The first quarter results are in, and it is what we expected: lower unit (home) sales for the greater Dallas area but higher average sales prices overall. The overall market, down 5% in home sales this year, is greatly affected by the slowdown in new construction, off 35% as reported recently in The Dallas Morning News. This drop in new construction is not so much the custom builds or build-to-suit properties, but the volume construction found in the outlying suburbs, both north and south of Dallas proper. A big reason for this is tighter lending rules, making it tougher for marginal-credit buyers to enter the market or just move to a new home. And, these changes are happening rapidly, as lenders have told me that sales that could have closed last month can no longer be done, with the financing arranged as it was. So, we will probably continue to see this overall softness for a while.
Of course, the closer-in markets behave a little differently. Here, we have primarily re-sale properties, with a mix of new, higher-priced custom build homes. In Uptown, we also have an influx of new condominium offerings, built speculatively, most of which is ready for occupancy or soon to be. The Uptown-Downtown-Oak Lawn area sales are up 10% through the first quarter, and sales in Northwest Dallas, the area west of Midway Rd and between Northwest Highway and LBJ Freeway, are up 15% for this same time period. Far North Dallas is also doing well, up 7% in unit sales vs the first quarter a year ago. The Park Cities, which has consistently shown nice increases in average sales price but with lower sales month-to-month, may have turned the corner in March with a 14% increase in sales for this one month, pushing them into the plus column (+3%) for the first quarter. Richardson, Plano and Frisco are lagging behind year ago numbers, as is the East Dallas area.
As mentioned above, financing rules changes are making their way through the lender community as I write this. Borrowers with “good” credit who would normally try to get a loan that is a little creative, say 100% financing, or even some adjustable mortgages, may find these unavailable or unaffordable. In many cases, it will now take “great” credit (FICA scores) to obtain these more creative loans. Good credit buyers may have to resort to the more conventional 30-year mortgages, which is fine but maybe not the buyer’s preferred choice, and this will be enough to keep some sales from occurring. These loans know no boundaries, so even the better performing submarkets may feel this a little bit. I can vouch for two instances recently where sales didn’t occur, one in Park Cities and one in the M Streets, due to tougher financing rules for these very able buyers. So, if you are thinking about buying, it might be a good idea to chat with your favorite lender early in the process, to find out what your options are.
Here are the details for single family homes and condo/townhome sales in selected areas. For a more comprehensive look at any one market, give me a call. Scroll down for the “Sales by Price Category” info. DOM is short for Days on Market. Avg Price pertains to sales occurring in the period(s).
Overall Market (North Texas):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 7%, avg price up 6%, DOM 76, up 4%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 5%, avg price up 4%, DOM 79, up 5%.
Uptown, Downtown and Turtle Creek (Condos and Townhomes):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 9%, avg price up 13%, DOM 125, up 24%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 10%, avg price up 1%, DOM 117, up 19%.
Highland Park and University Park, Devonshire and Greenway Parks:
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 14%, avg price down 3%, DOM 47, down 51%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 3%, avg price up 14%, DOM 66, up 8%.
East Dallas (incl M’s and Lakewood):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 2%, avg price up 11%, DOM 74, up 19%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 5%, avg price up 7%, DOM 74, up 7%.
North Dallas (South of LBJ):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 15%, avg price up 27%, DOM 83, up 30%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 1%, avg price up 20%, DOM 81, up 25%.
Far North Dallas (incl Addison and to Park Blvd in Plano):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 21%, avg price up 2%, DOM 71, unchanged.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 7%, avg price up 2%, DOM 66, down 13%.
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 17%, avg price up 7%, DOM 78, up 28%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 15%, avg price up 4%, DOM 76, up 6%.
Northeast Dallas (incl Lake Highlands):
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 6%, avg price up 7%, DOM 56, down 10%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 2%, avg price up 5%, DOM 59, down 8%.
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 5%, avg price unchanged, DOM 52, down 10%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 9%, avg price up 1%, DOM 59, down 2%.
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 7%, avg price up 6%, DOM 66, down 3%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 12%, avg price up 5%, DOM 75, up 12%.
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales down 13%, avg price down 2%, DOM 54, down 13%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales down 12%, avg price unchanged, DOM 64, unchanged.
Mar 07 vs 06: Sales up 11%, avg price up 8%, DOM 111, up 102%.
YTD 07 vs 06: Sales up 5%, avg price up 9%, DOM 102, up 62%.
Here is a look at Single Family home sales by price category for YTD 2007 vs 2006:
$200-299K (15.8% of sales): up 1%, 8 months inventory
$300-399K (7.0% of sales): up 4%, 10 months inventory
$400-499K (2.9% of sales): up 3%, 12 months inventory
$500-599K (1.1% of sales): down 7%, 16 months inventory
$600-699K (0.9% of sales): up 23%, 14 months inventory
$700-799K (0.9% of sales): up 69%, 13 months inventory
$800-899K (0.4% of sales): up 33%, 19 months inventory
$900-999K (0.2% of sales): up 18%, 16 months inventory
$1MM and up (1.3% of sales): up 25%, 17 months inventory
Here is a look at Condos and Townhomes sales by price category for YTD 2007 vs 2006. Some builders do not report their sales in MLS–this list represents MLS reported sales only (as does this entire report).
$200-299K (12.8% of sales): 173 units vs 117 units year ago, 11 months inventory
$300-399K (6.8% of sales): 92 units vs 90 units year ago, 13 months
$400-499K (3.3% of sales): 40 units vs 40 units year ago, 14 months
$500-599K (1.5% of sales): 13 units vs 11 units year ago, 26 months
$600-699K (1.1% of sales): 10 units vs 4 units year ago, 19 months
$700-799K (0.5% of sales): 5 units vs 7 units year ago, 28 months
$800-899K (0.4% of sales): 2 units vs 1 year ago, 34 months
$900-999K (0.2% of sales): 3 unit vs 1 year ago, 10 months
$1MM + (0.4% of sales): 3 unit vs 6 year ago, 83 months
Bob and Knoxie Edmonson
Allie Beth Allman & Associates
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