The North Texas housing market is downshifting quickly, with Dallas-Fort Worth being the only U.S. market to see a decrease in home sale prices last month, according to a report released today. DFW home prices are down 1.9% year over year in July, according to the latest Re/Max National Housing Report.
And what a difference a month makes. Last month, DFW led the U.S. for home price increases, with June prices up 29.3% over the previous year. In hard numbers, home sales prices in DFW fell to $413,900 in July from $422,000 in July 2021. Homes in DFW spend an average of 23 days on the market before selling.
Higher interest rates and inflation, as well as record home prices, triggered a sharp drop in demand for housing, said Todd Luong, a realtor with Re/Max DFW Associates: "Here at our Re/Max office in Dallas-Fort Worth, our listings are currently getting on average 2.7 showings per week," Luong said. "Last year, at this same time, our listings were earning on average 5.9 showings per week. That is a huge drop in buyer demand compared to the previous year. Record home prices and higher mortgage rates have forced many potential buyers out of the market, especially first-time homebuyers."
While the latest trends may disappoint some sellers, buyers now have more choices and better opportunities for good deals, Luong said. Luong said that the DFW housing market has been challenged with low inventory for years and reached an all-time low earlier this year, with only a two-week supply. Now, however, inventory is increasing. "Although buyers have more choices now, it is still not a balanced market as we only have about a two-month housing supply," Luong said. "In a normal market, you have about a five to six-month supply of housing."
A new report from Zillow also found falling home values, although the numbers didn't match Re/Max's precisely because of different study methods and different geographic definitions of DFW as a metro area, among other reasons. According to Zillow's findings, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area's typical home value is $396,904, down 1.1% since June, the first month of decline. Values are up 55.4% since July 2019.
Zillow also reported that the mortgage payment on a typical home in DFW is $2,633 a month, including taxes and insurance. That's up 77.4% compared to July 2019.
According to Zillow, inventory in DFW has risen 10.2% since June, and the share of listings with a price cut in July was 22%, compared to 15.6% in June. Nationwide, after two years of unprecedented growth, home values fell for the first time since 2012 as competition for houses eased, according to Zillow's July market report.
The slowdown is being driven by decreased competition among buyers. Zillow's analysis says that affordability pressures have pushed many to the sidelines, and buyers are waiting in the wings to resume their search if and when prices relax a bit. Skylar Olsen, Zillow's chief economist, called the flattening of home values "a badly needed rebalancing. This slowdown is about discouraged buyers pulling back after the affordability shock from higher rates," Olsen said. "As prices soften, many will renew their interest, and we will continue our progress back to 'normal.'"
Luong said he sees positive signs in the market. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 5% after peaking in June. More than 290,000 new jobs were added in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, so North Texas has one of the strongest labor markets in the country. "Reasonably priced homes that are in good condition and move-in ready are still selling very fast," he said. "However, the bidding wars have subsided considerably across the board."
Single-family building permits continue to slide in the suburbs and exurbs north of Dallas and Fort Worth, although there are exceptions. Year-to-date home-building permits are down 45% in Frisco, 27% in Celina and 21% in Prosper, with the spring building season well underway. In Frisco, 624 single-family permits were issued in January, February, March and April combined. That compares to 1,134 in the same period of 2021, according to data compiled by Addison-based Tomlin Investments, which tracks new home construction around Dallas-Fort Worth. So far this year, builders have pulled 732 permits in Celina and 378 permits in Prosper. That compares to 1,003 in Celina and 476 in Celina in the first four months of last year. Permits in Princeton plunged 48%, from 606 in the first four months of 2021 to 313 so far this year. Home permits in McKinney, Melissa and Little Elm are down, too, albeit by smaller amounts. McKinney permits dropped 9% to 597 in the first four months, Melissa is down 4% to 295 permits, and Little Elm is down 5% to 451.
It's a different story in the exurbs Van Alstyne, Sherman, Anna and Denton. Van Alstyne is up 146% year-to-date, with 251 permits so far. Sherman has soared 98% with 208 permits, Anna has escalated 29% with 516 permits, and Denton ticked up 9% to 381 permits to date.
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Building permits fell sharply in January in Celina, Frisco, Prosper and Little Elm — some of the hottest markets in North Texas and the nation for new home construction last year. Celina, the top residential construction market in North Texas last year, dropped 51% in the number of homebuilding permits issued in January compared to the same month last year. Frisco's building permits fell 48% year over year in January. Prosper dropped 44% in homebuilding permits issued in January. The January permit plunge was similar in Little Elm which fell 56%. Homebuilding permits also fell in McKinney, which posted a 22% year-over-year decline in January.
The downturn in some of North Texas' hottest homebuilding markets isn't a sign of diminished demand as much as it is a reflection of higher construction costs. The costs of construction nationwide are the highest seen in 50 years with contractors and homebuilders feeling the effects. Homebuilding costs jumped by 17.5% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, the largest spike in this data from year to year since 1970, recent data from the U.S. Census shows. Homebuilders in North Texas last year were hit by an unprecedented swell of housing demand that prompted the industry to boost its production pace, said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. But a shortage of labor and materials has driven up costs and stretched out average building timelines, according to Residential Strategies' most recent quarterly market update.
Limited on yard space? Consider building your garden "up" instead of "out" this spring.
Vertical gardens are a beautiful touch to any home, and they're very much in style this year. Vertical gardens consist of greenery suspended to a vertical wall, frame, or panel. Think of an ivy wall but with a wide assortment of plants. There are also super easy to build and maintain and can give your exterior a unique appeal. Some of our favorite Dallas homes for sale have had well-maintained vertical gardens that really impressed buyers.
Our real estate agents love exterior design trends that include vertical gardens, so they offered to pull together some tips to help you with yours this spring:
After a year of record-breaking construction, North Texas homebuilders are starting 2022 with a backlog of sales and not enough supply. Dallas-Fort Worth builders sold almost 46,000 single-family homes in 2021. Even though local builders started more homes than in any market in the country, they can't keep up with demand for new housing units in North Texas. Don't look for the supply-demand imbalance to end this year, housing analysts warn. "2021 turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years in D-FW housing history," said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. "Builders were enveloped by an unprecedented swell of housing demand that prompted the industry to rev up its production pace. "Unfortunately, as builders rushed to sell houses to the wave of buyers, the resulting surge in starts was quickly met by the reality that there were limitations to the North Texas construction capacity." A lack of labor, materials shortages and other constraints have driven up costs and stretched out average building timelines, Wilson said Thursday in his firm's quarterly market update. Unlike in previous housing cycles, North Texas builders can't meet the appetite of consumers. "There appears to be ample demand to sell houses at healthy margins but the reality is that no one is able to get houses constructed and completed as quickly as they would like," Wilson said. North Texas housing demand is being driven by a combination of demographics and relocations to the state. D-FW led the country in single family new home starts last year.
Phil Crone, executive director of the Dallas Builders Association, said most of the area's builders are focused on overcoming the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic-impacted industry. And with the prospect of both higher mortgage rates and construction costs this year, affordability issues will continue to plague D-FW builders. "We can't just have a market where only Californians can afford it."
Inflation Concerns Are Sweeping the Nation