Dallas hasn’t been a great high-rise condo town when compared to other cities. It seems like Dallas builds a lot of high-rises that come online the day before there’s a huge recession. Many old-timers connect high-rises with recessions as financially troubled properties hit the skids when storm clouds circle. Their touchpoint is the 1980s S&L scandal-driven recession that hit Texas unmercifully hard.

And while it’s true that high-rises took a bigger hit even in the latest recession, the difference was single-digit. And when the economy came back to life, so did high-rises – often with a vengeance. One Turtle Creek high-rise is trading at triple its recession low.  Even had I not renovated my lowly Athena condo, it would have still risen by 75 percent in the six years I owned it.

This is all to say that condos are pretty much as resilient as single-family. Which is good considering Dallas, like the rest of the planet, is becoming more urban. In 2015, the US Census reported that on average, 62.7 percent of US residents lived in cities with Texas reporting 65 to 75 percent urbanization. The Census further reports that 39 percent of Texans live in its top 20 cities – in a state with 41 cities over 100,000 residents. The United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects say 82 percent of US residents live in urban areas. While there is a 20-point disparity here, likely driven by definitions of “urban,” it’s still a lot.

We all know Texas, and specifically Dallas, is growing rapidly – Texas is one of nine states that account for half of the US population. We also know that a lot of our new arrivals come from markets that are more high-rise markets – e.g. California and New York – and their money goes further in Texas.

What do high-rise buyers have to buy?  Not a lot…

If you total up all the high-rise condos (buildings above 12 stories) for sale at this minute in downtown, Uptown, Victory Park and Turtle Creek, there are 133 by my count.  There are an additional 11 under contract. For reference, The Warrington at 3831 Turtle Creek has 132 units in total. That’s right, the sum total of high-rise buyers’ options would all fit inside one building.

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…and you still happily shop here.

One of life’s joys is the “I told you so,” because it is so often precluded by a period of scorn and disbelief. Last week I had a bumper crop, but let’s talk about Amazon’s HQ2.

You remember that? The corporate welfare pageant where municipalities fell over themselves, checkbooks flailing in the breeze, trying to lure Amazon to places its corporate relocation team had already picked? Yeah, that.

The Metroplex was one of those entries, and we even made it past the first culling before being sent home roseless, our taxpayer checkbook tucked firmly between our legs. New York may have kicked them out, but Amazon continues to hire there, albeit fewer than the 25,000 expected from their half of HQ2. Amazon wanted a presence in New York regardless of the freebies.

On the other hand, Virginia, happy to accept the Amazon bouquet, has seen home prices surge by 17 percent while property owners hoping for more, have caused new listings to crater – one zip code near HQ2 saw an 85.3 percent decrease in new listings. This has essentially frozen the market and caused property tax bills to swell.  Everyone’s expecting that once hiring picks up with HQ2, the lid will be blown off valuations. The same thing is playing out in the rental market especially in areas with the lowest rents as REITs and investors move in.

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Dallas

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

With a mayoral and city council election still rather close in the rearview mirror, a recent WalletHub study into the best and worst run cities in the country — and where Dallas falls on that list — highlights some of the issues that drove at least a few people to the polls twice.

The study, which was released earlier this month, sought to measure the effectiveness of local leadership by focusing on how efficiently a city was run.

“In other words, we can learn how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget,” the report explained.

WalletHub compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities, constructing a “quality of services” score comprised of 37 benchmarks grouped into six service categories, which were then measured against the city’s per-capita budget.

Source: WalletHub

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purplebricksFlat-fee brokerage Purplebricks pulls out of the U.S. market, we have May housing numbers for Texas, and we find out what Dallas-Fort Worth town was named to a list of the 34 richest towns in the U.S. – all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Purplebricks Hits the Bricks, Leaves U.S. Market

Less than two years after entering the U.S. market via Los Angeles, U.K.-based Purplebricks announced it would leave the market.

The flat-fee brokerage struggled as of late in its expansion, reporting a full-year operating loss of 34.1 million pounds (or roughly $43 million), Inman reported. It had previously announced this Spring that it was shutting down in Australia as well. (more…)

Five of the top 25 cities for home value appreciation are in Texas, but where does Dallas fall? Where does the state fall when it comes to affordability? And how many Texans (and Dallasites) can afford the median home price?
We have all this in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Texas Leads Pack in Home Value Appreciation — Where Is Dallas?

An analysis by Forbes revealed that of the top 25 cities in the country where home values are still rising, five are in Texas. (more…)

Trendmaker

Trendmaker Homes named Bruce French vice president of land acquisition and development in its newest homebuilding division in Dallas-Fort Worth, the company announced.

Trendmaker is a member of the TRI Pointe Group family of regional homebuilders. French joined the company on May 6 and brings nearly four decades of experience to the job. (more…)

Dallas-Fort Worth

Illustration courtesy Flickr

Dallas-Fort Worth is at the top of a list ranking the best cities for science, technology, engineering, and math jobs, the new home market is percolating in DFW, and we find out where North Texas falls in a look at underwater mortgages and home equity, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas-Fort Worth Tops List of Best Cities for STEM Jobs

Dallas-Fort Worth took the top spot nationally in a ranking of best cities for STEM jobs, AEI Housing Center announced last week. (more…)

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…)