Dallas rent prices took a small dip in a recently-released report for October, Mesquite breaks ground on a new mixed-use community, and Southern Gateway deck park moves forward, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas rent prices took a small dip in a recently-released report for October, Mesquite breaks ground on a new mixed-use community, and the Southern Gateway deck park moves forward, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas Rent Prices Decline Slightly This Month

A very slight decrease in Dallas rents was reported for the month of October, but don’t get too excited. Numerous figures and comparisons are compiled – and this good news is just for the month. Overall annual numbers show rent is on the rise in Dallas and just about everywhere else.

Rent growth, median prices, and market trends are tracked monthly by Apartmentlist.com, whose report for October shows the following local data:


baby chasers

Photo courtesy Pixabay

It may not be a new phenomenon exactly, but grandparents making big moves to be closer to grandchildren have a relatively new term — “baby chasers.”

In fact, real estate research firm Meyers Research recently released its Meyers Baby Chaser Index, which indicates that 25 percent of Baby Boomers will likely retire to be near their grandchildren, even if it requires a state switch.

Dallas, the firm said, was at the top of the list, along with Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin; and Nashville, Tennessee. “Dallas’ growth decelerated in the latest data for both age groups but remains among the highest in the country,” Meyers said. (more…)


From staff reports

Single female buyers made up 18 percent of all homebuyers, National Association of Realtors®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed recently.

That statistic means that for the second consecutive year, single female buyers were the second most common household buyer group, behind married couples, which account for 63 percent of homes sold.


ebby halliday app

Consumers, especially Millennials, are changing up their house-hunting strategies. More than ever, buyers are relying on smartphone apps to discover available properties and narrow down their searches before getting in touch with a real estate professional.

Ebby Halliday Realtors has been on the leading edge of technology in the North Texas real estate market since they introduced a searchable website in the 1990s. Many brokerages weren’t even online then.

They are again shaping the technology landscape in real estate with the Ebby Halliday Realtors app, offering a plethora of powerful features and user-friendly components.

“The Ebby app is a natural extension of our website, ebby.com, said Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors. “We are dedicated to meeting all of our clients’ needs by providing advanced interactive mapping for consumers on the go.”

The app is proof of their expertise in the area of technology, showing Ebby “gets” the needs of modern buyers, particularly Millennials.

“This innovative app provides information in a natural way starting with a map, not a menu,” said Graham. “Just a few of the functions available to Ebby app users on the go include the ability to immediately find open houses and newly listed properties, and it’s easy to perform detailed searches and to share properties of interest with friends or your Realtor.”


unmarried couples property rights

It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”


millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.


first-time homebuyer

According to Zillow, 40 percent of first-time homebuyers are married now, compared to 52 percent two decades ago.

Who needs a spouse to buy a first house? Not too many folks anymore.

According to new research from Zillow, only 40 percent of first-time homebuyers are married today, down from 52 percent in the late ’80s.

Why is this? First, fewer people are getting married in general. Barely half of adults (51 percent) were married in 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, compared with 72 percent in 1960. Marriage increasingly is being replaced by cohabitation, single-person households, and other living arrangements (mom and dad’s house!).

They’re also waiting longer to get married—the median age for first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 for women and 23 for men back in 1960, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

This real estate trend is showing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. One example: ReMax Realtor Ken Lampton says he has a lot of unmarried professional women buying in the Lakewood and Lower Greenville areas of Dallas.

“They don’t have children, so schools aren’t a concern, and they are willing to buy a smaller house in order to be closer to downtown Dallas,” Lampton said.



CNU’s 23rd Annual Congress in Dallas this week has been described as a gathering of city designers who’ve all “seen the same UFO” – they all seem to share this experience of being looked at like they’re crazy when they begin explaining their practice of city design. Yet, to me many of these ideas seem a lot like common sense. Maybe it’s the millennial in me. Nonetheless it’s inspiring to be surrounded by so many healthy, engaged people working to make our cities places that people love.


The always-inspiring Gail Thomas began yesterday’s Opening Plenary  with video snippets of over 10 years of the Dallas Institute for Humanity’s symposium “What Makes a City”. Some of the most inspiring answers, from thought-leaders around the world posed that What make a city is….

Architecture & poetry; The character of the place; Form and process are interconnected. Form should allow groups to happen; We have a deep yearning for a place at the heart of city to just be there and experience the life of the City; Places where we can go to share ideas. We need places where these exchanges can happen; A city nourishes love,  rediscovering what it means to be human.

I’m running with Gail’s “Dallas the City of Imagination.” In Dallas, if you can dream it you just might be able to do it. I’ve heard others make similar comments – in Dallas you’re one of a few, rather than one in a thousand as in NYC. It’s a CAN-DO business environment. (Maybe that’s the Texan cowboy in us?)

Robert Wilonsky then introduced two local Mayors, Betsy Price of Fort Worth and Laura Maczka of Richardson. They had very similar advice about what’s worked to engage their resident and business communities.

Above all, Mayor Price stressed the importance of “true listening” as an art of hearing both the good and bad and making sense of it all to save tome, energy, and money. Fort Worth has engaged young leaders in its Steer Ft Worth program. Hundreds of residents under 30 showed up to their first happy hour at Joe T Garcia’s. No one had ever bothered to ask them to be involved. And when staff held the first all-Spanish twitter town hall, they gained 43,000 followers!

photo 3

Robert Wilonsky, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka

The other big take-away is their plea for us to give our elected officials the tools they need to be brave. Send them info on best practices and help them understand the argument for what makes good planning, design, and neighborhoods.

Both Fort Worth and Richardson, are focused on becoming modern cities, with great amenities, while keeping the small-town feel of a great place. Amenities are a large component of neighborhood attractiveness – not just for young hipsters living car-free in the city. Even families in the suburbs want trails, parks, transit diversity, retail and social vortexes within walking distance.

Millennial Nation

In all, 63 million Millennials are working through society “like a pig in a python” as put by Todd Zimmerman of Zimmerman/Volk Associates. The next bulge in the market extends from 2003-2036, a demand for family housing as we marry and have children. The question though is whether we’ll be buying detached housing or want to remain in walkable urban environments without owning two cars. That will probably be determined by the quality of schools and availability of workforce-affordable homes. Even in the close-in suburbs of Dallas it’s hard to find a decent house for under $300,000 — a bit out-of-reach for a young school teacher and a city employee.

You’ve probably heard, Millennials are mostly single, highly social, early or unsettled in their careers, sensitive to greenwashing and oh-so green themselves, 17 percent of Millennials are foreign-born, and they’re not very into: NASCAR, golf, driving cars, hunting, or fishing (well, maybe those last two vary in Texas.)

Four different opinion polls between 2003 and 2013 each found that between 55-60 percent of Americans want to live in compact, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. In 2014, 62 percent of Millennials want that lifestyle. Demand far outweighs supply.

With walkable neighborhoods come clashes about street design. Smart Growth America has mapped pedestrian fatalities between 2003 and 2012 for their Dangerous by Design 2014 interactive analysis.


The analysis makes a strong statement that when we design streets for maximum speeds only, we’re neglecting the safety of the pedestrian. When does human life become a top priority? Even more, what about quality of life?

A person’s percent chance of fatality if hit by a car increases dramatically with the speed of the car.


Four DFW Neighborhoods

How do all these ideas play-out in DFW? To demonstrate, CNU brought three planning teams of professionals to join local professionals for a close analysis of sites in Burleson, Garland, and Fort Worth.


Sites were chosen by the strength of their local political leadership, where plans are most likely to be implemented. The projects are a reflection of CNU’s desire to make a lasting impression on each city they visit for the annual congress. In Dallas, the program inspired the Local Host Committee to also begin an ongoing Local Legacy Partnership project in South Dallas with Frazier Revitalization Inc and Partners in Progress.

You can see the results of the Legacy Charettes at a reception in the Adolphus Lobby today 5pm-6pm, open to the public.

photo 2

Creative Gateway into Crowdus Parkfrom Elm St in Deep Ellum

If you haven’t yet stopped by the temporary Crowdus Park in Deep Ellum (video linked here), you’re in for a surprise. Architecture and design firms Collision and TBG created an oasis with the help of an army of volunteers. It’ll be up through Saturday with musicians playing throughout the evening and a movie showing today at sunset. WFAA covered last night’s events. The Crowdus Park Facebook page has all the details.

Mike Lydon, Tony & Julie of the Street Plans Collaborative after their workshop building these benches from pallets.

Mike Lydon, Tony Garcia & Julie Flynn of the Street Plans Collaborative after their workshop building these benches from pallets.