After years of being one of the hottest housing markets in the U.S., the North Texas region has cooled off a bit. Sales in the DFW area slipped nearly 10 percent. If you look at the entire region stretching from Sherman to Granbury and from Rowlett to Abilene, studies show around 6,000 single-family homes were sold in November, a nearly 14 percent drop from November 2017.
Compared to the rest of the nation, however, North Texas is still on top. With a relatively low cost of living and population growth projections that beat out the rest of the U.S. by nearly two times, DFW has been named the top real estate market to watch in 2019. Demand will continue be strong in 2019, propelled by continued job growth in the Metroplex. Also our area, as well as the rest of Texas, is more desirable for transplants. Since property taxes are lower here and Texas has no state income tax, out-of-state people are finding they can own a larger home and pay lower taxes.
At the beginning of last year, prospective buyers could get a 30-year mortgage at below 4 percent, but at the end of the year that has slowly crept up to nearly 5 percent. Another contributing factor is that for more than two years, prices have escalated to the point that they are destroying affordability. In November median home prices hit $259,000, up 3.4 percent from November 2017 in DFW according to data from Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors.
Meanwhile, the median price in Fort Worth was $215,000, up 2.8 percent, in November compared to November 2017. Tarrant County median home prices shot up 4.2 percent to $225,000 in November compared to the previous year.
Not surprisingly, Dallas is the least affordable among Texas’ largest markets and below the national affordability level of 56.4 percent. Fort Worth’s affordability level was 55.8 percent, which is more in line with the national level. Sales for houses priced above $500,000 are decreasing, and homes in that price range are sitting on the market longer.
The bottom line is that the North Texas housing market is still a bargain. Businesses will continue moving here, and people are moving here for the opportunity of good employment and a higher standard of living.
*Information according to the North Texas Real Estate Information System (NTREIS), based on MLS data