Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dallas’ property market in 2011: the good, the bad and the ugly

G.J. McCarthy/Staff Photographer
Construction continues on the Museum Tower building (center) in downtown Dallas.
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The North Texas real estate market was a tale of extremes in 2011.
While the housing market languished, commercial real estate rebounded sharply after three years of declines.
Office and apartment leasing soared. Construction cranes came back. And there was a surge in sales of big investment properties.
Even the shopping center sector, which was hit hardest during the recession, showed promise, with some high-profile building sales and major merchant expansions.
But in the housing market, the downturn dragged on. Still, there are signs of a comeback in residential.
Prices appear to be flattening, and foreclosures are down. Just don’t bet on a bounce in home values anytime soon.

Biggest deal
Crescent Real Estate sales
The quiet sale of a major stake in three of Dallas’ biggest commercial properties — Uptown’s Crescent complex and Trammell Crow Center and the Fountain Place towers downtown — didn’t attract a lot of attention.
But J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s acquisition of controlling interests in the local landmarks is a deal for the record books.
Investment brokers estimate that the sale by Crescent Real Estate was for more than $700 million, making it the largest such transaction of all time in Dallas.

Biggest change in the skyline
Museum Tower
In an urban jungle already populated with “hey, look at me” buildings....