Dallas/Ft. Worth Area News

Steve Brown
10:38 am on August 4, 2014

More than 100 townhomes are planned in the project between Maple Avenue and Harry Hines Boulevard. (City of Dallas)

A Dallas neighborhood that’s seen a boom in apartment building will soon be getting some new for-sale homes.

Builder Texas Intownhomes LLC plans to construct 112 townhouses on Hawthorne Avenue between Harry Hines Boulevard and Maple Avenue.

The $39 million housing community is located near the new Parkland Hospital and the Southwestern Medical Center.

The Cedar Branch Townhomes are expected to cost from about $150,000 to $400,000 and will be built starting next year, according to filings with the City of Dallas.

To provide infrastructure needed for the development and to insure affordable prices on almost two dozen of the homes, the city is preparing to provide Texas Intownhomes as much as $7.9 million in tax increment financing district funds for the project.

Texas Intownhomes already is building townhouses in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood and has a large, successful community next to the downtown Farmers Market.


Real Estate Editor

Published: 08 August 2014 09:17 PM
Updated: 09 August 2014 12:45 AM

Now that the market is more than halfway through 2014, hopes are fading that North Texas housing inventories will increase this year.

In July, the number of houses listed for sale with real estate agents in the area was down 7 percent from a year earlier.

Across the board, inventories remain at about half is what is considered normal.

Housing analysts and real estate agents had anticipated that higher prices would bring a flood of new properties on the market to meet demand from eager buyers.

But that just hasn’t happened.

“The fact of the matter is that demand continues to outstrip supply, so there has been no reaccumulation of listing inventory,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. “As a result, the months’ supply of inventory remains near a record low.”

The tight supply of homes for sale in the area has reined in North Texas home sales this year.

In July, real estate agents sold 9,578 homes, up just 3 percent from a year earlier. For the first seven months of 2014, preowned single-family home sales are down 1 percent from the same period in 2013, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

Even though sales aren’t growing as fast this year, activity remains very high. July’s preowned home sales total inched up to another one-month record high.

Median home prices rose 7 percent from a year ago to $196,500.

Prices of homes are now about 40 percent higher than at the bottom of the recession in early 2010. Because of the strong buyer interest, it only takes an average of 44 days to sell a house in the area, according to the Real Estate Center data.

Real estate agents say multiple offers are common for homes in popular neighborhoods.

Some owners who would like to sell because of higher prices may have decided to stay put because there are so few houses on the market.

And housing economists worry that many owners who financed their properties a few years ago at super low mortgage rates will be reluctant to give up the bargain loans and move to another house.

All these factors help limit home sales listings.

Also, many properties aren’t showing up in the Multiple Listing Service and don’t get counted in the numbers for the more than 50 counties included in the North Texas housing report.

“There are a lot of ‘hip pocket’ listings that never make it to the market,” Wilson said. “Realtors share with me that they really don’t have much of a problem moving a good property today.

“So when a prospective property has an indication that it may be ready to come to the market, I think it is not uncommon for a Realtor firm to match that property up with a pre-identified buyer they have been working with, thereby ensuring that the Realtor firm gets to handle both sides of the transaction,” he said.

But Rich Thomas, CEO of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, says that the impact of off-market sales is exaggerated.

“I don’t think the off-market listings have as much to do with it as people think,” Thomas said. “I am of the opinion that the rate of sales is simply accelerating at a much faster clip than the rate of new inventory coming on the market.

“I think it is incredible that by year-end, despite the limited inventory, we will exceed the record-breaking number of sales we had in 2013.”

North Texas home resales

July preowned home sales and prices in North Texas and change from a year earlier:

Single-family homes Condos/townhomes
July 2014 Change fromJuly 2013 July 2014 Change fromJuly 2013
Resales 9,578 3% 580 5%
Median price $196,500 7% $165,000 5%
Average days on market 44 -10% 48 -19%
Pending sales 7,887 3% 479 0%
Listed for sale 22,827 -7% 1,446 -10%

SOURCES: Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University; North Texas Real Estate Information Systems

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