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The North Texas real estate market at Q1 2024: Prices up. Inventory down. Is it time to buy or sell?

Large Estate with Water FountainBrokerage president and CEO Russ Anderson, on one confounding market 

 

In our North Texas housing markets, the first quarter of 2024 played out similarly to the past several quarters in most key metrics but one: The number of closed sales for single-family properties actually increased in several areas, compared to the same quarter last year. Inventory is still in significantly short supply in many areas, but the number of homes closed improved. As we observed last quarter, sales declines were trending in a positive direction, tracking at percentage decreases that were not quite as steep as in prior quarters. It appears that our markets are getting close to bottoming out and could start to see an upswing.

 

When compared to Q1 2023, the closed unit numbers for Q1 2024 increased 19 percent in Dallas County, 7 percent in Fort Worth (Northwest Tarrant County), 13 percent in Southlake (Northeast Tarrant County) and 16 percent in Collin County. Also heartening is that new listings were up, when comparing the same period, across all counties: 28 percent in Dallas County, 21 percent in Fort Worth (Northwest Tarrant County), 23% in Southlake (Northeast Tarrant County) and 37 percent in Collin County. Homes are moving fast, with the average number of days on the market trending downward: -7 percent in Fort Worth (Northwest Tarrant County), -2 percent in Southlake (Northeast Tarrant County) and -13 percent in Collin County. Dallas County is the exception, with the average number of days that homes are on the market going up by 7 percent.

 

Fort Worth Texas SkylineWe are also experiencing closed volume increases across all counties. These are representative of an ongoing shift in the product mix sold. That is, more properties are trading in higher price ranges. In fact, in Dallas County, closed sales over $3 million in Q1 2024 increased 57 percent when compared to the same period in 2023. Closed sales between $2million and $3 million increased 66 percent, and those between $1 million and $2 million increased 61 percent.  For those properties under $1 million, the increase was 16 percent. In Fort Worth (Northwest Tarrant County), the $1 million to $2 million range saw an increase of 71 percent. In Southlake (Northeast Tarrant County), sales of homes over $2 million increased 45 percent and those between $1 million and $2 million increased 25 percent. In Collin County, the number of homes closed over $2 million increased 83 percent and those between $1 million and $2 million increased 15 percent.

 

Despite those favorable signs, inventory is still too low — and we believe it will remain so for the foreseeable future. The ongoing elevated buyer demand, while diminished from its pandemic-era peaks because of today’s higher mortgage rates and escalating home prices, consistently exceeds supply. That imbalance has led to a very competitive buying environment that puts sellers in a strong position to realize the greatest value for their homes. Homeowners who are still waiting on the sidelines would do well to consider listing now, before these conditions change.

 

The supply-and-demand dynamics and the upward shift in the product mix sold continue to yield higher home prices in our markets. Recently, every quarter, we have seen an increase in the 12-month median sale price in most of our areas, and the first quarter of 2024 was no different. Prices at the end of Q1 rose in Dallas County by 6 percent, in Fort Worth (Northwest Tarrant County) by 1.2 percent and in Southlake (Northeast Tarrant County) by 4.7 percent, compared to this time last year. Collin County ticked down -1.2 percent, though the city of Plano was up 2.7 percent. We expect that home prices will remain elevated in most markets for some time to come.

 

The bigger picture

 

At the national level, many of the economic factors needed to support growth in the housing market are present and accounted for. Consumer confidence hovered at a stable 104.7 (1985=100) in March, according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index. Unemployment remains under 4 percent after a small uptick in February, and the stock market has surged in recent weeks to reach historic highs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP increased by a healthy annual rate of 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 and is projected by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to grow by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2024.

 

Dallas Texas SkylineWe continue to navigate an uncertain outlook on inflation, which is now 3.2 percent. That figure is dramatically down from its peak yet still higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent, prompting the board to hold steady on interest rates in March. However, most economists now believe a recession will be avoided, and the Fed has projected three rate cuts to come later this year, which in turn will help bring down mortgage rates. According to Fannie Mae, 30-year fixed mortgage rates that are currently higher than 7 percent could be reduced to 6.4 percent by the fourth quarter of 2024. Such a decrease will be critical not only in increasing affordability for buyers but also in alleviating concerns for those sellers hesitant to list their properties and give up the historically low mortgage rates many of them are now enjoying.

 

I hope you find this report informative. Contact one of our knowledgeable real estate advisors at any time if they can help you with your housing needs. They are the best in the business, anywhere, and they can make some surprising things happen for you.

 

THE FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Economic factors

Indicators

3/31/23

9/30/23

3/31/24

Dates

GDP

Stock market (Dow)

33,274

 

33,507

 

39,807

 

Q1 2023

2.2%

Consumer Confidence

104

103

105

Q2 2023

2.1%

Mortgage rate (U.S. 30-year)

6.32%

7.31%

6.79%

Q3 2023

4.9%

Unemployment rate

3.5%

3.8%

3.8%

Q4 2023

3.4%

 

 

 

 

Q1 2024 (est.)

2.8%

 

ONLINE NOW See the Q1 2024 numbers all over North Texas with our quick and interactive Market Update snapshots. See prices, days on market and more for 25 key communities. Knowing these numbers could save — or make — you a surprising amount of money.

 

Russ Anderson

President and CEO

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

randerson@briggsfreeman.com

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