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For prospective home owners, is Dallas-Fort Worth becoming more of a buyer’s market?

Buying a house in DFW sellers market

Is buying a home in Dallas-Fort Worth still a good investment?
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Is buying a home in Dallas-Fort Worth still a good investment?

For the past several years, when it came to home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth, most of the bargaining power has been in the hands of the seller.

A home owner would put a house on the market, and within 24 hours receive multiple offers for thousands of dollars higher than the asking price.

But the tide may be turning just a bit.

Pending home sales fell sharply in May, a sign that buyers may have a bit more bargaining power this summer in the Metroplex. The HomesUSA.com New Home Sales Index, which tracks a 12-month rolling average of sales prices in Texas’ four largest metro areas, reports that there were 1,224 posted pending sales of North Texas homes in May, down 6% from 1,301 pending sales in April.

It was the sixth straight month that pending home sales were lower in all four of Texas’ largest real estate markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, according to HomesUSA.com.

“Texas’s new home market is strong today. It’s tomorrow that builders may be worrying about as the new home market appears to be tightening,” HomesUSA owner Ben Caballero said in an email. “Builders in Texas saw record new home sales and slightly higher home prices in May. But they did not experience any real improvement in the pace of new home sales homes, and the drop in pending new home sales looks like a dark cloud on an otherwise bright horizon.”

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Pending new home sales Chart courtesy of HomesUSA

HomesUSA.com compiles its index with from local a variety of listing services, including the Houston Association of REALTORS, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, San Antonio Board of REALTORS and the Austin Board of REALTORS.

The report also showed that new home sales for Texas in May hit a record of 3,960 for the month versus a 12-month rolling average of 3,947 in April.

In Dallas-Ft. Worth, homes stayed on the market an average of 115.77 days in May, slightly longer than the average of 115.30 days in April.

On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales rebounded in May, recording an increase in sales for the first time in two months.

“The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding,” Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said in an email.

But total sales are down 1.1% from a year ago.

Joel Kan, vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said that although pending homes sales rose slightly in May nationwide on a seasonally adjusted basis, “the unadjusted data, however, showed an overall decrease, as well as declines in every region compared to May 2018. MBA’s purchase applications data are still showing year-over-year increases, which is possibly a sign that despite lower mortgage rates, tight inventory and affordability challenges are a major reason why rising mortgage applications are not translating to larger gains in contract signings.”

Also Friday, the Commerce Department reported that sales of single-family homes nationwide dipped for the second straight month.

Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.

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