Dallas makes the top 10 cities for techies, mortgage rates are on the rise, and D/FW scores a spot in the Urban Land Institute’s top 10 markets for 2020, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Dallas makes the top 10 cities for techies, mortgage rates are on the rise, and D/FW scores a spot in the Urban Land Institute’s top 10 markets for 2020, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Silicon Valley Is So Yesterday; Techies Flock To Dallas

Tech jobs with competitive salaries are spread out throughout the U.S. and include several cities that don’t start with “San” or end with “Francisco.”

While the national median home listing price is about $315,000, you’ll be dropping $1.4 million for a spot within the San Fran city limits.

A study on the best cities – where techies can afford to live – ranked communities based on the number of people employed in the tech sector, number of public tech companies, percentage of tech job listings, average tech job salaries, and median home list prices.

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San Francisco

Oh, just you wait.

It’s no secret that San Francisco’s housing market is one of the most expensive in the nation. One might even say that it’s very much the kind of market where you take what you get, and you don’t throw a fit — unless, of course, you’re stupidly stinking rich.

Then fit away, I suppose.

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san franciscoSo, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the market in San Francisco is hot. And I also don’t know if you’ve heard, but the ground in San Francisco can move a lot in a geological phenomenon called a mother-lovin’ earthquake.

Why are we talking about this? Because we over at the Wednesday WTF found this listing that brings both of those points to home in spectacular fashion.

san Francisco

Now, you might look at these photos and think, “What is your beef, Wednesday WTF lady? This is a pretty nice place. I approve.” (more…)

Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam

Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam

I’ve been working on this deep dive into national and local policy and data regarding discipline for almost a week now, ever since trustee Miguel Solis introduced a proposal to ban most suspensions at the pre-K through second grade level, and place a moratorium on them in the third through fifth grade level at a recent Dallas Independent School District board of trustee briefing.

I’ll be honest – I’ve been reading ahead. I’ve been reading ahead since taking a series of classes on the state of public education, an activity that predates last week’s board briefing by a whole year. I’ve been waiting for someone to address this.

Sometimes, I forget that other people aren’t raging policy wonks who consider US Department of Education materials and other data light reading, so the pushback surprised me. The meeting yielded a whole lot of “who moved my cheese” responses. The comments on subsequent stories written about that meeting yielded much more.

But it was a response from an actual teacher that tells me we all really could benefit from not only a good dose of reality but also a whopping dose of “how did we get here.” I hope to provide some of that today by sharing what I’ve learned about suspensions and elementary students. (more…)

NORTHCENTRALEXPRESSWAYIs Dallas next?

Gosh, that’s almost a whole work week! According to a study performed by the National Traffic Scorecard, Austin, Texas is the fourth worst city for traffic wait times in the country. It’s even worse than New York City, holding strong at number 5.

We all know what a nightmare I-35 is at any given time of the day, and you might as well just stop somewhere for an hour or three if you hit I-35 anywhere near rush hour, anywhere near Austin.

There’s only one kind of good thing about this report: when we’re poor, we don’t drive so much.  Back in the recession, traffic did diminish a little but came back up on the rise in 2013 ‐

“congestion was up for 7 consecutive months from January through July 2013 indicating after 2012’s rollercoaster, a slowly improving economy. Austin racked up three extra hours of average traffic time per year from 2012, putting the city just below the traffic nightmares Los Angeles, Honolulu, and San Francisco in road wait times. “

Having been to all three cities, I can vouch: traffic is such a nightmare in San Francisco that it almost forces you to drive after 11 p.m. just to get anywhere.

Dallas is not on the top five list, at least not yet. But an interesting little take-away from this piece is that people are driving more everywhere!

  • Traffic is back on the rise in 2013, even in countries showing continued declines. Traffic congestion was up in six of the 15 countries analyzed: the U.S., UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy compared to only one country in 2012 (Luxembourg). Traffic congestion was up in 105 of the 194 cities analyzed.

The ditch your car and walk-it thing is just not happening. Traffic congestion is increasing at three times the rate of employment. Why? Well, perhaps aging Baby Boomers with bad knees can’t hike like they used to, and millennials schlepping babies can’t carry them. And this is something we need to seriously keep in mind with all the talk about tearing down I-345, which I actually support seriously studying. Will removing a highway really make traffic disappear or “find other routes” when there is, in reality, more coming?

” As we reach the 5 year mark since the start of the global recession, people increasingly are moving to where the jobs are. With just over half of the world’s population lives in urban centers today, the UN predicts that 7 of every 10 people will be living in an urban center by 2050. Recently, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford Jr. said the number of vehicles on the word’s roads will grow from 1 billion today to 4 billion in the same period of time. With traffic congestion increasing at 3x the rate of employment, 10‐day long traffic jams like we’ve seen in China and the 2-3 hour daily commutes that are part of daily life for people in Sao Paolo Brazil today could become the reality for drivers in Europe and North America in the not so distant future. “

 

 

 

NORTHCENTRALEXPRESSWAYIs Dallas next?

Gosh, that’s almost a whole work week! According to a study performed by the National Traffic Scorecard, Austin, Texas is the fourth worst city for traffic wait times in the country. It’s even worse than New York City, holding strong at number 5.

We all know what a nightmare I-35 is at any given time of the day, and you might as well just stop somewhere for an hour or three if you hit I-35 anywhere near rush hour, anywhere near Austin.

There’s only one kind of good thing about this report: when we’re poor, we don’t drive so much.  Back in the recession, traffic did diminish a little but came back up on the rise in 2013 ‐

“congestion was up for 7 consecutive months from January through July 2013 indicating after 2012’s rollercoaster, a slowly improving economy. Austin racked up three extra hours of average traffic time per year from 2012, putting the city just below the traffic nightmares Los Angeles, Honolulu, and San Francisco in road wait times. “

Having been to all three cities, I can vouch: traffic is such a nightmare in San Francisco that it almost forces you to drive after 11 p.m. just to get anywhere.

Dallas is not on the top five list, at least not yet. But an interesting little take-away from this piece is that people are driving more everywhere!

  • Traffic is back on the rise in 2013, even in countries showing continued declines. Traffic congestion was up in six of the 15 countries analyzed: the U.S., UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy compared to only one country in 2012 (Luxembourg). Traffic congestion was up in 105 of the 194 cities analyzed.

The ditch your car and walk-it thing is just not happening. Traffic congestion is increasing at three times the rate of employment. Why? Well, perhaps aging Baby Boomers with bad knees can’t hike like they used to, and millennials schlepping babies can’t carry them. And this is something we need to seriously keep in mind with all the talk about tearing down I-345, which I actually support seriously studying. Will removing a highway really make traffic disappear or “find other routes” when there is, in reality, more coming?

” As we reach the 5 year mark since the start of the global recession, people increasingly are moving to where the jobs are. With just over half of the world’s population lives in urban centers today, the UN predicts that 7 of every 10 people will be living in an urban center by 2050. Recently, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford Jr. said the number of vehicles on the word’s roads will grow from 1 billion today to 4 billion in the same period of time. With traffic congestion increasing at 3x the rate of employment, 10‐day long traffic jams like we’ve seen in China and the 2-3 hour daily commutes that are part of daily life for people in Sao Paolo Brazil today could become the reality for drivers in Europe and North America in the not so distant future. “

 

 

 

After 22 months of growth, are Dallas home prices about to hit a plateau? Could be.

The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index showed a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase in Dallas home prices according to their most recent 20-city composite report. Dallas now ranks with 13 of the top 20 cities measured by Case-Shiller’s HPI with double digits. Nationally, the home price index is up 13.4 percent year-over-year.

But are we about to peak? Perhaps, as analysts with S&P say home price increases are slowing quite a bit. That break in momentum could be good news for buyers who are having a rough time find a home in Dallas with tight inventory and bidding wars around every corner. Case-Shiller’s HPI showed Dallas prices up only 0.2 percent from November to December, and a 0.1 percent increase from October to November.

“Only six cities – Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington – posted gains for the month of December,” the report stated. “Miami held its leadership position with an increase of 0.9% followed by Las Vegas at +0.4%. Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles remained relatively unchanged – Detroit remains the only city below its January 2000 level.”

According to Steve Brown’s DMN story, S&P’s David Blitzer thinks the rebound period of the housing recovery may be behind us:

“Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over,” said S&P’s David Blitzer. “Recent economic reports suggest a bleaker picture for housing.

“Existing home sales fell 5.1 percent in January from December to the slowest pace in over a year,” Blitzer said. “Permits for new residential construction and housing starts were both down and below expectations.”

Still, Blitzer points out that the Case-Shiller index in 2013 had it’s largest gain since 2005.

And Dallas-area home prices have been up from the previous year for 22 straight months. Local home prices are up by more than 5 percent from where they were before the recession, according to Case-Shiller.

We’ll have to see what happens as the spring selling season hits, but steady prices and an uptick in inventory would be good news overall.

What’s your perspective? Will we see home prices continue to increase, or are we about to hit a plateau?

gentrification demonstration

As Silicon Valley buyers moved in to San Francisco, prices for rentals and single-family properties have pushed sky-high. As Candy reported, the bus routes that shuttle employees to and from the Facebook and Google campuses have been protested and picketed by folks fed up with increasing cost of living and being pushed out of the city.

But two laws that went into effect this year to slow speculation and perhaps curb the high rate of evictions under the Ellis Act, which allows owners to evict renters in the case they no longer wish to be landlords. The city is prohibited from issuing permits on Ellis Act properties for 10 years after an eviction, or for five years if the owners chooses to move back into a property.

Realtors have filed suit, saying the law restricts property owners from seeing the full benefit of their real estate ownership. Here’s what they said in the SF Examiner story:

“The San Francisco Association of Realtors supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them. This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, the trade group’s CEO, in a statement.

The question still remains — at what point does the city step in when housing prices grow so out of control to threaten the very makeup of the city? If you haven’t already, read Candy’s thoughtful breakdown on the matter and tell us: Do Realtors have a leg to stand on in this fight? Or is the city’s mandate too harsh in that it impedes development?