Dallas Home Buying Power Among Worst in Texas

House model with calculator
House model with calculator and laptop | Image by Daniel Tadevosyan/Shutterstock

The decline in home buying power in North Texas over the past half-century has been substantial, with Dallas-Fort Worth emerging as one of the state’s most severely affected regions.

To calculate the impact in an analysis of a study from RealtyHop and other data, Axios defined home buying power as the ratio of annual income to average house price. In 1970, the typical annual income represented a much larger proportion of the average house prices. However, over the past 50 years, residents of DFW have seen this power increasingly squeezed.

For example, the average house in Fort Worth cost $11,000 in 1970, while the median income was $9,271. That means the median income represented more than 84% of the average house price in Fort Worth at the time.

In 2022, the average house in Fort Worth was $270,700, compared to the median income of $72,504. That means income represented less than 27% of a typical home in the city in 2022.

While the housing inventory has begun to recover despite some homeowners’ reluctance to sell, home prices in the metroplex remain 44% higher than before the COVID-19 lockdowns, per Axios. From April 2023 to 2024, DFW house prices climbed 3%, hitting an average price of $505,446.

Despite a recent increase in housing supply, persistently high home prices remain a significant barrier, directly impacting an individual’s home-buying power. While Redfin Corp. reported in April that new listings had jumped roughly 10% since last year in cities it monitors, they are actually substantially below 2022 and 2021 levels.

While Dallas was not the worst-hit city in Texas, it was close, securing fourth place in Axios’ ranking of select cities.

From 1970 to 2022, the following cities experienced the steepest drops in home buying power in the Lone Star State.

  1. Fort Worth (-58.1%)
  2. Houston (-57.3%)
  3. Austin (-56.8%)
  4. Dallas (-55.9%)
  5. Arlington (-49.6%)
  6. Garland (-48.6%)
  7. Plano (-46.9%)
  8. Irving (-46.8%)
  9. San Antonio (-46.1%)
  10. Corpus Christi (-39.1%)

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