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January 22, 2014

DFW home construction should see another strong year

Builders are on track to start construction on more than 23,000 homes in 2014.

Job growth will continue to push the housing recovery in Dallas-Fort Worth, but increasing land prices may make it harder to build new homes this year, a housing economist told Fort Worth home builders Wednesday.

David Brown, regional director of Metrostudy’s DFW office, told the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association that the level of lots available for construction is also constraining the market.

“The great news is 2014 is going to be another great year for the housing market,” Brown said at the builders forecast held at Ridglea Country Club. “As much as I’d like to see home-building activity grow more, I think we’re going to see it limited in 2014 because of the constraints we’re seeing.”

At the end of 2013, Metroplex home builders reported that construction started on 21,197 homes for the year. Brown said that could rise to more than 23,000 this year. The number is still well below annual starts of about 50,000 during the peak of the housing market in 2006.

About 83,700 jobs were created in 2013 in DFW, and Texas leads the nation in job creation, Brown said.

“That’s great news for home building, because that creates demand for housing,” he said.

Moreover, home starts will see a nice jump because of the low inventory of existing homes for sale, Brown said.

“We’re heading into the spring selling season with fewer options available for the buyer,” Brown said. “There’s going to be a frenzy that appears in the spring. We’re going to see a very competitive market amongst buyers.”

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