Once again, Frisco makes national Real Estate news, not for being the very best community to live, or the fastest-growing community in the U.S., but for being oversupplied with brand new homes as the real estate market shifts from a seller’s paradise to a buyer’s market, and as new home sales dip nationwide by almost 9 percent:

The shift may be most pronounced in what were once the most sizzling markets. Consider Frisco, Texas, a city 30 miles north of Dallas, where narrowly spaced villas of stone and brick have replaced cow pastures. Its population nearly doubled over the past decade, to 177,000. Its 8 percent jump last year made it the fastest-growing city in America.

Prashant Gopal is an excellent journalist and a friend of our’s from NAREE. He writes in Bloomberg of how falling sales and diving housing stocks are also affecting real estate agents in Frisco, who seem to be taking the biggest hits from each other as they shrink commissions in the “builder battleground”:

On a recent weekday, Konara, the real estate broker, drives his Dodge minivan along Highway 380, a builder battleground, where national giants such as Lennar, Toll Brothers, and PulteGroup go head to head with Texas companies. He stops at sales offices, where balloons festoon posts in a vain effort to spur sales. He points to empty houses that he says were completed six months ago.

His own sales are half what they were in 2016. In many cases, he’s rebating to customers all but $1,000 of his commission on each home sale. He walks into an Indian restaurant for lunch and looks up at the television screen. A competitor, the “Maximum Cash Back Realtor,” says he’ll take only $750. “You know what that means,” Konara says. “I’ll have to do the same.”

Prashant drew attention to the fact that Frisco is also home to the glittering Legacy West, transplant nirvana with Toyota headquarters (which may have subsidized some homes for employees) as well as Dallas Cowboys headquarters, where any day you can see real estate agents dining alongside football players and the Jones family. I believe the agents he is talking to, like Konara, but I also had to check with the man who’s company sells more of Frisco than anyone: J.P. Piccinini:

JP and Associates

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Christie RanchFull confession — we asked our readers to give us the skinny on some of the best neighborhoods and communities that really embrace the whole trick-or-treat, neighborly fun of Halloween. And one reader not only pointed us to the Christie Ranch and Grayhawk neighborhoods, but then pointed out a great house — a house perfect for our Thursday Three Hundred.

“You can’t get through the streets, so many people,” our inside source told us.

And the house? Get a load of this four-bedroom, three-bath Traditional with 2,853 square feet of living space located at 13073 Broadhurst Dr.

Right from the curb, the stucco home is inviting. Yes, there’s another home going up next door, but that just means more awesome neighbors to trick-or-treat with, right?

Inside, a sweeping staircase leads to the second floor, and great office space with French doors is immediately to your right. Keep going, and you walk right into the common areas, which feature easy-to-care-for concrete flooring. Offices and bedrooms, as well as the upstairs living space, have carpet. (more…)

inventoryDallas-Fort Worth housing inventory is increasing, which could be good news for buyers, and three separate cities placed at the top of two different growth charts. We’ll explain in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

DALLAS HOUSING INVENTORY INCREASES IN SEPTEMBER

National housing inventory is starting to flatten, Realtor.com’s September housing report revealed, declining only 0.2 percent from a year ago and showing an 8 percent increase in new listings — the largest yearly jump in five years.

“After years of record-breaking inventory declines, September’s almost flat inventory signals a big change in the real estate market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “Would-be buyers who had been waiting for a bigger selection of homes for sale may finally see more listings materialize. But don’t expect the level to jump dramatically. Plenty of buyers in the market are scooping up homes as soon as they’re listed, which will keep national increases relatively small for the time being.” (more…)

north texas

(Photo courtesy VisitFrisco.com)

How did North Texas fare in a ranking of overall best housing markets in the U.S.? How far has the Dallas-Fort Worth apartment market come in recovering after the recession? How much of their income is the average Dallas-Fort Worth homeowner spending on housing? All this and more in this week’s review of real estate news. (more…)

An excellent academic program and exceptional opportunities for students make Frisco ISD highly sought after for families relocating to Texas or moving within DFW. 

The district has grown 7 to 30 percent annually since the early 1990s, and today serves more than 58,000 students in 68 schools. They project that number to be 67,528 in 2022. 

For this week’s Splurge vs Steal, we’re looking at two houses in Frisco ISD. Which one is your favorite? 

 

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Don’t let the quaint exterior of this Frisco home fool you into thinking this is a small house. This DR Horton-built home at 7920 Southmark Drive is long and narrow, but it’s a huge two-story with four bedrooms and three full baths coming in at 2,635 square feet. It’d be a perfect home for a family with kids, perfectly situated at Preston and Rolater in Frisco, the city most recently named the best city in Texas for families.

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Frisco was named the best city for raising a family, closely followed by Allen, and Southlake as part of a new 2018 “best Texas cities” list, ranking the best and worst Texas cities for families. Wallethub, a D.C.-based personal finance site, compiled the new June 2018 report that ranked the 117 largest cities in Texas based on family life, fun, education, health and safety, affordability and socioeconomic environment.

What makes a city good for raising a family? Plenty of attractions such as museums and theaters, a quality school system, high graduation rates, number of playgrounds per 100,000 residents and a whole lot of pediatricians were all factors that Wallethub took into account when it named the best Texas cities for families.

While the weighted scores and rankings provide a holistic view of cities, a look at the raw data we requested provides some interesting headlines as well. Missing from the list is Highland Park, which did not rank among the largest cities in Wallethub’s data.

Eagles vs. Dragons

Turning to education, Allen had the number one highest graduation rate in Texas – 96.6 percent, according to Wallethub’s data. Frisco, the overall number one, has a 91.8 percent graduation rate, and Southlake, overall number three on the list, had a 87.3 percent graduation rate, according to Wallethub. (more…)

I am fully on board with the $80 billion driverless car industry. Last weekend, I was almost creamed by a speeding black Mercedes whose driver ignored the stop sign at Park Lane and Douglas in Old Preston Hollow. (There are four.) Fortunately, I waited and thusly avoided a wreck. I also spent 2 hours on the Dallas North Tollway last week coming south between Frankfort and Keller Springs at about 5 pm. Two hours! Accidents (human error) are what create traffic jams and gridlock, and accidents happen because mortals drive cars. Let technology do it, and the errors will be greatly reduced.

Of course, Wall Street is thinking money. $285 billion:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts that robo-taxis will help the ride-hailing and -sharing business grow from $5 billion in revenue today to $285 billion by 2030. There are grand hopes for this business. Without drivers, operating margins could be in the 20 percent range, more than twice what carmakers generate right now. If that kind of growth and profit come to pass—very big ifs—it would be almost three times what GM makes in a year. And that doesn’t begin to count the money to be made in delivery.

So I was thrilled to be invited to Frisco on Monday to test-drive ride in the first self-driving car service in America, a pilot public partnership that will put driverless passenger vans on Frisco roads come July. A California startup called Drive.ai — at HALL Park all this week — will travel between fixed points in an area devoted to retail, entertainment and offices at HALL Park and the Star in Frisco. The pilot program, which will operate on public roads, is slated to run for six months. An expansion is planned to Frisco Station.

A host of Frisco dignitaries and developers and of course Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, a Realtor with The Associates, were on hand to celebrate with a press conference and then driving riding demos. The biggest takeaway: this is a brilliant PR move to not only collect AI data (keep reading, I explain) but to get people more comfortable with the driverless car concept. As TexasMonthly.com pointed out, “Starting in Frisco is likely to give Drive.ai enough data for how suburban North Texas drivers operate that they’ll be able to spread out across the region. That’s no small deal when you’re talking about the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, and makes the Frisco test an effective pilot program for how autonomous cars are likely to roll out across North Texas.”

“Today definitely marks a mobility milestone for our entire region, said Jeff. “It also gets us closer to achieving one of our council’s ‘Top Ten’ goals, which is to improve traffic throughout Frisco, one of the fastest growing cities in the country.”

Drive.ai is headquartered in Mountain View, Ca. in Silicon Valley. The company has raised more than $60 million, has more than 100 employees, and was founded by graduate students out of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Andrew Ng, who spoke at the presser, said he studied at Carnegie Mellon, which is where a lot of driverless car talent has been hatched.

“We are ready to work with governments and businesses to solve their transportation needs,” Sameep Tandon, co-founder and CEO of Drive.ai., said in a press release. “Working with the city of Frisco and Frisco Transportation Management Association, this pilot program will take people to the places they want to go and transform the way they experience transportation.” 

The service works through a smartphone application that lets users hail complimentary, on-demand rides, just as you would an Uber. The big convenience will be for lunch patrons who don’t want to get in their car and park. I’d like to see them try one out from say, Valley View Mall to Legacy. 

I have so many questions, and I got some answers.

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