Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Record Breaking Housing Growth in Dallas Area

With Dallas-area home prices in many neighborhoods up by 10 percent or more so far this year, 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best years for the local housing market in decades.
Local pre-owned home sales in the first half of this year are running more than 20 percent higher than in the same period of 2012. They’ve set a North Texas sales record for a six-month period.
Some Dallas-area residential districts are experiencing the largest home price gains this area has seen since the 1980s.
Housing analysts and real estate agents predict that North Texas home sales and prices will continue to rise during the rest of this year, even with the recent increases in mortgage costs.
Concerns about the home market getting overheated are overblown, they say.
“The increase of sales we are seeing is a pure function of economics,” said Ted Jones, chief economist for Stewart Title Co. “This is not false hopes.
“It’s all about the jobs.”
With the Dallas-Fort Worth area among the top five employment growth centers in the country, Jones said, it’s only natural that demand for housing is so strong.
“In the last 12 months, the D-FW area created 104,600 net new jobs — that’s a lot of jobs,” Jones said. “In that same period, the total residential permits issued in this area were 34,720.
“We could have built twice as many homes and apartments and not overbuilt this market.”
A shortage of homes on the market is driving big price increases in many neighborhoods.
At midyear, some neighborhoods including Far North Dallas, Coppell, Richardson and Grapevine had less than a 11/2-month supply of homes listed for sale with real estate agents, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
A six-month housing inventory is considered a balanced market.
Real estate agents say competition is still fierce for prime properties.
“You write offers on five different houses and pray one gets accepted,” said Scott Schueler, an agent with Keller Williams Realty. “We have frustrated buyers and really happy sellers.”
So far the increases in both home costs and higher interest rates haven’t dampened demand.



By STEVE BROWN
Real Estate Editor
Published: 18 July 2013 11:15 PM
Updated: 19 July 2013 07:31 AM