Economic Update

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?

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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!

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

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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!

 

KW | Dallas Metro North outperforming NTREIS!

Keller Williams Dallas Metro North is outperforming NTREIS!! Look at our figures: We’re selling $25,552 higher per home, taking 3.2% more listings and selling them 20 days faster in June 2017. Call us today for help with your real estate needs!

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It’s highly beneficial to use a professional, knowledgeable, local real estate agent! Call Keller Williams Dallas Metro North today!!

For Millennials, Homeownership Is a Waiting Game

shutterstock_282602042Millennials have their sights set on homeownership – but a new report makes a case that their dreams could be years from becoming reality.

According to a recent survey, though 80 percent of millennial renters aspire to become homeowners, 72 percent are held back by an inability to afford a home, with saving for a down payment the most challenging obstacle to overcome. Sixty-eight percent have less than $1,000 saved for a down payment; 44 percent, decidedly, have no down payment savings at all, and 40 percent have no savings plan in place to start.

Older millennials – those aged 25-34 and now in their prime home-buying years – are struggling to save for a down payment, as well: 42 percent have set aside nothing.

millennial-moneyThe down payment goose egg suggests millennials grossly miscalculate how much savings they need to afford a down payment, whether 20 percent – ideal to avoid monthly mortgage insurance and obtain better mortgage loan interest rates – or less. (In fact, when controlling for a 10 percent down payment, only 36 percent can save enough in three years.)

Another snag? Millennials who are saving up for a home have a long wait ahead of them. According to the survey, most will need to save for more than five years to accumulate enough for a 20 percent down payment, with those in the hottest housing markets – think ATX, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley – needing to wait roughly 20 years.

Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches“Our analysis shows that the lack of savings by millennials, combined with the extreme shortage in affordable entry-level homes, means that a large share of millennials may be stuck renting for years,” according to report authors Andrew Woo, director of Data Science and Growth, and Chris Salviati, senior growth associate, at ApartmentList.com.

All’s not doom and gloom, however. Millennials saving for a home in Kansas City, Mo., will need to squirrel away money for just five-and-a-half years, while those in Las Vegas, Nev., and Miami, Fla., will need about 6 years.

Millennial - indecisiveThere are other, less intimidating influencers keeping millennials from entering the housing market, too. Forty-five percent are “not ready to settle down” yet, and 36 percent are simply waiting to say “I do.”

“These results underscore the long-term crisis that homeownership in the United States may face, as millennials delay buying a home until later in life,” the authors state. “One of the outstanding questions for the housing market has been whether or not the nation’s largest generation – millennials – will purchase homes at rates similar to their parents or if they will continue to rent long into adulthood, or even indefinitely.”

For now, millennials are playing the waiting the game.