Zip Code 75235

West Love: Inwood, Harry Hines and Denton Drive

Let’s get our noses out of house porn for a minute to wander through an up and coming neighborhood. DCAD calls it Lovedale 2 (or unappetizingly Slaughters Brookdale), but as far as I know, it has no fancy name to woo buyers to its hipness. It’s pre-hip. If other hip locales cool, maybe this area becomes a hip replacement (boooo, bad pun, bad Jon).

I’ll call it West Love Field or West Love … hmmm, I like that … West Love … and homes are selling FAST! In the hours it took to write this, two of the properties featured below went under contract.

East of Love Field has been in full-on gentrification mode for a while now, only pausing for the recession (as did we all), but West Love hasn’t really gotten any lovin’. It’s loosely bounded by Denton Drive, Harry Hines and Inwood. There are plenty of warehouses on Denton Drive, but there are also a lot of smaller cute starter homes that are a hop from downtown, UTSW and the monkeyshines of the Gayborhood … oh, and Love Field. Perfect for medical folks or air mattresses, trolley dollies in-flight personnel.

Speaking of the airport … I said, SPEAKING OF THE AIRPORT … Oaklawnians have lived cheek by jowl with Love Field since the beginning (well, since 1917 when it opened as an army pilot training facility). The “Oaklawn Pause” is what happens when a plane flies over during a conversation; it pauses. Homes east and west of Love Field are somewhat better off. Planes take-off and land from the north-south, meaning these east and west areas are not being directly flown over – but what a cool place for a roof deck.

For many years when homes hit the market, they were in somewhat calamitous condition. That’s changing, but things are still wonderfully affordable here and sure to rise. How wonderfully affordable? Try $125,000 to $135,000 for 1,100 to 2,031 square feet, many on pretty sizeable lots 50-foot lots!

Here’s a smattering of what’s available and going gone fast.

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Lance Armstrong Lake Austin

We knew 2013 was a banner year for Dallas Realtors as our market pulled itself up by its bootstraps and posted post-recession growth that amazed even the most seasoned brokers. But according to research from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the market posted year-over-year numbers that showed Texas flexing its economic muscles like never before.

Numbers are up across most demographics, with condo sales, luxury sales, and investment properties getting snatched up at record paces.

“The Texas real estate market showed strength in sales volume and price all year long and the fourth quarter was no exception,” said Texas Association of Realtors chairman Dan Hatfield. “We’ve now seen year-over-year increases in both sales volume and price every quarter for more than two years. This makes it clear – demand for Texas homes is strong and enduring.”

We agree, as the Texas tech industry continues to boom in Austin, pushing up prices and demand reminiscent of the Bay Area’s unfettered growth. High salaries and limited inventories — the statewide numbers show a precipitous drop to a 3.6-month supply of homes (6.5 is recommended for balance between supply and demand) — have resulted in huge price increases. But, as Candy pointed out, not all growth is good for everyone. As prices increase, housing affordability decreases, pushing out lower wage earners.

But Austin’s growth isn’t isolated, as every metropolitan area in Texas posted sales volume and price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013. According to the report, 60,998 single-family homes were sold in the state during the fourth quarter — 6.78 percent more than fourth quarter 2012. Median home prices increased 8.48 percent from fourth quarter 2012 to $172,600, and the average home price was a whopping $226,216 — up 8.88 percent from Q4 2012.

Real Estate Center economist Jim Gaines Ph.D. explained: “One thing that is notable about the price increases seen in the fourth quarter is that they are relatively consistent across the state. Those increases are being seen in markets of every size, not just in the largest Texas markets, so that indicates broad-based appreciation for Texas real estate.”

“Demand for Texas homes in 2014 should continue, but it’s possible that a shortage of inventory could inhibit sales volumes,” Gaines added. “The steady price increases we’ve seen recently should help alleviate that, enticing more sellers into the market, but buyers should continue to expect to compete for desirable properties.”

Interesting outlook for 2014. What do you think? Will the growth price-wise lure more sellers to the market?