New House under Construction

Recent reports show that new home sales are at their highest since 2008, while prices of existing homes are up year-over-year.

New home sales are up 17 percent from the same time last year, according to Residential Strategies, and new home starts are up 11.4 percent, too, at 6,511. Builders are trying to keep up with demand while also trying to keep new homes affordable for buyers, according to a story from Steve Brown:

“Start activity remains strong as builders maintain healthy sales backlogs and are working to reestablish depleted speculative inventory,” Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson said in the report. “Robust job formation, in combination with tight housing inventories, has kept builders optimistic about sustained new housing demand.”

Rising new home prices have caused a slowdown in sales for some buyers.

Since 2007 the median price of a new home in North Texas has increased $69,000 – 33 percent – to $275,000.

“Affordability continues to be a primary concern for new home builders,” Wilson said.

“Many are anticipating that at some point down the road, interest rates will increase, and they want to ensure that their housing prices are still within reach of the consumer.”

Additionally, a new report from CoreLogic shows that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area is posting an 8.5 percent increase in home price appreciation according to the firm’s most recent HPI.

“Home prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly, across most of the U.S., ” said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Major Metropolitan Areas such as Riverside and Los Angeles, California, and Houston continue to lead the way with strong price gains buoyed by tight supplies and a gradual rebound in economic activity.”

In Texas, that means we’re holding steady at our return-to-peak price levels, with no major increases. With new home construction up, a positive outlook for investors in several niche markets, and with prices still on the rise, are you optimistic about the Dallas/Fort Worth real estate market going into Q4 2014?

Dallas Housing Prices Go up

According to the most recent report from CoreLogic, the Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA ranked seventh in year-over-year home price growth among the 100 statistical areas the firm measures in its Housing Price Index with a 9.4 percent increase in prices (excluding distressed sales) through the year ending in December 2013.

Houston, which ranked sixth, showed a 10.7 percent increase in prices YoY. Leading the pack was the East Los Angeles suburban MSA of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

CoreLogic’s report showed some pretty optimistic predictions for 2014, saying that home prices, excluding distressed sales, should rise 9.4 percent over the next year, or 10.2 percent overall. That’s a decline from 2013 numbers, which had 11 percent growth in home prices nationwide. Still, national housing prices are 18 percent below their August 2006 peak.

“Last year, home prices rose 11 percent, the highest rate of annual increase since 2005, and 10 states and the District of Columbia reached all-time price peaks,”said CoreLogic chief economist Dr. Mark Fleming. “We expect the rising prices to attract more sellers, unlocking this pent-up supply, which will have a moderating effect on prices in 2014.”

Goodness knows we could use some of that moderating effect in Dallas, where investors have bought up many of the homes usually purchased by first-time homebuyers, and the prices of single-family homes are keeping younger buyers out of the market.