The biggest increase in home starts last year was for houses priced between $280,000 and $340,000. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)
Declines in oil prices and the stock market have so far not hammered the North Texas homebuilding market.
And with thousands of new corporate jobs still on the way, the housing market will remain be strong this year, Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas housing analyst Residential Strategies predicts.
“The market still has several quarters of outstanding sales, even if the oil industry deteriorates further,” Wilson said Thursday morning in a presentation to the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s top builders. “Fortunately for D-FW, other segments of the economy are in rapid expansion mode.”
Wilson said corporate expansion in the area by companies including Toyota, Liberty Mutual Insurance, State Farm Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab and others are still underway.“The full impact of these employees on the new home market has really yet to be seen,” Wilson said.
And so far the biggest oil sector cutbacks haven’t been in North Texas.
The Houston area has seen about three times the reduction in energy industry employment as North Texas has experienced, he said.
“The remaining local oil industry jobs today represent only about 1.1 percent of the total D-FW job base,” Wilson said. “The local economy can shrug off any further losses in jobs from the decline in oil prices.”
New home starts in North Texas will total about 30,000 houses this year, up from less than 28,000 starts in 2015, Wilson predicts.
Declines in stock market values have not reduced demand from more affluent homebuyers, he said.
“With the stock market declining about 10 percent in the opening days of 2016 there had been some initial concern about how this might effect the sales of high-end houses,” Wilson said.
While the stock market slump hasn’t stalled sales of pricey homes, builders aren’t significantly expanding their offerings in that area.
Starts of new homes priced above $440,000 were off about 2 percent in North Texas last year.
“The growth segment in terms of the prices are in the $280,000 to $340,000 range,” said Residential Strategies’ Cassie Gibson. “Starts in those price ranges were up 27 percent from 2014.”
Construction of North Texas homes priced under $280,000 rose by less than 3 percent last year.
The median price of new houses sold in D-FW in 2015 was $308,261.
“Prices have increase 16 percent over the last two years an early 30 percent over the last 3 year period,” Gibson said.
The rising new home price tags are one of homebuilders’ top concerns this year, Residential Strategies analysts said.
Homebuilding in North Texas remains concentrated in some of the fastest growing northern suburbs.
“The Dallas North Tollway corridor from State Highway 121 up to U.S. 380 continues to be the most active region, with seven of the top 10 most active submarkets in 2015,” Gibson said.
Ranked by 2015 starts, the top homebuilding markets last year in North Texas were West McKinney (1,403), West Frisco (1,156), Fort Worth’s 287 corridor (1,020), East Frisco (956), the U.S. 380 corridor in south Collin and Denton Counties (903) and Southwest Fort Worth (750).
While the largest start totals are concentrated in those areas, building activity is spreading as builder seek more affordable construction sites.
‘”We are seeing a wide rage of hotspots all over town, even to the south and east,” Gibson said.
Author:Melodie Sulgrove Phone: 972-849-0101 Dated: February 16th 2016 Views: 1,310 About Melodie: Melodie believes in listening and putting clients' needs first. She values communicating with her...
Some industry experts are saying that the housing market may be headin
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