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.


The Urban Land Institute of North Texas has announced that its prestigious 2019 Vision Award will go to Craig Hall, chairman and founder of Dallas-based HALL Group, during the fifth annual Impact Awards Gala on October 10.

The announcement of this year’s Vision Award honoree was made by ULI North Texas Chair John Brownlee of HFF at the organization’s annual Capital Markets program on Thursday, March 7.

Without a doubt,” Brownlee noted, Craig Hall exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership and entrepreneurship. His success in building an innovative, multi-faceted real estate company has contributed a great deal to the growth of North Texas. We couldn’t be more excited to honor Craig and his monumental career at our 2019 Impact Awards. (more…)

How did the Dallas real estate market become the market to watch next year, but not make the top of a list of rising home values? We take a look at recent reports in this week’s real estate market news roundup.


After falling to number five last year, the Dallas market is once again number one for overall real estate prospects in 2019, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate revealed.

The Dallas market topped 78 other cities, and regained its top spot largely because of its young workforce and high business startup activity, the report said. (more…)

Dallas' Katy Trail received a "Best Public Place" award from the Urban Land Institute.

Dallas’ Katy Trail received a “Best Public Place” award from the Urban Land Institute.

It seems, Dallasites, we have a habit of comparing ourselves to other cities in our bid to become “world class.” Whatever that means, amiright? Perhaps it’s time we start acknowledging all of the really cool stuff we have in our backyard, like our now award-winning SWA-designed Katy Trail, which was named “Best Public Place” by the North Texas District Council of the Urban Land Institute during the group’s “Impact” awards.

I mean, if it’s good enough for a huge group of urban planners and architects, it should be good enough for us, right? Well, it’s no Buffalo Bayou, a public place that Mark Lamster has lauded as a model for Dallas’ Trinity River and another SWA project, but it’s actually better because it links the more than 2,800 daily trail users through 20 diverse neighborhoods along its 3.5 miles, encourages alternative transportation uses, and weaves through 29 acres of wildlife habitat in our own central Dallas.

Buffalo Bayou who? Exactly.


One of Photo: Darling Homes

One of Larry Corson’s projects with Wilbow Corp. for 2015 is the Hunters Glen development in Flower Mound, with houses from Darling Homes (pictured above) and American Legend Homes. Photo: Darling Homes

Larry Corson is a key player in real estate investment and development in North Texas. Throughout his 30-year career, he has focused largely on residential developments and was recently named co-president of Wilbow Corporation, a privately held Dallas-based residential property developer.

Corson has guided the strategic acquisition of new properties throughout DFW, particularly in suburbs like Southlake, Colleyville, Flower Mound, Roanoke, Keller, McKinney, and Prosper. For example, as a director at Cooper & Stebbins, Corson led the development of the Garden District, a successful luxury enclave located in the Southlake Town Square area.

We sat down with Corson to get his insights on development in North Texas, the housing market, and his big projects for 2015.


Valets at the W Hotel were scrambling this morning at 7:30 a.m. when a rush of sleek cars and black suited commercial real estate types descended. The Urban Land Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based commercial real estate development, planning and research group was in town talking about the markets and what we can expect in the future. When it comes to housing, smaller homes closer to urban areas will be hot for new construction, as post-bubble buyers seek smaller mortgage payments and shortened commutes to relieve them from what we are going to see very soon: $5 a gallon gas.

Keynote speaker Maureen McAvey, executive vice president of policy & practice for U.L.I, says urban appeal may temper suburban sprawl because of the burst of mixed-use and rental properties going up near the urban core, something we are seeing a lot of in Dallas. Apartments, she said, are on the rise and home ownership is falling. We are becoming a nation of renters, in more than just our homes. The glamour of living in an urban center draws the “tribe” and cuts down commute time to work and play, making it entirely possible to live New York City-style and shed a car. McAvey said the burgeoning Gen Y will be increasingly drawn to urban areas and smaller homes. As Lucy Billingsley put it later in a break-out session, “they don’t want the silver.”

Home sales will be tempered by dwindling mobility when couples have a tough time, for example, finding two jobs in the same city. This group will stay in their homes for a longer period of time. We will see many changes in the way we live outside of the box of the two parent, two child one-generational family: homes are becoming multigenerational to accommodate aging parents or adult children who have not yet left the nest. Think about that the next time you see a home with two master suites. Meantime, the average size of homes is predicted to shrink by 20% in coming years because of increased maintenance costs.

One thing we can count on: taxes and energy costs will go up up up.

The biggest take-aways from a great morning:

–  The current world market change is different from any other. We are not going back to the old ways.

– Watch these two demographics — Gen Y at 85 million strong, and Boomers at 81 million strong. Both are changing attitudes towards home ownership.

-In 1945 there were 42 workers for every retiree

-In 2009 there are 3 workers for every retiree

-Boomers are re-planning their second phase of life right about now and experiencing second adulthoods

-The shift to a global economy is as significant and dramatic as the shift from agrarian to industrialization.

-This is not just a business cycle, it’s a major reset of the world economy.

-Demands and desires for all kinds of real estate have changed and the industry must adapt.

– It may no longer be location, location, location but who has the very best internet connection for your iPhone from the office to the elevator.

– (Hint, W folks: I couldn’t get a signal to Tweet!)

– Workers and residents are as concerned about the style and layout of the property as they are where it is located.

– We are down to 66% home ownership and shrinking to 63%, U.L.I. predicts. There are over 4.3 million turning 21 every year

-Homes will be smaller and more multi- generational, also more conveniently hooked to transit

-This generation of kids likes being close to their parents!

-Housing demand will be up increasingly for rentals

-For every car you do not need to own you save $8000 to $10000 a year, maybe can put that back into housing?

-Smaller is beautiful: we will see new homes averaging 2100 square feet and getting more modest

-Office space per employee will shrink considerably

-Retail: internet sales will dominate while the middle is cut out. It’s all about bricks and clicks.


John F. Rhodes/Staff Photographer In today’s Dallas Morning News (staff photograph here by John F. Rhodes) is a great story about the fate of  Valley View Mall. As you may know, there is a five-year expansion project underway for LBJ and the 38-year old shopping center, which is in default and up for sale by its creditors, will be razed to make better economic use of the property.

What do you think will be built in ValleyView’s place? Tall office towers? Apartments and condos? Perhaps a planned urban living area where residents could walk to everything within a one or two mile radius?

I remember Valley View Mall as the Queen she once was: Sanger Harris which became Foleys, and Bloomingdales chose Valley View for its only store in Dallas. Of course, that didn’t last long. As the giant department stores folded one into the other, and as shopping centers became the wastelands of America — gathering spots for snotty, loitering teenagers, magnets for crime, Valley View added in a movie theater which may have generated some income while the stores continued to drop off. As I learned at the Urban Land Institute, Gen Y cannibalizes American shopping centers: they shop and spend money on line, but hang out with friends at shopping centers where they consume nothing but A/C and toilet paper.

Valley View’s owner, Macerich Co., walked on a $125 million note a year ago, and word is the lot will be son for less than what’s owed the creditors.

So let’s steer forward ten years: that dusty LBK expansion is finished, we have stopped re-routing ourselves to DFW on Royal Lane, what do we see in the place of Valley View Mall?