Remote work, California migration will continue to rev DFW housing market in 2021

Chris Kelly, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Companies, says the luxury home market in North Texas is especially hot. DANIEL MOTTA

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated trends that were already occurring in the North Texas housing market — including a surge in relocations from California and other states — and will continue to do so in 2021, according to the leader of one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest residential real estate firms.

The volume of closed sales of homes in North Texas rose 9.1 percent last year and the average sales price rose 7 percent to $331,000, said Chris Kelly, president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes real estate brands Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Williams Trew.

The home price appreciation is great for sellers, but it’s a two-edged sword for the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Kelly said in a recent online forum hosted by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

“For the long-term attraction of businesses and consumers here, we want to have modest and sustainable price appreciation here, not something that becomes unaffordable like many of the markets people are fleeing from,” he said.

Home inventory plunged 40 percent last year in North Texas as many sellers became uncomfortable putting their home on the market during a pandemic.

At the luxury level, closed sales of properties for over $12 million in DFW rose 27.7 percent last year, and the average price of luxury homes climbed 3.5 percent to $1.7 million. The inventory of luxury homes plummeted from 16 months at the beginning of 2020 to four months by the year’s end.

“The luxury market was extremely robust in 2020 and it seems to be carrying forward in our marketplace in North Texas into 2021,” Kelly said.

The rise of the exurbs in North Texas was another trend that accelerated in 2020 and continues in 2021, he said.

Closed sales in Grayson County jumped 13 percent, Henderson County sales soared 29.6 percent, Hill jumped 28.8 percent, Kaufman rose 26.4 percent and Parker County increased 15 percent. Rockwall and Wise counties rose 16.6 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively.

“We are continuing to grow outward in North Texas,” Kelly said.

One factor fueling the growth in exurbs, suburbs and core DFW counties and cities is what Kelly called the “Great California Migration.”

According to the Texas Realtors Association’s 2020 report, more than 86,000 Californians moved to Texas last year, an increase of 36 percent over the prior year, Kelly said. Most of the migration occurred after the pandemic had started, he said.

“Even without businesses formally relocating in 2020, the people were still coming,” Kelly said. “They were coming whether or not their business was or not.”

Information provided by Dallas Business Journal

By   – Senior Reporter, Dallas Business Journal

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