Turtle Creek Terrace doesn’t look as dilapidated as Lincoln claimed

After a long and winding road, Lincoln Property’s proposed Lincoln Katy Trail project was denied by city council (I assume they will re-apply). That project would have replaced the Turtle Creek Terrace condo complex. Today, Turtle Creek Terrace unit #168, located at 3203 Carlisle – the intersection of Oak Lawn and Uptown – was listed.

It’s a perfect illustration of my point that replacing 115 existing market-rate affordable housing units with 45 was a bad deal. This one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit has 824 square feet and is listed for $149,000 with Tyler Hagood from Small World Realty. Using basic mortgage tools, that breaks down into a monthly payment of approximately $925 assuming a 30-year mortgage or ~$1,250 for a 15 year payoff. These monthly costs include mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees.

According to Zillow calculators, using Dallas’ average household income of $54,727, a couple could afford a monthly payment of $1,629/month. Using the 80 percent average median income required for listed affordable housing ($43,781), this home is purchasable by someone earning just $42,000 – less than a qualified affordable unit.

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By Phil Crone
Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

 

 

Unlike prior years, 2019 will not be full steam ahead for our area’s housing market. The predicted return to normalcy after a run of several frenzied years will be hard to characterize with a broad brush (though many will try). While more nuanced and complicated than before, there will be no shortage of opportunities and no reason why we cannot continue to be the envy of the nation.

Looking ahead, here are four things to watch in the year to come and why they matter:

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saragosa

Builders of Hope CDC’s affordable condo project in the Bishop Arts District, the Saragosa (seen in the foreground), will make homeowners of Dallasites that might not otherwise be able to afford to enter the market (Photos courtesy 3D Immersion Tours).

[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2019! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]

As new construction of single-family homes continues to become more expensive, even existing homes in affordable price points can be as fine as hen’s teeth in high-demand areas like the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff. But one community development corporation is aiming to change that — starting with one condo development.

It’s been a steady refrain for almost a year among economists and builders — construction nationally isn’t getting any cheaper, with tariffs, skilled labor shortages, increases in land costs, and increased costs in construction materials. In February, it was almost certainly the consensus at an affordable housing conference at the Dallas Federal Reserve that one entire segment of new single-family home construction — homes priced less than $200,000 — had virtually disappeared from the market. A study in May of the area all but confirmed it. (more…)

affordableEarlier this week, we mentioned the October housing report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, which provided this interesting tidbit: While home sales may be slowing down in the higher price points, the most affordable price points are still doing robust business.

“The market for homes priced less than $200,000 remained the exception, where the MOI held at 2.8 months with constant pressure downward,” the report said. A balanced market, economists say, is closer to six months of inventory.

So for this week’s CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week, we thought we’d take a look at this price point, and what you can get for that.

This week, our homes range in price from $155,000 to $200,000. Which ones will you visit? (more…)

The US Census Bureau, along with researchers from Harvard and Brown universities, tracked the economic trajectories of 20 million children beginning in the mid-1980s (aged mid-30s today). The result is the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map that overlays multiple data points onto each of the 70,000 Census tracks in the country (a Census tract contains 4,200 people). Data tracked includes parental income level, race and gender along with incarceration rates.

The most interesting conclusions showed that while average neighborhood income is certainly a key indicator, neighborhoods with similar incomes, in close proximity, produced startlingly different outcomes for children. It’s here where I’ll say that while the data collected can be used by policymakers to influence spending and programs, there is no specific “eureka” that turns around the economic trajectories of a neighborhood’s children. Bethany Erickson already looked at this issue thoroughly, but there is more to be said about the numbers.

The major levers are neighborhood income (what I’ll call “hope”), two-parent households (familial stability), rates of incarceration (despair) and, of course, race and gender. What’s interesting is that easy conclusions can’t really be made. There’s a “secret sauce” at work.

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rents

From staff reports

Dallas rents are rising, but are still doing so at a rate below the national average, the December 2018 Dallas Rent Report from ApartmentList.com revealed today.

Year-over-year, Dallas rents have increased by 1.1 percent, with median rents at about $890 for a one-bedroom apartment, and $1,110 for a two-bedroom. That year-over-year growth is less than the state average of 1.4 percent and the national average of 1.3 percent.

In November, Dallas rents remained flat. (more…)

Did you know that Farmers Branch will actually pay you to tear down a home and rebuild?

When you are building a home, an extra $30,000 comes in handy, right? Very handy. That could cover carpet, extra landscaping, or your new decked-out refrigerator.

And $30,000 is about how much the City of Farmers Branch will pay — yes, I said PAY —  homeowners who buy the city’s aged housing stock, tear it down, and build anew through the city’s unique Demo/Rebuild program. The city offers a cash grant that is based on the value of the home you tear down; the grant edges higher for less expensive homes). Farmers Branch will also offer a discount on property taxes for a certain length of time, depending on how much the difference is between the two homes’ property tax appraisal. It’s really a taxpayer’s dream: an incentive program that actually puts taxpayer dollars back into the hands — and homes — of taxpayers. (more…)

Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam

Thanks to a new interactive tool, we now know what opportunity looks like in all areas of Dallas. And that tool confirms what many who follow income disparity have known all along — it frequently is manifest most in geography, where decades of policy have wrought pockets of opportunity gaps throughout the city.

The Opportunity Atlas is the result of work done by economist Raj Chetty, his Harvard colleagues, and Census Bureau’s Sonya Porter and Maggie Jones. It uses tax and U.S. Census data to track people’s incomes from one generation to the next.

What it found is that opportunity and income go hand-in-hand, and that in most if not all areas, blocks and neighborhoods don’t magically and suddenly become low income and low opportunity hot spots — they’ve been that way for years.

And more discouraging, children who grew up in those neighborhoods frequently reach adulthood and have families of their own, and make the same low wages their parents did.

“We’re excited that the Census Bureau can provide the public with access to social mobility estimates for the first time through the Opportunity Atlas,” said Ron Jarmin, Deputy Director, and Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Director of the Census Bureau. “The Atlas has great social significance because no one has ever had access to social mobility estimates at such a granular level.”

The Opportunity Atlas measured average outcomes of Americans by the neighborhood they grew up in. A sample of almost 21 million Americans born between 1978 and 1983 were tacked back to the neighborhoods they were born and raised in, and then income tax returns and census data were used to measure annual earnings.

As part of my research, I looked at the census tracts around three Dallas ISD schools that currently or have had the Improvement Required designation from the Texas Education Agency, meaning that they did not meet state standards. (more…)