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New housing starts have grown the most in the $300,000 to $400,000 price ranges. (chart: Metrostudy)

 

More confirmation that Dallas has pricey dirt in this latest report from Metrostudy: While housing starts are up to the tune of 12.4 percent year-over-year and 8.3 percent over last month, few of those have been in more affordable price ranges. More people who would have preferred to buy new construction have turned to the existing home market, and those unable to find an affordable home in the market have turned to renting in droves.

“New home starts below $200,000 dropped as starts between $250,000 and $400,000 surged,” said Paige Shipp, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas Office. “Although starts between $200,000 and $250,000 increased, a diminishing supply of homes at that price point is a concern. Buyers seeking affordable housing near employment and urban core are forced to buy from the limited resale market or into the rental market. Starts during the third quarter surged 38.9% and 74.5% higher than the second quarter for homes priced $250,000 to $750,000. The most notable increase in starts was in the $300,000 to $350,000 range, which is quickly becoming DFW’s new “affordable” price point.”

That’s exactly what we heard from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University last month, as economist Dr. Jim Gaines noted the gap in the less-than-$200,000 bracket:

“For years in Texas, we have had the most affordable housing for a major metro area,” said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Affordability and workforce housing are going to be a major issue.

“We are not building enough houses in the $150,000 to $200,000 bracket.”

So what fallout could we expect from that? What is the increased demand for leases in Dallas-Forth Worth doing to rents?

(more…)