affordable housing

Wages have not kept apace with housing costs in Texas, resulting in a shortage of affordable housing.

After the housing market bubble burst, what markets recovered the fastest? What does that mean for affordable housing? What policy changes would best impact the need for affordable housing?

Experts weighed in at a recent conference on affordable housing in Texas, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. (more…)

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the South Texas coastline on Aug. 25. Home sales have slowed since the disaster struck, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report.

From Staff Reports

Texas home sales declined slightly in the third quarter of 2017, according to the 2017-Q3 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors. This is the first time that Texas home sales have declined on a quarterly basis since the second quarter of 2012.
 
“As anticipated, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has had a significant impact on our state’s housing market this fall, as many Texans were forced to postpone their goals of buying or selling a home in order to deal with devastation in their homes and communities,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Declines in local market home sales across the state in the third quarter were largely concentrated in regions impacted by Harvey, including the Houston area and local markets along the Texas coast.”

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Less than half of Dallas-Fort Worth residents can afford new homes in the region, according to the Dallas Builders Association.

Recent data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University paints a pretty bleak picture for housing affordability in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 100,000 new jobs regionwide netted just 30,000 new homes by the end of last year, according to stats from Meyers Research and the Dallas Builders Association. The median home price, thanks to the scarcity of new builds, jumped from $149,900 in 2011 to $232,000 in 2016. 

The end of the affordable new home is nigh, it seems. 

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townhome sales

Condos and townhomes are hot properties in DFW so far this year.

North Texas condo sales increased 3.8 percent year-over-year to 1,536 condo sales during the January to May 2016 timeframe. Townhome sales increased 8.2 percent to 1,019 townhome sales during the same period, according to the 2016 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR). DFW is the only major metro in the state where townhome sales increased.

“Many young urban professionals and newly retired baby boomers are buying condos, as they provide an affordable alternative to single-family homes and townhomes,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the TAR. “These Millennials and retirees don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities.”

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housing starts

It used to be fairly easy to find a new home for under $200K in North Texas. But according to a recently released report from Metrostudy, first quarter 2016 data shows a “new normal,” reflecting a meteoric rise in starts above $200,000, meaning it’s harder than ever to find a new home in the sub-$200K price range.

“When comparing the increase in starts and closings year-over-year, starts between $250,000 and $299,999 are nearly three times the closings increase,” said Paige Shipp, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas office. “Starts between $300,000 and $349,999 jumped 81.2 percent, which is almost twice the increase in closings. Conversely, starts below $200,000 have dropped 14.6 percent and closings plummeted 31 percent.”

With rapidly rising land and development costs, developers tell Metrotex there is not much hope for the revival of the sub-$200,000 new home market in North Texas. This will remain an issue until cities, developers, and builders understand and deliver higher-density lots and smaller homes to the market, Sharp explained.

Metrotex isn’t the only one ringing this bell — for some time, other experts have said the same thing. We wrote a piece in November of last year where Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, explained:

“For years in Texas, we have had the most affordable housing for a major metro area,” he said. “Affordability and workforce housing are going to be a major issue — we are not building enough houses in the $150,000 to $200,000 bracket.”

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arlington home sales

The property at 1404 Millbrook Dr. in Arlington is one of many on the market now, and homes in that market are fast appreciating.

It’s not just Dallas and northern suburbs where homes are notably appreciating and sales are “fly-off-the-market” fast. Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Mansfield showed substantial increases last month in both home prices and sales, according to a new report from the Arlington Board of Realtors.

Arlington home sales increased 9 percent, Grand Prairie’s increased 9 percent, and Mansfield home sales increase a whopping 36 percent in March 2016. Home prices increased in all markets, as well.

“We continue to be in a strong real estate market, as the numbers show,” said Tim Beary, 2016 Chairman of the Arlington Board of Realtors.

The numbers for homes sold, median price, monthly housing inventory, average number of days on the market, and active home listings were all notable in these three DFW markets.

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