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Latest job and population numbers show no sign of a real estate slowdown ahead for D-FW
More than 200 people a day are moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
And in the last year we’ve added almost 117,000 new jobs — more than any major U.S. market except for New York City and L.A.
As long as migration and job growth continue at current levels, demand for all types of property — from new homes to offices and warehouses — won’t decline.
The numbers of people and employment gains for the area are stunning.
Last year the population in D-FW grew by 144,704 — second only to Houston, according to the U.S. Census study.
More than half of that increase — almost 80,000 — came from migrants to North Texas.
Collin County and Denton County got the most of the newcomers at about 20,000 each.
“The four Texas metro areas added more people than any state in the country,” said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “You are talking about humongous growth and it’s continuing.”
Expansions by major employers including Toyota, State Farm Insurance, FedEx, Liberty Mutual Insurance and others are adding thousands and thousands of new jobs to D-FW’s northern suburbs.
The rate of employment growth in the D-FW area has actually improved a bit since the end of 2015, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“D-FW is still creating jobs out the wazzoo as opposed to Houston, which has slowed down,” Gaines said. “Dallas for the rest of this year and into 2017 is dong the best of any of the metro areas in Texas — even Austin.
“We are looking at a little better than 4.5 percent growth rate for the employment market,” he said.
Earlier forecasts that called for significant declines in D-FW growth due to the impact of lower oil prices are being rethought.
Gaines said the growth pipeline in North Texas should carry the real estate market through 2016.
“In Dallas, corporate moves that have been announced are now actually coming to fruition,” he said.
The commercial real estate markets are still running at full speed.
Net office leasing in the D-FW area so far in 2016 is the strongest of any market in the country. Expanding and relocating businesses have leased more than 2 million square feet of offices in the first quarter, according to commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
And warehouse leasing in the first three months of the year totaled almost 6 million square feet — one of the best performances on record, researchers at CBRE report.
A slowdown in North Texas apartment leasing in the early months of the year has put industry analysts at MPF Research on edge. But apartment rentals could bounce back at midyear when typically more tenants make a move.
“At the moment it does not look like Dallas is going to be overbuilt,” Gaines said.
As long as employment and population increases fuel the D-FW economy, demand for real estate will remain strong.
“Things are great right now,” Gaines said. “Don’t worry about it.”
A national economic downturn is the most likely scenario to slowdown North Texas’ hot property markets, he said.
“Right now everything going on in Dallas is being buoyed by the national economy doing well,” Gaines said. “A U.S. recession would slow things down.”
Some industry experts are saying that the housing market may be headin
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