NOTES: Median home price is based on Q1 2018. Home price to income is calculated using median home price and median family income. SOURCES: Synergos Technologies, Realtor.com, Moody's Analytics, NOAA, Ed.gov. Illustrations by Martin Laksman. For full Best Places to Live methodology, see money.com/BPLmethodology.
Money is the latest national publication to sing the praises of Frisco, listing the North Texas suburb as No. 1 in its 2018 best places to live report. After compiling data on everything from school graduation rates to median home prices, the fast-growing community north of Dallas beat out 582 other communities -- many of them suburbs -- to claim the top spot. One of the highest grades in the report went to Frisco's education system. "With more than 70 campuses, the Frisco Independent School District has the highest graduation rate of all the cities and towns Money evaluated this year," the report said. Frisco's graduation rate is 98 percent.
It lists Frisco's population as about 179,000, its median family income as $129,118 and its median home price as $349,000. In explaining its methodology, the finance-focused publication looked only at places with populations of 50,000 or greater. "We eliminated any place that had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state's median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity. This gave us 583 places," Money said."We put the greatest weight on economic health, public school performance, and local amenities. Housing, cost of living, and diversity were also critical components," it said. The methodology information listed online did not say how the study's authors defined "lack of ethnic diversity." Frisco's population is 75 percent white, according to Frisco.com.
Money also lauded Frisco for it public-private partnerships -- particularly the Ford Center at The Star. That athletic facility, built as part of a partnership with schools, the city and the Dallas Cowboys, doubles as a place for school football games and a practice field for the NFL team. The Star also serves as the Cowboys' headquarters.
Frisco, Allen and McKinney routinely show up on "best of" lists. In 2016, career expert website Zippia named Frisco as the most successful city in America.The only other Texas city in Money's top 25 was Flower Mound, which ranked 16th.
"I would expect this somewhat disappointing spring selling season will be a bit of a wake-up call for (North Dallas suburban) home sellers, and they will eventually consider lowering asking prices, which in turn will bring some buyers back to the table," Attom Data economist Daren Blomquist said.
The slowdown in Dallas-Fort Worth's housing market may be worse than at first glance. Sales of preowned single-family homes dropped 1 percent annually in August in all of North Texas, according to the latest numbers from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Those numbers include data on more than two dozen counties stretching from the Red River to Waco. When you drill down in the numbers to just the immediate D-FW area, August's dip in home purchase activity was much larger. In the Dallas area, sales of preowned homes by real estate agents fell by about 4 percent in August from a year earlier. Fort Worth-area sales managed to eke out a 1 percent year-over-year rise in home purchases made through real estate agents. But some Dallas-area residential districts saw marked declines in home buying last month.
Real estate agents say the overall numbers understate the housing sector cooldown. A look at individual neighborhoods gives clearer insight into the state of the market. Sales last month were down almost 31 percent in Far North Dallas. They dropped 24 percent from August 2017 totals in Allen, and were off 21 percent in Coppell. Plano had a 16 percent year-over-year sales decline and sales were down more than 11 percent in Richardson and about 9 percent lower in Frisco. Not all of North Texas' markets saw the housing market hit the brakes. Sales soared 40 percent in Prosper, for instance, and were 37 percent higher in DeSoto. The pricey Park Cities market had a 29 percent jump in August sales from the previous year.
Texas has been one of the fastest growing housing markets in the country in the last few years. The state has led the nation in homebuilding and Texas' major metros - Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin - have had big increases in the number of preowned home sales. But the latest snapshot of the Lone Star State's hot housing market is a mixed bag. While statewide home sales rose almost 3 percent in the second quarter from 2017 levels, sales in the D-FW area slowed for the first time in years. And sales barely rose in the Austin area, according to the latest data from the Texas Association of Realtors.
"The demand for housing remains at an all-time high, but statewide we're seeing a slower rate of increase in sales compared to previous quarters due to the lack of inventory of properties for sale," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. Rising prices and higher mortgage rates have also dampened buying in some neighborhoods. Even with the dip in sales, the D-FW led the state in second quarter home sales by real estate agents with 28,934 properties changing hands.
D-FW home sales were 0.8 percent lower than in second quarter 2017. Statewide median home sales prices rose by 4.4 percent in the period ending with June. D-FW had the biggest jump in the number of homes for sale in the second quarter of any major Texas metro area. The number of homes on the market in North Texas grew by 14 percent, according to the Realtors.
Amazon is searching for senior recruiters based in Dallas, possibly foreshadowing the location for the e-retailers massive second headquarters, which will employ 50,000 people.The Amazon HR Talent Acquisition team will conduct its first round interviews for technical and non-technical recruiters in Dallas and other U.S. locations in late September, according to this job listing. This particular listing – for multiple recruiter positions – mentions Dallas and makes no specific reference to any of the other 19 locations that Amazon is considering for HQ2."Please apply for consideration to be based in Dallas, TX or Seattle, WA metro areas," the job listing reads. "The final location of this role will be determined following interviews for those candidates to receive offers to join one of the Talent Acquisition teams." The recruiter positions will be based in either Dallas or Seattle. Amazon further indicated that the second HQ2 will be equal to its Seattle location, but gives no further indication to its expected final decision.
Is the housing boom running out of gas? During the last few years, the home market has been on a tear in North Texas and in other parts of the country, with prices soaring and buyers lining up as soon as a sign hits the front yard. But there are growing signs that the fast-paced housing market is shifting gears, with a decline in sales in many markets and smaller price increases. In July, U.S. preowned home sales fell from a year ago for the fifth month in a row. And nationwide new home sales were down almost 2 percent in July, causing analysts at IHS Markit to question if the bull home market has turned bearish. "The economy is strong. Labor markets are solid. Yet, new home sales and single-family housing starts and permits have stalled. How can this be?" said Patrick Newport, executive director of the U.S. economics team at IHS.
Newport said rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have cooled the ardor for home buying. "This has choked off demand," he said. A slowdown in immigration and household formation could also be factors, Newport theorizes. In North Texas, year-over-year preowned home sales have fallen in many neighborhoods, and for the entire region, year-to-date sales were up a measly 2 percent as of July. At the same time, the double-digit percentage home price gains of the last few years have faded in Dallas-Fort Worth. Through the first seven months of 2018, median home sales prices were up only 6 percent from the same period last year, according to sales data from real estate agents.
Property agents say that some first-time buyers have given up after losing out to other buyers or all-cash investors who snapped up affordable homes. At midyear, the number of prospective U.S. homebuyers who said they planned to make a purchase in the next 12 months fell to just 14 percent — down from 24 percent in fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That's still another sign that the home market — while not in a traditional bubble — may be headed for slower sales in the year ahead. "It's clear that the winds that have boosted sellers over the past few years are ever-so-slightly starting to shift," said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.
- Dallas Morning News, September 6, 2018
Three North Texas cities top a new list of the country's best real estate markets. Frisco, McKinney and Allen were rated first in the country in the comparison of best housing and economic markets by WalletHub. Richardson and Denton also made it into the top 10. "To determine the most attractive real-estate markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared 300 cities across 22 key metrics," according to the new report. "The data set ranges from median home-price appreciation to home sales turnover rate to job growth." Other North Texas communities that scored well in the comparison include Carrollton, Fort Worth and Irving. Frisco, McKinney and Allen have been among the fastest growing Dallas-Fort Worth cities during the last decade, account to a large share of new home construction. Almost 4,000 preowned homes were sold in those markets in the first half of 2018. And median home sales prices in all three communities are almost $100,000 higher than the overall D-FW area.