Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Strong economic factors, job gains, and population increases have experts predicting strong growth in North Texas home prices in 2015, and a 35 percent increase in home prices over the next three years in the Dallas-Plano-Irving areas.

Local Market Monitor, Inc. released its December 2014 local market reports for North Texas, looking at factors like jobs, migration, housing permits, local market risk premium, and average home prices. Based on those analytics, they say home prices will likely grow 11 percent in the eastern counties of North Texas and 8 percent in the western counties over the next 12 months. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 6.3 percent.

They’ve extended their forecast two and three years, as well. In the eastern DFW counties, home values are predicted to increase 11 percent in 2016 and 10 percent in 2017.

In the western counties, home values are expected to increase 8 percent in both 2016 and 2017. The report predicts home prices to increase 25 percent over the next three years, noting that market is currently underpriced 17 percent relative to income.

County level forecast for Home Values

These reports echo the sentiments of local realtors and real estate experts, who have been crowing about strong North Texas job growth, more buyer and seller confidence, continued low interest rates, and investor demand. Jump to read more!

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Photo courtesy Charleston's TheDigitel via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Charleston’s TheDigitel via Creative Commons

DFW rents were 6.2 higher last year, averaging $919 per month, but demand still soared, with North Texas leading the nation in apartment rentals, and vacancies at a 13-year low, according to new real estate research from Zillow and MPF Research.

The increased rent translated to an extra $600 million paid to landlords last year, Zillow reported. For North Texans, that meant a median increase of $35 a month, higher than the nationwide rate of $26.

Rising rents are nothing new, said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

“Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” he said. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.”

For 2015, expect more of the same.

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Photo courtesy Creative Commons from Flickr user Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

Photo courtesy Creative Commons license from Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

As we see strong job growth in North Texas, and housing inventory remaining low, it follows that office vacancies should be affected by economic conditions in the area.

A new report issued by Cushman & Wakefield confirms this, stating that only 16 percent of DFW’s office space was empty at the end of 2014. This is the lowest vacancy rate in over a decade.

The lowest level of vacancies was found in North Dallas, averaging less than 9 percent during the year.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report says DFW had the highest net leasing in more than 15 years during 2014, translating to about 5 million square feet of office space rented.

There’s plenty of room for more growth: area developers are currently building more than 6 million square feet of office space, which is the largest volume in North Texas since the 1990s. Much of it is happening at the CityLine development in Richardson. That master plan calls for more than 5 million square feet of office space, as well as 300,000 square feet of retail, and 4,000 residential units.

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