median home prices

From staff reports

While Dallas County’s median home value was lower than the national average, two other North Texas counties had median home prices that were much higher, new data visualizations from the National Association of Realtors revealed.

The report applied data from the American Community Survey and the FHFA’s House Price Index growth to calculate the median home prices for 3,119 counties in the United States.

“Nationwide, we estimated that the price of a typical home was $235,000 in the third quarter of 2018,” the NAR report said. “Based on our estimates, 87 percent of counties had a lower median home value than the national level.” (more…)

Real Estate Story

At $230,000, the house at 9348 Highedge Cir. in Dallas costs about the average for a home here.

With home prices soaring in Dallas, many buyers wonder what it would cost to live in other cities. Turns out, inventory is tight around the nation, not just in North Texas.

In Dallas, the average home price is $230,500, a year-over-year increase of 9.76 percent, according to The means you need an annual salary of $53,824 to buy here—with a 20 percent down payment—and not end up house poor (with a mortgage rate average of 3.61 percent in Dallas, that’s a monthly payment of $1,256). With 10 percent down instead of 20, the required salary increases from $53,824 to $61,581.

What does it cost in 26 other cities around the country? Jump to find out!


I’m bullish on home ownership, even these last few days after I’ve dealt with spewing water pipes. But this report from CNN/Money made me laugh. Out of the top ten metro areas in the nation, it tells us what we already know: Dallas is a great place to buy rather than rent, and with median home prices at $163,100, your break-even time (which they do not define but I am interpreting as the time to recoup a 10% down payment) is just under 3 years.

And no duh: you are better off renting in New York City, San Francisco, Boston and LA.

Back home to Dallas again: that median home price is NOT a downtown condo. And they talk about Westover Hills, in Fort Worth, where it would take you 11 years to break even because of higher home prices. Somehow they managed to miss Highland Park entirely, where I’m guess-stimating a break-even of 12 to 15 years. But that’s what you get when you don’t have boots on the ground reporting.

Do you agree with this report? What is the break-even time on home ownership in downtown Dallas and Highland Park?

I am hearing it from agents and sellers, I am hearing it from appraisers and title companies: people are buying homes again (like these) in Dallas. Numbers are the proof: The Texas Association of Realtors said Tuesday that home sales in the state were up 12 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2011. You know what happens when homes start selling: you get comps, and then prices creep up. Statewide, median home prices in the state were 3 percent higher than a year ago.

Texas Realtor chairman Joe Stewart told Steve Brown the year is shaping up to a very positive momentum:

“In 2012’s first-quarter results, we see a strong increase in sales volume and a meaningful increase in the median price,”

Texas has an average of a 6-month supply of homes on the market,  down from 7.6 months in first quarter 2011, and 6 is considered normal and balanced. The good news (for sellers) is that our home inventory has been decreasing for months. That’s not necessarily good news for buyers: home inventory was down 23 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from 2011. You know the reasons, but according to Dr. James Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, some homeowners who don’t have to sell have chosen to wait for prices to improve before selling their homes. Or they leased them. There are also fewer distressed properties in Texas.

Now here’s what keeps me awake at night: people being able to afford mortgages or rents. Rents are rising and as one developer told me, the banks are tripping over themselves to lend money to anyone who wants to build an apartment complex. This leaves fewer affordable properties on the market. Realtor Tom Branch tells me he had MLS run numbers for properties under $200k in Collin County– there is only 3.1 months of inventory! Though I have to pack lunch and maybe even an overnight bag when I go up there, agent Brad Holden tells me there is no stopping Frisco. Since February/March of this year, there have been already around 48 contracts in Richwoods, and there are  8 to 10 lot holds. On top of that, Landon Homes has filled up their first set of available lots in the 64’s and 74’s and they have a combined total of 18 or 20 checks for when then next set of lots are released to write a contract! Landon started selling in the beginning and they have already had a $5,000 increase in prices across the board. On May 1st they plan to raise them another $5,000, another  $5,000 on May 21st. (Jesus that’s $15,000!) Brad speculates they need to slow the contracts down because they can’t get that many permits from the city. What a problem to have. Newcastle Homes has sold a couple and plans to build 6 specs in the $550,000 plus. Toll Brothers were last to release pricing and have sold two with two more lot holds, and KHOV had only eight lots in the first section. Only one of those is still available as of yesterday.

Why, I asked Brad, and I ask you, is everyone suddenly buying? The national economy still sucks. Is it the pending election? Brad says number one reason up north is pent up demand and the location/schools combo.

What do you think?