Well we cannot blame this one on the Republicans: the Dallas real estate market, which had been in a heated frenzy ever since about January 2, has finally cooled heels a bit. It started on Labor Day, Ebby agent Kay Weeks told Steve Brown, when higher mortgage rates and economic uncertainties cooled the market as much as we all grabbed jackets this week for the first time.
We know sales of pre-owned homes in Dallas are up more than 20 percent this year. Prices in many neighborhoods have jumped by double-digits. Troy Aikman sold his home on Highland Drive to Michel and Tiffany Moreno, bought a home on Normandy and then just picked up a tear-down on St. Johns.
Like I said, everyone was buying houses.
But now agents say that looney, frenzied pace that kept them rolling from closing to closing has chilled somewhat.
“We have seen it really since Labor Day,” said Kay Weeks, a top sales agent for Dallas’ Ebby Halliday Realtors. “We are not seeing the open floodgates of business we have experienced from January to July.
“It’s become a much more reasonable market, and more normal.”
Weeks said real estate agents in the Dallas area have plenty of business and the market is strong.
“We are still getting multiple offers if a home is priced right,” she said.
There are fewer buyers looking, and listings are taking longer to sell. Or, perhaps I should say, selling in a more normal amount of time.
Lusting for Listings
Inventory is still at about 1.5 ish months in most parts of town, while total pre-owned single-family home listings in North Texas were 14 percent lower this September than they were last, this from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, told Steve that inventory is still a big issue, but she expects a strong fall and winter market.
“We just sold two really big properties in the Park Cities,” she said. “The buyers are still out there paying cash.”
Cash, yes, and a lot of homes are still moving without ever hitting MLS.
Is The Sweet Sale Hot Spot Gone?
Many sellers want to know the best time to sell, of course, and want to jump in at the perfect time. Mortgage rates are still low by historic standards, even though they have jumped about a point from last year. And they may go up — I will be at Forecast 2014 and let you know what the experts think. We have heard from the guys at Texas A&M that this would happen, the market would temper off. Personally, I do not think that is a bad thing.
First of all, values have bubbled up from the Park Cities to Preston Hollow and Lakewood, still one of the hottest ‘hoods in town. Last CoreLogic report had us up 10% YOY. There is nothing wrong with a less frenzied market as long as those values stay strong. Values should hold because there isn’t that much inventory. Land prices in the Park Cities continue to wow, and builders are alive again. Interestingly, I was in Southlake today and out of 10,000 homes in a community of 26,000 people, only 152 homes are for sale.
“I have heard that the hotness factor may have eased a bit since the summer,” said D’Ann Petersen, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “I think it could be partly seasonal, but I do think that is more normal for North Texas.
“A less hot market is not a bad thing,” she said. “North Texas is benefiting from good job growth, population growth, and both our housing and apartment markets are healthy.”
Would you rather market your house now, when values are up, against less competition, or market it when the rest of the herd is selling?