Graphic: Realtor.com

Graphic: Realtor.com

Riding on the tail of Leah Shafer’s post yesterday on the past year in Texas real estate, today Realtor.com released its predictions detailing predictions for 2015. In their top 10 list of real estate markets to watch for next year Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to make big gains.

So, why is Dallas-Fort Worth slated to have a breakout year in 2015, with sales volume forecasted to increase by 7 percent? According to Realtor.com, it’s because the first-time homebuyer is back in a big way.

“The growth expected in 2015 is widespread, but as we put together our forecast, ten local markets stood out as especially primed and ready for significant acceleration across housing metrics in 2015,” said Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist. “The markets on this list range from big cities with older housing stock, big and mid-size cities with substantial levels of new construction, and up and coming markets appealing to young professionals for their job growth and high affordability.”

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2142 Kessler Parkway Front

So, what can you get for a cool million in Dallas? The Motley Fool asked that question last week, and came up with 2142 Kessler Parkway, a luxurious North Oak Cliff house we previously featured as our Inwood Mortgage Home of the Week. When we featured this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home last July, it was on the market for $967,000. Today it’s listed, as the Motley Fool column writes, at $998,000. The more recent listing with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Kate Mote, is 3 percent higher than the July 2013 listing price.

The house is spacious, comes with a pool, and is genuinely very, very nice. But with an asking price of $998,000, you don’t get quite the same bang for your buck as you would in other cities, like Miami or Phoenix.

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Inventory Chart TAR q1 2014

Slow growing inventory is choking sales growth and driving prices up in the Dallas real estate market, with only 2.4 months of inventory in the Dallas market — an increase of 0.2 months from last quarter — according to the latest quarterly report from the Texas Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

As a result the median home price in Dallas is up 9.81 percent from the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 6.81 percent from the same time a year ago and the second consecutive quarter our city has seen an increase in home prices. Statewide, inventory grew for the first time in three years, up to 3.6 in the second quarter of 2014 from an all-time low of 3.4 months in the first quarter of this year. Still, inventory is tighter than a pair of skinny jeans after Thanksgiving and continues to pose problems for our market.

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Home For Sale Sign Dallas

To put a cap on our National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference report, let’s talk about the future of the real estate market.

Just yesterday, reports from the U.S. Commerce Department came in showing a much weaker economy in the first quarter than initial reports claimed. And on Tuesday we saw reports of cooling home price growth in North Texas’ key metro areas. So, what does it all mean for our economy, both long term and short term, and how can real estate professionals prepare?

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(Graphic: Courtesy of CoreLogic)

(Graphic: Courtesy of CoreLogic)

Lots of conflicting reports are circulating lately, some of them say our region’s real estate market, along with the U.S. at large, is poised for unprecedented growth in prices. Others claim that relying on the real estate market to support our nation’s financial comeback is a huge mistake.

CoreLogic’s most recent HPI shows a 10.4 percent year-over-year increase in Dallas-area home prices, with national figures coming in at 10.5 percent year-over-year. The April 2014 HPI report shows Dallas among eight other U.S. metros that posted double-digit growth over the previous year ending in April, with Riverside, Calif., posting a gargantuan 19.7 percent increase in first, Houston coming in third at 14.7 percent YOY, and Dallas coming in seventh.

“Home prices are continuing to rise as we head into the summer months,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, in a June 3 press release. “The purchase market continues to suffer from a dearth of inventory which we expect will continue to drive prices up over the year.”

But is that necessarily a good thing? Is our new normal a shortage of available housing in key sectors? And how do we stave off another recession?

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5702 Hudson Front

I was chatting with Carrie Hill, one half of the dynamic auburn-locked duo of Olson & Hill Real Estate, and she told me she had a fabulous condo in a super hot area that was just on the market. I said “Bring it on!” of course, looking forward to mixing up our Tuesday Two Hundred feature with a condo property.

That was last Thursday, May 29. Yesterday, it was under option contract.

I asked Hill about it, and whether or not she would mind me featuring a property of hers that was already spoken for. ” Sure you can go ahead with it!” she replied. “That’s the way they all are now!”

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Sachse Home

(Names  and photos have been changed to protect innocent sellers from completely crazy buyers)

*Cue the “Law & Order” theme song*

This just in from Sachse, where a family staged their gorgeous home and then put it on the market on Friday. Thanks to their talented Realtor and a ton of hard work, they received several attractive offers that weekend. On Sunday, one lucky bidder accepted their counter, and like that, the home was under contract.

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Top 10 Markets for First Time Homebuyers

North Texas is a hot area for first-time homebuyers, says Realtor.com in a new ranking released today. The data, pulled from Realtor.com searches and U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, ranks the Fort Worth-Arlington MSA fourth and the Dallas MSA eighth in their list of top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers. Pittsburgh, Pa.; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.; and Philadelphia, Pa.; were the top three markets for first-timers to buy.

“As we head into home buying season, these markets show favorable conditions for first-time buyers, which is encouraging because these buyers are crucial to the housing market,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc. operator of Realtor.com. “First-time buyers have a widespread impact on the local housing markets. In transitioning from renters to owners, new buyers pay property taxes and other fees and taxes associated with homeownership that benefits local schools and services.” (more…)