Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score." Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.
SOURCE: Meyers Research
Dallas and Houston are the hottest spots in the country for millennial homebuyers. That's what analysts at California-based Meyers Research found in their annual "millennial desirability index" that rated the country's largest housing markets. Austin ranked third on the same list, which compared data on housing affordability, job growth, cost of living and other factors for major metro areas across the country. Meyers Research's director of research, Ali Wolf, said factors such as Texas' relatively low new home prices, strong economy and high quality of life push the state's major cities to the top of the list. Job opportunities, affordability and lifestyle were key factors millennials said they would consider in moving to a new city. Meyers' study is one of two recent studies that give North Texas high marks for first-time homebuyers.
It's no secret that Dallas' home market has a winter chill.Home sales have slowed, along with the rate of home price increase in North Texas.The market changes have put Dallas on Realtor.com's list of the 10 cities hit hardest by a housing slowdown."In the last few months, the real estate market has actually begun slowing down. including in some of the big cities that have been leading the go-go post-recession housing boom," according to a report on the website. "To be clear, prices aren't always dropping in these places, which are predominantly located on the West Coast."Mostly, they're decelerating, coming back down to earth."
Realtor.com based its rankings on a year-over-year rise in home price markdowns, increases in listings and changes in overall list prices."There's a rebalancing that needs to happen," Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, told Realtor.com. "Prices have risen so high in some of these markets that it's very tough from an affordability perspective [for buyers]. ... It's not surprising to me that we're seeing a little bit of a leveling off."
Median home prices in North Texas are still up about 5 percent compared with 2017 levels. But that's a much smaller number than the double-digit annual gains seen in recent years. Home list prices in the Dallas area are down 1.4 percent from a year ago, and the number of listings has grown 15 percent year over year, according to Realtor.com
Amazon is searching for senior recruiters based in Dallas, possibly foreshadowing the location for the e-retailers massive second headquarters, which will employ 50,000 people.The Amazon HR Talent Acquisition team will conduct its first round interviews for technical and non-technical recruiters in Dallas and other U.S. locations in late September, according to this job listing. This particular listing – for multiple recruiter positions – mentions Dallas and makes no specific reference to any of the other 19 locations that Amazon is considering for HQ2."Please apply for consideration to be based in Dallas, TX or Seattle, WA metro areas," the job listing reads. "The final location of this role will be determined following interviews for those candidates to receive offers to join one of the Talent Acquisition teams." The recruiter positions will be based in either Dallas or Seattle. Amazon further indicated that the second HQ2 will be equal to its Seattle location, but gives no further indication to its expected final decision.
Dallas' housing market gets top marks in a new consumer study by JPMorgan Chase. The banking giant teamed up with Pulsenomics to ask homeowners about current market conditions, their aspirations for homeownership and outlooks for home values and affordability. Dallas headed the housing confidence ranking ahead of Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco, according to Chase. "These record results were driven by healthy assessments of local real estate market conditions among existing homeowners, but even more so by surging expectations among renters," Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, said in the report. "Seven in ten renters now express confidence in their ability to afford a home someday, and nearly three-quarters of those with an opinion say that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make." Dallas-area residents polled by Chase in the survey had the strongest homeownership aspirations. Eighty percent of Dallas renters Chase surveyed said they are confident they will eventually own a home. And 70 percent said they plan to purchase in the next five years.
The Dallas-Fort Worth region, once again, added the most new residents of any metro area in the country -- roughly 400 per day, or a total of 146,238, over the year that ended in July, census data released Thursday shows. That kept D-FW firmly in its spot as the nation's fourth-largest metro, though the region is catching up to Chicago, whose population has been sliding as economic factors tip the scales in favor of Texas, experts say. The thousands of people moving in both from other states and abroad have powered a population boom in Texas and especially in D-FW, where leaders have made a point of pitching its relatively low costs of living and business-friendly regulatory environment to companies located elsewhere. On the list of the counties that saw the biggest gains over the year, six out of 10 were in Texas, including Denton and Collin counties, which were ninth and 10th, respectively.
"When [Collin and Denton] were smaller, they were up in the top 10 in terms of the rate of growth, and now they're cracking the top 10 in terms of numeric growth because the foundation is there," he said. "The economic development that's going on up there is drawing migrants into those counties."
That, he said, is where the Chicago area seems to be struggling.As of January, Chicago's annual job growth had been the slowest of any of the nation's 12 biggest metro areas. In that same report, D-FW ranked second, behind Phoenix, which also added thousands of residents last year. Meanwhile, the Chicago metro lost more than 13,000 residents. Cook County, which is home to Chicago, lost the most people of any county in the country. Potter said he couldn't pinpoint an exact time when D-FW will surpass Chicago, it's possible that it could happen in coming decades. "It depends on what happens in Chicago -- if they continue to lose population and if D-FW continues the pace that it is," he said. "We could see it in the next decade or the one after."
According to projections from Potter's office based on growth trends from 2000 to 2010, D-FW's population is expected to grow to almost 10 million by 2030. And experts don't expect that to slow anytime soon. Still, Potter said that as living costs rise in D-FW and decline in Chicago with shifting demand, some of the differences between the two metros could even out.
Texas has its tightest housing supply in almost three decades, just as the spring/summer home buying season kicks off. In February, there was a 3.1-month supply of new and preowned houses listed for sale across the state — the lowest inventory in 28 years, according to a report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "Existing homes have been in short supply for a while," center research economist Luis Torres said in the report. "The big difference is now the shortage of new homes is more pronounced." The supply of homes available for purchase is even tighter in North Texas. In February, there was only a 2.7-month inventory of preowned, single-family homes listed for sale with area real estate agents. There was a 2.2-month inventory of completed but vacant new houses available in Dallas-Fort Worth at the start of 2018. A balanced home market is considered to have a six-month supply of available homes. The number of preowned homes for sale in North Texas has increased about 6 percent so far in 2018 compared to 2017. But most of the gain has been in higher-cost houses. More affordable homes, priced below the median price of $250,000, are increasingly in shorter supply.
More than half of Dallas-area neighborhoods saw a decline in home purchases in early 2018 after years of rising sales. The largest decreases in sales came in high-priced neighborhoods in Colleyville (-30 percent), the Park Cities (-28 percent), Fairview (-26 percent) and Northeast Dallas including Lake Highlands (-20 percent). Median sales prices were $400,000 and more in each of these neighborhoods that saw the most significant first-quarter declines, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. "We are definitely seeing a slowdown in appreciation at the higher end," said housing analyst Paige Shipp with Metrostudy Inc. "We are seeing more demand at the lower price points. She said more than 60 percent of the preowned homes sold in the area were priced below $300,000. Sales of the most expensive million-dollar-plus homes were down by 5 percent in the first three months of 2018. Purchases of houses priced between $190,000 and $300,000 were up from 15 percent to 18 percent in the first quarter.
The political geography of Texas is byzantine, born from an idea that's been embraced since the state's creation: local control. Texans LOVE local control, and the progeny of that love is a glut of local governments. Texas has more counties than any other state in the nation: 254, nearly 100 more than the next state, Georgia. It has the most incorporated cities: 1,216. And it's neck and neck with California for the most independent school districts, with Texas narrowly in the lead at 1,023 ISDs (more than 1,200 when adding in charter school operators).
Let's take a look at the confusing boundaries of Dallas and its norther suburbs in relation to school district boundaries:
Given Texas' governmental complexity, sheer size and rich history, it's not surprising that school district, city and county boundaries often don't match up. How things got so complicated is all about the history of independent school districts in Texas.
First things first: Denton County was created in 1846, carved from Fannin County as part of a massive redrawing of county lines by the state's first legislature. The number of county jurisdictions in Texas leapt from 36 in 1845, when the state was admitted into the United States, to 66 by the end of 1846. Denton, Collin and Dallas counties were part of this expansion.
Today's map of school districts — which looks like interlocking puzzle pieces covering the entire state — is a relatively modern invention. In the state's early years, schools were hyperlocal, spread across the map like stars scattered in the night sky. They were created and funded by local communities without much regard to the next school around the bend.
When the state's Reconstruction government tried to apply order to the system following the Civil War, installing a highly centralized system with a state superintendent and 35 judicial districts — and compulsory attendance and a 1-cent tax for building schools — Texans revolted. Frederick Eby, one of the state's most renowned educational historians, wrote the following passage about the changes in 1954: "This radical system of education practicing the philosophy of stateism was the ultimate of tyranny. Furthermore it proved outrageously extravagant. In four years it heaped up a debt of over a million dollars, which was ruinous to a state so recently impoverished by war. Galling as the system was, physical violence was fortunately averted. In 1873 the Democratic party came back into power in the Texas Legislature."
The idea of "independent" school districts came about in 1875, when the state legislature authorized incorporated cities to assume control of the schools within their limits, build schoolhouses and levy local taxes for schools. Rural schools, in "common" school districts, weren't granted a similar taxing authority until much later, and their quality suffered until major reforms in the 1940s and 1950s.
According to Gene Preuss, an associate professor of history at University of Houston-Downtown, the School Law of 1884 — in addition to establishing a state board of education consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State and Comptroller — required commissioners courts in each county to establish school districts "as convenient as possible to the scholastic population. But a community of 20 or more families could establish a school district." At the meeting of the Texas State Teachers' Association in 1903, State Superintendent Arthur Lefevre said: "The idea that each little school and its teacher should have its separate district and separate board of trustees is the most disorganizing mistake in which our public school system has been involved."
By 1921-22, Texas had a whopping 7,369 common school districts — two-thirds of them one-room schools — in addition to 858 independent school districts found in the state's cities and towns. When the state produced a report on the adequacy of the Texas school system in 1939, Denton County had six independent districts — Denton, Krum, Lewisville, Pilot Point, Ponder and Sanger — as well as 59 common white schools and 19 common "colored" schools. Two of those schools were in Hebron Common School District, which separately served white and black students in the southeast corner of Denton County.
Prompted by reform movements, the number of common school districts began to plummet. Hebron Common School District fought off annexation by Carrollton ISD in 1949, but the school's territory was eventually absorbed by Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (Farmers Branch merged in 1954) and Lewisville ISD, which operates Hebron High School — in Carrollton's city limits — today.
Seeing the population boom headed its way, Dallas' northern neighbors — including Carrollton, Addison, Richardson, Lewisville and Plano — started to aggressively annex and consolidate farmland and smaller communities during the 1950s and 1960s. But as towns aggressively annexed farm land and small communities, such as the city of Dallas annexation of the town of Renner in 1977 (encompassing today's city of Dallas that lies within Collin and Denton counties), school district boundaries had already been established and approved the state of Texas many years prior.
Dallas-area home prices were up 6.7 percent in January from a year ago. CoreLogic analysts said that almost half the U.S. housing markets are considered overvalued. North Texas has been included on the list of home markets where prices are overheated, according to several studies. Home prices are forecast to rise by almost 5 percent across the country in the coming year. North Texas median home sales prices were 9 percent higher in 2017 than in 2016, according to data from local real estate agents. While the rate of home price growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has slowed in recent months, prices in the area are still at record levels.