Record low mortgage rates and a shortage of houses for sale have created one of the hottest home markets ever seen in Dallas-Fort Worth.
North Texas’ home market started 2020 with higher sales, paused for the pandemic and then took off like a rocket.
Home sales are higher this year in most Dallas-area neighborhoods.
And prices are up in all but a handful of the residential areas The Dallas Morning News tracks each quarter. Record low mortgage rates and a shortage of houses for sale have created one of the hottest home markets ever seen in Dallas-Fort Worth, even with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been amazing that the demand has been so strong,” said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Texas and most of our metro areas have not been as hard hit in job layoffs. On through next year, Dallas is going to continue to do well.”
North Texas’ home market has made up for all of the time lost during the pandemic lockdown in April and May. Home purchases have increased by double-digit percentage rates in the last few months.
The largest home sales gains so far this year have been in Dallas-area neighborhoods, including Oak Lawn (up 50%), Northeast Dallas (20%) and Rockwall (16%), according to data from the Real Estate Center and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
Prices have seen the greatest year-over-year gains in Oak Cliff (up 10%), DeSoto (9%) and southern Dallas (9%).
Declines this year in sales in some neighborhoods have mostly to do with a lack of listings.
With the number of homes for sale in North Texas down by 50% from 2019 levels, real estate agents say there is a scramble for properties.
Compass Real Estate agent Darren Dattalo was blown away by the response when he recently listed a house in Dallas’ M-Streets neighborhood. “It had four offers the first day, all above list price,” Dattalo said.
With the pandemic, some buyers expected there would be less competition for homes.
“We thought we were going to get the best interest rates and have our pick of homes,” said Loren Heller, who purchased this summer in University Park. “We were under the assumption there wouldn’t be many buyers – people would be super sensitive to the economy. It was completely different than we expected to be.”
The Hellers sold their North Dallas home and rented for a few months until finding a property.
“It was a crazy experience,” she said. “We got an all-cash offer for our house. It’s gotten even more competitive since we looked.”
Real estate agents say there’s no sign yet of the traditional fall slowdown when home shoppers usually take a break for the holidays.
September home sales in North Texas were up by 27% from a year earlier with the highest total transactions ever for the month.
“It’s pure insanity at this point,” said Keith Conlon, president of sales at Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “Nothing makes sense, but we will ride the wave as long as we can.”
By Steve Brown
5:00 AM on Nov 6, 2020