Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2018
Dallas-Fort Worth was the only major Texas market that saw a decline in third quarter home sales. D-FW preowned homes sales fell 2.3 percent from third quarter 2017, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors. Statewide sales were 4.4 percent higher than in the previous year. Among the big metro areas, the largest sales increase was in Houston were real estate agents sold 11.6 percent more houses than they did in third quarter 2017.
"Our market remains extremely strong but is still slowly moving toward normalization," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in the report. "Median home prices and home sales are up, but the rate of increase statewide is beginning to slow compared to prior years."
Even with the year-over-year sales decline, D-FW had the largest number of preowned property sales in the state with 27,660 properties changing hands, according to the Realtors association. The Houston-area was second with 24,028 home sales. Median home sales prices rose 4.4 percent in the third quarter from the previous year to $235,000. In D-FW, prices were up 3.9 percent to a median of $265,034.
Residential appreciation in North Texas has slowed this year after median home values grew by more than 40 percent during the last five years. D-FW had the largest inventory increase of any of the major metros - up 14.5 percent from third quarter 2017. "At the current rate that home sales and active listings are increasing, we are trending towards another record-breaking year in Texas real estate," Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said.
The latest forecast from CoreLogic calls for only about 2.7 percent home price growth in D-FW in the next 12 months.
- Dallas Morning News, October 15, 2018
Don't look for Dallas-Fort Worth on the list of cities economists expect to have the biggest home price gains in the year ahead. Nationwide prices are expected to rise by less than 5 percent in the year ahead, according Veros, a risk management and valuation firm. "Our latest VeroForecast indicates that on average, for the top 100 most populated metro areas, we expect 4.5 percent appreciation over the next 12 months," Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling at Veros, said in the report. "We are forecasting that the overwhelming number of metros across the nation, approximately 97 percent, will appreciate, with just three percent depreciating during this period."
"The days of easy 10 percent price gains in one year are over," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, told real estate agents. For sure that is so in Dallas-Fort Worth. Median sales prices in North Texas were up 9 percent last year, and rose 10 percent in 2016 and 2015 and were 11 percent higher in 2014. Through the first nine months of 2018, median sales prices of houses sold by local real estate agents are just 5 percent greater than the same period last year.
A forecast for the next 12 months sees 2.1 percent home price growth in the D-FW area, according to CoreLogic. That's much less than their U.S. 1-year price forecast rise of 4.7 percent. After several years of double-digit percentage home appreciation in North Texas, the latest price forecasts may seem dismal. But a slowdown in home price gains is just what the D-FW area needs at this point in the cycle. The best way to prevent another housing bubble is to let a little air out of the market before things get too overvalued.
By Claire Ballor – Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal, October 10, 2018
With a relatively low cost of living and population growth projections that outstrip other U.S. cities by two times, Dallas-Fort Worth has been named the top real estate market to watch in 2019.
The Emerging Trends in Real Estate for 2019 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute ranked the Metroplex as the number one market for overall real estate prospects in 2019 out of 78 other cities. Austin and San Antonio also made it into the top 20 for overall real estate prospects in the annual forecast report, which is compiled from thousands of interviews with real estate experts across a spectrum of industries.
Mitch Roschelle, a partner at PwC, said the economic data points analyzed for the report suggest the strength of the economy and the discipline being practiced in the real estate market. "If there is a downturn ahead of us, it won't be real estate that caused it," he said. "Right now there's way more discipline in all activities in real estate than there has been in any other time in the modern era. We haven't gotten ahead of ourselves in terms of real estate development. I hope that real estate folks remain as conservative as they have in creating new supply."
Roschelle said he's seeing that conservative behavior in Dallas-Fort Worth and it has kept the market from getting ahead of itself despite the ever-growing demand and push for growth.
As for what makes North Texas the one to watch next year, he said several factors come into play.
"The things that have been important in years past have been markets that have low cost of living and low, relative to the national average, cost of doing business. That's where companies want to be and that's where people want to be," Roschelle said.
The low cost of living, low cost of doing business and tax efficiency continue to draw people to Dallas-Fort Worth, he said. And so much so that the area's population growth rate is projected to be more than two times the national average in 2019.
"The growth in the population is skewed towards younger folks in Dallas," Roschelle said. "The growth in the 0 to 24 age category is high and in the 25 to 40 category. [The population] is becoming younger, and those people are all the workers for the future."
But as the population in the Metroplex grows, affordable housing is becoming more of an issue. Although affordable single-family homes are a contributor to Dallas-Fort Worth's success, there aren't enough of them, according to the report. The report says focus group respondents in the Dallas area pointed to an increasingly prevalent "not in my backyard" mentality as the reason for the slow down in available workforce housing.
"Dallas traditionally was a place where there was a piece of land, and if someone wanted to build on it, they just built on it," Roschelle said. Now, though, developers are often met with a "you're not building that thing near me" attitude, which tends to add hurdles like cost and time, he said. This contributes to the problem that Dallas-Fort Worth is facing with additions to housing supply not keeping pace with demand.
What the Dallas area has going for it, though, is a diverse and stable employment base thanks to the wide spectrum of industries represented in the area, Roschelle said. The report indicates that the market is expected to have high growth and low volatility when it comes to employment in 2019.
Here are a few things the report says to keep an eye on in 2019:
Issues on the horizon
Dallas-area home prices are rated as less likely to fall in a new risk assessment study. The Dallas area ranks as "low" in risk of a price meltdown in a new study by Arch Mortgage Insurance. That translates to about a 12 percent chance of seeing a price decrease by 24 months from now, according to the North Carolina-based company. Texas is still considered the country's most overheated housing market. Arch Mortgage estimates that home values in the state are more than 30 percent greater than they should be based on market fundamentals. "Texas is likely to become riskier going forward since affordability continues to deteriorate at a rapid rate and it is easier to build there than in most states," the report said. "Among larger metros, Houston (22 percent) was the riskiest." Dallas-area home prices are currently at record levels. But the rate of home price appreciation has slowed significantly this year. Through the first eight months of 2018, median North Texas home sales prices are up about 5 percent. Even with the higher prices, Arch Mortgage in its quarterly report ranked Fort Worth as the best market in the country for millennials to buy houses and get jobs. But they'd better not wait too long, the analysts said.
The number of "For Sale" signs is growing in North Texas' housing market. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has had one of the biggest increases in the country in the number of homes listed for sale, according to Realtor.com. D-FW ranked eighth among the 10 major U.S. markets with the greatest increase in home listings in September, up 14 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Realtor.com. Local real estate market numbers show that almost 26,000 preowned single-family homes were listed for sale in August with North Texas real estate agents. That's the highest volume in six years. Nationwide, home inventories are at a 5-year high, according to Realtor.com. "After years of record-breaking inventory declines, September's almost flat inventory signals a big change in the real estate market," Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, said in the report. "Would-be buyers who had been waiting for a bigger selection of homes for sale may finally see more listings materialize.
North Texas home sales dropped in September by the largest percentage in more than seven years. Preowned home sales in the area fell by 7 percent from September 2017. That was the biggest year-over-year sales decline since early 2011, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. Home sales by real estate agents have been down in three of the last four months. Higher mortgage costs and years of rising home prices have caused some buyers to pull back from the market. Mortgage rates on average are currently about 4.7 percent — the highest level in seven years — and are expected to go higher in 2019. With September's sales decline, preowned home sales by real estate agents in North Texas are now flat with the same period of 2017. A record of more than 106,000 homes sold in the area last year. "We think things are going to be flat," said Dr James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center. The Dallas-Fort Worth housing market has cooled significantly since early in the year when sales were still up by double-digit percentage rates from 2017 levels.
Home price growth has also slowed. Median home sales prices rose by 4 percent in September from a year earlier to $251,000. For the first nine months of 2018, prices are up 5 percent from the sale period in 2017. With sales declining, the number of houses on the market in North Texas has growth to 25,895 preowned single-family homes listed with real estate agents at the end of last month. That's 16 percent more homes for sale in the area than a year ago. On average it took 44 days to sell the houses that trade in September — up 5 percent from a year earlier. Currently there is about a 3-month supply of homes available for purchase in the more than two dozen North Texas counties included in the survey.