The Allie Beth Allman Allmanac is a weekly digest of real estate headlines from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Texas and across the country.

December 9, 2016

Dallas: November’s 26% increase was the biggest year-over-year home sales gain in almost five years. North Texas realtors sold almost 7,900 preowned single family homes in November, using NTREIS data. Most of the houses sold would have been under contract before the national election. Fears of a rate increase may have been a factor. Median home prices jumped 15% and are still rising because the supply of homes remains historically low with a two month supply. About 18,000 homes were listed with real estate agents in the two dozen north Texas counties. December may be another strong month, with 7,500 purchases pending. In 2016, agents have sold more than 93,000 houses through MLS, 6% more than last year.

Dallas: In Texas, people who bought homes in 2016 expect to stay put by a median of 15 years, higher than the current national tenure of about 10 years. Some potential sellers are reluctant to give up low mortgage rates, which are expected to increase by year end. And a new home or move-up may be difficult to find in a market with record-low inventory. New homes are a 14% share of the market, down from 30% in previous cycles. First-time buyers comprise 30%, down from a traditional 50%. In 1960, 72% of households were married folks, compared to 36% today, a decline affecting household formation.

Dallas: Apartment demand stays high in DFW. Approximately 17,880 units were absorbed this year, with more than 22,800 planned in 2017. Occupancy level is 93.4%.

Dallas: Firms are buying foreclosed homes and securitizing rents, sending monthly payments to bond investors. Analytics firm Morningstar tracked 2,314 Dallas properties bundled into rental deals, finding a rent increase of 8.4% in one year, contrasted to Dallas apartment rent increase rates of 6.7%. On a national level, major funds are creating companies with similar rental holdings such as Invitation Homes, the nation’s largest landlord which is headquartered in Dallas.

Los Angeles: A $100 million spec home in Holmby Hills sold in October, originally listed for $150 million. The 38,000 square-foot estate has 10 bedrooms, 20 baths and was developed on 2.17 acres, formerly the home of Barbra Streisand, which sold for $13.25 million in 2014. The nearby Danny Thomas home is listed for $135 million.

December 2, 2016

NYC: In Forbes magazine’s Best States for Business List for 2016, Texas ranks #4 in the U.S. The state is #1 for economic climate and #8 for labor supply and prospects. Texas’ GDP, $1.6 trillion, trounced the top three states by hundreds of billions of dollars-only two other states, #24 New York and #30 California, have GDPs in the trillions.

Dallas: DFW homebuyers continue having some of the biggest price increases in the U.S. The S&P Case-Shiller Index notes an 8% increase in September over a year ago, which is 30% higher than the pre-recession high in mid 2007. Median prices in 2016 are up 10% for the first 10 months. According to data from Trulia, Dallas premium home prices are 128% higher than before the downturn.

Dallas: A report from "D CEO" says that in the long view DFW remains affordable, especially compared to other big metro areas such as San Francisco, with a 824% increase since 1980, or New York’s 797%, Boston’s 693%, and Los Angeles’ 512%. DFW’s influx of new people boosts housing demand and building activity and DFW is among four MSAs with more than 8,000 building permits per 1 million people in the past year, evenly split between apartments and single family. Texas’ cost of living is a positive factor, with the state’s hourly wage, adjusted for cost of living and taxes, is $17.63, above California’s $15.01 and New York’s $14.66

Dallas: More apartments for the empty nester market are underway in the Knox-Henderson area. The Katy, a seven story project on Cole Avenue with 215 units averaging about 1,300 square feet, will start rents at $2,500 and range to $10,000 monthly for 2,400 square feet with terraces on the top floor. Data suggests that about 30% of new renters in urban areas, including Uptown, are age 50 and older. And a parking lot adjacent to landmark Fountain Place will become Dallas’ tallest new apartment tower. The 40-story tower at Field and Munger streets will have 350 units joining more than 6,000 more apartments currently under construction in central Dallas.

Dallas: In its new survey of downtown residents, Downtown Dallas Inc. noted some highlights: 58% are renters; more than half live in a two-person household, one quarter live alone and one quarter in a 3+ person home. Of those polled 35% say parking is an issue, 67% want a full service grocery more than any other type of retail, 80% of workers leave the office to eat out at least once weekly, and 27% eat out every day. Dining is the most popular downtown activity.

November 18, 2016

Dallas: Listings and sales were up in the Park Cities for October, compared to a year ago. New listings were 107, inventory 384, sales 62, average sale price $1,530,717, and 75 average days on market. Using the same MLS data, in Preston Hollow/North Dallas, listings were up and sales down. New listings 92, inventory 322, sales 47, average sale price $1,138,504, and 52 average days on market.

Austin: Texas housing permits are down slightly for the year (0.4%), but up 0.6% for third quarter. Statewide inventory of single family homes is up slightly at 3.7 months, compared to a 6 month norm. Sales statewide were up 1.9% for the year and 0.6% for third quarter. The average 30-year mortgage rate is at 3.46% and median prices are up 7.7% for the year.

Dallas: Bureau of Labor data lists these percentages for annual expenditures in the DFW area: Housing (32.8%); Transportation (17.7%); Food (12.9%); Personal Insurance (11.5%); Healthcare (7.7%); Other (17.4%).

Dallas: The Urban Land Institute, noting DFW as the #2 market in the U.S., says the area may well be an 18-hour market and may be considered as a core primary market; it has world class transportation, a labor force supported by an attractive cost of living, a diversified economy, major medical center and an expanding technology center. Comments also include growth of infill areas and inner-ring suburbs and use of smaller lots with higher density.

LA: Elvis Presley’s former home in Beverly Hills is on the market for $30 million. Hard Rock Cafe founder Peter Morton bought the French Regency-style estate for $9.8 million in 2012 and sold it in 2014 for $14.5 million. The current owner renovated the 5,367-square foot property in a neighborhood where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ray Charles and Richard Nixon once lived. Presley and spouse Priscilla lived there from 1967-1973. So Don’t Be Cruel... make an offer.. it’s not Heartbreak Hotel.

November 11, 2016

Dallas: Kroger plans a 484,000 square foot project on Hall Street between Ross Avenue and North Central Expressway, across the highway from downtown. The building will be a two level supermarket topped by four stories with 375 apartments. A 340 unit apartment complex is under construction across the street from the Kroger site at Hall Street and Munger Avenue.

Dallas: A 292 unit apartment project will start this month on Ross Avenue between Caddo Street and Haskell Avenue. The tract is a block away from the DISD East Dallas campus and includes vacant lots, and old buildings, but excludes the Oriental Rug Cleaning Company. Crow Residential, the builder, is also constructing a 321 unit apartment complex a block west of Ross Avenue on Bennett Avenue.

Dallas: The Uptown area now has around 10,000 apartments with 1,700 more underway; 2,200 condominiums and 500 single family homes; seven hotels with 554 rooms; 19,000 residents, 65% of whom are under age 35; and more than $5 billion in property values.

Dallas: From 2005-2015, Texas’ gross domestic product (GDP), increased by $497 billion, surpassing California and New York, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the nation’s gains in that period. According to the O’Neil Center for Global Markets at SMU, the U.S. economy at over $17 trillion is still #1 in the world. Texas is the world’s 12th ranked economy at $1.74 trillion, larger than South Korea but slightly behind Mexico.

Dallas: In CBRE’s recent survey of the top twelve prime retail spaces in the U.S., Dallas’ Highland Park Village was 10th, at $185/sf. New York’s 5th Avenue from 56th to 59th streets was highest at $4,000/sf. Others were Chicago’s Michigan Avenue at $525/sf; 7th Street (F to H streets) in Washington, D.C. at $250/sf.

November 4, 2016

Dallas: DFW median home sales prices are 9.8% higher than the third quarter of 2015, according to new NAR data. Nationwide, prices were up 5.2%. The DFW median price of $230,500 is behind the $240,900 national price. Priciest U.S. home markets are San Jose, CA ($1M); San Francisco ($835,400); and Honolulu ($745,300). Austin is the state’s most expensive with a median price of $284,000.

Dallas: Buying a home is 37.7% cheaper than renting, according to a new Trulia survey, the best deal since 2012. In each of the top 100 metros, buying is more cost effective than renting, ranging from a 20% - 50% difference in long term costs. Buying in DFW is 47.4% cheaper than the median apartment cost of $1,650/month. Residential prices would have to double and interest rates soar to 11.9% for home ownership to be more expensive than renting.

Dallas: Around 17,880 apartments will be absorbed by year end, with another 22,800 expected through third quarter of 2017. Effective rent has risen 6.7%.

Dallas: High rise lowdown: An 18-story, 270-unit apartment project is scheduled for early 2017 on North Central Expressway at Oliver Street, in the Knox/Henderson area. A 19-story, 220-room hotel is planned for a half block site on Carlisle Street, near Maple Avenue and Turtle Creek. The new Marriott modern hotel will cost around $80 million.

Dallas: DFW has the highest financial services growth of all active markets since 2006, in data from a CBRE survey. Since 2010, DFW has added 285,000 jobs. Financial activity in the U.S. has grown 8%, while DFW’s growth is more than 20%.