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!

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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!

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By now we know that William and Kate are not castle shopping because they have a ready-made love nest to move into: Clarence House. According to Curbed, it’s worth $76.68 million and 343 times the cost of the average newlywed starter home. Eventually, he’ll move Kate into Buckingham Palace, worth $1.6 billion and the world’s most valuable private residence. Which is why I think William and Kate have enough disposable income to pick up a second home in Dallas. Perusing the top properties here, I offer up two blue light specials:

Erin Mathews has significantly reduced 4236 Bordeaux from $13,450,000 to $9,975,000. Like, wow. I have drooled over this 14,000 square foot home since it was built by Gilbert Gilbert Homes, decked out by Schooler Kellogg & Co. and Lambert Landscape.
That cute couple could fill the four levels of graceful bedroom suites with kids, enjoy the palatial master suite, show off the multiple entertaining areas, and chill overlooking what is called an “oversized backyard” , quite large by UP standards. And come July and August, they’ll be back in the U.K. or up in the Scottish Highlands anyhow, so might not miss all that upkeep (or hot weather).

But if they have a hankering for more land, which is totally understandable since Clarence House is, after all, a jazzed-up townhome,

I’d head for the panache of Old Preston Hollow — smack in the Honeypot — and pick up 9339 Hathaway. This puppy has been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced for quick sale and is almost one of those chopping block bargains.

Originally listed at $9,450,000, Dave Perry-Miller has it at $8,795,000 and it is glorious: built by Sebastian Construction Group, with interior design by Richard Trimble and Harold Leidner on the grounds, this 11,000 square foot Preston Hollow estate is a French retreat in the heart of the city! (Might help with British-Franco relations, too.)

Iron gates open to a cobblestone drive, 2  acres, 5 bedrooms, 5 and a half baths, all the accouterments like game room, study, wine cellar, media room, steam showers, plus pool and spa. Little older, built in 1999, but far from the maddening crowd.

So those are my picks! Send in your Royal Wedding mansion picks — Dallas estates fit for a prince and princess!