The Dallas-Fort Worth housing market showed further signs of cooling down in October.
A new report from the Texas Real Estate Research Center (TRERC) at Texas A&M University that leveraged listing data from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems found that the median home price in DFW hit $398,000 in October, falling below the $400,000 mark for the first time since the early spring months.
The market has been angling downward for four consecutive months, a trend brought on by a slump in buying activity, with the latest figures from September showing that only 6,161 homes sold in DFW, marking an 8.5% decrease from August.
“We have seen a tremendous drop in the volume of sales activity,” Todd Luong, a real estate agent in Frisco with Re/Max DFW Associates, told The Dallas Morning News. “Although higher mortgage rates have helped to lower prices somewhat, it has not been enough to make things affordable for many buyers currently in the market.”
As previously covered by The Dallas Express, home sales nationwide have been dampened by surging mortgage interest rates and stubbornly high home prices. At the same time, buyer demand has remained robust in Texas compared to other parts of the country.
Development Services Department officials in Dallas have been turning out residential permits for single-family homes quicker than in previous years to help grow the housing inventory to meet demand. However, overall building permit activity under City Manager T.C Broadnax has been down year over year, possibly due to periodic delays and backlogs in operations.
In the greater North Texas region, housing inventory is climbing, as covered by The Dallas Express. A report from the Dallas-based consulting firm Residential Strategies Homebuilders found that during the third quarter of 2023, construction on more than 13,000 new single-family homes had begun, marking a 39% increase compared to the same period last year.
Growing inventory plus recent signs of downward pricing trends present a glimmer of hope for would-be homeowners currently priced out of buying a house.
For instance, 2023 market data from Redfin recently revealed that first-time homebuyers required an average annual salary of $72,885 to pay for a starter home in Dallas, representing a more than 10% increase compared to 2022. This also surpassed the average salary needed to pay for a typical single-family home in the United States, which was $64,403, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Even Collin County, which continues to boast the highest median home prices in the region at around $510,000, recorded a year-over-year drop of 5.3% this June due to buyers holding more negotiating power as listings take longer to sell.
Across DFW in October, homes were on the market for 44 days on average, according to the TRERC report.
Some industry professionals suggest that house sales are about to pick up, especially with sellers starting to offer buyers owner-financing options.
“We have more scheduled closings already, just our brokerage, for December than we had all of November,” said Shana Acquisto, president of the Collin County Association of Realtors and a broker at Acquisto Real Estate, according to the DMN.