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).

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…)

Lake Highlands

Apartments like The Trellis (pictured) and others make one zip code in Lake Highlands one of the cheapest areas to live in Dallas, according to new research by Realtor.com.

We know rents are high in Dallas — we’ve written more than a couple of stories about how much it costs to live in the Big D. But where can you consistently find the cheapest rents? Turns out, one zip code in Lake Highlands, in particular, is exactly where you should start hunting.

Realtor.com decided to take a look at several large metros with higher rents and find the most affordable neighborhoods in each — with a few provisos.

The researchers said they began by analyzing median one-bedroom rents as of May by zip code, and then searched neighborhoods within a 45-minute commute to downtown during morning rush hour based on data from Google Maps.

Researchers said they also “made sure crime wasn’t over a certain threshold based on crime data provided by Sperling’s Best Places, a site that collects data on communities across the U.S.” (more…)

Dallas Center for Architecture is Now AD EX with Newly Expanded Vision, Location | CandysDirt.com

The Dallas Center for Architecture has changed its name and expanded its vision, moving to a new location in downtown Dallas and setting its sights on being an integral part of the community. 

DCFA is now AD EX, shorthand for The Architecture and Design Exchange. They are taking new roost in the historic midcentury architectural icon Republic Center with the goal of being both a physical space and mechanism for spurring conversation about walkability, mobility, historic preservation, affordable housing, economic development, and other civic challenges related to architecture and urban design that impact the city. 

“Building on the momentum created over the past ten years, we look forward to AD EX becoming a critical force in an ever-growing conversation on the design and livability of our cities,” says Jan Blackmon, FAIA, executive director of The Architecture and Design Foundation and AIA Dallas. “We believe this storefront space in the middle of a new epicenter for downtown will give us opportunities to reach new audiences. Our hope is that AD EX will inspire our community to see its surroundings differently and imagine new possibilities for design as a solution.”

AD EX’s street-level location in the dense urban core of Dallas and adjacency to downtown’s next planned public park, Pacific Plaza, is intended to break down barriers and facilitate informal exchange of ideas about design and architecture. Its interior space, outside terrace, open floorplan, and floor-to-ceiling windows will showcase design-focused exhibitions, films, book and panel discussions, student workshops, policy symposia, and other programming. 

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Silicon Valley corporations like Facebook and Google are reviving the notion of a “company town.” For decades, Silicon Valley has been single-minded in a pursuit of wealth via technology. The minting of tech millionaires has driven real estate out of reach for many not caught in the thrall of stock options and IPOs. Constructing housing in this environment seems a way to add capacity that benefits all. But there’s a likely far darker outcome.

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The only hope many younger generations have to accumulate wealth is to stay cozy with grandma. Since 1995 (over a decade before the Recession), the median wealth of 25-34 year olds declined 39 percent, while 35-44 year olds declined 27 percent, and 45-54 year olds’ wealth declined 15 percent. There have been potent gains reported from 2013 to 2016, but obviously not nearly enough to offset long-term losses. The main culprits are excessive student loan debt and the decline in homeownership rates. You might say the growth of student loan debt has heavily contributed to lowered homeownership rates. To me, the chart below demonstrates why down payments are harder for younger buyers to save up for.

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Home prices in North Texas broke more records last month, according to reports. Properties in Far East Dallas are selling for close to $300K in some cases, such as this one at 2031 Housley in Casa View, which is listed for $279,000.

Far East Dallas is swarming teeming with work trucks as investors, eager to catch the wave of demand within inner-loop neighborhoods, remodel homes on these close-quartered blocks. But even with all of the flippers tacking up new drywall and painting these post-war ranches varying shades of gray, supply of move-in ready homes hasn’t kept up with demand. Because of these market dynamics — the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area’s net population growth is at about 974,000 new residents since 2010 — prices are surging, breaking new records.

Of course, one can’t help but wonder if this breakaway price growth could mean that a bubble is about to burst …

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HUD

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Being poor is no picnic in a thousand little ways. People give the poor grief for using food stamps to buy junk food and sugary drinks. And now, a study using data from the New York State Department of Health hints at a partial reason: Food manufacturers know food stamps are issued monthly and typically spent within a week. So poorer shoppers are targeted with soda sales in the first week of the month.

In neighborhoods with few food stamp users, there’s no correlation of soda sales and date, but in poor neighborhoods, it’s 4.35 times more likely there will be a soda sale in the week food stamps are issued.  Interestingly, low-calorie soda ads didn’t increase, just the sugary ones. Pretty sleazy to target the poor (grocery stores and drinks makers all denied it) and then listen to politicians legislate what they buy.

But we’re on CandysDirt.com to talk about housing and real estate where the poor are targeted with similar empathy. (more…)

A slowdown isn't a bad thing is it? Let's find out

Some will agree, and some won’t,  but data doesn’t lie — we are heading into a real estate slowdown.

First of all…R-E-L-A-X.  No, we are not heading toward a recession.  No, the housing market isn’t crumbling.  No, it’s not time to sell your home, stock up on canned beans, ammo, and get off the grid.  But the real estate market is changing … dare we call it a slowdown?

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