY increase of 0.2 percent. Who had the biggest YOY increase for a two-bedroom apartment? Arlington’s YOY increase was 4 percent (rent was $1,103).
But those increases pale in comparison to Midland and Odessa. In Midland, average monthly rent was 1,615, a YOY increase of 36.1 percent. In Odessa, average overall rent was $1,354 in July, with a YOY of 34.3 percent.
WHO GETS TO WORK FASTER — DALLAS OR FORT WORTH?
How long does it take you on average to get to work? HomeArea.com compiled a list based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for all Texas cities with a population greater than 60,000, and the results might surprise you.
“The Texas average travel time to work from the latest estimates is 26.5 and has risen 0.7 percent from 26.3,” the report (which calculates the percentage of time spent commuting) said. Lubbock became the city with the fastest commute this year (at 16.3 percent of the average resident’s day spent commuting), and Waco ranked for the first time (at No. 2 with 18.2 percent).
But how did North Texas do? Richardson is the first city to make the list at No. 8, with 24.6 percent. Next is Irving, at No. 11, with 26.1 percent. Dallas, Plano, and Arlington were 12, 13 and 14 — at 26.7 percent, 26.8 percent, and 27.3 percent, respectively.
Fort Worth came in 16th with residents spending 27.9 percent of their days in their cars. But perhaps the most surprising is Garland’s last place finish, with residents spending 29.5 percent of their day commuting.
NAR SURVEY: TEXAS COMES IN THIRD FOR FOREIGN BUYER DESTINATIONS
Almost half of all foreign real estate buyers in the U.S. purchase in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York, an annual report by the National Association of Realtors revealed.
While Florida is the top destination for foreign buyers (accounting for 19 percent of real estate purchases), and California is still second at 14 percent, Texas still remains a destination for foreign buyers, although the state’s share decreased from 12 percent to 9 percent from 2017 to 2018.
“Canadian buyers typically purchase properties for use as vacation homes, so they tend to locate in states with warm climates and resort areas,” the report said, adding that 62 percent of Canadian buyers purchase in Florida, Arizona, or California.
Chinese buyers (more than 30 percent) buy in California, but Texas is also a major destination. .
“Chinese foreign buyers were the most likely to purchase homes for a student studying in the United States (seven percent of Chinese buyers), so areas with good universities are attractive to Chinese buyers,” the report said.
Texas continues to be a big draw for buyers from Mexico, with 62 percent of Mexican buyers purchasing property to live in — not for an investment or vacation home.
J.D. POWER SURVEY REVEALS CONCERNING STATISTIC FOR REALTORS
As we discussed last week, discussion about Realtors and commissions continue to spur debate. But last week, J.D. Power’s 2018 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study revealed a potentially concerning statistic for realtors.
The company only releases the results of its surveys to subscribers, but in a press release, Senior Director of Financial Services Craig Martin said that overall, Realtors are getting high marks for their service.
“Real estate firms are recognizing that their value proposition has shifted from that of information broker to trusted advisor; as a result, we’re seeing increases in customer satisfaction in each of the segments of home buyers and sellers,” said Martin said. “The challenge for these companies is to consistently demonstrate and communicate the value to current and potential customers. Those who ensure trust and understanding are at the center of their client and customer strategies will truly differentiate from both traditional competition and those attempting to disrupt the industry.”
But the same survey also revealed that experienced home buyers and sellers are beginning to ix-nay the Realtor.
“A significant majority (88%) of home buyers are beginning their search for a new home before selecting an agent,” the release said. “Also, 19% of repeat buyers, 14% of repeat sellers, 13% of first-time buyers and 9% of first-time sellers did not use an agent to buy/sell their home, a number that has grown steadily during the past two years.”
The other thing that helped more sellers and buyers find their Realtor? Social media.
“Nearly half (47%) of buyers and 55% of sellers indicate using social media to find agents,” the statement said.
The survey also found that 44 percent of first-time sellers surveyed said their No. 1 reason for selecting a real estate firm was reputation — 39 percent of first-time buyers said the same thing. That reputation outweighed personal recommendations and past experience with other Realtors.
“Among both buyers and sellers, overall satisfaction scores are roughly 100 points higher when agents provide timely responses to questions; keep customers informed of key points in the transaction; and share comparable properties,” the press release said.