Now that 2014 is fully in the history books, we can say it was an epic year for the DFW real estate market. Dallas itself continues to grow, and is, as we enter 2015, one of the top five commercial markets (according to PriceWaterhouse Coopers) and the second-best residential market (according to CNN Money) in America.
The lofty hopes and predictions for Big D’s 2015 didn’t just happen. In commercial news, DFW set a high bar in 2014. The most notable deal in the market last year, of course, was the announcement that Toyota was bringing its North American headquarters to Plano. That move is already ramping up the North Dallas suburban home sales market, generating sales in the cities of Plano, Allen, and Frisco that have even gone above asking price.
Toyota’s imminent arrival also spurred demand for office space in DFW, as did expansions by Southwest Airlines and Omnitracs. Such major corporate deals generated nearly 5 million square feet of office space leasing, an eight-year high in leasing activity in northern Texas, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
In Dallas itself, the building boom echoed loudest in and around Uptown, where Harwood International’s 22-story Frost Tower (slated to be ready for occupancy by spring) touched off several building projects that are in progress. There is the construction at McKinney & Olive, where Crescent Real Estate Holdings is building a 530,000-square-foot mixed-use project; the much-anticipated construction at 1920 McKinney Avenue; and the 23-floor Victory Center tower just purchased by Hines.
In the residential market, starts were up 17 percent in northern Texas last year, according to a report by Residential Strategies. And third-quarter closings were the highest they’ve been since before the recession hit in 2008. Meanwhile, median home prices in DFW have come a long way since the depths of 2009. Since then, median prices here have grown by about 33 percent (around $70,000) to $275,000.
Even in the luxury market, 2014 was good to DFW. The listing for the $60 million former Trammell Crow estate in Highland Park capped off a year of big listings and sales, which also saw the titanic (and troubled) Waggoner family ranch hit the market for almost three-quarters of a billion dollars. Which isn’t so bad for half a million acres.
If 2015 is even half as good as 2014, it will still be a great year. But by all accounts, this year looks to be even better for DFW.