Tiny homes under construction at The Cottages at Hickory Crossing Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Tiny homes under construction at The Cottages at Hickory Crossing Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

We turned to local experts for guidance on what to expect and enjoy in the home building industry. This is the first in a series of posts we will run in partnership with the Dallas Builders Association, a shining star among professional organizations, whom we are honored to proudly partner with.

By Phil Crone, Executive Officer, Dallas Builders Association

I’m neither a Democrat or Republican, I’m a Houser. Housing affordability and the opportunity of homeownership are what our Association specializes in and the conversations are well received on BOTH sides of the aisle. Our industry has succeeded and struggled under both Democrat and Republican Presidents, and the script for our advocacy efforts is usually a predictable one depending on who occupies the White House. As pollsters and prognosticators now wearing egg on their face found out, past performance is not a predictor of future results. A Trump Presidency will be different, but the questions facing the housing market are the same, and their answers will determine the fate of our economy both here in Dallas and for our nation.

The prospect of a President Trump first entered my mind in August when he addressed our National Association of Home Builders Board in Miami. The vast majority of Trump’s speech focused on his experiences with his dad, who was a home builder, how he would pick up extra materials to use for the next job, how he valued his workers from all backgrounds, who put in a good, long, honest day’s work. He further connected with the audience when he said he knew just how much regulation was having an impact on the industry. He cited the significant increases to the cost of health care they were experiencing as a specific item he would address right away. The audience was captivated. Mr. Trump concluded the speech by accusing Secretary Clinton of being the founder of ISIS.

Guess what part of his speech made the headlines?

The last few years of the Obama administration have been pretty darn good for the Dallas-area housing market. Since homes are where the jobs sleep at night, record job growth in our region has led to a red hot real estate market where demand outpaces supply. Whether that success was because of or in spite of President Obama, I’ll leave for you do decide, but the fact of the matter is, we have a pretty strong tailwind pushing our region’s economy. But we also have several challenges. How President Trump confronts those challenges will have a “yuge” impact on our continued success.


The spec house at 6115 Desco Dr. will look similar to this. Photo courtesy Shoot2Sell.

The spec house at 6115 Desco Dr. will look similar to this, also built by LRO Residential Development.

Spec homes are a sign of strong builder and bank confidence in a market, as they are created without any specific buyer in mind, just the belief that one will be interested once it is completed. The higher the price tag, the higher the stakes.

In our inventory-parched market, homebuilder Les Owens, President of LRO Residential Development, has that confidence in the Dallas market, even at multi-million-dollar levels. He’s starting two spec houses this month, one in Preston Hollow for $3.15 million, and another in Devonshire for $2.2 million.

Both houses are available for customization, but Owens is breaking ground now and says he will complete them in late summer/early fall this year.

As we reported earlier this month, luxury home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth skyrocketed in 2014—those with prices of $1 million and up grew 15 percent year-over-year, the second highest sales volume in Texas (bested only by Houston).

Luxury home sales in DFW represented 1.2 percent of the market, and top-performing luxury brands are seeing more multi million-dollar sales in areas that have strong resale value and high existing demand.

“Established neighborhoods and homes of significance in coveted areas such as Highland Park, Preston Hollow, Greenway Parks, and The Volk Estates are desperately pursued, and the quality of the design continues to be a driving factor,” said Caroline Summers, a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent. Jump to read about the houses and see photos!


Photo courtesy Greico Modern Homes

Photo courtesy Greico Modern Homes

The homebuilding market in DFW is super hot, and with a new year comes new trends. Candy already mentioned the emergence of the skullery, but there’s more!

We’ve asked the best and brightest North Texas homebuilders to look into their crystal balls and make predictions about homebuilding trends for 2015. They’ve also given us some sublime photos that illustrate those trends in action in their own work. You won’t want to miss this—jump to read the whole story!


VC Fireplace Web

Light Farms is a new home development in Celina that has been making waves for it’s community style and amenities. Still, many developers are slow to pull the trigger on new homes despite high demand.

Last week’s National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference in Houston hosted a home building panel featuring Metrostudy’s Brad Hunter, David Weekley Homes CEO John Johnson, and Trendmaker Homes CEO Will Holder. While the panel was supposed to discuss the “boom” in homebuilding, the end result was a dissection of what fuels (or what’s not fueling, to be more precise) home building in America, and the takeaway was what trends and features consumers expect from home builders in the 21st century.