Allmanac

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

February 5, 2020

DFW: North Texas was one of the country’s hottest home markets last year with near-record home price increases. The area’s housing market gained $38 billion in value in 2020, thanks in part to rising residential values and new construction. In the last 10 years, DFW home values have grown by more than $330 billion. Nationwide, home values grew by $2.5 trillion, the largest increase in 15 years. Texas ranks as the nation’s fourth most-valuable residential market with $2.1 trillion in properties. California remains at No. 1 with $7.8 trillion in properties.

DFW:
Dallas-area home prices rose by 7.2 percent, according to the recent year-over-year S&P CoreLogic Case-Schiller Home Price Index. Nationwide, home prices rose by 9.5 percent in November 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. This is the highest increase in more than six years. In December, median single-family home sales prices in North Texas were up by 9 percent year-over-year.

DFW:
Area home sellers had record returns in 2020 with an average $84,553. That’s up by more than 8 percent and nearly double the returns DFW saw in 2015. DFW median home prices rose by 9 percent last year to an all-time high of $285,000, compared to $266,250 nationwide. Residential values were up by at least 10 percent in half of the country’s metro areas in 2020. North Texas home prices are up more than 40 percent in the past five years.

DFW:
The Dallas-Plano-Irving area added about 3,700 construction jobs between November 2019 and November 2020, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic this area remains one of the most active regions in the country. North Texas had 22.3 million square feet of industrial space under construction as of the third quarter of 2020 with a total of 14.9 million square feet year-to-date absorption rate.

DFW:
Single-family building permits issued last year in DFW suburbs were up more than 25 percent from 2019. Frisco led North Texas in new home construction permits in 2020 as builders were issued 2,445 such permits last year, up from 2,083 permits in 2019. Following in the Collin County area were Celina, which issued 1,862, up from 1,252 in 2019, and McKinney with 1,547, up from 1,494 in 2019. Permits issued in other Collin County cities last year include Anna with 976 permits, up 56 percent; Prosper with 1,123, up more than 30 percent, and Plano, 320 permits, up from 197.

FRISCO:
Frisco has added the most new apartments of any suburb in the country in the past five years and McKinney was not far behind in second place. In Frisco, more than 8,000 new units were available since 2016 and there were 4,843 new units in McKinney in the same period. Eight out of 20 suburbs with the most new units built were in Texas, including five in Dallas suburbs.

90210:
TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest is listing his Beverly Hills 90210 property for $85 million. The three-acre estate includes a 9,000-square-foot house, two guesthouses, a pool house, and a detached gym and underground garage. He bought the property in 2012 for $36.5 million from Ellen DeGeneres.

December 4, 2020

DFW
: Dallas home prices were up 4.9% from a year earlier in September in the recent S&P CoreLogic Home Price Index. The rate of home price growth in Dallas has almost doubled since early this year. So far in 2020 North Texas agents have sold almost 100,000 single family homes, setting a record. In October, median prices were up 12% from a year earlier. Housing economists expect the strong sales market to continue into next year. Some measures show prices now growing at a faster pace than they ever have. 

DFW: In January, Houston-based Hines bought the almost century-old Maple Terrace apartment building near Turtle Creek. The Mediterranean-style building was one of the first luxury residential highrises built in the area north of downtown Dallas. Maple Terrace was designed by noted British architect Alfred Blossom, who also designed the downtown Magnolia Building. Hines officials say they plan to keep the historic building. Hines plans to construct a 21-story 345 unit residential building over an eight story parking garage. The project will include a 7,749 square foot leasing office, a 2,738 square foot pool deck, swimming pool, a 6,166 square foot assembly spaces, 3,829 square foot fitness and lounge area on level 22. The existing seven story building will be converted into office space. The project includes an addition, roof terrace, demolition of existing interior walls, replacing existing windows, and restoration of existing facades. The $125 million project set to begin early next year, will include a retail and restaurant building, a dog park, a small park and plaza.

DFW: A 265 unit rental community is planned on North Beckley Avenue near Methodist Dallas Medical Center. The one-block apartment development will be on Julian Street west of the Trinity River, replacing commercial buildings.

DFW: Ten office towers are proposed at the 162 acre Hall Park in Frisco as well as a public park and performing arts center. The location at the southwest corner of Warren and Gaylord Parkways could include nearly 1.7 million square feet of office space, 1,500 residential units, both apartments and luxury condos, 236 hotel rooms and a 49,000 square foot food hall.

DFW: Realtor.com predicts the DFW area home sales will rise 11% in the year ahead and median prices to increase 4.4%. Through the first 10 months of this year sales by real estate agents are 8 percent higher than the same period last year and median prices are 6% higher. Inventory is down 50% and Realtor.com predicts a 3.4 mortgage rate next year. They expect the DFW area to have the biggest sales increase of major Texas metros.

DFW: More than 88,000 new home mortgages were recorded during the three months ending in September, a 54% jump from third quarter 2019. During the first nine months of 2020, a record 213,791 new home loans have been recorded in the DFW area, ranking the area third nationally, behind Los Angeles and New York. Home sales by North Texas agents are up 8% for the first ten months of 2020.

DFW: Ebby Halliday has moved its headquarters to a 17,000 square feet office in Plano’s Legacy Business Park. Employees of branch offices are still working remotely during the pandemic and employees at the corporate office are working from home 50% of the time to limit the number of people physically in the office. The new headquarters quarters at 5560 Tennyson Parkway was designed from the ground up. All central operations are now under one roof, including brokerage, mortgage, insurance and title services, plus a training center. The space also includes glass enclosed offices, a video and photo studio, and outdoor courtyard. Ebby Halliday marked 75 years in business earlier in 2020, employing more than 2,000 agents and employees in 31 offices at the start of the year. Ebby Halliday has been owned by Berkshire Hathaway Corp. since 2018.

CA: A nearly 12 acre estate in Montecito sold for $32.5 million after two months on the market after 12 showings and multiple offers. The 18,500 square foot Italian Renaissance villa is among a string of high end sales in Montecito from migration from Los Angeles and San Francisco. A recent sale, Rancho San Carlos, a 240 acre estate, sold for $63.5 million. Rob Lowe’s home sold for $45.5 million.

November 13, 2020

DFW
: Area home prices in October saw a 12-year spike in prices, the biggest gain in more than three years. The median pre-owned single-family home price in North Texas is now just under $300,000. According to NTREIS data, North Texas home prices sold by agents have risen almost 50% in the past five years. Local agents sold 11,186 homes in October, up 25%, the largest total ever for the month.

DFW: For the first nine months of 2020, an all-time high of 99,078 houses were sold by agents through MLS, 8% more than last year. Home supply in the 20 counties in the North Texas survey area is down 50% from a year ago to 12,600 homes, about a 1.3-month supply. Pending sales at October’s end were 20% higher than last year, with more than 11,000 properties under contract.

DFW: Dallas ranks second in ComTIA’s annual index of the strongest job centers in the US. for tech jobs in 2020. DFW rose from seventh last year to second, boasting nearly 180,000 tech jobs with a $94,044 median salary and projected growth of 11% in the next five years, at a cost of living 2% lower than the U.S. average. From August 2018 to July 2019, about 10% of IT jobs were labeled as remote or work from home. From August 2019 to July 2020, that
jumped to 21%, or nearly 800,000 jobs, nationwide fully or party remotely.

TX Real Estate Center: Sales for Texas’ manufactured housing industry declined in October, according to the latest TMHA survey. Typically, retail sales of manufactured homes slow during the winter and come on strong in March when spring begins. Production levels remain elevated in October as manufacturers chip away at a summer backlog. TXREC economists say upstream supply disruptions in everything from appliances to basic building materials
are hampering operations.

DFW: Two high-rise residential buildings behind a commercial strip of nightclubs and restaurants along Cedar Springs Road are planned by Pegasus Ablon, preserving the existing one and two-story buildings built in the 1930s and 1940s on the west side of Cedar Springs Road. The developer has reached an agreement to buy almost three acres of buildings along the west side and build two residential towers on the parking lots behind the existing buildings. The towers will be built in phases totaling 450 units, the tallest of which would be about 20 floors with retail on the lower floors facing a new public plaza along Throckmorton Street. Builders plan a 70-foot waterfall down the side of the building. The developer also oversaw redevelopment of the Dallas Design District in 2007.

DFW: Developer Cawley Partners is teaming up with Warren Buffett’s Grandscape Developers to build more than 1.5 million-sq.ft. of offices on State 121. Planned are three 500,000-sq.ft., 17-story office towers. This will be anchored by Buffett’s Nebraska Furniture Mart, a 1.9 million-sq.ft superstore, considered the largest retail store in Texas, which opened in 2015. The $1.5 billion Grandscape Development in The Colony stretches across 400 acres on the south side of S.H. 121 and includes additional shopping, hotels and apartments.

DFW: Amazon is making improvements at Galleria Towers in Dallas totaling $15 million. One improvement covers about 85,000 sq.ft., valued at $12.5 million. Another improvement covers about 20,000 sq.ft. for $2.5 million. The hub at the Galleria has more than 1,500 positions and the plan is to add 600 more employees.

FL: COVID-19 has caused assisted living facilities and independent living centers to go down 2.5% in the last two quarters, the largest drop on record, in data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care. The number of occupied beds at skilled nursing properties has slipped 12% since the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, home builders are selling more multi-generation dwellings for separate living. Miami-based Lennar Corp., which sold 51,000 Next Gen homes last year, plans to increase sales by 20%. Over the last seven months, Toll Brothers has increased its MultiGen option by 12%, which feature homes that sell for $800,000. Sarasota-based M/I Homes, is offering new floor plans with separate, multiroom main floor space for aging parent housing, home office or home schooling. The homes sell for $600,000-$1 million. Prefab homes and manufactured housing are also gaining popularity.

November 6, 2020

DFW: Local real estate agents sold 34,668 area homes in the third quarter, hitting new highs. Sales were up 18.6% from 2019. Statewide median sales prices rose to $266,000 and DFW prices were up 9.1% to $300,000.

DFW: In the Emerging Real Estate Trends annual report from the Urban Land Institute DFW ranked fourth in hottest places to buy in 2021. Industrial buildings, data centers and single-family homes are expected to continue to gain in value.

DFW: Apartment rents and occupancy held firm in October, according to ApartmentData.com, with average rent in the metro area holding at $1,166 for roughly 877 sq.ft., slightly above 2019.

DFW: An apartment complex is being built just north of Stemmons Freeway and Walnut Hill Lane in an industrial neighborhood that hasn’t had similar apartment construction in almost three decades. Most of the units in the 87-unit, three-story complex will be workforce housing. The five-acre project includes a swimming pool, children’s playground and fitness center.

DFW: An 11-acre Uptown site between N. Houston and N. Field Streets is being planned for a development with three office towers, one multifamily high rise, a mixed use tower with residential units, a hotel, ground floor retail and a large park at the center of the project, being developed by Hunt Realty.

DFW: Two Fort Worth landmarks are for sale - the historic 16-story Star-Telegram Building and 19-story Oil and Gas Buildings, constructed in 1924 and 1954, located on West Seventh Street adjacent to Sundance Square. Fort Worth’s tallest building, the 40-story Burnett Plaza, is also on the market.

DFW: North Texas home sales in September were up 27% from last year. Biggest gains have been in Dallas area neighborhoods: Oak Lawn (+50%), Northeast Dallas (+20%) and Rockwall (+16%). Others:
North Dallas: Sales 533, +6%; Median Price $930,000; sq.ft price $294
East Dallas: Sales 1,944, +11%; Median Price $396,000; sq.ft. price $226
Oak Lawn: Sales 81, +50%; Median Price $340,000; sq.ft. price $253
Park Cities: Sales 613, +12%; Median Price $1,232,500; sq.ft price $394
Southlake: Sales 439, 0%; Median Price $800,500; sq.ft. price $210

WSJ: The White House, built between 1792 and 1800, is a classic Greek Revival, which was a popular style in the 1800s. The White House requires 570 gallons of paint and is cleaned and touched up annually. Several Greek Revival homes are on the market.
Baton Rouge: 8,500 sq.ft., $3.9 million
Millbrook, NY: 5,600 sq.ft., $8.1 million
Essex, Conn.: 3,700 sq.ft., $1.295 million
Duluth, GA: 13,700 sq.ft., $3,49 million
Alpine, CA: 4,800 sq.ft., $1.549 million

October 16, 2020

DFW: Local real estate agents sold more than 11,400 homes last month, a record for the month of September and 27% more than the same month last year. Home prices for all of North Texas were 10% higher than a year ago, and median home prices for all of North Texas were also 10% higher. Highest home prices in the DFW area are in Collin County with a median price at $364,220 last month. The biggest increase in home sales was in Denton County, up 33.9%.

DFW:
One of North Texas’ most successful residential communities, the $1.2 billion Windsong Ranch, 2,000-acre project in Prosper, is already home to 2,500 people. An additional 370 homes are under construction with more than 3,200 planned just west of the Dallas North Tollway. DFW single family starts were up 34% in the third quarter and DFW builders sold more than 11,50 homes in June, July, August and September, an increase of 21% from last year.

DFW:
Nearly 23 million sq.ft. of warehouse space has been built so far this year making DFW the top in the U.S for warehouse building and leasing. DFW’s top industrial building markets are South Dallas County - 5,026,043 sq.ft.; Alliance Texas - 4,777,634 sq.ft.; D-FW Airport - 2,352,920 sq.ft.; South Ft. Worth - 2,335,197 sq.ft.; and Allen McKinney - 2,275,137 sq.ft.

NYC:
Apartment rents are rising in suburbs across the U.S. as city dwellers look for bigger space in small towns. Many suburbia tenants say work-at-home models removed a former barrier to neighborhoods and commutes to downtown buildings. Home sales in suburbs are also strong. Rents in central business districts are tumbling about 1% a month.

Montecito:
One of the largest residential properties in Montecito, California, has sold for $63.5 million, about half of its asking price. Known as Rancho San Carlos, the roughly 240-acre estate came on the market in 2014. The estate includes a 30,000-sq.ft. Monterey Colonial-style house with 12 bedrooms, 10 cottages, a small office building, equestrian facilities and about 100 acres of avocado and citrus orchards. The property is the latest major transaction close to the Montecito area as Angelenos head to Santa Barbara County amid the pandemic.

October 9, 2020

DFW:
A new development with new homes, restaurants and stores, is taking shape in North Richland Hills on vacant land that was formerly a shopping mall. Centurion American broke ground this week on the 52-acre City Point project on Grapevine Highway in Tarrant County. The project also includes North Richland Hills’ new City Hall and a public safety and municipal court complex. The plan includes 366 single-family homes, 400 to 600 multifamily units, parks and trails and 60,000 sq.ft. of commercial development. It will take around seven years to complete.

DFW:
Dallas-based Invitation Homes, the country’s largest rental homeowner, is forming a joint venture with a private equity firm to buy up to $1 billion in single-family homes in Dallas, Seattle, South Florida and a dozen other U.S. markets. Invitation Homes, which owns 80,000 homes, will join Rockpoint Group LLC by investing a total of $375 million, with Rockpoint putting up $300 million. Invitation Homes is focusing on suburbs close to the city center in 16 markets.

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP

The following 10 sites describe the real estate of NASA, still active in space exploration.

Silicon Valley –
Ames Research Center: 1,097 acres; the lead on the Kepler space telescope; high-end Computing Center to verify health risk of space travel; hotbed for startups.

Edwards, CA –
Armstrong Flight Research Center: 31.5 acres; aeronautics testing; manages the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

Cleveland, OH –
Glenn Research Center: 6,750 acres; top space simulation and the largest spacecraft testing in the world.

Greenbelt, MD –
Goddard Space Flight Center: 1,260 acres; operates the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center; vast archive of high-energy X-ray and gamma ray astronomy data; oversees building instruments and technology to study space.

La Canada Flintridge, CA –
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: 177 acres; robotic exploration of space, solar system exploration, the moon, Mars, outer planets, earth observation and astrophysical research.

Houston, TX –
Johnson Space Center: 1,700 acres; oversees U.S presence on the International Space Station; a major driver of tech industry in Houston.

Cape Canaveral, FL –
Kennedy Space Center: 141,829 acres; country’s primary facility for launching spacecraft.

Hampton, VA –
Langley Research Center: 764 acres; improve aviation; expand understanding of earth’s atmosphere; develop technology for space exploration.

Huntsville, AL –
Marshall Space Flight Center: 1,841 acres; NASA center for rocketry and spacecraft propulsion, Saturn V, the rocket that took Apollo to the moon; National Space Science and Technology Center serves seven research universities in Alabama.

Hancock County, MS –
Stennis Space Center: 138,000 acres; the nation’s primary rocket propulsion test facility for NASA, Department of Defense and commercial customers.

September 25, 2020

D.C.:
Home sales rose in August for the third consecutive month, fueled by demand for luxury homes and a pickup in Northeast sales. Sales of previously-owned homes rose 2.4% from a month earlier to an annually adjusted rate of 6 million, according to the NAR. That built on a 24.7% surge in July, the strongest gain ever recorded, going back to 1968. Home buyers are returning in force since pandemic lockdowns eased. With many Americans working from home, buyers are seeking more space and accelerating plans to leave cities for suburbs or rural areas. Economists and housing experts expect sales to stay strong through the end of the year. The Federal Reserve has signaled it expects to hold rates near zero for at least three more years, and mortgage rates are also expected to stay low. On an annual basis, sales rose 105% in August, well ahead of last year. The boom was most pronounced at the upper end of the market. Sales priced over $1 million rose 44% nationally and were up 63% in the South. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said the luxury housing sector is simply taking off.

DFW:
A new residential community north of Ft. Worth will bring more than 1,000 homes, reports the Dallas Morning News. The first phase of the project near Northlake in Denton County will include 267 home sites and a four-acre community center. Home prices will start at $300,000. Future plans include an adventure park for children and teens, a campus with a pool, outdoor game areas and an extensive trail system. The Interstate 35W corridor between Ft. Worth and Denton is hosting a growing number of new residential communities.

DFW:
An almost 160-acre site at the northwest corner of Dallas North Tollway and US 380 is for sale. Zoned for mixed development, it’s next to the PGA of America’s new headquarters and golf courses. The site is priced at $60 million. Zoning on the site allows apartments, townhomes, senior living, office buildings, retail and hotels.

DFW:
Facebook is considering an expansion of its huge data center in North Ft. Worth. The first two buildings in the $1 billion project on SH 170 in the Alliance Texas development opened in 2017. Since then, Facebook has been adding to the 150-acre high-tech campus. The buildings house one of the largest concentrations of computing power in the state. The new Fort Worth 4 Data Center at 4500 Like Way includes more than 277,000 sq.ft. of underground work and site utilities. Facebook’s data centers are the size of shopping malls with buildings that house acres of computer servers and the equipment needed to keep them powered, cooled and running 24 hours a day.

London:
Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong nationals are now the largest overseas group investing in London property. Recent sales include a central London mansion at $226 million and a penthouse in Belgravia at $83 million. According to London brokers, Hong Kong nationals are invariably cash buyers. Unlike mainland China, there are no restrictions on moving money out of Hong Kong. Buyers typically want new homes one that have been recently upgraded and refurbished. They often want multiple residences for family members. Destinations in Southeast Asia are also popular. Singapore is recognized as stable with average prices of $1,490 per sq.ft. versus Hong Kong’s $4,440 per sq.ft., the most expensive in the world. Vietnam and Indonesia are also less expensive. Vancouver is attractive for some who want to return home.

September 18, 2020

DFW:
Homebuilders faced with higher costs are passing them on to buyers. Nationally more than 56% of new home communities raised their prices in July, according to Meyers Research. And in the DFW area, more than 60% of communities are increasing prices. Their report says lumber prices are up 100% since mid-April. A shortage of lots and rising land costs are causing caution. Lumber costs alone are adding $14,000-$16,000 to a typical new home, according to Residential Strategies. Many builders report weekly increases in their offerings and say there is no slowdown in sales. DFW new home sales were up more than 16% in the second quarter. Home starts were up almost 18% from last year. Even with higher prices, much of the standing new home inventory has been sold this summer. And preowned home listings are low, with 45% fewer houses listed than last year.

DFW:
The flying red horse is for sale. The 29 story Magnolia Building, home to the 329 room Magnolia Hotel, is just down Commerce Street from Neiman Marcus’ original store and across from AT&T’s new $100 million Discovery District. The tower, when built in 1922, was the tallest west of the Mississippi and the iconic red Pegasus sign was downtown’s most famous landmark for many years. The sign now is in the Old Red Museum of Dallas History and Culture.

DFW:
One of the biggest suburban land sales in North Texas in 2020 is an 1,100-acre tract north of U.S. Highway 380 near Lake Forest Boulevard. The undeveloped property was part of the Brinkman Ranches. Previous plans called for more than 3,000 homes.

DFW:
Oak Cliff will get a new home community of four dozen town homes and condominiums on West Davis Street at North Oak Cliff Boulevard. The two and three story townhomes will range from 2,960 to 3,103 square feet and start at $880,000. Next to the town homes will be a 28 unit mid rise residential building with units ranging from 1,825 to 2,850 square feet.

London:
Average cost of a home in the capital jumped 3.6% in June reaching 490,495 pounds, almost 2,000 pounds above the peak in 2017. The annual rate of increase almost doubled from 2.14% to 4.25% according to Land Registry figures. Property experts said the pace is likely to accelerate further since the summer with the Stamp Duty holiday on the first 500,000 pounds of a purchase came into force in July. First time buyers may be dismayed as well as young families looking to move to bigger homes.

Marathon:
The second best performing hotel property in the state in the second quarter was the 45 room Gage Hotel built in 1927 in Marathon, just 40 miles north of Marfa and Big Bend National Park. Source Strategies surveys the Texas hotel market and in the second quarter the best performing hotels weren’t the big names in the big cities. Others were Galveston’s San Luis Hotel, the Best Western Ocean Villa in Port Aransas and Hampton Inn in Del Rio. Travelers looking to escape lockdown headed to the coast or the plains or West Texas.

September 4, 2020

D.C.:
A surge in home buying demand and limited inventory for existing homes is spurring construction, according to the Wall Street Journal. Home builders say sales come from low interest rates, shortage of homes and consumer willingness to move farther from city centers for more space. New single-family home sales rose 13.9% in July for a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 901,000, the highest level since December 2006, according to the Commerce Department. Single-family starts, a measure of U.S. homebuilding, rose 8.2% in July, the highest rate since February. Demographic changes are also benefiting home builders, as younger millennials entering their early 30s are accounting for a growing portion of home sales. Booming demand is also pushing sales of previously owned homes to multi-year highs. At the current pace, there were 3.1 months of existing homes available for sale at the end of July according to the NAR. In comparison, the new home market had four-months supply at the end of July, according to the Commerce Department.

DFW:
Uptown’s latest high rise is under construction, a 12-story apartment building at 2620 Maple Avenue near Cedar Springs Road. On the site of the former Old Warsaw restaurant, the 335,000-sq.ft. project will have almost 150 rental units. The same developer is building another apartment community on the site of the former El Fenix restaurant in north Oak Cliff.

DFW:
The nearly 27 acres at the northeast corner of Plano Road and Lookout Drive is the former old Owens Spring Creek Farm in Richardson. Previously the Owens sausage business in the 1920s, soon it will be almost 200 cottages, villas and townhomes. 

DFW:
Median home sale listing prices in August grew 10% nationally, the largest increase in 15 years, according to Realtor.com. DFW median listing price was up only 3.5%, but the report says with the strong demand, sellers will remain in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future. Home sales inventories in the DFW area have dropped more than 40% from August 2019. In July, North Texas home sales were up a record 25% from last year.

South Dakota:
A struggling cowboy getting gas at a convenience bought a lottery ticket and won the Powerball of $231 million. With his $88.5 million lump sum payout winnings he bought his own ranch and is now putting the nearly 50,000 acres of rolling hills, grazing pastures and a river for sale for $41.15 million. If it sells for anywhere near the asking price, it will be among the most expensive single ranches ever sold in South Dakota. A recent ranch sale in 2015 was for $32.4 million to Ted Turner. 

Carmel, CA:
For four decades, Doris Day lived in a butter-yellow house in Carmel Valley surrounded by her rescue dogs. Following her death at 97 last year, the roughly nine-acre property near Monterey is coming on the market for $7.4 million. Proceeds will benefit the Doris Day Animal Foundation. She and her husband had relocated from Beverly Hills. The 7,000-sq.ft. house sits on a knoll overlooking Carmel Valley and an adjacent golf club. A one-bedroom guest house was painted her favorite yellow while a gate house with two apartments at the entry was painted red, a favorite accent color.

August 28, 2020

D.C.:
Frisco ranked #3 on WalletHub’s list of 2020’s best places to buy a home. The ranking considered the city first in affordability and economic environment and 13th in real estate markets, with the second-lowest foreclosure rate. Austin was #7 and Denton #9. Allen, ranked at #14, and McKinney, #16, were the only other Texas cities in the Top 30. Homes are selling at a record pace across the state, according to the Real Estate Center’s Texas Housing Report. Higher-priced homes have been more active with low interest rates, loan availability and prices that will not be lower in the future. New home builders cannot keep up with the demand.

D.C.:
DFW will complete over 19,300 new multifamily units this year, more than any other Metro area, according to RentCafe. DFW has been #1 three years in a row. Houston, #3, will deliver 10,400 units and Austin, #5, will deliver 9,300.

DFW:
Santander Tower, the new name of Thanksgiving Tower, has turned the top two floors into luxury hotel rooms with panoramic downtown views, and is opening next week. Guests will take elevators to the 48th floor Tower Club for elevator access up to the rooms on level 49 and 50. Amenities include a kitchen, laundry and access to The Tower Club. The average room size will be about 800 sq.ft. with some rooms connecting for suites.

DFW:
In July, new home sales in the U.S. rose to the highest level in almost 14 years. Purchases of new single-family homes climbed 13.9% from June to a 901,000 annualized pace, using government data. The median selling price rose 7.2% from a year earlier to $330,600. Three of four major U.S. regions showed new-home sales increase in July. Purchases surged to 58.8% in the Midwest, climbed 13% in the South and 7.8% in the West. Sales fell 23.1% in the Northeast. Builders First Source said the pent-up demand from new family households and the significant underbuilding of single-family homes over the past decade support our belief that long term housing fundamentals remain fully intact. Dallas-based Builders First Source is buying a smaller North Carolina rival that creates an $11.2 billion-a-year supplier of building materials.

DFW:
A contaminated former airfield in southwest Dallas has long been a graveyard for government vehicles. Hensley Field is now proposed to be a lakefront development. The city owns the 738-acre waterfront site of the former Naval Air Station on the west side of Mountain Creek Lake. The city received 15 Master Plan proposals and has selected McCann Adams Studio of Austin.

VA:
A 4,500-acre estate that requires a staff of 20 is for sale for $75 million. If sold for the price, it will be the state’s priciest home. The property has a go-kart track, a 180-foot waterslide, 26 houses, the largest privately-owned lake in the state, a winery owned by the Trump organization and carriage rides pulled by former Budweiser Clydesdales.

August 21, 2020

DFW:
Home prices in Dallas County are rising faster than all North Texas. Median home sale prices rose by more than 15% in July, according to the Metrotex Association of Realtors. The median price of $285,000 was the highest ever for Dallas County. Overall prices for North Texas rose about 9% year-over-year. Statewide home inventories in July were down 24.6%. Agents sold 44,319 homes last month, up 22.1% from 2019. Median prices for Texas were up 9.4% last month to $269,000.

Counties: Sales Median Price Listings
Collin 2,238 +24.9% $366,000 +6.7% -37%
Dallas 2,928 +20.75% $282,500 +15.3% -22.8%
Denton 2,070 +24.8% $334,645 +4.9% -33%
Ellis 404 +26% $250,000 +4.6 -38%
Rockwall 344 +40% $330,000 +9.6 -38%
Tarrant 3,354 +18% $250,000 +5.4 -23%

DFW:
Texas buyers spent a median of two months and looked at an average of nine homes before buying a home, say the Texas Realtors Association. Three out of ten recent buyers were first-time owners and 40% had been renting an apartment. Median age of Texas home buyers is 52, older than the national age of 47. Sellers had owned the property for a median of 12 years. Median sale time was four weeks statewide. Reasons for selling were to be closer to family and friends or relocation.

DFW:
Low interest rates are sparking housing sales, even with inventories off 40%. Downtown area condominiums are popular. About five dozen luxury high-rise units are on the market, even with protest events. Prices range from $2,000,000-$5,000,000 and sizes from 2,400-4,500 sq.ft.

DFW:
Almost 75,000 DFW residents have refinanced their homes in 2020, according to Attom Data Solutions, up almost 160% from a year ago and the highest volume in 15 years. Nationwide, residential refinance mortgages made up almost two-thirds of home loan activity during the second quarter. Almost 1.7 million Americans refinanced their property during June for a total of $513 billion. The country’s two largest mortgages - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - will start charging an additional half percentage point for home refinancing starting next month.

DFW:
The number one commercial real estate investment market in the U.S. in the first half of 2020 was Dallas, according to the U.S. Capital Trends Study of Real Capital Analytics. Dallas overtook Manhattan and Los Angeles by 40% with more than $9 billion in property transactions in the first half of the year.

Orange County:
A 13,000-sq.ft. oceanfront mansion on Abalone Point at Laguna Beach is for sale priced at $60 million. If it sells for that price, it will be the most expensive residential property ever sold in California’s Orange County. The stone property has six ensuite bedrooms, nine baths, limestone floors, 22-foot entry, home theater, bowling alley, billiard room, infinity pool and 4,500-sq.ft. of outdoor decks.

NYC:
The Covid-19 crisis has impacted New York real estate. There were 56% fewer sales of Manhattan homes from March 23-August 16, 30.8 months of luxury Manhattan homes at the current absorption rate and 11.3% average listing discount, 67% fewer Manhattan home sales over $4M in the second quarter, 35% fewer 4M+ listings, 11% drop in luxury home prices and averaging 123 days on market.

August 14, 2020

DFW:
July home sales rose 25% from a year ago to the largest-ever single month total. July sales follow a 16% annual increase in June. The first seven months for the area are up 3% from 2019, according to data from NTREIS and the Real Estate Center at A&M. The national median single-family home price in second quarter 2020 was $291,300. The $294,200 median sales price in Texas in July was a record-high for North Texas. The biggest quarterly price increases were in San Antonio (3.6%) and Austin (3.3%). North Texas home prices were up 4% for the first seven months of 2020. Only about 16,000 single-family homes were listed in North Texas in July - 40% less than a year ago. There is less than a two-month supply on the market.
July 2020 - Area resales:

Single-family homes 8,832 (+25%) Condos 757 (+23%)
Median price $294,200 (+9%) Median $249,950 ( +5%)
Avg days on market 47 (+2%) Avg days 58 (+2%)
Pending Sales 13,501 (+20%) Pending 806 (+29%)
Listed for sale 16,177 (-40%) Listed 2,293 (0%)

DFW:
At midyear, more than 30,000 DFW home loans were upside down, where the debt on the property was more than the value, in data from Attom Data. Only 2.4% of the loans are askew, but the increase is the second quarterly rise in underwater mortgages this year. Homeowner equity rose nationwide in the second quarter, another sign of progress in the housing market. More than 38% of Dallas-area homes are equity/solid, with the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50% or less of the estimated market value. In the DFW area, largest number of upside-down properties are in Frisco, Allen, Mansfield and Burleson. In Dallas, the most significantly underwater homes are in the 74230 zip code of North Dallas.

DFW:
Major leases are filling DFW airport warehouse space. A 1.2 million-sq.ft. lease by Uline will take up more than half of the four building Passport Park project. So far in 2020, more than 16 million sq.ft. of area warehouse space has been leased and more than 23 million sq.ft. are under construction.

DFW:
Fort Worth is getting a new multi-thousand home residential community on SH 114, west of I-35W. Located near the Texas Motor Speedway, Wildflowers Ranch’s first phase will be homes priced from the mid $200,000s. The new community will include a lazy river water feature with pool, hiking trails, a community pavilion and multiple playgrounds. It’s the biggest Dallas-area residential development for Houston-based Hines,
who is currently building a 39-story luxury apartment tower in Dallas’ Victory Park.

DFW:
A new report from Comp TIA ranked Dallas as #3 for tech job openings in July, surpassing San Francisco. Dallas lost 900 tech job openings, behind New York and Washington, D.C. Unemployment rate for IT workers in DFW is about 4.4%, compared to the national 10.4%.

Vail:
A record sale for Vail is $57.25 million, topping a $28.17 million price in 2017. The biotech entrepreneur buyer liked the 15,000-sq.ft. divided in two units. Together the home has 11 bedrooms, two pools, two hot tubs, two elevators, a movie theater and terraces overlooking Gore Range. The property, on less than an acre, was bought in 2014 for $14.5 million.

D.C.:
Kamala Harris, the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, owns three properties in D.C. and San Francisco, valued at about $8 million. Her husband bought a four-bedroom house in Brentwood in 2012 for $2.7 million about two years before they married. It was built in the 50s and is about 3,500 sq.ft. Estimates for the house range around $5 million, although homes in the area are asking as much as $30 million. Sen. Harris owns a two-bedroom condo at the Westlight in the District’s West End. She paid about $1.775 million for the roughly 1,700 sq.ft. in 2017. In San Francisco, Sen. Harris bought her 1,000-sq.ft. loft-style apartment in the SOMA neighborhood for $489,000 in 2004. Listing sites nearby value the loft at nearly $890,000.

August 7, 2020

DFW:
Nationwide home prices rose almost 5% year-over-year, the largest such increase in seven years according to CoreLogic. Fort Worth area prices rose more than 5% in the same period. In the Dallas area prices were almost 3.6% higher than in June 2019. Looking at the state major metros, Austin had one of the largest annual gains, up more than 7% in June. CoreLogic predicts home prices will continue to rise nationally through the rest of 2020.

DFW:
The number of homes listed for sale is down almost 40% year-over-year on Realtor.com. Nationwide listings are 35% below where they were at the end of July 2019. Record low mortgage rates have fueled a run on the housing market. Home sales by real estate agents in North Texas were down 2% in the first half of 2020, even with a 16% June sales jump. Realtor.com reports median listing prices are up almost 3% from a year ago. Nationwide median home listing prices are up more than 9% on Realtor.com. Active home listings are down 25% in Los Angeles, down 39% in DFW, 29% in Houston , 43% in D.C., and 40% in Atlanta.

DFW:
Big industrial deals are making DFW the top market in the country for distribution and warehouse leasing. During the first 6 months of 2020, more than 13 million square feet of net warehouse leasing has been recorded in DFW, more than any market in the nation. With the pandemic, demand for e-commerce company warehouse space has grown almost 50%. DFW tops the U.S. in warehouse building, with almost 23 million square feet of projects under construction. Most of the local building is concentrated in north Fort Worth, near DFW International airport and in South Fort Worth. Under Construction in DFW: 22,691,724 SF; Eastern and Central Pennsylvania 21,047,107 SF. YTD Net Absorption: DFW 13,143,886 SF. Chicago 11,333,467 SF.

DFW:
On Dallas Avenue, south of I20, excavators are digging a 1 million square foot industrial project, among more than a dozen projects started since the COVID virus took hold. DFW building starts in the second quarter were down only 1% from the same period last year. Non-residential starts in June were up 10% from 2019, according to Dodge Data For the first half of 2020, almost $11.4 billion in construction starts were recorded.

D.C.:
U.S. home purchases by foreign buyers have dropped to the lowest point in more than a decade, but Texas remains a top location for offshore buyers. Foreign buyers grabbed 154,000 U.S. residential properties in March, according to the NAR. Foreign buyers most often acquired U.S. houses for a primary residence, vacation home or rental property. More than 60% of buyers were recent immigrants or visa
holders. Median price of properties by offshore buyers was $314,600 - 15% higher than the U.S. median. Texas is the third most popular state for offshore homebuyers.

July 31, 2020

D.C.:
Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae said their earnings improved in the second quarter, adding to the evidence of a rebound in the U.S.Housing Market. Fannie Mae, larger of the two companies, said 5.7% of the single-family loans it guarantees - representing about 972,000 mortgages had suspended payment as of June 30, down from the 7% it reported May 1, when it reported first quarter earnings. Fannie Mae said on Thursday its net income rose to $2.55 billion in the second quarter in the second quarter from the previous three months. Net income in the second quarter of last year was $343 billion. A surge in refinancing activity to a 17-year high due to record-low interest rates helped Fannie Mae’s bottom line. Pre-owned home sales rose 20.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million. “Housing has been the only bright spots in the economy,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at investment bank Compass Point Research & Trading LLC. Freddie Mac reported a net income of $1.78 billion compared with $173 million in the first quarter of this year and $1.51 billion a year earlier. These two companies guarantee nearly half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage market.

DFW: After building declines in April & May, DFW nonresidential construction activity was up 10% from June 2019 levels, combined construction activity for June was almost $2 billion in starts, down 2% from June 2019. In the first half of 2020, almost $11.4 billion in construction starts were recorded in North Texas, down just 1% from the first six months of 2019. Home prices are still ahead in most residential areas. Biggest sales declines were in neighborhoods in Coppell, Euless and Grand Prairie. Chief Economist with the Real Estate Center, Dr. James Gaines anticipates the housing market will rebound and do OK and it might be an economic leader for recovery for the overall economy. Median home sales price in the area was 3% higher than a year ago. Sales prices in the first half of 2020 were 11% higher in Northwest Dallas and 10% in Oak Cliff.

DFW: A familiar feature in real estate advertisement is being retired. Property agents and MLS are dropping the term “master bedroom” because of potential negative connotations. Many builders have already adapted, using “owner’s suite” instead. So far the MetroTex Association of Realtors in Dallas-Fort Worth hasn’t mandated a change. The term master bedroom has been around for a long time. One of its first recorded uses in real estate ad’s was in a 1920s Sears Roebuck & Co catalog when the retailer sold whole houses.

DFW: VanTrust Real Estate has started construction of a more than 1-million-square-foot industrial building in its DalParc Logistics Center on Telephone Road, south of Interstate 20. VanTrust bought 150 acres for the project five years ago and has completed two industrial buildings in the development. Cosmetics firm L’Oreal has a 500,000-square foot regional distribution center in the business park. Amazon leased a more than 900,000-square-foot building in the project in 2017. “Southern Dallas is experiencing tremendous industrial growth as more companies work to transform and reinvest in this park of North Texas,” Bill Baumgardner, executive vice president at VanTrust and head of the company’s Texas office, said in a statement. “With the vacancy rate decreasing to 7.9%, we believe southern Dallas is going to be the next industrial hotspot that can accommodate our customers’ need for speed-to-market delivery as consumer behavior changes.” The warehouse plans come on the heels of VanTrust’s recent announcement that it will develop a speculative office building in McKinney, The 115,000-square-foot McKinney Corporate Center II building will be constructed near State Highway 121 in Craig Ranch. VanTrust REal Estate is also a partner in the $2 billion Frisco Station development on the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco.

Americans are relocating at twice the pace they did a year earlier, according to Cuebiq, a data firm that tracks movement via mobile phones. They continued to move at an elevated rate through mid-May. It’s too early to tell how many of these moves are permanent and how, in aggregate, new migration patterns might reshape the country. Some people who left big cities early in the pandemic are realizing they miss working from an office or their companies miss them. Still, coronavirus-spurred moving could accelerate a shift already under way from dense, expensive cities to more affordable areas. In places like Boise, Idaho, real estate agents say people are finally breaking ties with the West Coast after years of waffling, and sometimes buying properties sight-unseen. In places where work has fried up leaving town is sometimes the only way to keep a business going.

July 17, 2020

DFW: Local builders started 10,579 homes during the just-completed quarter — a 17.9% jump from last year. The 12-month total for home starts of 38,847 in DFW is the highest point for this area since the Recession, according to Residential Strategies. DFW Builders sold 10,565 homes during the second quarter, up 16.4% year-over-year. Some reflect lifestyle changes. There seems to be a large move from apartments to get more space and separation. Some reconfigured households with adult children back from college or moving back home after a job loss are increasing. And elderly parents and grandparents are looking for floor plans with multiple suites. The greatest demand is for homes under $300,000.

DFW: Statewide, the home inventory is the lowest in three years. In North Texas, the supply of homes offered by agents is the smallest since 2018, less than a two-month supply. Agent sales in June were up 16% over last year. Only 17,222 single-family homes were available in the area. Sales in the four major counties:
Dallas: Sales 2,445, up 8.6%; Median Price of $270,000, up 1.9%; Listings were down 19.9%
Collin: Sales 1,897, up 9.2%; Median Price of $360,000, up 1.7%; Listings were down 35.1%
Denton: Sales 1,777, up 19.8%; Median Price of $327,000, up 1.8%; Listings were down 29.9%
Tarrant: Sales 2,871, up 7.2%; Median Price of $255,000, up 2%; Listings were down 24.5%
Sales in Kaufman were up 48% and 39% in Rockwall.

Allen: A 135-acre project called The Farm will be developed on Sam Rayburn Tollway and Alma Drive. Formerly the Johnson farm since 1964, a combination of office, residential and retail, a hotel and public park will stretch along the south side of Rayburn Tollway. Plans call for 1.6 million sq.ft. of offices, 142,000 sq.ft. of retail, a 150-room hotel, 60,000 sq.ft. of restaurants and more than 2,000 urban residential units, plus a 2.5-acre lake, more than two miles of trails and a 16-acre greenbelt along Watters Creek.

DFW: A 26-story high rise on Elm Street with 310 apartments and 11,000 sq.ft. of tenant spaces plus 23,000 sq.ft. of attached retail will be next door to an Uber office building and the new Pittman Hotel. It is all part of the eight-acre Epic mixed-use project in Deep Ellum.

DFW: The 42-acre Preston Hollow Village project is adding a 15-acre, 75-unit gated luxury residential enclave of condos, courtyard homes and larger homes at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill Lane and US 75. The smallest of the homes will be more than 2,000 sq.ft.

DFW: Area office occupancy is down almost 2 million sq.ft. so far in 2020 since the end of 2019. Overall, vacancy was just under 19% at the end of June and almost 4.7 million square feet is under construction, mostly in the Legacy and Frisco markets along the North Dallas Tollway and in the Uptown-Turtle Creek district. Biggest declines: Mid Cities -1,397,090; Southlake-Westlake -164,965; N. Central Expressway -124,840; Far North Dallas -123,896. Biggest Gains: Uptown-Turtle Creek +132,649; Downtown Dallas +56,251; Las Colinas +37,665; Dallas West-Love Field +33,857.

DFW: Average area rents are down 1.4%, according to ApartmentData.com. The strongest submarket by rent and absorption is Duncanville/DeSoto/Cedar Hill and Lancaster up 8.3% - 2.2%. Next is White Rock Lake/Tenison Park up 8.7% - 1.3%. Far South Dallas/Waxahachie is down 0.2% - 4.4%. East Ft. Worth/Woodhaven up 2.7% - 1.7%, and Western Hills/Ridgmar/Ridglea up 4.9% - 1%.

July 10, 2020

DFW: Area real estate agents sold 16% more single-family homes in June 2020 than June 2019. Sales of 11,987 homes set a record for June and was 40% higher than May. Record-low mortgage rates are attractive. Single-family homes recorded the median price of $285,000 was up 3%, the average days on market of 50 days was up 11%, pending sales of 14,379 was up 28%, listings of 17,222 was down 36%. Condo sales total 617, which was up 18%, and recorded the median price of $247,000 was up 2%, days on market was 60 days up 15%, pending sales was 829 up 33%, listings were 2,184 down 3%. Biggest increases so far are in the $250,000-$500,000 range. Median days on market were 49 days in Austin, 47.5 days in DFW, 57.5 days in Houston and 64.5 days in San Antonio.

DFW: Construction employment was up in most U.S. metro areas in May, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. DFW jobs were up 1,200 in May. Prior to the pandemic, North Texas led the U.S. in March in construction jobs with 10,000 jobs. DFW-area jobs at the end of May were up 3,200 jobs from last year. In the Ft. Worth area, there were 4,600 fewer jobs.

DFW: Construction engineering and costs were down in June, reports IHS Markit. Construction activity is up the last two months. The Dallas Builders Association says local builders are seeing volatility in supply chains, which has increased prices. Lumber has increased and the same with HVAC equipment where some factories have closed due to COVID cases causing a driver shortage. Plumbing and lighting fixtures are encountering significant delays. What used to take 3-4 weeks to arrive from China now takes 10-12 weeks. Lumber and plywood futures for July delivery are at $499 per thousand board feet. Mills that were closed are benefiting from people who stayed home and started building decks and pergolas. Fresh white wood from timber and green wood, treated to last outdoors on patios, is in demand as bars and restaurants are building fenced-in decks for outdoor dining.

NYC: Overseas residential purchases climbed steadily from 2011-2017, peaking at $153 billion in the year ending in March 2017, according to the NAR. About 60% of foreign buyers are recent immigrants or foreigners living in the U.S., while others living in the U.S. buy homes as investment properties or vacation homes. Foreign appetite fell sharply in 2018-2019. Much of the buying was from China. It slowed in 2019 after China implemented new controls over foreign currency purchases as the trade dispute with the US. heated up. This year, demand is likely to be weaker. In the latest setback for foreign homeownership, President Trump on June 22 signed an order temporarily barring new immigrants on certain employment-based visas through the end of the year.

DFW: Dallas ranks ninth among the nation’s top residential markets, based on an estimate of total values in 50 U.S. metro areas by LendingTree.com. The lender estimates the value of the area’s homes at $628 billion and American households at $29.2 trillion, a significant part of the $107 trillion household net-worth in the U.S. The Dallas metro is the most valuable home market in Texas.

D.C.: National pending home sales increased 44.3% in May, a new record, according to the NAR. The Pending Home Sales Index jumped to 99.6 in May, the highest monthly growth since NAR began the series in 2001. In the South, the region including Texas, pending sales were up 43.3% over the month and 1.9% over the year. NAR expects existing home sales to reach 4.93 million units in 2020 with new home sales potentially hitting 690,000. In 2021, NAR expects sales to reach 5.35 million units for existing homes and 800,000 for new homes.

June 19, 2020

D.C.: Builder confidence surged in June, climbing 21 points to 58, which puts it back in positive territory, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo’s Monthly Housing Market Index (HMI). HMI is a weighted average of separate indices for three single-family data points. It asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at present and in the next six months, plus the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes. It falls in a range of 0-100 with any score above 50 indicating a positive market. The index gauging current conditions increased 21 points to 63. The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months climbed 22 points to 68, and the index for traffic of prospective buyers was up 22 points to 43. NAHB’ s chief economist said housing clearly shows signs of momentum.

DFW: Dallas Farmers Market will soon be home to a 23,000-sq.ft. coworking space located at 910 South Pearl Street, the third location in Dallas for Industrious.

DFW: Common Desk has filed permits with the city and state to locate an almost 40,000-sq.ft. shared office center in the landmark Continental Gin Building off Elm Street. Built in 1888, the three-story former cotton gin manufacturing building is one of the oldest in central Dallas. The brick and timber frame building for years housed artist lofts. The building has done an almost $30 million renovation to convert to office and retail space. DFW is one of the fastest-growing coworking markets in the U.S. with more than 3 million sq.ft. of space.

DFW: Dallas is one of only two major metro areas where construction activity has already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. The trade group looked at the eight largest markets and Dallas had the biggest rebound in construction - up 15% as of May 31, using data from Procore. More than 20% of firms said they added workers in June. More than 40% said they do not expect demand to recover to normal levels for at least four months and maybe longer than six months.

DFW: A 755-home community is being built on 182 acres on the south side of I-30 in Royse City, 35 miles northeast of Dallas in Rockwall County. Entry is at FM 35 and Shaw Road. The homes will start around $250,000.

DFW: The Turtle Creek Condominiums Homeowners Association is selling the 4.5-acre property at 2525 Turtle Creek Boulevard. The 108-unit residential complex was built in the early 60s. Individual units have listed for more than $350,000. The property can accommodate a development at more than $250 million. Zoning allows a 240-foot tall building with up to 871,505 sq.ft. of space. The adjacent property, formerly Republic Insurance headquarters, has already been cleared for a high-rise development.

DFW: April rent prices for the area grew at the lowest level in nine years, caused by the drop in unemployment. Nationwide rent for a single-family home or apartment grew only 2.4% year-over-year in April, according to CoreLogic. It was 3% last month and 2.9% last year.

DFW: A 12-acre site at 12000 Greenville Avenue may become Bonton Village with a 4-acre urban farm, a farm house with a roof and patio, a 3,000-sq.ft. Community Room, restaurant, bakery and coffee shop. There will be 120 tiny houses, sized at 13 feet by 30 feet, that will house people who have workforce training and onsite jobs.

June 12, 2020

DFW
: One of the largest developments in the works for Preston Center is on an almost 1.5 acres site along Westchester Drive just east of Dallas North Tollway. The proposed high rises will replace a three-story office and single-story retail building along the west side of Westchester. One residential tower will have 255 apartments and the other building will include 240 hotel rooms and 90 condos, along with ground floor retail and restaurants. A landscaped court between the buildings will have wide sidewalks with trees and greenery. Most of the parking will be underground.

DFW: The 1,500-acre Prairie Ridge community of 4,600 homes is being built off U.S. Highway 287 near Midlothian, about 25 miles from Dallas. Prices will start at $250,000. The master-planned community is 30 minutes from Ft. Worth, Dallas, and the DFW Airport. In addition to swimming pools, ponds for fishing and walking trails, sites have been set aside for new schools.

DFW: The city of Mesquite has reached an agreement with developers for a 2,500-home housing development just south of I-20. The Spradley Farms development will help pay for the fire station serving the development and surrounding communities.

DFW: An 80,000-sq.ft., three-story office building at 13275 Montfort Drive, near the Galleria, has been demolished to make room for a 140,000-sq.ft. rental community.

DFW: Online home searches for DFW are up 30%, according to Realtor.com, a likely sign the local housing market is recovering from the worst of the pandemic. Nationwide searches for top homes are up significantly from a year ago. Despite economic uncertainty and social unrest, the data is saying it is a good time to sell a home. The firm’s economist says home prices are back to their pre-COVID pace. Listings are spending slightly less time on the market. And if the inventory doesn’t meet needs, prices will rise and homes will sell faster in the summer. Listings in the area as of June 6 were down 20% and median prices were off about 1.4%. Of 100 metro areas, 89 of them saw asking prices increase from last year. North Texas home sale prices were down about 1% in May. Home sales of 8,418 were down 20%. Pending home sales were up 15% at 13,342.

DFW: Office developers and brokers say over 5 million sq.ft. of space is being built and a third of that is already leased. DFW is seeing an increase of companies from California, New York and Chicago coming to the area.

DFW: During the last few years, DFW led the country in employment gains, homebuilding and commercial construction. During the last 12 months ending in April, DFW lost 280,000 jobs to the COVID spread, wiping out two years of gains. DFW had the most job losses of any major Texas area, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But they are even worse in other cities. Most are betting the losses are temporary and the latest federal job numbers seem to bear that out.

June 5, 2020

DC:
The NAR surveyed 10 metro areas nationwide with the best conditions for millennial homebuyers during the pandemic, putting the DFW area at the top. The national real estate group considered housing affordability, job market conditions, share of millennials in the area and available home inventory in the 100 largest U.S. markets. Record-low mortgage rates are bringing more buyers, said the report, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common. With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials, more new home construction will be required to satisfy the housing demand as the economy improves. Along with the DFW area, Austin and Houston also made the list. Almost a third of residents in the markets on the list are millennials. The study says a household earning $100,000 in the Dallas area can afford to buy 56% of homes currently listed for sale, compared to 45% last year. North Texas home sales were up 1% through the first quarter compared to last year.

DFW: A $1 billion residential community is planned on 637 acres, one of the largest tracts on the 5,000-acre Brinkman Ranch in Frisco on the west side of Coit Road between Main Street and Eldorado Parkway. Total housing will be around 4,700 units of apartments and houses. Land is also being sold for new elementary and middle schools. There will be open space and a grocery store on the corner of Coit Road and Eldorado. Homes will start under $400,000. Residential Strategies says the purchase is one of the biggest residential land transactions in some time, by the most active builder in the Frisco market.

DFW: One City View is a new mixed-use project on five acres near the corner of North Central Expressway and Hall Street across the highway from the Arts District. Plans show a five-story building with an 85,000-sq.ft. Kroger store and parking on the lower floors plus an 800-car garage. The $60 million-plus development will include 375 apartments.

DFW: Lakeside Tower, a 16-story, luxury residential high rise has opened on Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound. The tower has more than 50 luxury homes ranging in size from 1,400 sq.ft. to more than 6,200 sq.ft. Homes in the project start at more than $750,000. The residential tower includes a wine room, club room, private dining room, private cinema, full-service spa, guest suites, gym, steam room, golf simulator and pool terrace. The 40 acres south of the tower is being developed into a mixed-use project called Lakeside Village with restaurants, residential towers, office buildings, single-family homes, shops, two hotels, a wedding chapel and amphitheater.

DFW: CoreLogic is forecasting home prices in DFW will drop about 1.3-2% nationwide by April 2021. Their economist says the low inventory of homes for sale plus low mortgage rates will likely support home-price growth during the spring. So far, home prices in most major markets have held up despite the pandemic. Nationally, the median home price was up 5.4% in April from a year earlier. DFW prices rose 3.19% in the same period.

LA: Real/Page survey of pandemic impact on rental market for luxury apartments (price per sq.ft.): 4/30/2019 4/30/2020
Atlanta: $1,651 $1,634
Boston: $3,382 $3,427
Chicago: $2,292 $2,353
Los Angeles: $2,954 $3,017
Miami: $2,176 $2,223
New York: $4,859 $4,831
San Francisco: $4,018 $4,936
Seattle: $2,247 $2,436

May 29, 2020

DFW
: Area home prices rose 2.8% in March and nationwide were 4.4% higher in the S&P CoreLogic home price index. The year-over year price gain was one of the smallest in eight years. The report said that March was the first pandemic impact and housing prices were remarkably stable. Housing prices have not yet registered any adverse effects from government suppression of economic activity in response to the pandemic, the report said. The rate of home price growth in Dallas and most major cities has slowed in the last year but has remained positive. Home prices remain at record levels, more than 70% since the worst of the Great Recession. CoreLogic economists say the virus has introduced a lot of uncertainty about the economy but the strong demand suggests there are many buyers who still want to buy a home but are waiting for the economy to open up. Recent data suggests home-buying activity levels will continue to prop up
home prices.

DFW: Nationwide there are 22% fewer homes for sale than a year ago, and DFW listings are down 18% from 2019, according to a May report from Realtor.com. The report says weekly data shows a return to healthy housing conditions, getting buyers and sellers off the sidelines. Improvements in new listings is a sign the market is recovering. Nationwide, median home prices were 3% higher than a year ago.

DFW: A new report from Zillow says the DFW home sales market is building momentum. Newly pending sales were up 52.1% month-over-month on May 10, up 0.09% from last year. DFW is one of only four large metros in the U.S. where pending sales are higher than last year. New listings in North Texas were up 14% month-over-month. The value of a typical home in DFW grew 2.7% year-over-year in April. The report also shows a rent slowdown nationwide while the for-sale market continues to improve. Rent prices slowed nationally more than they had in five years in 16 major markets in April.

DFW: A Dallas Fed Retail Survey says the decline in state retail sales slowed considerably in May. The sales index, a key measure of retail activity, rebounded from -78.2 in April to -6.2 in May. While nearly 40% of respondents reported declining sales compared with April, over 30% reported increases - up sharply from last month’s 6.3%. Retail labor market indicators improved significantly. The employment index added over 40 points to -7.2, with share of retailers cutting jobs from over 50% in April to 19% in May. Hours worked index rose over 48 points to -15.5, with over one-fifth of respondents increasing hours compared with 37% cutting hours. The general business activity index surged 67 points to 10-17.9, while the company outlook index rebounded from an all-time low of -84.6 to -12.8. Retailers’ perceptions of future conditions turned sharply optimistic in May. The future general business activity index rose 47 points to 24.3, its best reading since January 2018. The future company outlook index rose 53 points to 29.9.

DFW: Dallas Fed Texas Service Sector Survey showed the revenue index, a key measure, rebounded sharply from -65.3 in April to -28.1 in May. While respondents note declines in revenue compared to last month, the rising share of firms noting increased revenue - up about 13% points - suggest a significant slowing in the rate of deterioration. Labor market indicators reflected declines in employment and further shortening of workweeks, but at a much-reduced rate compared with April. Respondent expectations regarding future business conditions were notably less pessimistic than April. Nearly one-third of respondents expect improvement six months from now.

Plano: The Trust for Public Land’s 2020 annual parks study gave Plano the highest ranking in area cities and 17th nationally. The nonprofit evaluates park quality and access in the 100 largest U. S. cities. Considered is how many acres are set aside, what percentage of land is used, how much is spent per resident and how many people live within a 10-minute walk to a park. The city received high marks for its large median park size of 13.5 acres, more than double the national average. In 2017, an economic impact study by the Trust found that parks have a positive impact on Plano, including revenue generated by sport and tournament-related tourism and spending on sports, recreation and exercise equipment and healthcare cost savings.

WSJ: Luxury real estate in five major international cities’ pandemic impact, show as price per Sq.Ft.:
Berlin: Q1 2019, $2,068; Q1 2020 $2,030
Moscow: Q1 2019, $1,258; Q1 2020, $1,008
Vienna: Q1 2019, $1,199; Q1 2020 $1,203
Madrid: Q1 2019, $878; Q1 2020, $856
London: Q1 2019, $3,061; Q1 2020, $2,874

May 22, 2020

DFW:
Texas is the most popular destination for corporate transfers, according to Allied Van Lines. Texas topped a list including California, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina. The company looked at consumer and corporate moves between Jan. 1 and Dec. 5, 2019. Houston was Allied’s most frequent destination for corporate moves and Austin was the top consumer-move location. The company said Texas, with its business-friendly climate, is ranked as the top move destination for Allied’s corporate customers for the last six years.

Southlake: Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake all had population increases of at least 18% from 2010-2019, according to data from the U.S Census Bureau. Grapevine was up 18.6% to 55,281 residents. Colleyville increased 18.29% to 27,091 residents, and Southlake was up 21.43% to 32,376 residents.

DFW: North Texas homebuilders are seeing more sales. A Southlake builder said he sold 49 homes over Mother’s Day weekend. Buyers included those relocating and looking for jobs, millennials leaving apartments and some parents and grandparents helping young people buy their first home. Most preferred new rather than pre-owned homes in neighborhoods with outdoor amenities. Residential Strategies said Texas builders are reporting improved sales, many getting back to original weekly sales plans. Another builder in Celina sold eight homes in April, double his typical monthly average, using virtual home tours.

D.C.: New refinances made up about $328.5 billion in total volume in Q1, up 105% from the same period last year. During the first quarter, 1.07 million residential refinance mortgages originated in the U.S., a drop of 16% from Q4 2019 but up 87% from Q1 2019. Home loan data accounted for more than half the total volume of mortgages, using data from Attom Data Solutions. In 186 metro areas with at least 1,000 total loans, refinance originations increased. DFW was up 87% and Houston was up 53.1%. Purchase mortgage originations rose nationwide by 13% year-over-year to 606,703 residential originations. Originations of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) dropped by 11% year-over-year. However, HELOC originations rose in about 25% of metro areas. FHA mortgages dropped slightly in Q1. Residential loans backed by the U.S Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) reached an all-time high of 9.7% of all residential property loans during this quarter.

Long Island: An East Hampton home dating to the 1800s that once belonged to John Bouvier, Jackie Kennedy’s grandfather, is on the market. As a child, she spent every summer at the three-story home known as Wildmoor. The Bouviers lived on Park Avenue in Manhattan and spent each summer at Wildmoor near her grandfather who had moved to a larger estate where Jackie kept her horses. The house is listed for $7.5 million, spanning 4,500 sq.ft., with a wraparound porch and second floor terrace. The nearly one-acre property includes a free-standing former carriage house.

May 15, 2020

DFW: The biggest Dallas development announced this year is a 27-story office and retail tower to be on a prime corner on McKinney Avenue between Maple Avenue and Fairmount Street. 2401 McKinney Tower will be on a 2+ acre site occupied by Truluck’s Restaurant and Gold’s Gym. Plans for the building, which will be the tallest on McKinney Avenue, call for 670,000 sq.ft. of offices, 15,000 sq.ft. of retail and underground parking.

DFW: Downtown Dallas’ largest development — the $450 million redo of the 52-story First National Bank Tower — is still scheduled for completion later this year. The 1 million+ sq.ft. tower will reopen starting in September and October. Built in 1965, the National will house a 219-room Thompson Hotel, 324 luxury apartments, restaurants, retail and offices.

DFW: One of the prime blocks in downtown Dallas’ West End has a new life. The Market Ross Place buildings on Market Street date to 1905 when they were warehouse and commercial buildings. The three brick-and-timber buildings with more than 140,000 sq.ft. of space once housed hardware firms, engine companies and other businesses. In the 80s, renovation resulted in retail and office space connected by a four-story atrium. A recent $4 million upgrade included lobby and common areas redo, fitness and conference center, and tenant lounge.

DFW: According to Weiss Analytics, that surveyed 30 major markets, price declines in DFW for new listings have been about 6%, while nationwide asking prices are scaled back by a median 7.7%. Listing prices are down 34% in New York, 31% in Baltimore and 30% in Los Angeles. For the first four months, median home sale prices in DFW are about 5% higher than 2019.

Herndon, VA: The Commercial Real Estate Development Association says the outlook for construction material and labor costs has improved and could signal less demand in these areas due to an industry slowdown. Their chief economist says despite the disruption in residential construction, the need and demand for housing remains acute. As mitigation efforts aid easing of the health crisis, the expectation is that housing will play its traditional role in helping lead the economy out of a recession later in 2020. Online searches for homes and apartments have increased in recent weeks.

NYC: Google’s $1.8 billion acquisition of the 3 million sq.ft. building at 111 Eighth Avenue shows how tech companies are major players in office markets like New York and London. Google also spent 1 billion pounds for its London headquarters.

DFW: Amazon has opened its first new $100 million 855,000 sq.ft. fulfillment site in Texas on 100 acres in Oak Cliff with plans to hire 1,500 employees.

LA: Uber co-founder, Travis Kalanick, has paid $43.3 million for a 20,000 sq.ft. mansion on 2 acres, one of the largest sales in Los Angeles since the pandemic.

Aspen: Michael Bloomberg has paid $44.79 million for a 4,600 acre ranch about an hour from Aspen. The main house is around 19,000 sq.ft., including a theater and wine cellar. The ranch also has a pool, four-hole golf course, two large guest cabins and carriage house, buildings for staff, horses, a helipad and helicopter hangar. The deal is a major boost for the Colorado ranch market.

May 8, 2020

DFW:
The home market could be one of the best parts of the DFW and statewide economy, the chief economist at Texas A&M Real Estate Center told the MetroTex Association of Realtors. He said historically-low interest rates could lead housing as one of the leading industry sectors that gets the economy out of the doldrums, with home construction coming back. He said home buying hasn’t stopped. There will be pent up demand - July, August and September may be the best months of the year. He said that before the pandemic there was already a housing shortage in DFW and with fewer homes coming on the market, the lack of homes could
get worse.

NYC:
Mortgage purchases increased 6% week-over-week, according to the Market Composite Index, a weekly measure of loan volume published by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Overall the index increased 1% over the previous week. The MBA said mortgage application volume was unchanged last week, even as the 30-year fixed-rate declined to 3.4%, a new record in MBA’s survey. Purchase volume increased for the third week in a row, led by strong growth in Arizona, Texas and California.

DFW:
Through the first three months of 2020, North Texas home sales by real estate agents are up 9% from a year earlier and median sales prices are 6% higher. The area is forecast to see a 1.8% decline in median prices over the next year, according to Core Logic. According to Realtor.com, nationwide home sales list prices were up 1.6% last week and the number of houses listed for sale was down almost 14% from this time last year. The number of sellers who lowered the price of their homes has declined over last year. In DFW, the number of properties with price reductions are down more than a third from last year. So far, there’s a smaller share of asking price reductions compared to this time last year in 92 of 100 top metro areas.

DFW:
Construction has started on a seven-story mixed-use project next to the Melrose Hotel at Oak Lawn Avenue and Dickason Street, on a site formerly used as an Office Depot store. Six floors of 293 rental units will sit on 6,000 sq.ft. of retail and a parking garage. On nearby Congress Avenue, a 22-story high-rise apartment is underway and near the intersection of Oak Lawn and Avondale, Novel Turtle Creek, a 20-story apartment tower is being built. Owners of the Melrose are also building a spa and meeting facility on the northside of the historic hotel.

Celina:
First phase of a $1 billion, 639-acre residential community is underway, just west of the Dallas North Tollway in Celina. The project will include about 1,600 homes plus future mixed-used office and retail buildings. The first phase of 330 home sites will be houses staring in the low $300,000s. The community will have a 6,700 sq.ft. clubhouse, five lakes and 89 acres of open space.

DFW:
As the DFW area experiences a downturn, some sectors are hit harder than others, such as retail, leisure and hospitality, a senior business economist with the Dallas Federal Reserve told the Dallas Business Journal. Her expectation was a sharp contraction in the second quarter and activity in a rebound in the second half, for the state and DFW. Noting that employment losses for workers in DFW are less than along the Gulf Coast, Houston and the Permian Basin, DFW has a lower exposure to the energy sector and a wider array of services. Dallas is considered the financial services center for the state with a higher concentration of professional and business services. Job losses tend to be in industries where people can’t work remotely.

London:
House prices may fall up to 10% this year in London, taking the average house price in the capital to the lowest level since 2015. Softening prices would ease affordability levels, opening up home ownership for first time buyers, including new homes. The introduction of an extra 3% stamp duty charge on second homes has deterred investors who tended to bid on new-build apartments. Experts predict a recovery next year and forecast price growth of 15% over the next five years.

Louisiana:
A two-story house in Lafayette is being given away free to anyone who wants it and can pay to have it moved. The two-story, four-bedroom home was built in the late 20s or early 30s. A Facebook post said the home was the old Vincent/Vallot/ Grand View Nursery home. One woman, Dawn Vallot DeClouet, said her great-grandmother Adele used to live there and still roams the halls occasionally as a ghost. DeClouet told a British newspaper “She was well known for that, and so, when we lived there, we used to hear her all the time jangling the pots when we had something on the stove.” A local realtor and developer bought the lot to develop the neighborhood and is offering the house free. So far comments have been “too haunted,” figuring the ghost would stay with the house.

May 1, 2020

DFW
: In the first quarter, only a few area residential districts had lower sales prices than a year ago. Overall, single-family home sales prices for North Texas were up about 6% from first quarter 2019. The number of homes on the market in the DFW area has fallen about 10% from a year ago. The chief economist with CoreLogic thinks the DFW will have some slowing in the near term but no drop in prices. He says the DFW market continues to have a low for-sale inventory and strong buyer demand. Among the largest metro areas in the U.S., DFW was the only one that had an increase in home purchase applications during March, highlighting a strong market. Highlights from the 50 markets tracked by the Dallas Morning News:
Far North Dallas: Sales 188 (+19%); Median price $458,000 (+13%)
North Dallas: Sales 155 (+19%); Median price $875,000 (+3%)
East Dallas: Sales 501 (+6%); Median price $378,250 (+15%)
Oak Lawn: Sales 31 (+121%); Median price $419,000 (+3%)
Park Cities: Sales 169 (+47%); Median price $1,287,500 (+7%)
Southlake: Sales 104 (+4%); Median price $800,000 (+4%)

DFW: Leasing activity in the DFW area is up from a year ago, according to a survey last week by Richardson-based RealPage. For the week ending April 26, nationwide apartment leasing was down only 1.6% from a year ago. Dallas leasing is up 4% year over year. New lease pricing is off 4.5% from the same time last year and 92% of renters made their April payments.

DFW: DFW and Houston led the country in job gains in March, with 86,200 employment gain in DFW and 59,000 in Houston. Economists at the Texas Real Estate Center and the Dallas Federal Reserve say the job changes in April and May will be negative.

DFW: Construction sector employment in March fell in almost 100 markets nationwide. DFW added more than 10,000 building jobs - the biggest such gain in the nation, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. DFW construction jobs were up about 7% from a year ago, even as the pandemic slowed down most of the local economy. Nationwide, almost 70% of construction firms reported in a late April survey that projects were cancelled or delayed. North Texas has been one of the country’s top construction markets in the last few years, second only to New York City. Biggest gain in jobs with 10,200 was Dallas-Plano-Irving; Seattle had 6,600; Las Vegas had 6,600; Orlando had 5,900; and Austin-Round Rock had 5,300. The DFW area currently has 156,700 people employed in construction.

DFW: Mockingbird Station East, a high-rise development at DART’s Mockingbird Station transit stop, will comprise of four towers built on former parking lots for the commuter rail station. The first phase is construction of a three-level underground parking garage. Next will be a 22-story, 481-unit apartment building at the east end of the site next to the Kroger supermarket. Another residential tower is planned next door. Another developer is already building a 28-story apartment building as part of its 12 acre site adjoining the DART line.

Singapore: In the heart of one of the world’s most expensive cities is a sprawling vacant plot of private land 30 times the size of the White House. Just down the road from the U.S. embassy and condos worth $3.3 - $4.5 million each, the plot of untended jungle hides remnants of two abandoned palaces worth $4.5 billion, if sold for development. In a city where 8,000 people are crammed into each square kilometer and real estate prices are among the world’s highest, it’s one of the greatest urban anachronisms in Asia. The 34-year-old Crown Prince of Johor is the registered owner of the 210,875 square meters of land near the Botanic Gardens. Inside, ravaged by fire, are ruins of the palace built by his ancestors in the late 19th century. However the Crown Prince won’t be able to cash in on the land Zoned for “special use of green space” and not for residential or commercial. Foreigners cannot buy luxury real estate and the largest sale in 2019 was near the Botanic Gardens to a Chinese businessman for $78 million.

April 24, 2020

College Station:
According to the Real Estate Center’s Texas Home Price Index, Texas’ major metro areas have so far shown no sign of price disturbance in first quarter 2020 despite the COVID outbreak beginning in March. Home price index growth was greatest in Austin, where it grew 5% since the first quarter. Overall home price growth in Austin has accelerated in that same time frame. Index growth in the DFW area slowed, falling below 3% year-over-year. This means while overall home price growth in DFW is still positive, the pace has slowed since 2017. Price growth remained steady in San Antonio.

DFW:
The market for homes priced about $1 million and up in North Texas is cooling, according to Keith Conlon, president of sales for Allie Beth Allman & Associates. The average sale price for homes sold by the firm through April 17 declined to about $846,000, compared with roughly $976,000 through the same period last year. The number of transactions jumped 23% year-over-year in the same time period and the dollar volume increased by 7%. From January 1 through April 17, the brokerage recorded 520 transactions, compared to 474 for the same time frame last year. Homes are selling briskly at lower price points, Conlon told the Dallas Business Journal. Homes priced at $300,000 to about $750,000 are getting multiple offers, and often full asking price if move-in ready and in a desirable neighborhood. He said even as high as a $1.6 million listing had four offers the first day of listing. “Although difficult to predict where the luxury market will head, as North Texas opens up, I’m optimistic that we’ll get a bounce,” Conlon said, adding the firm is getting daily calls about showings.

DFW:
A new high-rise soon to appear in Uptown will be a 30-floor luxury residential tower on Maple Avenue between the Stoneleigh Hotel and the Crescent. The building will be the first major Dallas real estate project to start since the start of the pandemic, reports the Dallas Morning News. The tower is set to go up at 2811 Maple Avenue, just north of Cedar Springs. It will have about 220 rental units that average about 1,200 sq.ft., larger than typical new Uptown apartments. According to Crescent Properties, there will be a good mix of two- and three-bedroom units for a mature, professional renter. The building is sited not to block views of nearby high-rises. The building is slender with only six to eight rental units per floor. The tower portion of the project covers less than 40% of the site. Five levels of underground parking are planned and the Maple Avenue side will be heavily landscaped with 10-foot sidewalks and outdoor seating areas.

DFW:
An Illinois developer has started a new business park in Mesquite. The Skyline Commerce Center will be a two-building, 198,000-sq.ft industrial project on South Buckner, just south of I-30. One building will have about 135,000 sq.ft. of space and the other about 62,000 sq.ft.

San Diego:
Bill Gates and wife Melinda have paid $43 million for an oceanfront home near San Diego in one of the largest deals recorded in the area. The Del Mar property was the home of Madeleine Pickens, former wife of T. Boone Pickens. The six-bedroom home spans about 5,800 sq.ft. with a long oceanfront deck. In 2014, the Gates bought Jenny Craig’s Rancho Santa Fe equestrian estate for $18 million.

April 17, 2020

DFW
: At the end of the first quarter, about 4.7 million square feet of office space was being built in the DFW area. That’s less than the almost 7 million square feet built more than a decade ago. Cushman and Wakefield finds the greatest concentration of new space is in the Legacy/Frisco area — more than 1.3 million square feet. Overall, about 30% of the office space being built is preleased. Other large volumes of new offices are on the way in Las Colinas, East Dallas and the Uptown/Turtle Creek District. C&W estimates that net DFW office leasing in the first quarter totaled 86,472 square feet. Other brokerages show a net decline in area leasing.

DFW: At the end of March, almost 24 million square feet of warehouse and industrial space was being built in the DFW area, one of the largest such development totals in the country. And net leasing of warehouse space in the area totaled nearly 6.2 million square feet in the first three months of 2020, according to CBRE. First quarter totals: North Ft. Worth, 10.3 million Sq.Ft.; DFW Airport, 5.1 miliion Sq.Ft.; Northwest Dallas, 2.2 million Sq.Ft.; Northeast Dallas, 1.9 million Sq.Ft.; Southern Dallas, 1.2 million Sq.Ft.

D.C.: Only 3.74% of home loans across the country were in forbearance as of April 5, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association. The survey represented 54% of the U.S. home mortgage servicing market of 26.9 million loans. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has authorized mortgage companies under its umbrella to offer homeowners forbearance of six months or more because of the job and income losses due to the current pandemic. Homeowners who receive the payment will eventually have to make up the skipped payments with a lump sum, higher monthly payments or a modification of the loan to extend the time to payoff.

D.C.: A NAR survey shows a quarter of surveyed realtors with clients in purchasing contracts had at least one homebuyer who bought a home without physically seeing the property. Homebuyers indicate they’re still in the market or will be in a couple of months. Home prices remain stable as deals happen with the growing use of technology tools. Or realtors surveyed, 10% report the same level or more business activity now than before the economic lockdown. The survey showed 33 percent of realtors have not experienced closing delays. For those who reported delays, bumps were during the financing, appraisal and inspection portions of the transaction. Agents reported that 33% use live videos, 59% use social media, 42% use e-closing technology, 77% use e-signatures, 34% use virtual tours, 38% use messaging apps.

DFW: Residential Strategies reports there were 17,402 homes under construction at the end of the first quarter, a 5.7-month supply. There were 7,274 finished vacant houses, a 2.4-month supply. There were 71,076 vacant lots available in DFW at the end of the quarter, a 22.4-month supply, and another 47,525 lots are under development.

D.C.: The U.S. Census Bureau reports the DFW-area grew more in the last decade than any other metro region in the country, with a population increase of more than 1.2 million. Three North Texas counties were among the ten with the largest gains from 2010-2019: Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties.

LA: Jeff Bezos paid a record-price $165 million for the Jack Warner estate in Beverly Hills, and that record being preceded by two Bel Air mansions selling for $150 million and $120 million in the past year. So the owner of 1011 N. Beverly wants someone to make him an offer he can’t refuse for the Spanish-style home built in 1926 with 18 bedrooms, a 102-foot-long upstairs hallway and at least 25 baths. The 21,000-square-foot mansion was the honeymoon site for John and Jackie Kennedy. It is best known for a scene from “The Godfather” when the owner found his prize horse’s head in his bed. The current owner bought the mansion in 1976 for less than $2 million and has tried to sell it for prices ranging from $25 million to $125 million, needing to relieve a $70 million debt. The Beverly House may be seized by the debtors if left unsold.

April 10, 2020

DFW: North Texas real estate agents sold 9,316 single-family homes in March, up 4% over last year, using data from NTREIS and the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. A record 23,067 homes were sold through MLS during the first quarter, 9% more than last year and a record for the first three months of the year. The median home sale prices in North Texas rose 4% from last year to $270,000. Median prices for the first quarter were 6% higher than 2019. Pending home sales at the end of March were down 10% from last year. Internet marketing and virtual tours have surged in recent weeks as agents adapted to the new requirements, according to Residential Strategies. Listings in March were down 10% and total homes for sale were 20,853, a 2.3-month supply.

DFW: Real Page counts 65 new North Texas apartment projects with almost 20,000 units are currently in lease-up. DFW has more than twice as many new-apartment hunting tenants as other top markets. Almost 20,000 units moving through the initial lease-up are struggling to make any progress, according to a Real Page economist. Some renters who planned to move have decided to stay put when their leases are up. Nationwide, the number of new resident apartment leases is down 40%. A spokesman said it’s challenging to get traffic when all of it is being done virtually with no one visiting the property. Net apartment leasing in the DFW area totaled 2,632 units for the first three months of 2020, up from 1,790 in 2019.

DFW: Texas’ biggest markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth, are among the metro areas least likely to see a major housing market shakeout from the pandemic. Housing markets likely to be most negatively affected by the COVID-19 virus are mostly in the Northeast and Florida, according to a new report by analysts at Attom Data Solutions. Researchers looked at almost 500 home markets nationwide and rated them on foreclosures, homeowner equity, wages and other factors. Their report says the impact will likely be region-to-region and county to county. The report says the Northeast is more at risk than other areas, including four markets in New Jersey and the New York area and three in Connecticut. They note 10 markets in Florida and one in California. Texas has 10 of the 50 least vulnerable counties from among the 483 in the report, followed by Wisconsin with seven and Colorado with five. The 10 counties in Texas include three in the DFW area - Dallas, Collin and Tarrant counties. Harris and Travis counties were also ranked low risk.

DFW: One of the largest real estate sales of the year is the purchase of three office buildings totaling 400,000 square feet in Preston Center east. The buildings are located at 8333, 8343, and 8303 Douglas Avenue, near the southeast corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Northwest Highway.

Maryland: A Maryland mansion in Chevy Chase, near Washington, D.C., has sold for $10 million, one of the largest sales for the area. Known as the Corby Mansion, built in 1893, it was designed by the same architect who planned the Admiral’s House, which serves as the official home of the Vice President. The seven-bedroom Tudor Revival estate is nearly 14,000 square feet with 22 rooms, including a music room with Aeolian organ pipes.

Los Angeles: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has amassed six houses in Bel Air plus a 100-year-old estate near Tesla headquarters in Northern Calforina. His $100 million real estate portfolio includes: Bel Air: 1.7 acres featuring 20,248 sq.ft., 7 bedrooms and 13 baths. Current value is $22.3 million. Bel Air: Features 2,756 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. Current value is $7.8 million. (Both properties overlook the Bel Air Country Club) Los Angeles: Built in 1954 and features 7,026 sq.ft., 6 bedrooms and 8 baths. Current value is $20 million. Hillsborough: A 100-year-old mansion south of San Francisco and north of Silicon Valley on 47 acres. The main house features 16,000 sq.ft., a ballroom, flower room, 5 bedrooms, 7 full and one half baths. The staff wing features 6 bedrooms and 3 baths. Current value is $22.3 million. Los Angeles - Three contiguous houses: First home features 2,963 sq.ft., 4 bdrooms and 4 baths. Current value is $4.9 million. Second home features 9,300 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 7 baths. Current value is $27.3 million. Third home features 3,943 sq.ft., 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Current value is $4.2 million.

April 3, 2020

DFW
: Net apartment leasing in the DFW area totaled 2,632 units for the first three months of 2020. That’s more than 2019’s first quarter 1,790 units. Occupancy in 2020 is up to 94.5%, a little ahead of 2019. Rents were up 2.8% to a record $1,183 monthly. Developers added 6,132 new apartments in the first quarter, and 40,312 additional units were under construction at the end of March. Developers said the COVID-19 impact began mid-March and expect a slowdown in starts and rent payments. Government orders have temporarily halted evictions. 

DFW: Mortgage delinquency data for February was the lowest volume of forced home sales in decades. That was before the massive unemployment and rising levels of illness from the pandemic. Lenders in February identified only 635 DFW homes in default and starting the foreclosure process in February, almost 13% fewer than a year ago. U.S. foreclosure starts in February were up 3%, with Texas up 28%. Attom Data says the foreclosure  situation now is totally in flux.

DFW: The Dallas Builders Association says contract cancellations are common during economic downturns. So far local builders haven’t seen a big wave of walk-aways. With layoffs and furloughs, builders have reported some cancellations, but so far Dallas-based Residential Strategies says the degree of this has been modest. Builders say there are some contracts on higher-end products of over $1 million that are getting extended, while mid-tier homes in the $300,000-$400,000 range are generally closing on contract date. There have been terminations due to buyer uneasiness about the economy and fear of job loss, but builders aren’t seeing a huge spike now. A principal with Residential Strategies says DFW builders are still selling houses. Prospective buyer traffic has subsided in the past few weeks with shelter-in-place requirements. Nonetheless, builders are still reporting positive net results. Shoppers seem to be motivated by a recent move to DFW or very-low mortgage rates.

DFW: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is not considering a shutdown of construction in the county. He issued some rules that include construction workers checking their temperature before leaving home, and if above 99.6 to stay home. A temperature check will be taken onsite before work begins, and if above 99.6, the worker goes home immediately. No gatherings at meals or breaks, keeping six feet apart unless work requires multiple help. No common water cooler or bottled water. Soap and water and hand sanitation will be provided, and a working restroom for every 15 onsite workers. Mandatory handwash before work or after wearing gloves, along with mandatory rest break every four hours.

Grapevine: The Grapevine Main development comprises a 38,000-square-foot outdoor plaza; a 42,000-square-foot, five-story rail station; a Food Hall with seven restaurant stalls; and Hotel Vin, a six-story, 120-room boutique hotel. All of these will be supported by a 552-space parking garage. Hotel Vin is to open at the end of June, and Harvest Hall in mid-August.

Hanover, MA: The oldest home for sale in the U.S. is a 380-year-old Massachusetts house on 2.6. acres, located 17 miles north of Plymouth Rock in Hanover. Built in 1640, the house, listed for $669,900, is 4,624 square feet with six bedrooms, four and a half baths and seven fireplaces. It is not designated as an historic landmark.

Philadelphia: A three-bedroom penthouse condo on the top two floors of a 26-story high-rise, considered Philadelphia’s most luxurious new tower, is listed for $32 milion, a record price for a condo in the city. The interior space is 8,400 square feet plus 2,600 square feet of outdoor space across two terraces and a private rooftop solarium.

March 27, 2020

DFW: Commercial property firm Cushman Wakefield is forecasting declines in office occupancy in 7 of the 10 largest U.S. markets. Net office leasing is expected to drop by almost 3.2 million square feet in the first quarter, reflecting the COVOD 19 pandemic. DFW will have the smallest negative office leasing of the major markets, only about 71,000 sq.ft. of negative absorption. And the DFW area is one of only four major U.S. markets not expecting an increase in overall office vacancy in the first quarter. DFW had one of the best office markets in the country in 2019, with more than 3.5 million sq.ft. of net leasing. The commercial real estate sector was in good shape, according to a CW spokesman. They predict the market will bounce back when the worst of the pandemic passes. They expect this next quarter to be brutal.

DFW: Homebuilders and remodelers aren’t closed down by COVID 19 restrictions, and builders are adhering to social distance. Some crews have less than five people on site, partially due to the labor shortage. Crews often have gloves, special footwear, long sleeve shirts, eye protection and masks in some jobs. Anyone not feeling well is directed to stay home so no safety issues are compromised. The shelter in place has created a shortage of drivers for material delivery companies. They are expecting supply chain issues. Some are giving clients discretion on postponing nonessential warranty and punch list work. Builders and real estate agents say there have been delays with appraisals. But their job sites are busy while other businesses are idle.

New Mexico: One of the nation’s biggest landowners is selling more than half a million acres for around $500 millon. Brad Kelly listed a series of West Texas ranches for $404 million and has added a ranch with 50,000 contiguous deeded acres for an addtional $96 million. Kelly is the nation’s eighth-largest landowner, according to the Land Report 100, alongside Liberty Media chairman, John Malone, and media mogul, Ted Turner. Kelly’s holdings span about 1.4 million acres. The Texas llstings include seven different ranches. Five are known as the Brewster Ranches, asking $320 million for the 420,000 contiguous acres, which total about half the size of Rhode Island. Another nearby ranch, Cathedral Mountain, is asking $24 million for 10,000 acres. In Culberson and Hudspeth Counties, the Eagle Mountain/Carrizo Mountain ranches are asking about $60 million for the 76,000 acres.

Granite Springs, NY: A co-founder of Calvin Klein, Inc. and spouse are listing their sprawling estate of 740 acres in New York’s Westchester County for $100 million. Known as Stonewall Farm, the property is in a hamlet known as Granite Springs. Features include a turf racetrack, riding trails, a 40-stall barn and two 24-stall barns, numerous fenced-off paddocks and pastures. The four-story, eight-bedroom home has a 4,000 sq.ft. outbuilding and a 60-foot-long swimming pool and spa, a gym and a sauna. Included are eight staff residences, a guest house, and a caretaker’s residence.

Festus, MO: Forty miles south of St. Louis, Festus is a town of about 12,000 and its median home price is $176,640. Situated on roughly 2,400 acres on a bluff overlooking the Mississipi River, a 12,000 sq.ft., nine-bedroom castle designed in the style of Castello di Vezio on Lake Como in Italy is on the market for $24.75 million. Built in the 1850s, the property was acquired by the Union Pacifc as a corporate retreat. A stable was converted into a 6,400 sq.ft. conference center. Also on site are a fully furnished hunting and fishing lodge, four smaller homes, horse stables, a shooting range and a private 18-hole golf course.

March 20, 2020

D.C.:
Residential investment, which includes single and multifamily construction, remodeling and brokers’ fees, now accounts for 3.1% of gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s up from a low of 2.4% in 2011, but below the 5.4% long-term average based on BEA data. With construction down, housing is contributing less to growth. Residential investment contributed 0.027% to the rate of quarterly growth, on average, during expansions between 1950 and 2003, with BEA data. Since 2010, the first full year of growth after the crisis, the contribution fell to 0.013%. The economic benefits of housing go beyond construction. In 2015, the buyer of a newly-built home spent an average of $4,500 more on appliances, furnishings and renovations than a similar consumer who hadn’t just moved, according to a National Association of Builders Association analysis. Buyers of existing houses spent slightly less. The share of new multifamily units added to the housing stock was around 34% in 2009, compared with 24% in 1990. Each new multifamily unit creates the equivalent of a single full-time job on average — compared to three full-time jobs for a new house, according to the NAHB. Higher prices are largely due to supply constraints. Another is shortage of skilled construction workers, along with restrictive building and zoning codes in major cities such as New York City and Los Angeles.

DFW: Only 3.5% of homeowners with a loan were under water with their mortgage at the end of 2019. In Texas, only 1.7% had loans owing more than their property was worth at the end of 2019. In the Dallas area, less than 1.4% of home loans were upside down, CoreLogic estimates.

DFW: A large mall operator has temporarily closed seven area shopping centers, planning to reopen March 29: Allen Premium Outlets; Firewheel Town Center, Garland; Grand Prairie Premium Outlets; Grapevine Mills; North East Mall, Hurst; The Shops at Clearfork, Ft. Worth; University Park Village, Ft.Worth. Four others have cut hours: Stonebriar Centre, Frisco; Town East Mall, Mesquite; The Parks in Arlington; and Hulen Mall in Ft. Worth.

Houston: The construction industry in Houston is continuing to operate as usual. There have been 24 recorded cases in Harris County. Construction officials at job sites say staff are on calls every day assessing virus impact. Just over a week ago, OSHA published its guidance on how to prepare workplaces for the virus. Site officials say they are
following the guidelines and will work until stopped by local government. Workers have been instructed to maintain social distancing. They also have employees working from home. Associated General Contractors of America said halting building activity would do more harm than good for the workers, community residents and the economy.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL HAS SURVEYED THE TOP CURRENT BUYER’S AND SELLER’S MARKETS
Top Buyer’s Markets (Counties with the lowest absorption rates - number of sales/month divided by number of listings): Ocean, NJ; Monmouth, NJ; Walton, FL; Beaufort SC; Philadelphia, PA.; Clackamas, OR; Hudson, NJ; Union, NJ; District of Columbia; Montgomery, MD. Top Seller’s Market (Counties with the highest absorption rates - number of sales/month divided by number of listings): Arlington, VA.; Loudon, VA.; Mecklenburg, NC; Davidson, TN; Plymouth, MA; Travis, TX; Pinellas, FL; Williamson,TN; Orange, FL.

March 13, 2020

DFW: Area real estate agents sold 7,574 single-family homes in February, the largest total ever for the month of February and a 10% increase from last year. Pending sales were 10,166, up 15%. Listings were 20,723, down 5%. So far in 2020, North Texas home sales are up 14% from the first two months of 2019. The median sales price in North Texas was up 7% to $266,620. Condo sales were 457, up 15% Pending sales were 652, up 23%. Median price was up 4% to $234,000.

DFW: Dallas and Austin are among the U.S cities with the biggest home price increases since the market peak back in the 80s. Analysts at HSH Associates looked at home appreciation in nationwide markets for their Home Price Recovery Index. Dallas-area prices are more than 75% ahead of where they were at the top of the market and Austin prices are almost 86% ahead. Sixty-four markets now have values more than 10% above the previous peak.

Southlake: A luxury home development in Southlake, near White Chapel Boulevard and Dove Road, will have 56 homes, averaging 4,500-square feet priced at around $1.4 million. Lots will average a quarter of an acre. Front yard maintenance will be provided. The 29-acre development is scheduled for completion in early 2021.

DFW: DFW is scheduled to be the U.S.’s second-largest volume of new industrial buildings opening in 2020, according to Yardi Systems, Inc. More than 23 million square feet of new buildings, 75 projects, will open by year end, an increase of more than 21%. In 2019, Dallas added 19.5 million-square feet of warehouses in 55 projects. One of the Dallas projects is among the biggest industrial developments in the nation. Passport Park in Irving, at DFW airport, will add 2 million square feet.

D.C.: Home refinance applications are up almost 80%, the highest level in a decade, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Last week, mortgage applications jumped 55.4%. This week, nationwide mortgage rates averaged 3.36%, up from last week’s 3.29%. A year ago, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate averaged 4.31%. With historically-low rates now, the industry is swamped. Some mortgage firms are bumping their costs to try to control the financing flows.

DFW: According to ApartmentData, Trinity Groves and Far South Dallas/Waxahachie, are the leading submarkets in North Texas. A submarket that includes downtown Dallas, the West End and Deep Ellum, ranked next, followed by Denton and the Allen/McKinney submarket. Highest rent growth is occurring in the downtown Dallas/West End/Deep Ellum submarket, with rents predicted to rise around 13% in 2020. Next-highest rent growth is taking place in Trinity Groves/Oak Cliff North, with rent increases forecast for 10.2% next year. The apartment supply in DFW totals 747,909 with 3,164 multi-family communities. An additional 30,057 units are under construction, and 112 communities with 49,012 units are in planning stage.

L.A.: Roughly 20 million Americans, one of every 18, live in mobile home parks. Trailer parks are relatively low-maintenance for owners. The manufactured homes are brought on and off the land by tenants, also responsible for maintaining them. While the median price for a single-family home is about $280,000, average price for a mobile home was about $53,000 last year, using U.S. Commerce Department data. According to WSJ data, shares in some big mobile home businesses have returned 1,186% and another 4,137%.

L.A.: Global female income is expected to reach $40 trillion annually in 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan. Women are expected to control $43 trillion of consumer spending through voluntary private consumption or money exchanged for goods and services. There will be 100 million more women in the global workforce by 2030, with Asia Pacific the largest female workforce and millennials the largest proportion of laborers. By 2030, women will add 100 million more working women to the global economy. In 2020, women-owned companies will represent more than 40% of registered businesses globally.

March 6, 2020

DFW: Commercial real estate produced more than $54 billion in Texas economic output in 2019, according to recent data from the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks. That total is more than any other U.S. state. In 2019, investment and development of office, industrial, warehouse and retail buildings supported 9.2 million American jobs and put $1.4 trillion in the U.S. GDP. Last year, Texas had more than $20.0 billion in commercial construction spending and jobs totaled 378,000, reports the recent study. In Texas, the NAIOP reported more than $11 billion in office projects and more than $6 billion in warehouse and industrial building. In 2019, DFW was the second-busiest metro area in the U.S. for all types of building starts, with more than $20 billion in construction starts, second only to New York City, according to Dodge Data.

DFW: The Public Utility Commission has approved a new area code for the DFW area to accommodate continuing population growth. Phone numbers starting with 214, 972 and 469 will run out within the first three months of 2021. Once they run out, the new area code 945 will be assigned and should meet numbering needs for the next 13 years, according to the PUC. People who already have existing numbers beginning with 214, 469, and 972 will be able to keep them. Any new 945 numbers will be assigned in 2021.

DFW: The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area ranked #9 on the Milken Institute’s 2020 Index of the Top 25 Best Performing Cities. Cited were the concentration and additions of corporate headquarters providing job opportunities in professional services, plus the diversity of the region’s industries, low taxes and housing costs and a high-quality talent pool. Employment growth in the 12-month period preceding August 2019, saw the DFW area had the eighth-highest job growth rate among the nation’s large metro economies. Among the total population age 25 or older, 37% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, greater than the state’s 29% and U.S. average 32%.

San Francisco: As rents in downtown areas such as San Francisco, Seattle and New York continue to climb, restaurateurs and property owners face severe labor shortages. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco averaged $3,500 last month, according to apartment site Zumper. The median home value in San Francisco is just under $1.4M. Many workers able and willing to work at a restaurant in the city are usually already working in the sector. Local unemployment is 1.9%, a little over half the national figure. Adding new employees is a challenge for restaurants. Living in San Francisco is a challenge, so for workers, restaurants have to pay more, and in the business model, you can’t easily increase the top line. Patrons just stop eating if the price isn’t right. Over 330 more S.F. restaurants have closed than opened since 2016, using permit data from the city Department of Public Health.

Irving: The corner of Texas Plaza Drive and Tom Braniff Drive, formerly the gold parking lot for Texas Stadium, will have 350 apartments on 11 acres. A hundred home sites will be built on the other 21 acres, priced from the high $300s to the mid $400s.

London: House prices rose at their fastest pace in 18 months in February, after three years of flatlining. Across the country prices were up 2.3%, the biggest annual jump since 2018. Buyers are heading back to the capital. Sellers are returning with 31% more properties coming to market across London and 64% more in central locations. The price of a luxury home in the heart of London is set to climb 20.5% over the next five years. Next year will see the first annual price rise of 3% for high-end homeowners since 2014. Property values are predicted to rise 6% in 2021, 4% in 2022 and 2023, and 2% in the capital’s exclusive locations of Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea, Marleybone and Notting Hill. A hike in stamp duty on multi-million pound homes and Brexit-related uncertainty caused prices to be slashed by a fifth on properties worth over $3 million over the last few years. Overall, the average house in the UK will rise 15.3% over the next five years.

February 28, 2020

College Station
: Last year, for the first time in Texas history, housing sales exceeded $100 billion, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. Their economists said the decade ended in 2019 was the best record for housing across the state. They predict a sales increase this year of 5-6% and a price increase this year of 5-6%. Home price growth in Texas outpaces the states in the rest of the country. People in Texas have to spend more to buy a house. Still, Texas cities have a home price advantage compared with other major U.S. markets. Texas homebuilders are still behind, even though DFW and Houston are the top two single-family building markets in the U.S. Population projections for the next 10 years call for 5.2 million new Texans and 1.6 million in DFW.

DFW: About a third of houses sold in Texas last year were priced between $200,000-$300,000, reports the Texas Realtors association. The highest home prices in the state are in Austin, where a mid-priced home costs $315,000. More than 103,000 North Texas homes were sold last year by real estate agents, up 3% from 2018. Statewide, a record 357,238 homes were sold by agents, the fifth consecutive year for record Texas sales and prices. Listings were up more than 5% statewide and up 14% in the DFW area.

Beijing: Home prices in China are reflecting the country’s battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reports the average price of new homes in 70 Chinese cities increased 6.45% from January 2019, the slowest rate of growth since July 2018. And a large-scale home-price reduction is expected in February. Home sales are believed to have plummeted as much as 90%, following the lockdown last month in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, where the virus was first reported. More than 70,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 2,000 have died.

Pleasant Prairie: Record water levels in all five Great Lakes are causing millions in damage from Minnesota to New York as eroding shorelines and monster waves cause homes to fall into the water, piers crumble, parks and properties are flooded. Cause is above average rain and snowfall in the region. Last year was the wettest on record for the Great Lakes and the second wettest across the continental U.S., according to federal data. The University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability said  the warming climate is accenting both precipitation and evaporation, the two main forces affecting lake levels. Twelve counties in Michigan and six in Wisconsin have asked for help. Duluth officials say it will take $30 million to fix the shoreline and public infrastructure along Lake Superior. In Illinois, estimates are $25 million for property along Lake Michigan in Chicago. In Wisconsin, three shoreline counties need $30 million for infrastructure. Homeowners are building sea walls, jetties and other barriers against erosion. Some owners are physically relocating their homes away from the shoreline.

Edinburgh: New York’s Blackstone Group, now the world’s largest real estate company with a portfolio of $325 billion, has acquired one of the U.K.’s largest owners of student housing for $4.6 billion. IQ Student Accommodation oversees more than 28,000 beds in facilities in some of the country’s major university cities. Britain’s education system is among the country’s most lucrative sources of revenue, totaling about $23 billion in 2017. Demand for British higher education is significant from domestic and international students.

Mountain View: In Los Angeles, 16,500 people called an RV vehicle their home last year. In San Francisco, the figure was 1,800, up 45% from 2017. In Santa Clara County the number nearly tripled to 1,747. Residents on streets where the vehicles park complain about sewage tank dumping and drug use. In Mountain View, headquarters for Google, about 300 live in vehicles, triple the number from 2016. In Seattle, where 2,147 people live in vehicles, towing and destroying unsafe RVs is being considered. Other cities are shortening the time parked in one location to three days. The RV explosion in the West is forcing communities to seek solutions for the homeless. Under U.S. HUD rules, RVs are considered in the same category as tents or subway tunnels.

February 14, 2020

DFW
: January sales of single-family homes sold by real estate agents, which was 6,390 homes, was the largest number of properties ever sold in January, using data from NTREIS and the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. The 21% increase, the largest yearly gain in four years, follows a 15% increase in December and several months of rising sales. Home loan costs began falling in mid-2019 and have remained low for several months. Metrostudy said Spring should continue strong for both new and resale homes, with strong job growth, mortgage rates at historic lows and long overdue wage growth. In 2019, a record of more than 108,000 single-family homes sold in North Texas, up 3% from 2018. The median home price rose 8% in January, more than twice the gain for all 2019. Strong home sale activity in January caused a 6% decline in the number of homes listed in the 24 North Texas counties, with 20,631 listings and 9,236 pending sales.

DFW: More than twenty high rise residential buildings are underway in the area, with 6,073 units under construction, according to RealPage. High rise buildings are going up in more neighborhoods. The urban core number on the way is 12 buildings with 3,780 units. Rents are about double the average apartment. Monthly rents in the Oak Lawn/Park Cites area average $2,353 for high-rises. A new top floor penthouse can be $10,000. Despite the prices, demand remains strong from both young professionals and empty nesters. Developers say the high rents, such as the $2,700 monthly for a 775-square foot unit in the new Twelve Cowboys Way in Frisco, demand a quality level to justify the cost. DFW is still the top construction market in the U.S. for all types apartments, with 43,000 units being built.

Anna: An estimated 13,000 businesses have moved from California between 2008 and 2016. As the migration spreads northward from DFW through Frisco and McKinney, former small towns are growing. Anna, 40 miles north of Dallas, is one of the fastest growing cities in North Texas. Permits for single-family homes nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019, while commercial permits rose 36%. With 65-square miles of available planning area, Anna is just four square miles smaller than the planning area in Frisco. Construction costs are less than Prosper or McKinney. Located on U.S. 75, the town is 15 minutes from the McKinney Airport, 45 minutes to DFW Airport, and 45 minutes from Downtown Dallas.

D.C.: The average rate on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 3.45% according to data from mortage finance giant Freddie Mac, potentially boosting the spring housing market. Mortgage rates are closely tied to yields on 10 year Treasury notes, recently at their lowest level since October. Investors pile into government bonds when economic growth looks uncertain. Continued concerns that the coronavirus will hurt Chinese economic growth are sending rates down. Low mortgage rates are pushing home sales to a high mark for the year in December, when sales of existing homes rose 3.6% over the previous month to 5.54 million. Lenders extended a greater volume of home loans in 2019 than in any year since 2006, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Lower rates have spawned a bevy of refinancings, with the volume jumping 15% from the previous week to the highest level since June 2013, according to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association

DFW: Recent U.S. Census Bureau rankings of DFW’s wealthiest cities by median household income has the top five: Southlake $239,101; Colleyville, $189,689; Lucas, $176,555; Argyle, $173,571 and Heath, $159,838.

DFW: According to the Dallas Business Journal, in a series of stories on housing options for homes in various price ranges, the recent article features homes over $5 million. In Dallas County there were 21 home sales in 2019 above $5 million, 19 through MLS and two private sales. So far in 2020, there is one pending sale and 54 active listings, including new properties and resales. In Collin County, there were no public sales above $5 million in 2019, now seven listings. In Denton County, there were no sales in 2019, now there are seven listings above $5 million, and one pending sale. In Tarrant County, there are eight active listings over $5 million, one pending in Ft. Worth, and two sales in 2019, both in Westlake.

Charleston: An 8,524-square foot Georgian style home built in the 1740s, three decades before the start of the Revolutionary War, and restored is on the market for $9.99 million, and if sold for that price would be a record for a single-family home in Charleston. A ballroom consumes half the second floor. There are 15 fireplaces.

February 7, 2020

DFW
: December ended the year in DFW with Dallas County agents selling 2,167 homes, according to Metrotex. Home sales by North Texas agents were up 15% over last year. Tarrant County marked 2,138 preowned homes; Kaufman County had a 37% increase, and Denton County had a 23.4% increase. Across North Texas, real estate agents sold more than 9,000 homes through MLS. For 2019, over 108,000 homes were sold, 3% more than 2018, and median prices were up 3%.

DFW: Area home prices rose about 2.7% in December compared to Austin’s 5.7% increase and 5.5% in the Ft. Worth area, according to CoreLogic. Biggest increases were in the low-moderate priced homes, which are in short supply across the nation. Homes that sold for 25% or more below the local median price had a 5.9% price gain in 2019, compared to a 3.7% gain for homes selling for 25% or more above the median. Home prices in Chicago and New York grew less than 1% last year. Biggest gains were Idaho (9.9%), Maine (7.9%), Wyoming (7.7%) and South Dakota (7.4%). Texas home prices were up 3.4% in 2019. CoreLogic forecasts nationwide prices will rise 5.2% in 2020.

San Antonio: Texas led states in 2019 with 344,200 new jobs, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve, predicting job growth of about 2.1% this year, as the state continues its long expansion. The DFW job growth of 3.4% ranked third nationally among cities with a population of 1 million or more. DFW led the nation’s metro areas in job creation in 2019, for the third straight year. New, relocating and expanding businesses in North Texas created 127,600 jobs during the year, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than either New York or Los Angeles.

Miami: Condo sales jumped in Miami-Dade County last week ahead of the Super Bowl. A total of 135 condos sold for $56 million last week, compared to 82 units that sold for $34 million the previous week. Condos last week sold for an average price of about $415,000 or $300/SF. Top sale was at the Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club for $6.2 million, or about $1,811/SF. The second most expensive sale was in Bal Harbour, with the penthouse at Majestic Towers sale for $3.6 million, or $909/SF.

DFW: A new apartment tower is underway on North Central Expressway just south of Mockingbird Lane, at the dead end of McKinney Avenue on the Katy Trail. The 14-story building, with 217 rental units, will occupy the site now home to the Carter Eye Center building. On the McKinney Avenue side of the new building facing Highland Park, there will be walk-up townhouse units and a pedestrian lounge. Co-working office booths in the resident clubhouse will be themed as vintage rail cars like those that ran on the old Katy Trail railway line.

DFW: The area’s most affordable rental housing inventory declined in the decade ending in 2018, while higher-priced apartments gained. The region quadrupled in rentals costing more than $1,400 per month. The metro area lost 238,000 rental units priced below $800 monthly over the decade and added 110,000 units costing between $800-$1,000 per month. There were just 64,000 units at more than $1,400 monthly in 2008 and today there are 263,000. DFW has lost more units under $800 than any metro outside New York City. Dallas and Houston are the only U.S. metros to add at least 100,000 rentals in each upper cost brackets, from $800 through $1,400.  Construction costs have soared in recent years, and developers are building more luxury units to recoup their investment.

January 31, 2020

DFW
: In 2019, North Texas real estate agents sold a record of more than 108,000 homes. Four-fifths of the Dallas area’s residential districts had an increase in home sales in 2019. Biggest percentage increases were in fast-growing communities north of Dallas. Prosper and Melissa home sales were up 20%. Anna sales were up 17% and Colleyville 13%. Lower mortgage costs in the second half of the year boosted sales. Median home sale prices in 2019 rose in all but eight Dallas-area neighborhoods. Number of homes on the market rose about 9% over last year. Biggest price gains were in more affordable areas in Southeast Dallas (+10%), Southern Dallas (+10%) and Grand Prairie (+ 10%). Outlook for 2020 is 3%-5% home price gains. Highlights:

Far North Dallas: Sales 1,026 (-1%) Median Price $442,000 (-1%)
North Dallas: Sales 684 (+2) Median Price $900,250 (-8%)
East Dallas: Sales 2,302 (+3%) Median Price $375,000 (-3%)
Oak Lawn: Sales 85 (+1%) Median Price $437,500 (+18%)
Park Cities: Sales 722 (+1%) Median Price $1,300,000 (+5%)
Southlake: Sales 5,554 (-1%) Median Price $755,000 (0%)

DFW: The retail market in DFW ended 2019 with a 93% occupancy rate, highest recorded since 1981, according to the Weitzman Forecast. The firm does an annual inventory of about 200.5 million-square feet in projects with 25,000-square feet or more. They note that restaurants are the most valuable player of retail leasing and the low construction market is here for the foreseeable future. The firm predicts 2020 will be the eighth strong year in a row. DFW leads the country in new multifamily units with 140,000 new units since 2010. That residential growth has created retail demand and boosted existing retail centers. For the first time in the survey’s 45 years history, every single category reported occupancy above 90%. Malls were 90.6%, small strip centers were above 90%. The multifamily boom drives demand and developers are renovating 14 older centers. Today’s larger centers can have as many as 10 restaurants compared to two a decade ago The survey showed 418 community centers in DFW report an average of four restaurants per center.

Phoenix: One in eight owner-occupied homes in the U.S., about 9 million homes, are set to hit the market from 2017 through 2027, as baby boomers start to die in greater numbers. The total is up from seven million homes in the prior decade. By 2037, one-quarter of the U.S. for-sale housing stock, roughly 21 million homes, will be vacated by
seniors. That is more than twice the number of new homes built during the 10-year period that spanned the last housing bubble, reports the Wall Street Journal. Gen Xers and millennials are preferring to live in cities or suburbs in major metro areas with shops and restaurants within walking distance. They are showing little interest in migrating to planned, age-restricted retirement enclaves in sunnier corners of the U.S. lined with golf courses, community centers and man-made lakes. A study from the Harvard Housing Center shows many households in their pre-retirement years, age 50-64, are less likely to own a home than prior generations. A housing sales glut could have wide reaching consequences. Demand may shrink in places like Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Utah. Small towns and rural areas where young adults are less likely to migrate could face depressed housing prices and a slowdown in new homes.

Park City: A 2,670-acre ranch in Oakley, Utah, has sold for $32.5 million, a record price for the state. Known as Riverbend Ranch, the property includes a 16,800-square foot, eight bedroom home and its own helicopter pad.

D.C.: A Northern Virginia three-acre estate on the Potomac River between McLean and Arlington, owned by the founder of AOL, has sold for $45 million, the most expensive residential sale on record in the Washington, D.C. area. The main house has 24,500-square feet, six bedrooms, four kitchens, a 30-car garage, pool and tennis court. An adjacent guest house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

January 24, 2020

DFW
: In 2019, the average U.S. home seller saw a gain of $65,000, a 13-year high, according to Attom Data Solutions. In DFW the average sales gain was $78,437. Austin had the biggest average profit of $89,983. Less than 7% of DFW home trades were distressed sales, according to Attom Data. Only 3% of North Texas homes were sold to investors. Homeowners in the DFW area are staying in their properties for an average of 7.76 years. U.S. average home tenure is an all time high 8.2 years.

NAR: The National Association of Realtors has issued its 2019 profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Some highlights: First time buyers were 33% of all buyers; typical buyer was 47 years old; 61% of buyers were married couples, 17% single females, 9% single males, 9% unmarried couples; 29% said primary reason was to own a home of their own. Detached single-family homes were most common home type for 83% of buyers. Buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 15 years and 20% said they were never moving. First step in the process for 44% was online look at properties; 16% first step was agent contact; 87% found agent good information source; 93% said most useful source was website; buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 9 homes; buyers not using the internet spent four weeks searching and visited 4 homes. 89% of buyers bought through an agent, saying an agent helped find right home. 41% of buyers used an agent referred by a friend or relative and 12% used an agent they used in the past. Seventy-five percent of buyers interviewed only one agent during their search. Eight percent of homes were FSBO sales, near the lowest share since the report started in 1981. FSBO homes sold typically for less than other homes and lower than agent assisted sales. Median age of FSBO sellers was 60.

London: Libor, the London Interbank Offer Rate, has been called “the world’s most important number,” used to calculate interest rates for everything from mortgages to government bonds. An estimated $200 trillion in contracts is riding on it. Next year will be its last and there is no universal agreement on what will replace it when it is phased out at the end of 2021. Interest rates on any given loan could be higher or lower than lenders or borrowers anticipated when they signed their deals. Fixed-rate loans are for stabilized properties with cash flow. A bridge loan for a construction loan would be a floating rate loan, typically pegged to Libor, plus a spread. Floating rates tied to Libor maturing in 2021 will be affected. Some lenders say if Libor is unavailable, interest rates will convert to prime, roughly 3% higher than Libor. Libor was devised as a benchmark resulting from complex financial products in the 70s and 80s. Each morning at 11 in London, top bank representatives are asked how much they expect to pay to borrow money from other banks — calculated from five different currencies and seven lending periods from overnight to a year. From these numbers, averages are determined and published at 7.a.m. Eastern time. The U.S. Federal Reserve is suggesting an alternative, the Secured Overnight Financed Rate, SOFR, which analyzes one day’s actual financial trades to set the next day’s rate. Central banks of Europe, England, Japan and Switzerland have proposed solutions of their own.

DFW: Total housing value in DFW doubled in a decade to $589 billion, in an analysis by Zillow and reported by the Dallas Business Journal. Texas added more housing value than any other state in 2019. According to the data, in the past eight years, the typical North Texas house value had increased 78%, or $100,000 in value. Factors include rapid appreciation in the last decade and large population growth of 17% through 2018.

Cape Cod: An estate on Cape Cod is on the market for $25 million, making it the most expensive listing in the area. If sold for the asking price, it would set a record for the most expensive sale in Cape Cod. The prior record was in 2013 when billionaire Bill Koch paid $19.5 million for a home owned by Bunny Mellon, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 9.6 acre estate is on the Penzance Point peninsula in Woods Hole, on the southern tip of Cape Cod. It includes a traditional style main home, guest house, extensive grounds and gardens, a 36 foot swimming pool, boathouse with fireplace and a deep water dock.

January 10, 2020

DFW
: December’s preowned home sales of 9,056 were up 15% over last year, the highest total on record for the final month of any year in North Texas. Real estate agents  sold more than 108,000 single-family homes, 3% more than 2018, according to NTREIS data. Median home prices were up 5% to $270,000. For all of 2019, North Texas home prices were 3% ahead of last year. At year end, 20,535 homes were listed, down 4%. The number of pending sales was up 18% from a year ago, a good sign for January. In December, 572 condos were sold, up 23%. The median price was down 4% at $242,000, 430 pending sales were up 13%, and listings of 1,847 were up 9%.

DFW: November home prices in Texas rose 3.3% from a year ago. Dallas-area prices were 2.8% higher, compared to a U.S. increase of 3.7%. Austin was up 4.8%, Ft. Worth 4.5%, Houston 3.1% and 3.6% in San Antonio.

DFW: New home starts in the final months of 2019 were 22% more than last year. Builders began almost 8,900 homes in October, November and December, the strongest fourth-quarter construction in more than a decade, according to Residential Strategies. DFW home starts for the year of 35,584 were up about 2% from 2018. Builders said most of the increases are at the lower-end of the market, from $200,000 to $300,000. Starts of houses over $500,000 were down almost 15% in the fourth quarter.  Builders sold more than 8,500 homes in the final quarter, about 6% more than a year ago.

DFW: One of Dallas’ oldest apartment buildings, the Maple Terrace, has been sold to the Hines Interests in Houston. The seven-story, 81-unit building, when built in 1925, was the tallest apartment building in Dallas. Its eight-acre site was the site of the former Dilley Mansion. Its neighbor, the 11-story Stoneleigh Hotel, built in 1922, was taller. A Hines spokesman said their goal is to renovate and revitalize “an iconic property.”

DFW: Almost 1.5 million-square feet of net leasing pushed the Dallas office leasing total for 2019 to 3.5 million-square feet, in a report from CBRE, up 75% from 2018 totals and the third-highest leasing total during the last decade. Most of the fourth-quarter activity was from health services, education and tech tenants. Seven new office buildings were started in the fourth quarter, to meet demand driven by business growth. For the 12 months ending in November, area employers added more than 120,000 jobs, the greatest growth of any metro area in the U.S. The strongest net leasing was in Las Colinas (1,439,456 SF); northeast Fort Worth (778,796 SF); Dallas’  ptown/Turtle Creek area (587,989 SF); and Far North Dallas suburbs (515,421 SF).

Miami: Among the seven states with no income tax and no tax on dividends and interest, Florida
accounted for 42% of U.S. home sales in 2019 and Texas was second with 33.6%. Six of the seven states —
Florida, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas all had U.S. population increases from July
2018 to July 2019.

January 3, 2020

DFW
: Single-unit residential housing sales increased 3.1% in November to 7,361 transactions. YTD sales totaled 94,731 closed listings, with a volume of $2.37 billion. Average sales price rose 1.5% to $322,283 and the average price/SF rose from $135.72 to $139.25. Median price rose 5.26% to $270,000 and median price/SF rose from $127.23 to $131.47. Active listings were 24,014. Sales price were 95.61% of original list price and 96.40% YTD. Sales of townhomes were up 5.03% to 209 transactions for YTD sales of 2,516 closed listings. Average sales price was down to $277,355 with average price/SF down from $151.24 to $149.66. Median price rose 5.06% to $270,000 and median price/SF rose from $143.77 to $146.06. Sale prices were 95.80% of original list price. Condo sale volume increased 9.91% to 255 transactions and YTD sales of 3,110 closed listings. Dollar volume rose from $64.2 million to $70.14 million. Average sales price was down to $275,040 with average price/SF from $198.00 to $188.54. Median price rose 2.99% to $207,000 with median price/SF up from $176.59 to $178.19. Active listings were 1,345 and sale prices were 93.87% of original list.

DFW: A new report from the Dallas Fed offers signs that the Texas economy remains strong in 2020. Texas service sector activity grew at a faster pace in December, with retail sales quickening and revenue growth picking up. Perceptions of business conditions are signs to improve, and a majority of service firms expect stronger revenues compared to 2019. Private service companies provide 70% of the state economy and employ about 8 million people. Another report shows factory output in Texas has resumed growing after contracting in November for the first time in more than three years.

DFW: California had the most inbound moves of any state in Atlas Van Lines’ annual migration study. And the state also had the biggest total of out-of-state moves, with more people leaving the state. Texas was second for total Atlas moves in 2019, registering its highest percentage of inbound moves in the U.S. since 1915. More than 55% of the company’s Texas business was from movers to Texas, 6,300 inbound moves. Next states in moves were Florida and Washington State. A recent report shows almost 700,000 people left California in 2018, and more than 86,000 of those came to Texas, according to Yardi Systems. In 2018, Texas was second among popular states for movers with almost 564,000 newcomers.

D.C.: New government data shows privately-owned housing starts rose 3.2% in November to 1.37 million. Building permits in November hit 1.48 million, the highest rate since 2007. Single-family starts were at a rate of 938,000 in November, the highest level since January.

D.C.: Just before Christmas, the U.S. House cleared an appropriations measure that renewed the write-off for mortgage insurance premiums as well as the tax break on forgiven mortgage debt. Both measures ran out in 2017 and have been renewed for 2018 and 2019 through 2020. Five federal financial regulators have given cautionary approval to use of alternative credit data that lenders can use for decisions, hoping to expand access to credit at more favorable prices and terms. Lenders can use automation to perform a cash flow analysis to evaluate a borrower’s capacity to meet payment obligations. Income requirements for housing can vary from a median price home in Boston ($104,000), to $38,000 in Pittsburgh, to $229,000 in San Jose, and $124,000 in Los Angeles. Requirements will take into account mortgage principal and interest plus property taxes and homeowners insurance. The latest version of the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) will be mandatory November 2020, but lenders can start using the applications for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September.

D.C.: 2020 is a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2020th year of the Common Era of Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century and the 1st year of the 2020s decade.

December 6, 2019

DFW
: From 2010-2018, Texas gained more than 3.5 million people, about 1,000 new residents per day. with a third of those settling in DFW. DFW gained more new residents  than any metro area in the U.S., adding more than 1 million people from 2010-2018. In North Texas, economic and population growth has clustered around U.S. Highway 380 and State Highway 289, known as Preston Road. Three of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, Denton, New Braunfels and Round Rock, were ranked on employment, business creation, population growth, household growth and household income, using U.S. Census Data. From 2014-2018, Denton’s population grew 8% and household income grew 36%. Denton County’s median income, around $86,000, is above the national median of almost $62,000. Other DFW cities in Smart Asset’s top 50 were Frisco (13), McKinney (14), Flower Mound (24) and Allen (37).

DFW: Dallas-area home prices were up 3% in a recent nationwide comparison from S&P CoreLogic. Dallas-area home prices have risen 70% in the last decade. So far in 2019, the median sales price of houses sold by North Texas real estate agents is 3% higher that this time last year.

DFW: A new two-tower luxury rental development will be across from the Virgin Hotel on HiLine Drive and Turtle Creek Boulevard in the Design District. Estimates are for residential towers of almost 30 floors. Phase one will be 381 rental units, beginning in March 2020. The 268-room Virgin Hotel at HiLine and Turtle Creek will open next month.

DFW: Deep Ellum is getting another office tower, the Stack Deep Ellum, located on a half-acre parking lot in front of the Bomb Factory at 2700 Commerce Street. The tower is planned for 200,000-square feet of office space, 15,000-square feet of ground floor retail and eight floors of underground parking. Cost estimates could be in the $59 million range.

Aspen: Unsold homes are adding inventory and price cuts in luxury properties are common. Median price of the 183 homes sold in Aspen through September was nearly 12% lower than 2018. September marked the fifth successive quarter of growth in the number of prime homes for sale. Despite the recent price slide, Aspen homes are still expensive. Ultra prime homes, the top fifth by sales price, average $48,000 per square meter (almost 11 square feet), more expensive according to Savills than the $36,000 average price in France’s Courchevel 1850, the world’s second-priciest ski resort. For years, property prices have been beyond what Aspen workers can afford. Since the 1970s, the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority has provided subsidized homes for workers to buy and rent. Currently the pool comprises 1,662 for ownership and 1,372 for rent. But Aspen’s high property prices mean building new affordable homes has become virtually impossible.

Boise: Millennials and others seeking a lower cost of living are pouring into the U.S. Mountain States, boosting economic growth and increasing apartment rents, according to the Wall Street Journal. Income from rental apartments nearly doubled between 2004-2018 in the eight Mountain States, according to Trepp, LLC. The research data firm looked at properties in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. That is the fastest-growth rate of any region in the country. Young professionals are leaving west coast hubs like San Francisco and Seattle to smaller cities such as Boise, Idaho and Boulder, Colorado, in search of cheaper real estate, lower taxes and nature. A wave of tech firms, often lured to the region by generous tax incentives, has helped attract younger workers. Idaho and Nevada saw the fastest population growth of any U.S. states from 2017-2018 tied at 2.1%. Historically most apartment buildings in the region have been owned by individuals and smaller investme0nt firms. But the surge in economic growth is attracting institutional investors.

November 22, 2019

DFW: More than 3,400 acres of land near the intersections of State Highway 114 and US 287 in Wise County have been bought for a residential development of more than 10,000 homes. Parts of the property are in the towns of Rhome and Newark. The development is projected to cost more than $3.5 billion by completion, which makes it among the largest residential communities in North Texas. Home prices are expected to range from more than $200,000 to above $500,000. Planned are 800 acres for  open space with a trail system around existing lakes, creeks and natural springs.

DFW: A five-story, 322-unit luxury apartment community has broken ground at Frisco Station, a $1.8 billion, 242-acre mixed-use project on the west side of the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco. The new rental community is next door to Frisco Station’s first apartment project, which is 95% leased.

DFW: Dallas area rents are up $49 a month on average to $1,240, a new high, according to Yardi Systems data. The national average is $1,476. Austin residents have the biggest increase with average rent up $74 to $1,442. Houston rates are up $16 to $1,111. Ft. Worth rose $39 to an average of $1,130. Highest rents are in Manhattan ($4,245), Los Angeles ($2,530), Washington, D.C. ($2,233) and Seattle ($2,138). DFW is still the fastest-growing apartment market in the country.

DFW: SBA disaster loans up to $2 million are available for businesses and non-profits in the seven North Texas counties that suffered tornado damage in October. For homeowners, the loan limit is $200,000. Homeowners and renters are also eligible for $40,000 to repair or replace destroyed personal property. Deadline to apply for property damage loans is January 13 and for economic injury August 14. The loans interest rates start at 3.875% for businesses, 2.75% for private non-profits and 1.5% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loans will be made for costs to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory
and other assets. Loans can also be for improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of damage in the future. Loans are also available to businesses with no physical damage but who lost revenue when customers couldn’t access their businesses. The temporary disaster loan office is open in the Bachman Lake Branch Library,
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

D.C.: The NAR reports about one-third of homes sold this year went to first-time buyers, compared to the usual 40%. Median age for first-time buyers rose to 33 in 2019, highest ever recorded by the residential sales industry. The median age of repeat home buyers rose to the mid-50s. The share of U.S. home buyers with children living at home continues to decline. This year, it was just 35% of the market. In 1985, almost 60% of buyers had kids. Likewise, the share of married couples purchasing a home declined from an historical high of 75% to 67%. The share of new homes purchased dropped to an all-time low of 13%. Builders of new houses in recent years have
shifted their product line toward more expensive properties.

Austin: In the next three-to-four years, the Capitol Complex will undergo an $895 million expansion through the Texas Facilities Commission, the real estate management and construction group for the state. The massive project will reshape a large swath of Austin’s Central Business District. The state is the city’s biggest real estate player, leasing 2.5 million-square feet, and owning or managing another 3.9 million-square feet. It’s also the biggest employer in the Austin area with about 63,000 workers. Four buildings will be built in two phases totaling 1.5 million gross square feet, that will bring an estimated 4,800 workers to Congress Avenue.

November 15, 2019

DFW: North Texas home sales were up 11% in October. Area real estate agents sold almost 9,100 homes last month, the most on record for the month of October, reports the Dallas Morning News. It was the biggest year- over-year percentage price gain in almost two years, according to data from NTREIS and the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. Through the first 10 months of 2019 , North Texas agents have sold 91,847 single-family homes, 3% more than the same time last year. Prices rose 6% in October over last year, twice the rate so far this year. At the end of October, there were 25,348 single-family home for sale in the more than two dozen North Texas counties in the survey, up 1% from 2018. Pending home sales were up 12% last month, indicating another possible rise in November. Housing economists have reworked their outlook for the rest of 2019, forecasting larger home price increases than expected early in the year.

DFW: The Dallas Builders Association said after the tornado damage, builders are still short 20,000 workers, adding abut two months and $5,000 to every home built. They expect delays as insurance companies deem homes total losses and demolition begins. Most of the tornado-related delays will be on the front end of projects as the demolition companies are backed up right now, along with the Dallas building inspections department. Projects to replace a total loss may be delayed another two to four weeks. Once construction begins, the number of homes needing repair shouldn’t make things any worse from a labor standpoint region wide. The Association cautioned homeowners to find reputable builders and contractors.

DFW: So far this year, almost 1,400 million-dollar homes have sold in Dallas-Fort Worth. Since North Texas housing values are at record levels, more properties make it into the million-dollar category. Lendingtree.com says in Silicon Valley’s San Jose market, more than 56% of houses sell above the million dollar mark. And in San Francisco, million dollar properties comprise more than 42% of transactions. Dallas ranks 21st among major U.S. markets with the most million-dollar homes, with 2% of local housing valued above a million. Austin had the largest share of million-dollar homes in Texas and ranked nationally at #11. Lendingtree analysts said only 5.86% of owner-occupied homes in the nation’s 50-largest metro areas are valued over $1 million. At the end of September, about 1,500 million-dollar homes were listed for sale by real estate agents in the North Texas market.

Southlake: Southlake Town Square is considering a 350-unit apartment community for the 130-acre mixed use development. The proposed apartments would average 1,000-square feet and rent for an average of $3000 monthly. The five-story rental community would occupy about seven acres on Carroll Avenue south of State Highway 114.

DFW: A Chicago-based senior housing firm is proposing a new project in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. The 13-story, 140-unit assisted living and memory care building would be built on Herschel Avenue just south of Highland Park. The project would replace several small residential and commercial buildings in a block already zoned for high-rise. Another senior community is planning major expansion. Presbyterian Village North will break ground next spring on a building with 112 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The new building will have underground parking and will be connected to the main community building. The last major expansion on their 66 acre campus was in 2016, costing $93 million. Nationwide, senior housing developers added 21,332 new units in 2018, more than double the units in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. Senior housing is one of the fastest-growing commercial real estate sectors, ahead of office, retail, hotels and apartments, according to Green Street Advisors. Development is expected to accelerate because in about a decade, boomers will reach their mid-80s, the typical move-in age for senior housing, but as more facilities come to market, occupancy rates dropped in the third quarter of 2019. The average age that people enter senior housing has been rising, partly because of improving health. It is about 84 to 85 today compared to 82 a decade ago. And the new aging-in-place movement could undercut demand further.” “If your base population gets older, you’re even less attractive to younger seniors,” said one observer.

November 1, 2019

DFW
: DFW led the state in home sales during the third quarter, reports the Dallas Morning News. More than 29,000 homes sold during that time, almost a quarter of all Texas sales, according to the TRA. Statewide home sales were up 3.5% over last year. DFW sales by agents were up 5.7% from a year ago. North Texas median home sale prices rose 3.6% to $275,501, compared to Austin’s median price of $310,900. Economists at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M expect attractive interest rates to attract buyers and predict new home construction will continue to rise in DFW. In the first nine months of 2019, area home sales by agents are 2% ahead of last year.

DFW: Some of the biggest home sale increases in the first nine months have been in fast-growing suburban markets including Prosper (+24%), Melissa (+18%) and Allen (+15%). Some areas had slight declines including Plano (-65%), the Park Cities (-5%) and North Dallas (-5%). Some of the bigger price increases are in areas with more affordable homes, including Southeast Dallas (+12%), Duncanville (+11%) and Southern Dallas (+10%). The NAR forecasts predicts nationwide median home prices will rise 4-5% in 2019. Some highlights:
Far North Dallas: Sales 783 (-2%), median price $445,000 (0%)
North Dallas: Sales 504 (-5%), median price $870,000 (-10%)
East Dallas: Sales 1,746 (0%), median price $376,850 (-2%)
Oak Lawn: Sales 53 (-25%), median price $433,550 (+18%)
Park Cities: Sales 548 (-5%), median price $1,332,500 (+7%)
Southlake: Sales 437 (-5%), median price $760,000 (+1%)

D.C.: The Fed’s drop in interest rates to a range of 1.5 and 1.75% makes financing cheaper, attracts real estate deals as asset classes such as bonds less attractive and prompts investors to look at higher-income producing assets including industrial and multifamily. The housing market is likely to get a boost from lower mortgage rates. Last quarter, lenders issued the most mortgages in 14 years, providing $700 billion of home loans between July and September, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Lower rates have also led to more refinancing activity, both residential and commercial. On the residential side, nationwide refinancing activity has jumped 75% from a year ago, according to Black Night data used in the Wall Street Journal.

Indianapolis: The NCAA has decided that college athletes nationwide are soon to be allowed to earn compensation for endorsement deals. The landmark decision is a stark reversal of the college sports association’s stance against paying athletes. The NCAA board has directed its three divisions to make changes to compensation rules no later than January 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some top-tier athletes may secure lucrative contracts and look for homes for themselves or family members. Real estate agents may have increased responsibility representing a teenage athlete considering a major financial decision.

Inglewood: With the new football home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers 75% completed, The Kroenke Group and Hollywood Park have announced the first group of tenants for the $5 billion, 298-acre mixed-use stadium and entertainment destination development. Hollywood Park will feature the indoor/outdoor SoFi Stadium, a 6,000-seat performing arts venue, 780,000 sq. ft. of office space, up to 840,000 sq. ft. of retail, a hotel, 2,500 residences, restaurants and 20 acres of park space. The 70,000-100,000-seat stadium is slated to open in summer 2020, followed by the first phase of the project’s performing arts venue, some retail, office and 300 residences — all within a year of the stadium opening. The stadium has been tapped to host the 2028 Olympics Games’ opening and closing ceremonies and will host the 2022 Super Bowl and 2023 College Football National Championship.

October 11, 2019

DFW: New home sales rose 9.4% year-over-year in the third quarter, with sales of 9,542 area homes, the largest one-quarter area home sales total since 2007, according to Residential Strategies. Building starts in 2019 have totaled 34,272 units, down from almost 35,000 homes last year. Starts of houses priced from $500,000+ have dropped about 17% in the last year. Construction of houses priced from $250,000 to $350,000 is up from 2018. The decline in mortgage costs has dropped payments on a $350,000 new home by more than $250 a month.

DFW: Warehouse construction in the area totals nearly 35 million-square feet, according to data from Cushman and Wakefield. The volume of industrial building underway in DFW is more than all other commercial construction combined. Warehouse development is more than six times larger in square footage than office building and more than 10 times the retail space being built. To date, businesses have taken almost 18 million-square feet of warehouse and distribution space — more than a dozen downtown skyscrapers. Most of the activity is in North Fort Worth (12.1 million SF), around DFW International Airport (5.5 million SF) and in the Great Southwest Industrial District between Dallas and Fort Worth (4.2 million SF). Vacancy in the area is less than 7%.

DFW: Cortland recently bought 11 apartment properties and 3,985 apartment units in DFW, pushing their total to more than 60,000 nationwide, making it the largest apartment owner in the area. The firm says they can offer residents a Cortland property within a 20-minute commute to almost every major employer in DFW.

DFW: Construction has begun on Iron Horse Village, a 54-acre mixed-use project near Military Parkway and LBJ Freeway, adjoining the Mesquite Championship Rodeo Arena. Centurion American is renovating the arena and plans 336 single-family homes, 130,000-square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space, and 4.5 acres of open space in the Iron Horse development.

NYC: New taxes are dragging luxury sales ($2M+) to a four-year low. State residential transfer taxes increased to 0.4% for properties under $3 million and range to 0.65% over $3 million. City transfer taxes start at 1.% for properties less than $500,000 and go to 1.425% at $25 million. The mansion tax, which began in July, only applies to properties priced at $1M+. The tax ranges from 1% for properties from $1-$2 million to 3.9% for properties at $25 million or more.

September 27, 2019

D.C.:
The Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate annual report ranks Austin first nationally for overall real estate prospects for 2020. The report says  transaction activity in Austin is above normal for a market of its size. Austin’s challenges include traffic and housing affordability pressures, ranking sixth in homebuilding prospects. DFW ranked sixth in overall real estate prospects and ninth in homebuilding. DFW’s challenges were K-12 educational offerings, infrastructure, mass transit supply and overall cost of investment. Dallas captured 4.4% of total U.S. transactions the past three years, and 4.2% YTS in 2019, the third-highest nationally after Manhattan and Los Angeles. DFW growth to the outer perimeter keeps land costs down but challenges the downtown areas development as 24- hour or even 18-hour urban centers.

NYC: Owners of certain residential properties can no longer shield their identities using anonymous LLCs. A new law requires LLCs involved in real estate transactions in the state to disclose identities of all owners, managers and agents associated with the company. The law is limited to properties containing one to four units and disclosures only need to be made in joint tax filings, which are not public. In 2018, a report by The Real Deal showed that 7,319 deals in New York’s five boroughs in the first half of the year involved an LLC. Luxury real estate had 72% of condo sales, about $10 million involved an LLC, up 20% from 15 years ago. A proposed law would require corporations and LLCs to disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

LA: The recent CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Report says the current string of Southern California wildfires puts 776,000 homes at an extreme risk of being damaged with a reconstruction cost value of $221 billion. Homes within the Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego metro areas have 42% of their residences at high-to-extreme wildfire risk. In 2018, 8,767,492 acres of land across the country burned, the sixth highest in history. Texas burned 569,811 acres. Three Texas metro areas were included in the report. Austin was #5, with a high-risk residence count of 53,984, San Antonio was #11 with 30,696 homes and Houston at #15 had 36,004 at risk.

San Francisco: As rents increase and urbanization has intensified, developers are responding with smaller apartments. According to CoStar, vacancy rates for the smallest one bedroom units have dipped below those for medium and larger units, a reversal from earlier in the decade. The average unit completed last year was 941 SF, 5% less than 10 years prior. RentCafe said smaller unit demand is strong in major metro areas with high rents and renters wanting urban areas had to sacrifice square footage to do so. New apartments in San Francisco Bay will average about 440 SF for a two-bedroom unit. In Seattle, an influx of micro-units has the smallest average size at 711 SF. In Long Island City in the borough of Queens in New York, a recently completed complex has 466 units, 169 of which are split into 422 SF co-living bedrooms.

NYC: Central Park Tower has topped out at 1,550 feet, making it the tallest residential building in the world. The building will house Nordstrom’s flagship store and 179 residences ranging from two to eight bedrooms, with 1,435-square feet to more than 17,500-square feet. The apartments begin on the 32nd floor. Units begin at $6.9 million for a two bedroom.