Recent studies show more interest in suburban living over urban.

For years we have been hearing that it’s all about urbanization: everyone is moving into the city core, desiring higher density housing like apartments and condos, Millennials and Baby Boomers alike. The high life! 

Certainly if you are leading or running a large city like Dallas, the chart to the right might want to make you slug Scotch. Dallas, as in City of Dallas, is losing population just as San Francisco, New York, and Chicago are.

Why? Why is Dallas, smack in the center of business-friendly Texas, with average home prices up but still not out of reach, on this death-spiraling list?

Dallas Isn’t Immune

We know that the over-priced real estate market in San Francisco — average home price is about $1 million — plus the homeless and constricting building laws (hello, it’s California) is starting to rub on even the most faithful Bay-area residents. 

Chicago, my beloved hometown: overpriced real estate, crime, so much corruption I almost cannot remember when we didn’t have a governor who went to jail. 

New York City: My favorite place on earth for a week, but who can afford to live there without a bottom income of $200K annually?

But why Dallas? My take — and I’d love to hear yours — is past weak leadership and corruption that weakened our police force, a reputation for poor public schools that is not at all deserved, and crime. Couple that with relatively cheap gas prices that make the extra five to 10 miles of commute more manageable, more people working remotely, and more jobs actually in the suburbs, Dallas is toast:

The new census statistics provide estimates for city populations annually between 2010 and 2018. They show that the average annual growth for the nation’s 87 cities with populations over a quarter million have slipped to 0.69% in 2017-2018—down from 0.76% the previous year, and from 1.21% in 2011-2012, the highest average growth since the Great Recession. Among the 87 largest metros, 66 exhibited lower growth in the last year than in 2011-2012. Among the 87 largest metros, 66 exhibited lower growth in the last year than in 2011-2012 (download Table A).

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commutes
From staff reports

As affordable housing becomes dearer in urban areas, and the workforce gets pushed out of the urban core, commutes increase, a new study from Apartment List found.

The number of workers who commute 90 minutes or more each way grew by 32 percent nationally from 2005 to 2017, more than triple the 9 percent growth rate for workers with commutes shorter than an hour and a half.

Apartment List took a look at data at the county level, and found that while so-called super-commuting (commutes that are longer than 90 minutes each way) has grown in middle-class, it’s also common among low-income workers who rely on public transit.

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homebuyersSo you are mulling over putting your home on the market, but you know it could use some updating. What do you spend your money on, and what can you hold off on? Turns out, some things that homebuyers find turn them off can cost you thousands, so making good choices can make the difference in how much you end up getting for your home.

It’s also important to know what is trending style-wise, too. For instance, furniture maker Joybird found that when it comes to interior design, the top three searches in Texas were vintage, industrial, and rustic.

Joybird

What else do homebuyers want? Laundry rooms, energy-saving features, and more green home certifications, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey. Homebuyers also wanted more storage, hardwood flooring, patios, and exterior lighting.

In Dallas, Opendoor crunched the numbers and found exactly what is turning area homebuyers off — call it a road map of sorts on pre-gaming that decision to list. 

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housingWhile across the country approved housing permits remain about 38 percent below pre-recession peaks, Dallas is chugging along, despite certain conditions hampering a more robust effort. 

In the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, about 5.9 new housing units per 1,000 residents were permitted in Dallas from 2008 to 2018, making the area seventh among the 50 largest U.S. metros, a new study from Apartment List released this week found. In that same time frame, DFW added 8.3 jobs per 1,000 residents, ranking eighth. Just shy of one-and-a-half jobs were added for every new housing unit, indicating at least close to a balance between supply and demand. 

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baby chasers

Photo courtesy Pixabay

It may not be a new phenomenon exactly, but grandparents making big moves to be closer to grandchildren have a relatively new term — “baby chasers.”

In fact, real estate research firm Meyers Research recently released its Meyers Baby Chaser Index, which indicates that 25 percent of Baby Boomers will likely retire to be near their grandchildren, even if it requires a state switch.

Dallas, the firm said, was at the top of the list, along with Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin; and Nashville, Tennessee. “Dallas’ growth decelerated in the latest data for both age groups but remains among the highest in the country,” Meyers said. (more…)

I’d always envisioned the opening line to this story would be, “When I first met Robert Blackman …” but I never did because I didn’t need to.

Robert Blackman is with Solvent Realty Group, a flat-fee brokerage who charged me $495 to sell my home – flat. As you may recall, it was under contract in a week with the first couple who saw it. Last Tuesday, the transaction closed with nary a hitch.

Happy? Yes. Is it for everyone? No.

I decided to go with a flat-fee brokerage for many reasons. Of course, I wanted to save money on agent fees – and I did.  But I also had good personal knowledge of the market and the right product to sell.  Let’s walk through the steps.

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new buyers

While the housing market might be lightly tapping the brakes as of late, a new report found that a wave of new buyers is coming — although how robustly they arrive will vary from city to city.

While there was an impressive wave of first-time home buyers over the last decade, Zillow did the math and found that in the next 10 years, an extra 3.11 million people will be at that prime first-time buyer age — 34.

“From 2019 through 2028, 44.9 million people will turn 34, the median age of current first-time home buyers,” Zillow said. “That’s an increase of 7.4 percent from the past 10 years, when 41.8 million people passed that threshold.”

Now, sure, not all of these prospective new buyers will actually be clamoring to buy homes when they hit their mid-thirties, that huge influx in potential buyers will definitely have an impact on the market.  The largest three-year generational group in the U.S. right now is only 24 to 26 years old — which means that the increased strength of their potential buying power has not been realized yet.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s estimated the metro area will see about a 3.1 percent increase in potential homebuyers in that age range. Other major metros in Texas will also see increases — Austin and San Antonio well each see an estimated 14.2 percent increase, while Houston will see a 6.1 percent increase. (more…)

zip code

Illustration courtesy PxHere

From staff reports

If you want to sell your house in less than a week, you might want to live in the zip codes for Euless, Lancaster, Irving, or Balch Springs, new data from iBuying start-up OpenDoor revealed.

The hottest zip codes were gleaned from data from the first three months of 2019 and have given the real estate company a good indication of the areas they think will be most attractive to buyers this summer. (more…)