Archive for the ‘Market News’ Category

Five Hot New DFW Real Estate Projects for 2015

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

With a whole new year ahead of us, it’s time to look at some of the biggest and best property projects on tap for realty dallas

1. The Toyota Effect

If it sounds like we’re overselling the magnitude of Toyota bringing its North American headquarters to Plano, we’re not. Quite simply, the importance of Toyota coming here can’t be overstated. For the company itself, Plano and northern DFW will be home for about 4,000 executives and workers in the company. For northern DFW, the presence of these 4,000 new, wealthy residents from New York and California will generate income to businesses that are scrambling to set up roots before the full crush of employees gets here. Vendors, suppliers, developers, and amenities are coming along with Toyota, to help support company operations and meet the demands of new residents.

2. Where 75 Meets 121

North of Plano sits McKinney, which was not only dubbed the most desirable place to live in the U.S. in 2014 by Time Magazine, but is also the hub of some major new development where routes 75 and 121 connect. Anchored by the much-awaited opening of the Nebraska Furniture Mart, a massive (almost 2 million square feet) warehouse and showroom that is expecting about 10 million visitors a year once it open in March, the 121 corridor into McKinney is growing under the major highway development transforming the interchange area and the development of Legacy West, a town center/residential turning 240 acres of once-overlooked Texas into a hotbed of residential and commercial activity.

3. Trammel Crow

Apart from the pending sale of the $60 million former Trammel Crow estate in Highland Park, the company is partnering with Metropolitan Life Insurance to develop an eagerly awaited mixed-use project in Uptown. The companies are finalizing plans to build a two-towered commercial-residential complex overlooking  the arts district from its perch at the Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Pearl Street. Plans call for a 30-story residential tower and a 20-story office building across from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

4. The Airports

You would think that once an airport is in place, it’s mostly just maintenance. But no, 2015 could see a flurry of activity from DFW Airport and Love Field, each trying to reinvent itself to meet the growing business epicenter that is the new DFW. The expansion of light rail service from DFW International to Downtown Dallas will continue in 2015 and will open the door for several construction jobs, as well as increase the mobility of those living on the heretofore neglected southwestern side of the Metroplex. And at Love Field, news that the Southwest Airlines monopoly will meet the competition of Virgin Airlines will be something to watch unfold as the aging airport will get a facelift to meet a flood of new executive travelers.

5. Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum hasn’t been doing so well since its heyday a decade or so ago. Businesses struggle to stay afloat as neighboring Uptown flourishes. But with Interstate 345 coming down and a bevy of developers looking to cash in on the growth happening less than two miles away, expect big things. This year, new development could generate upwards of $4 billion in investments here, and small projects are expected to be the first step toward closing the link between Downtown and Deep Ellum.

Looking Back at the Great Real Estate Market Of 2014

Monday, January 12th, 2015

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 2014 Dallas real estate markettop 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.

New Homebuilding: Dallas Is Revitalizing

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

It’s no overstatement to say that Dallas has blossomed in the past few years. New business, new residents, new commercial buildings, and new roadway projects have turned Dallas into a major growth hub.

The snag, however, lies in housing growth, particularly in the area surrounding the Trinity River. This is where the Trinity River Corridor Project is making this mighty greenway into a major recreation area. But it’s also where, especially south of the river, middle-income families aren’t staying around because there’s not enough good housing there.

Recently, the Dallas Morning news reported on this idea, saying that as more families leave the area, more tax dollars go with them. And as neighborhoods south of the Trinity get more vacant, there seems to be less motivation to build up new neighborhoods that can attract a stable base of residents.

The fact is, in order for Dallas to reach its potential, it needs some new housing in areas like that south of the Trinity. In other areas, such as West Dallas and North Oak Cliff, single-family development is setting the stage for revitalization. As the Morning News reported, an Austin-based developer plans to build 60 homes on a five-acre site near the Belmont Hotel, making it the first new home development proposed in West Dallas in years. The News calls the development “a potential game-changer for an area in which developers already have begun to build hundreds of rental apartment units.”

Nearby, the old 25-acre industrial tract on Singleton Boulevard near Sylvan Avenue is gearing up for hundreds of new apartments and some retail and single-family homes. Likewise, plans to build homes on the 22-acre site in North Oak Cliff at Colorado Boulevard and Fort Worth Avenue (where the Colorado Place apartments once stood) are turning North Oak Cliff and West Dallas into some of the hottest redevelopment property in Dallas.  And the effects can be huge ‒‒ new homes means new businesses, new amenities, and new neighborhoods that bustle with vibrancy.

Keep an eye on this end of town, big things are happening there.

Virgin To Love (Field, that is)?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

If you or anyone you know has ever flown into Love Field, odds are they’ve flown in on Southwest Airlines, whose headquarters have been based at Love Field since 1971. Since 2003, Southwest has been the main commercial airline servicing Love Field, but Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group thinks it’s high time for a little “healthy competition.”

Branson recently came to Dallas to help Virgin America Airlines secure two gates at Love Field. He held a private event in Big D on May 5 as the kickoff to a petition drive meant to show public support for the airline’s efforts to “free Love Field and make it a fare fight.
Branson and Virgin are looking to snatch the vacancy left by American Airlines, which, as the result of an antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, is being forced to divest its two gates at LUV. The grassroots effort mirrors other Virgin campaigns to get space at airports around the country, and Dallas (if not Southwest) seems to be on board with the idea to open Love Field to Virgin. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, some 21,000 people turned out for Branson’s visit and support the airline’s cause. Virgin already services DFW Airport.

Branson’s Cinquo de Mayo visit was the next step in Virgin’s petition, which began a few days prior as a petition on His appeal was an emotional one:

Imagine any industry without competition. In the airline business that would mean sky-high fares, no choice, fewer amenities and an experience that leaves travelers feeling more like cattle than customers. Not a pretty picture. 

But that very scenario could play out at Dallas Love Field without your voice.

Today, a single airline controls 90% of the traffic, 80% of the gates, and now they want more. Love Field travelers have already been shocked by average fares that jumped 37% from 2007-2012 – the largest fare increase for an airport of this size in the U.S. (according to a MIT study conducted last August). Unbelievable, right?

When Virgin America launched its DFW-California flights in 2010 it helped lower fares in the market at the time by more than 30%. Its new flights to San Francisco, LA, NYC, DC and Chicago will also bring more choice to Love, with new planes that offer three classes of service, WiFi, power outlets and touch-screen seatback entertainment on every flight.

Tell the City of Dallas Leaders you think there’s room for a little healthy competition at Love.

Can you Time the Market?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Many people assume that, during certain times of the year, they are more likely to get a good deal on a house. Although there may be some shred of truth to this notion, the truth of the matter is that homes may sell better at certain times of the year, but the likelihood that home prices will nosedive because it is the last week of December probably isn’t all that true. But it may make sense to sell at a particular time of year because of the convenience factor. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Many families wait to buy until summertime.

Many families of children, of course, may choose to wait until school is out to start house hunting for Dallas County homes. After all, moving in the middle of the school year— unless absolutely necessary— just doesn’t make sense for most families. Many markets see a surge in real estate activity in the summertime for this very reason. That means if you are house hunting in the summertime, there may be more of a demand for homes, and you could face being just one of a few offers on one home. For competition reasons, if you don’t have to move in the summertime, it may make more sense to wait until fall, for example. For sellers, this may mean your house could sell faster because of the higher demand.

  • Buyers during the holidays mean business.

Many sellers cringe at the notion of listing their home during the holiday season, for a number of reasons. Many families are pulled in multiple directions during the holidays, which may make showing a home and keeping everything neat a difficulty. Many families also want to be able to enjoy the holiday season in peace, which usually doesn’t happen if their home is listed for sale. Finally, many sellers assume that real estate activity drops off dramatically at this time, making selling a home during the holidays incredibly frustrating. However, the truth of the matter is that realtors across the country will tell you that activity rarely comes to a grinding halt during the holidays. In fact, the opposite is often true. People who choose to buy during this time of year are usually always serious buyers who are ready and willing to make an offer, which could be very beneficial.

Why New Homes are Selling Fast

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The real estate market has taken an interesting turn in the last year or so. New homes are going up everywhere, while existing Coppell home sales, although certainly rebounding nicely from the effects of the recession, just aren’t selling like new homes. In fact, take a turn or two onto any Dallas suburb street and you will likely see new homes popping up around you. Here’s why:

  • Interest rates are low, low, low – Most homebuyers are now able to buy more home for their money, thanks to low interest rates and exciting and attractive home loan programs. In other words, the buying power of most home buyers has increased significantly.
  • New home prices are reasonable – Many home builders have shifted their strategy regarding new home building. Just a few years ago, builders were putting up million-dollar homes faster than ever, while today’s new home communities are much more affordable and understated. Most homes these days are smaller than their pre-recession counterparts, and the bells and whistles have also gotten less “blingy” and more utilitarian. That means that buyers can now better afford new homes. If a new home is $250,000, and an existing home is in the same price range, it only makes sense that most buyers will head to the nearest home builder.
  • New homes allow buyers to take control – Unlike an existing home that already has the previous owner’s stamp on it, a new home allows the buyer to create a home that’s perfectly them. From the kitchen countertops to the color of the carpeting and the style of the faucets, new homes provide buyers with the luxury of designing and building a home that their stamp on it; not the previous owner’s stamp.
  • New home construction loans are better than ever – If you have the credit and income to back up a new home construction loan, then lenders are ready and willing to work with you. Some of today’s construction loans provide buyers with the flexibility they need to build a home and live in another home without going broke, which, of course, is very attractive to most home buyers.

Plano’s Dynamic Real Estate Market

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Plano is still one of those cities that other cities scramble to model themselves after. In fact, since Plano’s market first exploded in the 1990s, this remarkable city has been a hub for Texas residents looking for a piece of the Texas real estate pie.

Much of Plano’s real estate was built during the 1990s, in the form of single-family, detached homes, although some condo communities and retirement communities were built around this time, as well. Today, new construction in Plano is found primarily on the eastern side of town, and it is typically priced in the $350,000 to $500,000 price range.

The reasons for Plano’s success and growth are no surprise, however. Here are just a few of the reasons why Plano continues to have one of the most dynamic real estate markets in Texas:

  • Plano boasts a well-educated workforce that is skilled in high-tech.
  • Many upscale communities in Plano, such as Willow Bend, feature golf courses and gated communities, thereby catering to the professional, high-tech workforce found here.
  • Many properties throughout Plano’s exclusive communities feature estate-style living; complete with well-manicured grounds and grand staircases.
  • Plano is ideally located near many major roadways in Dallas, including the George Bush Tollway and State Highway 121. Again, this showcases the desire for many professionals to reside here.
  • Many corporate headquarters are located in Plano, including JCPenney, Cinemark Theaters, Frito-Lay and Dr. Pepper.
  • Plano has gotten its share of national attention over the years because of its outstanding quality of life, including CNN, who named Plano as the Best Place to Live in the Western United States in 2005, and, who named Plano as one of the Top Suburbs to Live Well in 2008.
  • Plano schools have always been highly regarded, and have consistently been ranked among the top in the nation. Within Plano there are 70 public schools and 16 private schools, thereby providing residents here with a variety of schooling options for their children.

Here are just a few of Plano’s top subdivisions:

  • Amelia Court
  • Bent Trail/Briar Ridge
  • Bristol Point Estates
  • Canyon Creek
  • Carrington Estates
  • Estates of Prairie Creek
  • Greenwood Hills
  • Highland Creek
  • Jackson Highlands
  • Lone Star Ranch
  • Stoney Hollow
  • Stonehaven
  • Village on Preston
  • Watters Crossing
  • Walnut Grove

2012: A Lot to Cheer about in Texas

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Could it be? Could Texas have something to brag about in 2012?

Well, if recent numbers are any indication, there are many things for which we can be thankful in Texas this year.

To begin, it looks like the Texas economy has gotten sick and tired of lying down and playing dead. A good indication of this is through tax collections. And, since September first, tax collections across the state are up nearly 13 percent. Even by Texas standards that’s mighty impressive.

A good way to put this impressive number into context is, if Texas were to continue at this break-neck speed for the entire fiscal year, we could see the fastest sales tax growth since the 1990s. Even during the real estate bubble and easy credit days of 2006 numbers weren’t this exciting. In fact, it appears that Texas is expanding, despite a wavering housing market and high unemployment rate. And here’s why:

  • The oil and gas boom are Texas’ best friend. It fact, the increase in drilling across the southern and western parts of the state, along with high oil prices, have had a positive impact on the region, to put it mildly. Consider that natural gas taxes are up 65 percent and oil production taxes are up 54 percent, and it’s easy to see why things are looking up.
  • Sales tax collections are up 21 percent across the state. The biggest players: Frisco and Grand Prairie, which have seen tax collections up by double-digits. For the first four months of this year, Dallas sales tax collections are up 8.3 percent and Fort Worth sales collections are up 7.6 percent. In addition, Houston and San Antonio have seen sales tax collections nearly double, as well.
  • Texas added 95,600 jobs in January and February alone, which is more than three times the same time last year. As such, consumer confidence took off during this time, as well, with car and truck sales increasing by 16.4 percent in North Texas during just the first quarter of this year.

It looks like Texas is geared up for a fantastic 2012, and consumers appear to be the ones to thank for it.

Dallas-Fort Worth Market Looks Hot in 2012

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Spring brought a nice surprise to the Dallas-Fort Worth area: a spike in home sales.

For many, the real estate market hasn’t looked this healthy for a few years now. The strong real estate market is likely most evident in the many new homes springing up in the area. Builders are happy, home buyers are happy, and the economy is showing it.

We’ve seen lenders ease their purse strings, builders introduce more new home communities into the market, and a healthier job market. And, of course, these are the driving factors as to why the real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth may just get along swimmingly this year after all.

Here are the top 3 reasons why we can expect to see the real estate market continue its rebound in 2012:

  • Rising rents – Rents are rising everywhere, which are encouraging developers to get off the sidelines and begin constructing homes and apartment buildings. Rising rents mean a stronger demand, which is always good news for builders. In addition, many of those renters, facing higher rents, have made the move to homeownership, thereby spurring growth for single-family homes. Many Dallas residents, once they consider they can secure a mortgage that is the same – or even lower- than their rent, have begun making the move to homeownership.
  • Optimistic Job Market – The job market has strengthened significantly since last year, leading many Dallas-Fort Worth residents to either get better jobs or get more secure jobs. The more secure individuals feel in their career, the more likely they are to consider purchasing a home. A better job market also encourages relocation, which is always a great sign for new home builders.
  • Better Lending – In addition to the rock bottom interest rates still being enjoyed by home buyers across the country, lenders have finally begun easing up on their standards, which means more Dallas-Fort residents are eligible for home loans. Although lenders are still requiring strong credit scores and income to back up a loan, they are easing their standards somewhat regarding down payments and debt-to-loan ratios, thereby allowing many renters to become home buyers.

Victory Park’s Bright Future

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Will the real Victory Park please stand up?

For a few (grueling) years now, Victory Park was considered to be the most luxurious and upscale place in Dallas to live, work, shop and relax. But being billed as upscale during a time when no one was buying did nothing but hurt Victory Park. Considered by most to be simply unattainable – from the condo residences to the swanky shops – Victory Park was nearly a disaster.

Fast forward to 2012, however, and it looks like Victory Park has finally gotten in right. The original Victory Park developer, Hillwood, cried uncle in April 2009 and turned over control to the German real estate company, US Treuhand.

Since then, US Treuhand has invested millions into the Victory Park project and according to many Victory Park will take off in 2012. The secret? Making Victory Park more attainable and welcoming to the masses.

Even if Victory Park did suffer from a personality disorder for the first, few years of its life, it looks as if the new developers are making the necessary changes to make sure this stunning Dallas development is enjoyed by the vast majority of Texans – and not only the affluent.

A New Beginning

Victory Park will most certainly take off in 2012. From its exceptional near-downtown location and its close proximity to the beautiful Katy Trail, Victory Park has plenty going for it.

Victory Park is home to the Calatrava Bridges, the Arts District, the Woodall Rodgers Park and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. It is where professionals, families and visitors alike can spend the day shopping, dining and engaging in the exciting nightlife.

Just a few of the noteworthy restaurants located in Victory Park include: Craft, the Hard Rock Café, the House of Blues, Kenichi, Luna de Noche, Medina, Naga Thai, Neo Pizza and Victory Tavern.

Victory Park is the site of some of the most exciting condo buildings in the city, including the W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences, the House, the Terrace condominiums and the Vista apartments.

Victory Park will also be home to One Victory Park, a new, 72-acre development of Class AA office space.