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."
After several years of ever-increasing sales, there are signs that North Texas' million-dollar home market has hit a ceiling. Sales of high-priced Dallas-area homes have shot up in recent years, rising at a much greater rate than the overall housing market. There are now more than a dozen Dallas-area mansions on the market with price tags of more than $10 million, according to Realtor.com. While demand for low- and moderate-priced houses is still rising in North Texas, the latest sales numbers show that purchases of million-dollar properties have leveled off. For the last few years, million-dollar home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have grown at double-digit percentage rates. Housing analysts say that the inventory is rising while more moderate-priced properties are in short supply. "The inventory is mostly at the upper end," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com. "That's not where the most demand is."
East-West Line thru Plano, Richardson, North Dallas, Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Cypress Waters, DFW Airport
Completion Date – December 22, 2022
Trains every 20 minutes
The final approved DART Cotton Belt Line from Plano to DFW Airport
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit board on Tuesday approved $872 million to build its first east-west commuter rail line — the Cotton Belt — even though it doesn't have the actual cash quite yet. DART leaders met with the Build America Bureau in Washington, D.C., last week to confirm that the federal loan that will finance a 26-mile route connecting Plano, Richardson, Addison, North Dallas and DFW International Airport is expected to close Dec. 20. Within the next few weeks, DART expects to be issued a notice to move forward on the project with its design-build partner, Archer Western Herzog 4.0, which was unanimously awarded an $815 million contract Tuesday night, contingent on the federal loan. The contract will run through Dec. 28, 2022, the anticipated completion date.
It also kept the door open for the board to decide next month whether to spend an additional $90 million to $120 million to add a second track along the line, something the board listed as a preference. "We've discussed the double-track subject for a couple of years," board member Paul Wageman said. "We're going to have significant savings over what we thought the finance costs were on this." Cotton Belt was budgeted as a $1.1 billion project.
About half of the project, including the nine rail stations, is double-tracked as currently bid. Though plans are for Cotton Belt to debut as an every-30-minute service, the contract also calls for three more miles to be double-tracked. That would enable enough two-way passing opportunities to allow runs every 20 minutes. If it doesn't fully double-track the line, the board also has the option to spend $27 million to add a second track to a three-mile area of Far North Dallas, where grade levels and four bridge crossings pose a challenge.
The contract already includes $32 million in "betterments" for neighborhoods lining the route, providing for sound walls, rubber chips to minimize track vibration and other amenities. The first six to eight months, according to staff presentations, will focus on design of the project. The first signs of progress on the ground will be utility relocation and foundation work for bridges.
The Cotton Belt will also connect to DART's existing light rail system at stops in Carrollton, Plano and Richardson. But it will be a commuter rail line, similar to the Trinity River Express, which DART co-owns with Fort Worth's Trinity Metro and connects downtown Dallas and Fort Worth.