Friday, February 06, 2015

Dallas-area home price gains continue to outpace nation's

Prices of preowned homes in the Dallas area were up 7.4 percent in the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
The gain in September from a year ago was the fourth-highest in the country — significantly ahead of the 4.9 percent nationwide increase.
Home price appreciation has been moderating in recent months in most parts of the country. But in the Dallas area, the year-over-year price increases have remained steady.
“The overall trend in home price increases continues to slow down,” S&P’s David M. Blitzer said in the report. “The national index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time since November 2013.”
The biggest price increases in the country were in Miami, up 10.3 percent from September 2013, and Las Vegas, up 9.1 percent
Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas were the only two cities to see their annual price gains increase from the previous month. Dallas home prices were up 7.3 percent in August.
Dallas-area home prices are now 12 percent higher than they were before the recession and at a record level in the Case-Shiller index.
But annual home price gain percentages in the Dallas area are smaller than they were in late 2013, when there were double-digit jumps.
“I expect the appreciation to stay in the high single digits,” said David Brown in the Dallas office of housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. “Home values are not rising quite as fast this year because some neighborhoods are beginning to experience affordability issues.
“Our forecast is for homes to appreciate in the 7 percent to 8 percent range in 2015,” Brown said. “This is still about double the long-term average rate of increase.”
Case-Shiller’s index tracks over time the prices of specific single-family homes in each metropolitan area. The index survey does not include condominiums and townhouses.
So far in 2014, the median price of preowned single-family homes sold by real estate agents in North Texas is 6 percent higher than in the first 10 months of last year.
North Texas preowned home sales in October grew 13 percent, the biggest annual sales gain in more than a year.
The slowdown nationwide in home price growth is a good thing for the housing sector, says Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.
“The days of double-digit home value appreciation continue to rapidly fade away as more inventory comes on line and the market is becoming more balanced between buyers and sellers,” Humphries said in a prepared statement. “It’s important for things to cool off a bit in the housing market because too-fast appreciation risks burning both buyers and sellers.
“In this more sedate environment, buyers can take more time to find the right deal for them, and sellers can rest assured they won’t be left without a seat at the table when they turn around and become buyers,” he said. “This slowdown is a critical step on the road back to a normal housing market. And as we approach the end of 2014, the housing market has plenty to be thankful for.”

Steve Brown