Rebound downtown has buyers scrambling for close-in Dallas housing

The housing market is getting tight for homes near the downtown core. Demand is high in neighborhoods including North Oak Cliff, Lakewood and the M Streets. The inventory of properties on the market is at a more than 20-year historic low and prices are spiking as buyers compete for properties. January home prices in Dallas were up 12 percent from a year ago, and some close-in neighborhoods are seeing even higher price gains. Home sales in Oak Cliff were up 53 percent from last year, and 51 percent higher in East Dallas, according to sales through the multiple listing service.

The overall gains, however, have as much to do with the types of homes selling as with overall prices.

Tougher mortgage standards are hindering many first-time and moderate-income buyers in the housing market. The average Texas home buyers in 2013 had a household income of almost $92,000. Additionally, many wealthy buyers are taking their money from the stock market, moving it into real estate purchasing million-dollar homes which heavily effect the statistics.

Real estate agent Robert Kucharski of David Griffin Realtors partially attributes the low inventory and high prices to the inability of potential sellers to find another home. He has seen homes in the M Streets neighborhood attract 25 couples on average to an open house. He sees homes there selling for $40,000 and $50,000 more than last year.

Agent Scott Carlson sees buyers who will pay more for the lifestyle that’s attainable in Dallas’ in-town neighborhoods.  Nearby amenities such as White Rock Lake, and all the new shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities that have been springing up in these in-town and downtown neighborhoods are hard to attain in the suburbs.

Source: Dallas Morning News, March 5, 2014.

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