Dallas- Ft Worth will recover over the next six months
The end is in sight for the US housing market's troubles, according to Goldman Sachs. Strategists at the US bank said this week that easing mortgage rates are likely to help the market find a floor within six months – with prices likely to have fallen around 6% from their peak when housing bottoms out.
"The sharpest declines for the US housing market are now behind us," a team led by Goldman Sachs' chief economist Jan Hatzius said in a research note.
Low interest rates, stagnating supply and generous fiscal policies fueled something of a house price bubble in the two years after the coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March 2020. But that was followed by the Federal Reserve's most aggressive monetary tightening campaign since the 1980s, with the central bank raising interest rates from near-zero to around 4.5% last year in a bid to crush soaring inflation. That pushed up mortgage rates to multi-year highs, leading to a slowdown in housing demand.
The retreat in mortgage rates should eventually filter through into the market by making it cheaper to borrow to buy a house, which Goldman Sachs believe will eventually halt the slide in prices.
"Since reaching 20-year highs of over 7% in October, mortgage rates have fallen by a percentage point, causing our housing affordability index to recover very slightly," they said.
House prices could fall more sharply on the US west coast because there's greater excess supply than in the more crowded mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, the strategists added.
Goldman Sachs named Austin, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, and Denver as the five US cities likely to see steeper price declines of over 10% from their peaks.
"On a regional basis, we project larger declines across the Pacific Coast and Southwest regions – which have seen the largest increases in inventory on average – and more modest declines across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest – which have maintained greater affordability over the past couple years," Hatzius' team said.
But the bank's view that the market is only set for a minor correction isn't echoed by ordinary people.
Two-thirds of Americans believe that a housing market crash is "imminent in the next three years", according to a NerdWatch survey that sought to gauge views about the current slowdown.
The North Texas housing market is downshifting quickly, with Dallas-Fort Worth being the only U.S. market to see a decrease in home sale prices last month, according to a report released today. DFW home prices are down 1.9% year over year in July, according to the latest Re/Max National Housing Report.
And what a difference a month makes. Last month, DFW led the U.S. for home price increases, with June prices up 29.3% over the previous year. In hard numbers, home sales prices in DFW fell to $413,900 in July from $422,000 in July 2021. Homes in DFW spend an average of 23 days on the market before selling.
Higher interest rates and inflation, as well as record home prices, triggered a sharp drop in demand for housing, said Todd Luong, a realtor with Re/Max DFW Associates: "Here at our Re/Max office in Dallas-Fort Worth, our listings are currently getting on average 2.7 showings per week," Luong said. "Last year, at this same time, our listings were earning on average 5.9 showings per week. That is a huge drop in buyer demand compared to the previous year. Record home prices and higher mortgage rates have forced many potential buyers out of the market, especially first-time homebuyers."
While the latest trends may disappoint some sellers, buyers now have more choices and better opportunities for good deals, Luong said. Luong said that the DFW housing market has been challenged with low inventory for years and reached an all-time low earlier this year, with only a two-week supply. Now, however, inventory is increasing. "Although buyers have more choices now, it is still not a balanced market as we only have about a two-month housing supply," Luong said. "In a normal market, you have about a five to six-month supply of housing."
A new report from Zillow also found falling home values, although the numbers didn't match Re/Max's precisely because of different study methods and different geographic definitions of DFW as a metro area, among other reasons. According to Zillow's findings, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area's typical home value is $396,904, down 1.1% since June, the first month of decline. Values are up 55.4% since July 2019.
Zillow also reported that the mortgage payment on a typical home in DFW is $2,633 a month, including taxes and insurance. That's up 77.4% compared to July 2019.
According to Zillow, inventory in DFW has risen 10.2% since June, and the share of listings with a price cut in July was 22%, compared to 15.6% in June. Nationwide, after two years of unprecedented growth, home values fell for the first time since 2012 as competition for houses eased, according to Zillow's July market report.
The slowdown is being driven by decreased competition among buyers. Zillow's analysis says that affordability pressures have pushed many to the sidelines, and buyers are waiting in the wings to resume their search if and when prices relax a bit. Skylar Olsen, Zillow's chief economist, called the flattening of home values "a badly needed rebalancing. This slowdown is about discouraged buyers pulling back after the affordability shock from higher rates," Olsen said. "As prices soften, many will renew their interest, and we will continue our progress back to 'normal.'"
Luong said he sees positive signs in the market. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 5% after peaking in June. More than 290,000 new jobs were added in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, so North Texas has one of the strongest labor markets in the country. "Reasonably priced homes that are in good condition and move-in ready are still selling very fast," he said. "However, the bidding wars have subsided considerably across the board."
Have you thought about jumping on the bandwagon and making your home smarter in 2021? If not, maybe you should. There are so many ways smart features increase your home's comfort, security, and efficiency that a smart system bears looking at. What's more, if you're listing your home among Dallas homes for sale or Plano homes for sale, you might include the smart system and appliances as a selling point.
In case you're not familiar with all the features you could have with a smart system, let's look at a rundown.
Manage your home's environment from near or far with a smart thermostat. Use an app on your smartphone or tablet to control the temperature; depending on if you have an in-house humidifier, you might even be able to raise or lower humidity. Some systems can sense your approach and raise or lower the temperature for your comfort. Need an analysis of your energy usage? A smart thermostat can do that as well.
The holiday season ushers in excitement, but for thousands of men, women, and children in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this time of the year is especially difficult. Some of our family members, friend, neighbors, and coworkers struggle to make ends meet or receive the care that they need. Our real estate agents understand that this time of the year is busy, but we shouldn't let shopping and festivities distract us from the reason for the season. Above all, these next few days give us the opportunity to share our kindness, spread joy, and brighten the lives of whomever we can. We encourage you to give back to the DFW this holiday season through one of these compassionate acts.
We hope that you take any opportunity to help those in our communities who need it most this holiday season. As always, if you would like assistance with your search for Dallas homes for sale and Fort Worth homes for sale, please don't hesitate to reach out. Contact us today to find your dream home in the Lone Star State.
Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections. "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins." Worries about a recession may also impact the home market. "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com. "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that." However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding. "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."