Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Starts Well for North Texas Real Estate

Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News, reports what we all suspected.  The market in the Dallas area is healthy and still inclined toward the seller's advantage.  So it's a great time to sell and the advantage you gain in selling will well equip you for being an aggressive and competitive buyer.

Keep in mind, the new home building industry is an easy to read thermometer for the overall housing industry.  When there is an oversupply of new homes, there is likely the same condition  in pre-owned homes and vice versa.  

What this all means to you and me is that our jobs are safe, our incomes are steady, our home values are on the rise, and we can sell your house quick as ever.

      Here's Brown's article:

 Dallas-area homebuilders can’t keep up with demand for new houses
     North Texas homebuilders couldn’t keep up with buyers in the final months of 2013, as new home sales rose to the highest point in more than four years.

     Builders sold 5,218 new homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the fourth quarter.  But starts for the three months came in at only 4,514 houses — the lowest quarterly production in almost two years.

     Fourth-quarter starts were held in check by December’s weather and construction constraints including tight labor and shortages of building sites, said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies.  “They have been ready to pour foundations, but the weather has not been good enough,” Wilson said. “It will push some business that normally would have come in the fourth quarter into the first quarter.”

    Finding enough construction workers to meet homebuilding demand won’t be as easy as waiting for a change in the weather. Labor constraints have been haunting the local housing market since 2012.  “When there is so much talk nationally about a need for jobs in the U.S., it is ironic that the D-FW new home industry is facing a labor shortage,” Wilson said.  “The housing downturn wiped out a lot of companies that served the housing industry, and it is taking a long time to bring workers back, especially when there are vibrant industries such as oil and gas and trucking competing for many of these same workers.
“There are shortages of bricklayers, framers, you name it,” he said. “Homebuilders are also having to compete for workers with other parts of the real estate market.”
Local construction labor shortages have increased the average time it takes to build a house in North Texas by as much as a third.

    “Typically it takes 120 days to get a house built,” Wilson said. “That’s up by 40 days.  “There is such a backlog they may sell a house and not be able to start it for three months.”
Only about 2,800 finished, vacant new houses were on the market in the D-FW area at the end of the year. That’s less than a two-month supply, Residential Strategies found.  D-FW home starts in 2013 were almost 60 percent ahead of where they were at the bottom of the recession in mid 2009.

     But with 20,778 home starts in all of 2013, builders have a long way to go before the market is back to where it was in 2006 when almost 50,000 new houses were started in the area.