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

June 23, 2017

D.C.: Home costs in most major markets will continue climbing during the next couple of years, according to the NAR’s chief economist. Their forecast is a 5% increase nationwide in median prices this year and 3.5% in 2018, “which is twice as fast as people’s incomes.” Less than one-third of people with the median income in the 30 largest metro areas can afford to purchase a home. The chief economist for CoreLogic predicts mortgage rates may approach 5% by the end of 2018 or 2019. Increases in prices and mortgage costs have added about 12% to payment costs for an average home this year.

D.C.: The supply of homes for sale nationwide is at its lowest level in 30 years. In the DFW area, fewer than 3,000 houses are listed at prices below the area median of about $240,000. Investors accounted for 33% of all single family or condo sales in 2016, the highest number yet. An economist with  ATTOM Data Solutions said 19 million single-family homes in the U.S. are now owned by investors, with 61% of purchases between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet. And only 3% of those are owned by investors with 100 or more properties. First time buyers are facing competition from small investors.

Dallas: DFW accounts for 22 of the 50 Texas public companies on this year’s Fortune 500 ranking. Locally, ExxonMobil and AT&T continue to hold the top two spots for 2016 revenue. But nationally, Exxon slipped to fourth place. WalMart, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple all had higher revenue. Among states, Texas’ total of 50 companies trailed California (53) and New York (54). Houston has 20, San Antonio has 5, Austin has 2 and El Paso has 1. 

Hong Kong: $664,000 will usually buy a nice house. In Hong Kong, that will buy a concrete slab 17x11 feet – to park your car. By some measures Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive housing market per square foot, leading to concerns that young residents will be unable to afford a home. The parking lot buyer bought two apartments for $9.7 million and two other parking spots in the complex for $995,000. Hong Kong also has a superb mass transit system – a passenger can cross the island for $1.30, or 30 cents by tram. 

LA: The Beverly Hills homes of Debbie Reynolds and daughter, Carrie Fisher, are on the market as one estate for $18 million. The duo died within one day of each other and had lived side by side for more than 15 years. Together, the properties span 3.5 acres.

June 16, 2017

D.C.: The Federal Reserve announced its third rate hike in six months, saying it was a message of confidence in the U.S. economy. The increase will likely affect large mortgages and credit card debt. The Conference Board predicts 2% growth and favorable housing demand, stating the consumer keeps the economy afloat.

D.C.: Student housing surged to $9 billion through 275 deals in 2016 and is forecast to grow again this year. Many states are cutting housing costs for public universities and investors speak of economic resilience and high occupancy. A majority of third-party campus deals are in the southeast, southwest and Midwest.

Dallas: DFW leads the nation in first quarter industrial transactions with $710 million volume and 5.9 million square feet absorbed — ahead of Los Angeles and New Jersey.

NYC: Pulsenomics predicts outsiders are not likely to drive the luxury housing market in the next 12 months. Their former forecast of 3.4% growth is now 4.8%. Millenials that are now at a prime age for buying will be affected by home building being far behind.

LA: George Lucas (Star Wars) has bought Ross Perot’s Spanish Revival mansion in Bel Air for $34 million. It was sold to Perot’s company in 2013 for $18 million. The off-market deal was between two individual related companies.

June 9, 2017

Dallas: North Texas home prices rose another 10% in May to over a year ago. North Texas real estate agents sold 10,939 single-family homes last month, using NTREIS data, 15% higher than the same month last year. Neighborhoods with some of the biggest gains were Duncanville (+73%), Fairview (+59%), Wylie (+50%), Oak Cliff (+46%) and North Dallas (+38%). Another 11,311 home sales were pending. One of the biggest increases so far in 2017 is in properties priced $1 million or more. As of May, 663 million-plus homes have traded — 37% more than the same period last year.

Dallas: Only 1.4% of Dallas area homeowners with a loan owe more than what the house is worth, according to CoreLogic. That compares with 6.1% of U.S. homeowners that are upside down. Texas in the first quarter had the highest percentage of homes with equity — more than 98.4%. Just 10,809 DFW residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity this first quarter, compared to 2010 when 150,000 were negative.

Dallas: House flipping is enjoying popularity nationwide with 44,000 homes bought and resold in a 12-month period. Flips were 6.7% of all single-family and condo sales nationally in the first quarter. DFW had 1,036 such sales tracked. In Lancaster, 26.8% first quarter resales were flips, and 25.6% of zip code 75224. Mesquite had a 20.8% ratio and Garland was at 14.6%. Nationwide, the average size of a flipped home was 1,400 square feet for a house built in 1978, and more than a quarter of homes were resold to all cash buyers.

Chicago: Since the Obama Presidential Center was announced in July, prices in the neighboring zip codes are up 13% and home values have risen 5.4%. Housing prices in the South Side have been depressed despite the University of Chicago’s presence. Nearby homes are in the $350,000+ range, but builders are already starting homes in the $600,000-$650,000 pricing.

NYC: The most expensive condo project in the history of New York City has been approved at a cost of $4 billion. The 1,550-foot tower, tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere at 217 West 57th Street, will have 179 condo units at an average price of $22 million. A 28,500-square foot, seven-story Nordstrom store will anchor the base.

June 2, 2017

Dallas: Dallas added the most jobs of the nation’s 12 biggest metro areas over the year ending in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. DFW added 104,600 jobs, while Atlanta added 87,200. Leisure and hospitality sector grew the fastest in DFW, with a 4.6% growth rate. Economists often use leisure and hospitality job growth as a sign that families feel comfortable spending money on fun.

Dallas: The rapidly growing e-commerce business is pushing DFW as a top performing market for industrial real estate, reports the U.S. Industrial Outlook. North Texas ranks #2 in the nation with nearly 6.5 million square feet of industrial real estate absorbed or leased in first quarter 2017. North Texas’ vacancy rate is 6.1%, with an average asking rent of $4.32/sf triple net. The top three U.S. markets — Philadelphia, DFW and Atlanta — account for 34% of all U.S. absorption gains.

Dallas: Part of the almost 80-year old Lakewood shopping center at Abrams Road and Gaston Avenue, across from the Lakewood Country Club, has been bought by a Dallas investment group, only the third owner of the property developed by Leo Corrigan.

Dallas: A builder survey by D Home on trends produced these findings:
Have pool - 50%
Open floor plan - 80%
Mixed on formal dining room - 51%
No formal living room - 65%
Average 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5,000/sf garage

D.C.: Former President Barack Obama and spouse Michelle have bought the 1920s, 8,200-square foot home they were renting, priced at $8.1 million. Renovated in 2011, the home has nine bedrooms, eight and half baths, finished basement with staff room and ample parking for Secret Service. Neighbors include Jared and Ivanka Kushner and Rex Tillerson.

May 26, 2017

Dallas: An apartment search website survey of a national list of apartment construction from 2010-2016 shows the Uptown district as fifth highest in the U.S. With more than 5,800 new units, Uptown has more new apartments than downtown Brooklyn and New York City’s upper west side. Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood was seventh on the list with 4,892 new rental units.

Dallas: Mayor Mike Rawlings shared data on growth in South Dallas at a higher rate than northern Dallas. South Dallas has also had a higher tax base growth rate than North Dallas, 25.3% vs. 12.1%, up $4.5 billion since 2011. Since 2012, real property values have increased by 43.5% while real estate investment has increased $163.2 million annually.

Dallas: Housing options in North Texas are responding to special needs. In Waxahachie, a community has begun with 28 cottages to house adults with intellectual and development delays. The project is a 10-minute walk from downtown. According to the developer, some 700,000 people in Texas with IDD have only a handful of places with a quality life. On about seven acres in Sachse, a Dallas based developer is building a 42,000-square foot, $7.5 million assisted living and memory care community.

Dallas: Texas now outpaces California and the U.S. average for foreign investment as a percentage of total sales volume, according to the Texas Economic Development Corp. Since 2011, Texas has lagged behind only New York and California for new foreign investment projects. In 2016, foreign buyer sales volume exceeded $5 billion in the state, or about 15% of all sales. More than 50% of foreign direct investments originate from the UK, Germany and France.

LA: Santa Monica now has the priciest zip code in Los Angeles, 90402. Based on its median sales price of $3.4 million, the Santa Monica neighborhood is the most expensive in Los Angeles County and Southern California. Other traditional hotspots were Malibu ($2.5M ); Pacific Palisades ($2.2M); and San Marino ($2.1M). Overall, California has the most high-ranking zip codes in the U.S., with 72 of the top 100.

May 19, 2017

Dallas: DFW’s strong real estate market drove taxable property values up this year 9.9% for residential and 14.6% for commercial, according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District. The value of new construction rose 25% over last year. About 54% of county residential property owners will see proposed increases. Officials expect that the overall 11.1% jump in values will

be close to 7.23% after protests are filed. The taxes are for Dallas County, Parkland Memorial Hospital, local school districts, city and community college districts.

Dallas: Since 2012, Dallas-area office rents are up 25%. Dallas’ 10.2% increase in annual office rent is just behind Chicago (10.4%) and Sydney (28.9%) in the top 30 global markets. Dallas increases this year are higher than Los Angeles (4.4%) and New York (2.3%), but rents in New York are almost triple the average in Dallas. 

Dallas: Dallas apartment renters are paying about $32/month more than a year ago, according to a new study. Average rent for a DFW apartment is $1,141/month, up 3% from a year ago. With occupancy at 95%, almost 30,000 new apartments will open this year... However, DFW rents are still slightly below the U.S. average of $1,299, up 2.2% from last year. Dallas suburbs gained 17% more renters from 2011-2015 compared to Dallas’ 11%. Suburbs are gaining renters faster than urban cores in 19 of 20 major U.S. markets.

NYC: The Dallas-Irving-Plano area tops the Forbes list of best cities for jobs, citing cost of living, economic growth and lifestyle. Last year San Francisco and San Jose topped the Forbes list.

Dallas: DFW in the first quarter surpassed the rest of the nation with a 12.6% median home sale price increase, compared to the U.S. rate of 6.9%. DFW home prices are up 50% in the last five years. The NAR says first quarter home prices are higher in 85% of the markets. Economists don’t see any moderation in pricing.

May 12, 2017 

Dallas: Home prices in North Texas hit another high in April. The median price rose 12% from last year to $246,100. Real estate agents sold 9,180 homes, a record for April and 5% more than last year. Home sales so far are 3% ahead of the first four months of 2016. At the end of April, 18,652 homes were listed for sale in more than two dozen counties surveyed, up 5% over a year ago. 

Dallas: How do DFW housing costs compare nationally?

DFW -- Avg. Apt. Rent $1,057; Median Home Sales Prices $230,600
Miami --  Avg. Apt. Rent $1,406; Median Home Sales Prices  $310,500
D.C. --  Avg. Apt. Rent $1,657; Median Home Sales Prices  $384,300
NYC --  Avg. Apt. Rent $3,352; Median Home Sales Prices  $382,300
Chicago --  Avg. Apt. Rent $1,388; Median Home Sales Prices  $226,500
Denver/Boulder --  Avg. Apt. Rent $1,37; Median Home Sales Prices 1 $381,600
San Francisco --  Avg. Apt. Rent $3,038; Median Home Sales Prices  $837,500

Dallas: Dallas is trying to grow downtown, but the urban core has very few 3-bedroom units. Dallas has less than half the national average of 3-bedroom units by total percent — less than 2% of multifamily units in the urban core are 3 bedrooms, compared to 5% throughout Dallas and 8% nationally. Only 38 of the multifamily complexes in Dallas' core have at least one 3-bedroom unit. Uptown's fastest-growing demographic is newborns to 4 year olds.

Dallas: Metrostudy reports that building an affordable new home in Dallas is getting harder. Comparing first-quarter data from 2016-2017, homes priced at $200,000 or less have dropped 50%, with home starts at 8% of the total vs. 62% ten years ago. Most communities building affordably-priced homes (under $400,000) are located further from employment centers, homes have a lower feature level and shallower pitched roofs. Another cost factor is that raw, untitled land can take 18-24 months to complete zoning and platting. In 2010, the process took about six months.  

D.C.: The number of new owner households was double new renter households in first quarter 2017, using U.S. Census Bureau data. The share of first time buyers is edging toward the historical norm and mortgages for first timers are on the rise. Some 854,000 new owner households were formed in first quarter surpassing the 365,000 new renter households, the first time in a decade there were more buyers than renters.

May 5, 2017

Dallas: Home sales in the Park Cities were up 57% in the first quarter over 2016. North Texas home sales over $1 million were up 70% for the same period. Demand is strong for mid-priced homes. Highlights:

Far North Dallas: Sales 254 (+11%); $167/sf (+1%)
North Dallas: Sales 162 (+16%); $248/sf (+3%)
East Dallas: Sales 544 (-4%); $198/sf (+12%)
Oak Lawn: Sales 22 (+5%); $269/sf (+13%)
Park Cities: Sales 200 (+57%); $375/sf (+22%)

20,544 DFW homes were sold through MLS. The number of homes on the market grew by 7%.

Dallas: About 93% of Dallas-area homes and 94% in Ft. Worth are valued at or beyond what they were 10 years ago, before the recession. Nationwide, only about 34% of homes are worth more than before the housing crash. DFW prices remain at record levels. 

Dallas: A seven-story, 95-unit condominium project is planned for a site on Coronado Avenue near East Grand Avenue, south of White Rock Lake near Tenison Park golf course. The one, two, and three-bedroom condos will range from $290,000-$750,000. 

Dallas: Necessity-based retailers are increasing in the DFW area, including grocery, personal care items and household items, all needed to support the area’s growth. In 2017, 100,000 new jobs are forecast to be added in DFW, 88,000 more residents and 60,000 new households. DFW now ranks as the second-largest data center market in the US and is a major e-fulfillment center, both signs of the area’s diversified economy. 

LA: Beyonce and Jay Z have made a $120 million offer on a spec home in Bel Air, listed at $135 million. If they close on the 30,000-square foot structure, it will become the most expensive home ever purchased in Los Angeles. And in New York, the last of Manhattan’s Gilded Age mansions is listed for $50 million. Built in 1905, the six-story Beaux Arts limestone mansion once owned by the granddaughter of rail baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, at 854 Fifth Avenue, was the first to have front and back electric elevators. 

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%.