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 15, 2017

Houston homes Harveyed may have to be raised

Dallas: More than 8,600 preowned single family DFW homes were sold in November, more than a year ago and more than in October. So far in 2017, almost 98,000 sold homes indicates last year’s record of 101,500 may be broken. Prices are 9% higher than the same period in 2016. Almost 20,000 homes are listed for sale, about an 8% increase. At the end of the month, 7,697 contracts were pending, a 6% rise.

Dallas: North Texas million dollar home sales are up more than 23%, with 1,699 sales during the 12 months ending in November. The TAR Luxury Home Sales Report says Texas homes that sold for $1 million or higher jumped 19.1% for $7.5 billion in volume. Texas real estate agents sold 4,622 houses priced at $1 million-plus in that time period. Average price per-square-foot was $349 — up 1.9% over the year. DFW had the largest gain of the state’s major markets, for a total of $2.6 billion. One factor is price increases over the last four years, with median home prices up by 40%, pushing some homes into the million-dollar range.

Dallas: Around 32 million Americans moved in 2017, and DFW was the #2 relocation destination, states a survey by, surveying a million household moves from January-October. Dallas, Houston and Austin made Texas the only state with three top ten cities. The trio share entrepreneurial communities, economic growth and low costs of living.

Houston: The Public Works Department has notified 1,611 property owners in floodplains that their properties will need repairs costing over 50% of the structure’s market value to stay up to code. For most, it means physically raising the homes to follow the city’s elevation standard, which is 12 inches above the base flood elevation in a 100-year floodplain, or 18 inches in a floodway. The departments reports 30,523 homes within the 100-year floodplain took some flooding from Harvey.

D.C.: Real estate items in the new tax bill:

The like-kind 1031 exchange is retained; the mortgage interest deduction is capped at $750,000; the standard state or local deduction is capped at $10,000; the carried interest tax break is retained with assets held for three years to treat earnings as capital gains; pass-through entities get a 20% tax deduction is set up as a partnership or with a tax burden that transfers to an individual; the maximum corporate tax rate drops from 35% to 21% effective in 2018; the tax code seven brackets, formerly capped at 39.6%, goes down to 37%; the estate tax exemptions rise from $5.49 to $11 million for individuals, and from $10.98 to $22 million for couples.

In the DFW area, homes or condos valued at $368,000 or greater would be paying the $10,000 tax or more. About 151,000 homeowners in Texas are paying more than the $10,000, using data from TAR.

December 1, 2017

Dallas: DFW will remain the nation’s #2 housing market in 2018, states’s recent survey. Their data predicts about a 6% increase in home sales and a 5.5% hike in median home prices, twice the national growth for both. The DFW area economy leadership will continue. Millennial buyers will increase, accounting for more than 40% of new mortgages, with rates rising to 5% by year end. Inventory will increase in higher priced homes. The report also predicts new home sales will increase 7%. Other strong markets include Las Vegas, Tulsa, Little Rock and Charlotte.

Austin: Student debt continues to slow the millennial market. Austin-based website crunched data for 159 U.S. cities looking at average wage, income tax, and cost of living. Their report shows four big cities in Texas among the best places for people to wipe out debt. Houston is #3, Austin #5, San Antonio #8 and Dallas #11. The Dallas data: average disposable income $19,414; average annual wage $51,890; average income tax burden $9,990; cost of living 0.8% above national average.

Dallas: At least three DFW suburbs will have a festive holiday season, according to a new study from, ranking holiday budgets. The survey measured 570 U.S. cities for income, age, debt-income ratio, monthly income-expense ratio and savings-expense ratio. Targets were cities where residents save enough to cover six months’ expense and low debt-income ratio. Allen was #9 with $2,163 spent per person, Flower Mound was #16 ($1,825), and Frisco #19 ($1,740). Big city residents didn’t show as much cash to spend, showing $538-$767 for the holidays ahead.

LA: Applications have been filed with city officials to begin digging tunnels within city limits, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Boring Company (not Boeing) and Elon Musk plan a two-mile underground track that would carry commuters on electric platforms at speeds up to 130 mph. Company officials say the big dig could be done in a year. Bureaucratic requirements may cause delays — but the process won’t be boring.

LA: Real estate is a major factor for cannabis cultivators and dispensaries in California, as regulations push more growing indoors. Architects are renovating warehouses in smaller cities. Private equity firms are raising money to grow and sell cannabis (marijuana), which in California is expected to add over $5 billion to the state economy. Out of state operators from Washington, Colorado, Nevada Oregon and New York are helping investors cope with regulations. Investors in Dallas have begun looking for similar space, most of which will have high power demands.

November 17, 2017

Dallas #2 nationwide in price appreciation

Dallas: Home sales in North Texas in October were up 13% from over a year ago. Real estate agents sold more than 9,000 preowned single-family homes (NTREIS), a record for October. Another 9,000 were under contract. Total home sales are up 4% through October. Listings of 21,000 were up 11%. Median prices were up 7%.

LA: Four Texas metros lead a list of markets with the largest price appreciation since 2006. ranks Austin #1 with 63% home price growth in ten years. DFW (51.6%) is #3, San Antonio/New Braunfels (46%) #34, and Houston (45.5%) #5. The only metro outside of Texas in the top five was #2, Denver/Aurora.

Dallas: The Knox Street business district has a major makeover planned for next year with a highrise project on the site of the 70-year old Weir’s store. The century-old, two-story soda fountain building on the corner will be preserved next to a 12-story, 50,000-square foot of ce/retail tower with a six level underground garage.

Aspen: Snow Business: Highest sale yet in Aspen was October’s $9 million, 4,516-square foot home on Seventh Street. Summit County has 250 residential sales in September, with 35 priced at $1 million-plus. The number of luxury properties in the Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper Mountain area has increased 41% from 2016. Steamboat Springs in September had 17 $1 million-plus sales, for a total of 86 to date. Most expensive sale so far was a new 5,819-square foot home for $3.425 million. In Denver, a 65-acre mixed use project will feature Snowsports 365, a year round complex that will accommodate 400 skiers per hour on synthetic snow.

Phoenix: The 28,000-acre Belmont development on the west edge of metro Phoenix has drawn an $80 million investment from Bill Gates. Plans call for 80,000 homes; 3,800 acres of industrial, of ce and retail space; 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools.

November 10, 2017

Texas home sales slow down

Dallas: Texas home sales in the third quarter had their first decline in five years — but only .03%. Declines were largely in regions impacted by Harvey, including Houston and coastal towns. Prices were up 5.6% over a year ago. DFW led the state in preowned home sales, with 28,406 solds for the quarter and a record median price of $255,000, up 8.5% from a year ago. DFW active listings for third quarter were 22,136 (13.8%), and closed sales were 28,406 (+1.7%). Two-thirds of the sales were under $400,000. Prices: $100,00-$199,00 (26%); $200,000-$299,000 (33.4%); $300,000-$399,000 (18.2%); $400,000-$499,000 (9%); $500,000-$749,000 (6.9%); $750,000-$999,000 (1.7%); $1,000,00+ (1.4%).

Houston: The HAR reports single-family home sales rose 4.3% from last September after a 24% drop in August. Gains are in all properties over $150,000, with homes in the $500,000-$750,000 seeing the most volume. The revived rental market is the strongest ever seen. Demand for single-family rentals rose 83.6% over the year, while condo leases soared 92.2% Average condo rents are up 5.4% ($1,601) and single family rents rose 7.9% to $1,886.

Dallas: A $1.5 billion residential community between Ft. Worth and Denton will host more than 3,000 new homes. Hillwood is building the 1,157-acre Pecan Square project in Northlake, with houses starting at about $270,000. 15 acres has been donated to Northwest ISD for a new elementary school and the district has purchased 150 acres for a new middle school, high school and stadium.

Dallas: The 25 wealthiest zip codes in the metro area were ranked by the Dallas Business Journal using ESRI metrics, which included average household income, home value, average net worth, and disposable income among other factors. The five top zip codes: 76034 Colleyville (8,496 households); 75225 Dallas (9,240 HH); 76092 Southlake (9,263 HH); 75022 Flower Mound (7574 HH); 75205 Dallas (9,636 HH).

Dallas: Dallas ranked second only to New York for total apartment permits in the third quarter, according to RealPage. More than 20,000 permits were issued through September and more than 47,000 units are under construction. Six of ten major metro areas issued fewer permits than a year ago with the biggest declines in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Nationwide permits were down 25%.

NYC: The landmark building at 124 W. Houston Street, near West Village and Soho, built in 1900, was Bob Dylan’s private recording studio in the 1960s and 70s, It’s now a luxury rental with four full-floor lofts staring at $12,500/mo., each with two bedrooms and two and a half baths. The $18,000/mo. penthouse includes a 750-square foot rooftop garden.

November 3, 2017

Luxury home sales up nationwide

Dallas: DFW home prices were up 8% in the third quarter from a year ago, highest of the state’s major cities. Prices were higher in 162 of the 177 metro markets in the NAR survey. Nationwide, listings were down 6.4%, but in North Texas, listings were about 11% higher than a year ago. In another national report, homes priced above $1 million, the top 5% of sales, were up 4.9% with an average price of $1.71 million. Sales of $1 million and above increased 11% annually and those priced above $5 million experienced a 10.2% increase over the year.

Dallas: A census data study ranked Dallas fourth in the nation for an increase in baby boomer (51-69) renters from 2009-2015. Nationally, 2.5 million boomers became renters, the largest percentage (28%) change for any generation. Age under 34 was up 3% and 35-54 rose 14%. For the time period, Dallas saw a 46% increase in baby boomer renters, primarily to suburbs, with 38% growth in empty nesters and 39% growth for boomers with families. A recent study from shows DFW has one of the nation’s highest eviction rates (5.6%), tied for fourth with Indianapolis. Memphis is #1, followed by Phoenix and Atlanta. The survey showed that one-fifth of renters were unable to pay in full for at least one of three months. Households with children were twice as likely to face eviction.

Dallas: The acquisition of homebuilder CalAtlantic by Lennar Corp. for $9.3 billion may spark area big builders such as D.R. Horton to get bigger in North Texas and squeeze smaller homebuilders. Horton has a current market share in North Texas of 15.7%, and the new entity would have 6.3%. In other U.S. markets, the new group has as much as 30% market share. Private builders may face stiff pricing competition.

D.C.: The proposed overhaul of the U.S. Tax Code may affect homeowners. In addition to lowering the corporate tax rate and collapsing the seven tax brackets for individuals to four, it eliminates the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax. Also proposed is cutting in half the mortgage interest deduction, limiting the deductible from $1 million to the first $500,000 worth of home loans. The bill will allow deducting local property taxes, capping that amount to $10,000.

Austin: Dell founder and CEO, Michael Dell, is under contract for a penthouse in the Four Seasons Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston, which will be the city’s tallest residential buiilding. Of three for sale, one is in contract for $40 million, another is for sale at $40 million. Size and price are unknown, but estimates are around 7,300 square feet. The $40 million would be a record price for Boston condos.