Illustration by Jessica Turner.

COMPETITIVE DOESN’T QUITE DESCRIBE it. Over the past year, Dallas’ residential real estate market has been unprecedented.

Dallas has a seller’s market, meaning it would take less than three months for all available homes in the area to sell, says Churchill Mortgage branch manager Mason Whitehead.

“What we’ve seen nationwide, but especially with the migration to Texas, is a huge housing boom like we’ve never seen before,” he says.

Housing market conditions are, in part, the result of a decreasing supply of homes in recent years.

One factor driving demand for homes is an influx of people from California, New York and other states who are looking for lower taxes and more space, says Whitehead, who’s been at Churchill for 11 years.

But that’s not the only reason.

“People know they can sell their house. That’s not an issue,” he says. “But where do you go? You’ve got a lot of pent-up hesitation because, I know I can sell, but where do I buy?”

Graph by HiGeorge.

The data back him up. In January, the number of homes for sale in East Dallas was just over 600, which is about 300 fewer listings than before the pandemic hit in March 2020.

At the same time, the median home sale price for properties in our neighborhood has been increasing. At $440,000, January’s value was about $12,500 higher than the same time last year and $78,500 higher than it was five years ago.

Potential buyers, especially those looking at homes listed for about $400,000, are scrambling to present competitive offers.

“Not just writing letters, you’re not just going above market on the price. You’re doing anything you can to make your offer more attractive to the seller,” Whitehead says.

Median home sale prices have been trending up, but there have been a few dips. The first happened in October 2019, when the tornado struck Dallas. The second setback was the onset of COVID-19. Home sales in Dallas dropped to 1,118 in April from nearly 1,300 in March.

“Then it came back with a roar,” he says. Home sales in the city soared to more than 1,900 in July.

People who loved their homes before the pandemic continued to appreciate them for months, when many switched to remote work and stayed home, Whitehead says. Those who didn’t love their homes experienced a different situation.

“If there’s something about your house you didn’t like, it really drove you nuts,” he says. “I’ve got to say, I was one of those people. It drove me nuts.”

Whitehead acknowledges that he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but a year after the pandemic started, he doesn’t see the real estate market slowing down unless there’s a spike in interest rates or another economic issue that makes people “nervous.”

He says buyers are attracted by a strong, diverse economy that can stand up to disasters.

“Texas has historically weathered the storm better,” he says.

BY THE NUMBERS

1,372: New home listings in Dallas as of March 2021

635: Homes sold in East Dallas as of January 2021

$605,000: Median home price in the 75214 ZIP code as of January 2021

25.3%: Percent change in median home price since 2016 in 75214 ZIP code

Graph by HiGeorge.


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