…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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11422 East Ricks Circle is a listing from Becky Frey that is pending sale.

What goes up has to come down, at some point, right?

It’s like that with home values. Except home values in Dallas have never shot skyward as much as they have in coastal cities and international hubs like Miami and New York City. Our home prices creep up by 5 to 7 percent a year. Then they stay there for a few years until the upward trend starts again. The only time I remember Dallas home prices actually declining as in the late 1980s, agree?

Comes news this week from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index that Dallas home prices were up only 5.2 percent from where they were a year ago. Which is less than the 6.2 percent nationwide home price gain from June of 2017. So for the first time in a long time, we are dragging behind the national average, not leading it.

In fact, Dallas-area home prices expanded by the smallest percentage in almost six years.

The silver lining: (copy and paste this story for DCAD) if prices start to stabilize, our property taxes will, too. Oh and don’t let the Dallas City Council fool you into thinking they are lowering taxes, either. They are trying to lower the rate, because property taxes in this state are set by values. So all these nice Case-Shiller reports have brought in increased revenues from property taxes.

So, should we be concerned? No.

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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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dallas housing prices

Could rising housing prices in Dallas-Fort Worth indicate another bubble?

There’s no doubt that Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S.

dallas housing prices

Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. Photo: Zillow

Zillow recently named it No. 3 in the country, noting a 4 percent unemployment rate and solid income growth. Additionally, the Zillow Home Value Forecast predicts the Dallas-Fort Worth median home value will go up by 5.6 percent in 2016.

But some housing analysts and mortgage insurance companies fret over the 6 percent increase in North Texas home prices over the past six years. They wonder, could this be another bubble?

Probably not, according to Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.

“Dallas looks pretty good compared to so many other parts of the country,” Terrazas told the Dallas Morning News‘ Steve Brown. “We don’t have anything artificial right now inflating the housing market—the lending standards remain fairly tight.”

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Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Corrected figures from the National Association of Realtors show that Dallas home sales have increased 1.82 percent in the first quarter of 2015 while median price grew 11.99 percent.

Statewide figures show a strong start to 2015 for Texas home sales, with a year-over-year increase of 4.16 percent. Inventory is still an issue, with available homes dropping to an all-time-low of just 3.1 months, which is less than half the supply required for a balanced housing market. That’s a precipitous 8.82 percent decline from the first quarter of 2014. More detailed figures are available through the Texas Association of Realtors.

“Homes are being built as quickly as possible, yet most are not in the price range where inventory is needed most – the entry-level market,” explained economist Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices, and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

It sounds like a good problem to have, right?

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