Dallas area home market has probably peaked and that's good news
In case you missed it, the North Texas housing market has turned a corner.
Oh, we've still got one of the best homebuying sectors in the country.
Realtor.com in its latest ranking of the U.S. hottest home markets had D-FW on the same list with Silicon Valley and San Francisco as places where residential transactions are moving the fastest.
And we're still ranked with the metro areas where home prices are rising at a greater clip than the national average.
So while D-FW housing still looks good or even great compared to a lot of places around the nation, things have definitely cooled a bit from the last few years. There are fewer bidding wars for properties and buyers are more likely to turn their noses up at an overpriced address.
In September, the time it takes to sell a house was longer than a year ago in many North Texas neighborhoods, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
And the number of houses with "for sale" signs in the front yard was higher in all but a handful of local residential districts.
The number of houses listed for sale with real estate agents in North Texas -- about 22,298 listings -- is up 11 percent from September 2016. That's good for the market. With almost 40,000 people a year moving to North Texas for jobs, we need plenty of housing inventory.
The last few years, the shortage of homes for sale in D-FW has been at unheard of levels, fueling big increases in housing prices. There's still only about a three-month supply of houses, half what a normal market would be.
Home prices have risen by more than 40 percent here in the last four years, far outstripping income growth.
As of September, North Texas median home sales prices are up 9 percent for the year compared with the first nine months of 2016. It's two or three times the traditional price growth in this market, but a bit of a slowdown from recent gains of 10 percent, 11 percent and 12 percent a year.
In the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index -- one of the most closely watched housing value measures -- Dallas-area price increases were at the slowest pace since mid 2014.
Real estate agents say that sales of D-FW houses priced above $500,000 are definitely slower than last year, as consumers digest several years of mark ups.
The moderation in our residential markets is good news for most analysts, who've been worried that North Texas' residential sector is overheated.
"You've still got a good market -- just a little slower than what we've seen recently," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center. "Things are getting back to normal."
Gaines expects prices in the D-FW will keep rising next year, but probably not at a double-digit percentage rate.
And 2017 is on track for another year of record preowned home sales, with more year-to-date purchases up 4 percent from last year's record. North Texas real estate agents have sold almost 81,000 preowned houses through September.
Don't be surprised if many buyers take time off for the holidays this year -- something we haven't see so much lately. And sellers who are asking the moon and more for their house may find interest lagging.
The part of the home market that's still in overdrive is the under $250,000 segment, and there is still a shortage of those moderately-priced properties on the market.
Some of the biggest increases in sales this year have been in D-FW's moderate-priced neighborhoods where young apartment renters can get that first home.