Housing Costs Driving Dallas County Exodus

Residential neighborhood
Residential neighborhood | Image by Juan Silva/Getty Images

The cost of housing in Dallas County is driving heightened interest in some of the Lone Star State’s other blossoming counties.

U.S. Census data shows that Dallas ranked among the 10 fastest-contracting counties in the country, a trend amplified by the area’s rising housing costs, new research from Realtor.com shows.

According to Realtor.com, potential homebuyers within Dallas County are viewing a significant portion of the listings outside of Dallas County.

To make this determination, the real estate listings website looked at the Census’ top 10 fastest-growing and shrinking counties in the U.S. and then tallied the total number of clicks in those areas, as well as where these home shoppers claimed to live.

Based on the findings, the Texas counties with the most clicks from Dallas County prospects are Collin County (24%), Denton County (23%), Williamson County (9%), Montgomery County (6%), and Fort Bend County (6%).

Two primary reasons residents are leaving Dallas County are the surging cost of living and ballooning home prices, according to Jordan Marie Schilleci, a real estate agent and owner of Jo & Co. Realty Group.

Schilleci said that Dallas County is growing more expensive compared to neighboring counties.

She added that many counties outside of Dallas have growing populations, and similar job markets but less expensive homes, making it easier for people to relocate.

Dallas County resident Wayne Kirkwood is one potential prospect strongly considering relocating elsewhere. Kirkwood told The Dallas Express that he has generated a significant number of clicks for the various listings in Grayson County.

“Lifelong Dallas residents see the writing on the wall and want out. The data seems to show that,” he told DX.

While Dallas council members have identified creating “affordable housing” as a priority, strong demand from private equity firms and people fleeing high-priced coastal metros have made the task more difficult.

In an email to residents, District 1 Council Member Chad West expressed that he believes the most urgent need in Dallas is finding a way to provide more housing for the city’s workforce. Otherwise, the city may end up like so many coastal cities that have priced out their police officers, fire-rescue personnel, teachers, restaurant workers, and hospital techs, he said.

One potential solution covered by The Dallas Express is a proposal found in Forward Dallas 2.0, the Department of Planning and Urban Design’s vision for how public and private land should be used.

One of the recommendations in the plan’s newest iteration is allowing high-density types like duplexes and triplexes to be integrated into single-family neighborhoods. Despite being a possible solution, many residents expressed major concerns about the plan and its long-term impact on single-family neighborhoods.

“Developers are not altruistic; this is an opportunity for profit,” said a participant at a recent Forward Dallas town hall meeting. “This is an opportunity for private equity to come in and tear down homes and build rental units.”

“Everybody in my neighborhood says, ‘I’m glad I moved here when I did because I couldn’t afford to live here now.’ It’s the same phenomenon whether you live in a $2 million neighborhood or a $250,000 neighborhood. It’s happening everywhere,” said City Plan Commissioner Melissa Kingston at the same town hall meeting.

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