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When it comes to real estate trends, no one knows them better than Jed Kolko. I say that not because I have been to dinner with him, and met him at Inman & NAREE several times while he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate site that merged with Zillow, until the middle of last year. He just really knows his stuff.

And Jed says that urban neighborhoods are not the go-to nirvana we have been told they are, with cities and vertical living shooting up faster than the suburbs are spreading. You know we hear how downtowns are booming — in fact, the Dallas City Council just voted unanimously on a resolution dictating that Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART, of which Dallas is a member) build a second downtown rail alignment (D2) as a subway, NOT a light rail train, because it will be less disruptive to the downtown landscape. Who cares about a train from Plano to DFW?  Dallas focused on developing a great Arts District near downtown in anticipation of downtown, art-loving residents.  And developers built luxury apartment after luxury condo in anticipation of the droves coming to the urban center like a pilgrimage.

Uh, actually not, says Jed:young-extras (more…)

downtown fort worth at sunset, texas

Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, isn’t necessarily infalliable, but he does have an interesting perspective more often than not. His views on the broader economy are often spot-on, though, which really puzzles me on his recent forecast for 2014 that says increases in home values will slow next year, and that many of the markets posting big increases in 2013 will grow stale.

But don’t write off North Texas entirely, as Fort Worth made Kolko’s list of places to watch for 2014. Why didn’t Dallas, Austin, Houston, or even San Antonio make the list, but Tulsa, Okla., does? Kolko explains (emphasis added):

Why are so many of the high-profile markets of 2013 missing from our list? We ruled out markets that were more than a little overvalued according to our latestBubble Watch, which eliminated most metros in Texas and coastal California. We also struck markets with a large foreclosure inventory (thanks for the data, RealtyTrac), like most of Florida. Our 10 markets to watch, therefore, should have strong activity in 2014 with few headwinds.

Interesting… I don’t know if many sellers in Dallas would consider the market overvalued, but considering what’s for sale and how brisk the market is moving, I’d say the increases in overall value would be more of a correction from being previously undervalued.

Still, Kolko had a list of trends to watch that rings true with what we’ve been saying for the past few months. Chief among them is that buying a house will become more and more unaffordable for Americans. Kolko also prognosticated that the home-buying process would become “less frenzied,” that 2013 will be the year of the repeat homebuyer, and how much prices slow will be more important than when they slow and where. Finally, Kolko says that renters will turn more to urban apartments than any other option — good news for the people who’ve constructed all those swanky buildings in Uptown and converted buildings in the downtown area.

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!

 

Tumbleweed Tiny Home

We’re seeing Jed Kolko’s name pop up all over the place nowadays. This time it was in this Wall Street Journal piece comparing how the word “cozy” is often used to denote “small” properties in real estate markets.

“Cozy is one of those words that means very different things in different markets. Cozy in Texas is not what’s cozy in San Francisco,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at TruliaTRLA +0.02% a real-estate website.

Trulia examined for-sale listings, excluding foreclosures, in 100 U.S. metro areas between Jan. 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012. “In every metro area, homes that mention cozy are smaller than listings that do not,” Mr. Kolko says.

Tiny Apartment

I love how the story compares Dallas “cozy” to New York “cozy” (read: claustrophobic). Of course, we get the total cliche out of the way thanks to Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent Christy Berry:

“Cozy almost means small, and we don’t have small. Everything is bigger in Texas,” she says.

Maybe it’s true: We do have some gigantic properties in Texas, but really, can Texas do “cozy” justice?

Tumbleweed Tiny Home

We’re seeing Jed Kolko’s name pop up all over the place nowadays. This time it was in this Wall Street Journal piece comparing how the word “cozy” is often used to denote “small” properties in real estate markets.

“Cozy is one of those words that means very different things in different markets. Cozy in Texas is not what’s cozy in San Francisco,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at TruliaTRLA +0.02% a real-estate website.

Trulia examined for-sale listings, excluding foreclosures, in 100 U.S. metro areas between Jan. 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012. “In every metro area, homes that mention cozy are smaller than listings that do not,” Mr. Kolko says.

Tiny Apartment

I love how the story compares Dallas “cozy” to New York “cozy” (read: claustrophobic). Of course, we get the total cliche out of the way thanks to Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent Christy Berry:

“Cozy almost means small, and we don’t have small. Everything is bigger in Texas,” she says.

Maybe it’s true: We do have some gigantic properties in Texas, but really, can Texas do “cozy” justice?

Buy a bigger house

More and more homeowners are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and as the downward trajectory of the housing market turns upward, they are also seeing missed opportunities.

Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, says in a Wall Street Journal interview that national home prices are up 7.2 percent annually and that most homebuyers regret not buying a bigger home when the getting was good.

In Dallas, with our super hot housing market, you’ll be lucky to find a home at all. With a brisk market turning agents and sellers to hip pocket listings, I’m sure we’ll see more growth in the months to come.