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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New House under Construction

Recent reports show that new home sales are at their highest since 2008, while prices of existing homes are up year-over-year.

New home sales are up 17 percent from the same time last year, according to Residential Strategies, and new home starts are up 11.4 percent, too, at 6,511. Builders are trying to keep up with demand while also trying to keep new homes affordable for buyers, according to a story from Steve Brown:

“Start activity remains strong as builders maintain healthy sales backlogs and are working to reestablish depleted speculative inventory,” Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson said in the report. “Robust job formation, in combination with tight housing inventories, has kept builders optimistic about sustained new housing demand.”

Rising new home prices have caused a slowdown in sales for some buyers.

Since 2007 the median price of a new home in North Texas has increased $69,000 – 33 percent – to $275,000.

“Affordability continues to be a primary concern for new home builders,” Wilson said.

“Many are anticipating that at some point down the road, interest rates will increase, and they want to ensure that their housing prices are still within reach of the consumer.”

Additionally, a new report from CoreLogic shows that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area is posting an 8.5 percent increase in home price appreciation according to the firm’s most recent HPI.

“Home prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly, across most of the U.S., ” said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Major Metropolitan Areas such as Riverside and Los Angeles, California, and Houston continue to lead the way with strong price gains buoyed by tight supplies and a gradual rebound in economic activity.”

In Texas, that means we’re holding steady at our return-to-peak price levels, with no major increases. With new home construction up, a positive outlook for investors in several niche markets, and with prices still on the rise, are you optimistic about the Dallas/Fort Worth real estate market going into Q4 2014?

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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Shadybank Living

North Texas’ real estate market posted a 4 percent increase in sales for the month of November, the lowest such increase since the 2012 according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Gleaning numbers from NTREIS, the center’s report showed a 12 percent decrease in condo and townhome sales, too.

But instead of freaking out about whether increasing mortgage rates or dwindling inventory is to blame, maybe this is a case of a very hot, hot, hot spring/summer season and a seasonally slow fall/winter?

From Steve Brown’s DMN story:

Even with November’s smaller increase, sales of pre-owned homes through the first 11 months of 2013 are 18 percent ahead of where they were in the same period last year, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

And November saw no decline in the pace of North Texas home price increases. The median home sales price in the region was up 10 percent last month to $170,000, according to sales by real estate agents through their multiple listing service.
Economists have been watching for a softening in the rate of growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market, which has seen unprecedented increases in prices and huge jumps in purchase volumes this year.

“We’ve been expecting things to slow down,” said Dr. James Gaines of the Real Estate Center. “Some is seasonal, but the year-over-year numbers are a little lower than I thought they’d be.”

So, has the fall been unseasonally slow for you, our dear Realtors? Or are you just noticing the regular drop-off in transactions that happen around the holidays?

(And just in case you’re wondering, the lovely home decked out for the holidays in this post is 16224 Shadybank Dr. in Prestonwood. Gorgeous, innit?)