Business Growth

What’s the Good News for October?

1-MercerCrossingMapMercer Crossing Development to open in Farmers Branch. A $1 billion mixed-use development in Farmers Branch is bringing hundreds of homes/apartments and is planned for more than 3,000 residents.  The 370-acre Mercer Crossing development is on the north side of LBJ Freeway near Luna Road.  Mercer Crossing will include 93 acres of urban commerce and 174 acres of residential single-family homes; built by six premier builders, M/I Homes, First Texas Homes, Beazer Homes, Megatel Homes, Oakdale Homes, and Siena Homes.   The first 30 homes should be starting in November 2017, and there are a total of 660 home lots, with larger home lots being around the lake.  Houses in the development will start at price of more than $300,000.  All of the lots have been sold to builders, and the builders have committed over $10 million in earnest money. Centurion American has also sold land to Coppell-based apartment developer Western Rim Properties for 1,250 apartments, of a total 2,500 apartments planned.

2-Amazon.com4North Texas communities partnering to entice Amazon.com to the Metroplex. The Dallas & Fort Worth Chambers are working together to bundle area pitches into a combined, regional pitch which must be turned into Amazon before the October 19th deadline.  The 2 chambers are coordinating the north Texas effort to entice Amazon’s 2nd headquarters location to the DFW area.   HQ2 is expected to create more than 50,000 jobs and represent a direct $5 billion dollar investment into the local economy.  More than 12 North Texas cities, with 30 – 50 specific site proposals, made the internal deadline to be included in the regional pitch.  Lewisville has 2 development sites being proposed:  Castle Hills on the eastern edge of Lewisville is one of the areas to make a pitch and the 2nd location proposed by Lewisville is undisclosed, but thought to be in the southwestern portion of the city (Vista Ridge Mall site which was recently sold at auction?) Allen proposed 2 sites, one being included in a project there called The Strand.  Frisco is submitting at least 6 site proposals along the Tollway.  Dallas is submitting 4 including one put forth by the Texas Bullet Train group which would have them locate in the Cedars area of Dallas and help to create a super economy between Dallas and Houston. Fort Worth suggests 8 sites including on the banks of the Trinity River in Ft Worth.  Plano is pitching 6 possible sites including their historic downtown.  McKinney has a proposal, Arlington and Irving met the deadline as well.  Carrollton sent in 2 sites and Grapevine sent in a site proposal including land owned by DFW Airport.  Denton submitted 3 site proposals – one north, one south and one in downtown Denton.

3-Retire4Texas ranks as one of 2018 Best Places to Retire; Dallas is 11th in Nation! In U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Places to Retire in the United States, released on 10/02/17, the Lone Star state comes out smelling like a yellow rose. Six of the top 12 cities on the new top 100 list are in Texas, with Dallas coming in 11th in the nation.  The ranking measures included housing affordability, the job market, health care, retiree taxes and overall happiness.  Sarasota, FL showed up as the best place to retire in America and San Antonio came in at #1 in Texas, #3 in the nation.

4-Southwest1Southwest adds Boeing 737 to fleet, increasing area coverage and reducing emissions. On Oct. 1, 2017 , Southwest flew its inaugural flight on its new plane – the Boeing 737 Max.   Southwest is now one of the country’s largest domestic airlines, carrying more than 124 million paying passengers in 2016 and adding international flights to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  Looking at Southwest’s new 737 Max, it can be hard to distinguish it from its predecessor, the 737-800.  The Max has updated winglets and larger engines, but its dimensions are nearly the same. Inside, the Max has the same blue-clad interior, approximately 30 additional seats and the galleys have been updated.  Southwest is expected to have 9 of the new aircraft in service by year end 2017 and 36 total by year end 2018. In 10 years, Southwest could have as many as 391 of the aircraft, a figure that represents more than half of the carrier’s current fleet size of about 700 aircraft.  The aircraft’s engines burn an estimated 14% less fuel than the previous generation of 737s, helping Southwest save on its second largest operating expense while cutting down emissions.  Perhaps most important is the 500 nautical miles of additional range Southwest says the jet will provide, which will increase the routes that are possible operationally and profitably.

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North Texas Housing Market remains strong

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North presents the September 2017 Market Reports, Courtesy of Texas Association of Realtors® (TAR) and Greater Lewisville Area Realtors® (GLAR). How is your market doing?

Flower MoundLantana

Argyle

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today to see how YOUR market is doing! We have over 400 qualified realtors eager to assist you with your real estate needs. 

Inventory on Longest Downward Stretch in Two Decades

Arrow downHousing inventory is officially on its longest downward stretch in two decades, with 11 percent fewer homes on the market year-over-year in June, according to the latest data preview from realtor.com®. Prices in June were 9 percent higher than those one year ago, with the national median at $275,000 and the national median age of inventory at 60 days.

“We have now gone 24 months in a row seeing the number of homes drop on a year-over-year basis, the longest streak in more than two decades,” says Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research at realtor.com. “More markets than ever are struggling with inventory problems; in 80 percent of markets, there are fewer homes for sale currently than this time last year.

shutterstock_232969765“It’s good to see that more homes are coming onto the market, but the bulk of those homes are too pricey for the largest, most desperate group of buyers. With no clear indication that newly-built homes will be able to provide short-term relief soon, there appears to be no end in sight for the inventory shortage. The market will likely remain very challenging for would-be buyers throughout the summer.”

The housing markets ranking in realtor.com’s Hotness Index for June:

1. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 31 days

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 29 days

3. Kennewick-Richland, Wash.
Median Age of Inventory: 34 days

4. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 34 days

5. Columbus, Ohio
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

6. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

7. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

8. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Median Age of Inventory: 33 days

9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 27 days

10. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
Median Age of Inventory: 37 days

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

What’s the Good News for September?

DHL3DHL expands in North Texas.  The shipping company just moved into its new 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Carrollton, adding 70 new jobs to meet demand for international commerce.  Now, the company has two facilities handling incoming and outgoing packages in North Texas. Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express, said the company wants to make DFW Airport an international gateway for packages from as far away as Asia and Europe, and the company is in talks currently with DFW Airport customs officials.  The freight carrier also wants to open a third warehouse in Fort Worth, and they are currently searching for real estate to make that a reality.  DHL’s current facility in north Grand Prairie near DFW Airport was at capacity, prompting them to open the Carrollton facility. The new location off Interstate 35E is centrally located for their delivery routes in the eastern half of the Metroplex, Hewitt said.  DFW Airport is already a cargo hub which handled 829,019 U.S. tons of cargo and mail in 2016, up 12.7% from the previous year, according to the airport.

NICHE4North Texas fared well in Niche.com’s 2018 Best Public High School in Texas list. Niche.com, a website that analyzes neighborhood and schools data, recently released its 2018 Best Public High Schools in Texas list.  Of the top-100 ranked high schools in Texas, 38 are located in North Texas.  Frisco Independent School District had the most high schools on the list, with six.  And the best high school in North Texas? That distinction belongs to Dallas Independent School District’s School for the Talented & Gifted.  Carroll Senior High in Southlake ranked #12 overall, while Coppell came in at #14 and Flower Mound High at #26.   

Pecan Square Master Planned Development to begin construction later this year. The town of Northlake, along the Alliance I-35W corridor, is surrounded on three sides by the regional growth surge: Fort Worth to the south, Denton to the north, and Flower Mound/Argyle to the east.  Northlake is building - 6.jpgapproximately the same total size(32-square-miles) as the Town of Flower Mound to its east. Opportunities for future development are limited, however, because almost 1/3 of its land is in a floodplain, plus the existence of gas wells and distribution lines further limit future development.  Pecan Square is a Hillwood proposed mixed-use, master-planned development– made up of three tracts (Young, Gibbs and Thompson).  The proposed Pecan Square development will include a mix of commercial and residential uses with a mix of lot sizes and densities, located on 1,157-acres west and south of the I-35W and FM 407 intersection, across 407 from Harvest.  The zoning requests were approved in April 2017, and the Pecan Square development is expected to begin construction later this year, with models open by spring 2019.  The number of homes have yet to be finalized but could exceed 3,000.

Nordstrom4A Nordstrom that doesn’t stock clothes?! Innovation continues in all sectors of the economy.  In Q1 2017, Nordstrom experienced a 6.8% decline in retail store sales, and an 11% increase in online sales.  Then in Q2, online sales were up 20% year over year. The department store announced 09/11/17 that its new concept, Nordstrom Local, will be a 3,000-square foot store (their retail stores average 140,000 square feet) where customers can do things like try on clothes with a stylist, get manicures, and order coffee — or even wine or beer. Nordstrom said this location won’t stock accessories or clothing itself, but that people can order items for same-day try-on and pickup at the store.  The store will feature in-store tailoring and alterations. The goal is a personalized, faster, easier shopping experience.  Their advertisements are catchy – a Nordstrom’s that doesn’t stock clothes?  And they don’t mention anything about lower prices.  The first location will open in West Hollywood, CA on October 3rd.

DFW Airport to add Wow Air in May 2018. Wowair.com is an ultra low-cost carrier that has announced it will fly passengers nonstop from DFW to Reykjavik, Iceland, for $99 one way.  The CEO of Wow says he wants many to experience his homeland.  The airline will also offer $149 one way fares to Paris, Frankfurt, London and Barcelona, which will then connect passengers to 22 destinations in Europe on the airline. While the fares are cheap, Wow Air charges fees for additional services – for example, on a flight from New York to Iceland, a carry-on bag costs $40, checked luggage costs $50, a seat assignment in the front of the plane costs $10 and snacks and water cost extra.  DFW will be Wow Air’s 13th destination in the U.S., the latest in the Icelandic carrier’s growing network. Wow Air is the first budget carrier to service DFW. Wow Air said it will use an Airbus A330 aircraft on the route to Iceland that will depart DFW three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Good News! provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

Sellers saying “Now is a good time to sell!”

shutterstock_1638721Many homeowners have been reluctant to list their homes for sale – some by choice, some for fear of being unable to afford a new home, or of coming out in the red.

71% of survey respondents believe now is a good time to sell
Recently released findings from a survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) show more homeowners are ready to move on and unload… or, at least, say they are. Seventy-one percent of survey respondents for the quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) report believe now is a good time to sell, an increase from 69 percent the previous quarter and 61 percent one year ago.

“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth. Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year. Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the ongoing supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets.”

Renters less sure about their home-buying prospects
Renters, however, are less sure about their home-buying prospects. Fifty-two percent of renters surveyed believe now is a good time to buy a home, a decrease from 56 percent the previous quarter and 62 percent one year ago. Eighty percent of homeowners surveyed, to compare, believe now is a good time to buy. Forty-two percent of respondents believe homes are affordable, with respondents living in the Midwest most likely to believe homes are affordable and respondents living in the West least likely to believe homes are affordable.

Business 01Survey respondents are reining in their optimism in the economy, as well, according to the report. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed believe the economy is improving, which is in contrast to a record 62 percent the previous quarter. (Homeowners, notably, tend to be more optimistic about the economy.) The survey’s Personal Financial Outlook Index, which gauges respondents’ sentiment on their financial situation over the next six months, dropped to 57.2 in June.

“It should come as little surprise that the confidence reading among renters has fallen every month since January (64.8) and currently sits at its lowest level (53.8) since tracking began in March 2015 (65.7),” Yun says. “Paying more in rent each year and seeing home prices outpace their incomes is discouraging, and it’s unfortunately pushing homeownership further away – especially for those living in expensive metro areas on the East and West Coast.”

New Home - family - 01Twenty percent of respondents, especially those with annual incomes less than $50,000 and/or under age 34, would consider moving to a more affordable area.

“Areas with strong job markets but high home prices risk a migration of middle-class households to other parts of the country if rising housing costs in those areas are not contained through a significant ramp-up in new home construction,” Yun says.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs.

Bounce Back in Pending Home Sales a Welcoming Sign

Business Growth 01

After declining for three straight months, pending home sales reversed course in June as all major regions, except for the Midwest, saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index, a measure of housing contract activity, climbed 1.5 percent to 110.2 in June from an upwardly revised 108.6 in May. At 0.5 percent, the June index increased annually for the first time since March.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the bounce back in pending sales in most of the country in June is a welcoming sign. “The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs,” he said. “Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria.” Added Yun, “Low supply is an ongoing issue holding back activity. Housing inventory declined last month and is a staggering 7.1 percent lower than a year ago.”

Couple Cheering 02Yun noted that there could potentially be a sliver of increased hope in the months ahead for prospective first-time buyers, who continue to struggle reaching the market. Sales to investors last month were the lowest of the year (13 percent), which helped push all cash transactions to 18 percent – the smallest share since June 2009 (13 percent).

Source: National Association of Realtors

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

 

What’s the GOOD News for July

Good News1July 25, 2017

Uber Freight – Uber’s going big into trucking and nowhere bigger than Texas. This spring, Uber launched Uber Freight, an app that matches truck drivers with loads of goods to pick up and deliver.  Texas, and routes between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, served as the test ground before the app’s launch.  Texas’ large truckingUber_logo.svg business made it an obvious place to start, since about 14%  of U.S. freight comes in and out of Texas.  About 70% of Uber Freight’s loads and drivers are based in Texas.  Similar to the ride-hailing app, Uber Freight allows truck drivers to pick up extra work when they want to. They also can find a job that fills up their truck on the way home.  Nearly 10% of the nation’s truck transportation workforce lives in Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the third highest number of tractor-trailer drivers, trailing only New York and Chicago, according a recent study by Dallas consulting firm Site Selection Group, so Uber Freight will continue to be active in the North Texas trucking industry.

Flag_of_Plano,_TexasFrontgate –  On July 21st,  the choices for furniture shopping in North Texas improved with the opening of the flagship store of Frontgate in Plano’s Legacy West.   The luxury lifestyle brand already has more than 20,000 catalog customers in this area.  In total, today Frontgate sends monthly catalogs to 10 million affluent households, and its website has 25 million visitors a year.   The store has 21,337-square-feet with a covered 2,500-square-foot outdoor patio.  Inside, there’s a bistro area where customers can have a complimentary glass of wine, an espresso or a snack.   Frontgate has a another store in Atlanta similar to this north Texas store, and also has a handful of outlet stores.

 3.eia.logoElectricity Prices declining in Texas! – Shopping for electricity is becoming cheaper for most Texans, according to a new study from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.  About 85% of Texans can purchase electricity from several providers in a deregulated marketplace, while the remaining 15% must buy power from a single provider in their area.

The report from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which advocates for cities and local governments and negotiates their power contracts, pulls information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to compare prices for Texans in the two models. 3.electric-632731_960_720Most Texans could begin choosing their electricity provider in 2002.  Between 2006 and 2015, average residential electric prices for Texans in a competitive market decreased by 17.4%, while average prices increased by 5.5% in the regulated areas.  Overall, the average price of electricity in Texas — including the price in the deregulated marketplace, for the third time in four years — was below the national average in 2015.  A separate study from Rice University – one that looked at different and more recent data – found that in 2016, both regulated and deregulated parts of Texas had electricity prices that were decreasing year over year, and cheaper than the national average.

4.homebuildersBuilders answering the demand for lower priced homes – Dallas-Fort Worth builders started 8,812 houses in the second quarter — the greatest quarterly building total since fourth quarter 2006, housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. reports.   Builders sold 8,244 homes in the second quarter, up almost 13% from a year earlier, scaling a new peak in quarterly sales since the summer of 2007.  Starts during the period were 12% higher from second quarter 2016 — most of the rise in home construction came for houses priced under $300,000.  With the high demand for more lower priced inventory homes, the median price of new homes started in the area fell to $344,094, down from almost $352,000 a year earlier.  Higher land and materials costs, and a shortage of labor have inflated the price tag on new houses, however with brisk demand at prices under $500,000, builders are answering the need.  The biggest increases in starts during the quarter were in Celina, Southwest Fort Worth, Forney, Wyly, the Colony and Princeton.

 5.DFW.airport.parking.termDDFW Airport parking prices not expected to rise – For the first time in five years, there are no new parking rate increases planned at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.   The airport’s parking revenues are expected to remain flat in its next fiscal year as more customers choose to use services like Uber and Lyft instead of parking their cars at the airport. Currently, terminal parking costs $24 a day while parking at the express and remote lots costs between $10 to $15 a day.

DFW Airport receives fees from the car-for-hire services, which is becoming a larger percentage of the airport’s ground transportation revenues. The fees have grown from 6.5% in 2015 to an estimated 11.5% for 2018.