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January
1

Biggest rebound: Dallas-Fort Worth home prices

Forget about the stock market and the price of gold. When it comes to feel-good factors, nothing resonates with consumers like the value of the roof over their heads. Dallas-Fort Worth home prices have been on a roll the last couple of years and are now about 15 percent higher than they were before the recession. Even with recent cautions by analysts that Texas home prices are overheated, most forecasts call for additional housing value gains here in the year ahead.

- Dallas Morning News, December 25, 2014

December
31

What a year for real estate 2014 will go into the record books as a time when the Dallas-Fort Worth property market was white hot. The last time North Texas saw such a real estate boom was back in the 1980s, and most of that run-up was fueled by crooked savings-and-loan lenders and tax-dodge investors. This time, its pure demographics surging population and job growth thats powering the property market. Construction cranes stretch from Uptown to Frisco. And the size of developments has exploded, with billion-dollar construction deals underway in several locations. The local housing market has the highest prices and tightest inventory of homes for sale in decades. As usual, the biggest question in the real estate sector is: Will it last?

- Dallas Morning News, December 25, 2014

December
30

Oil drilling activity in Texas is falling dramatically, as the steep decline in crude prices since the summer takes hold, state regulators reported Tuesday. The Texas Railroad Commission issued 1,353 permits for oil drilling last month, 50 percent less than it did the previous month. And in the months ahead, that will likely translate to rigs being shut down and layoffs across oil fields in West and South Texas. Theres more to come in the months ahead, said Pavel Molchanov, an energy analyst with Raymond James. This isnt pleasant, but this is how the market rebalances itself. In recent weeks companies including Conoco Phillips and Marathon have both announced their drilling budgets for next year will be 20 percent less than 2014. For smaller companies, which fill out the bulk of the oil field, the reductions are even more dramatic. Even so, oil production in Texas continues to grow, as existing wells flow and new wells come online. The Railroad Commission reported Texas produced 2.2 millions barrels a day in October, a modest increase from the previous month.

- Dallas Morning News, December 23, 2014

December
29

The answer: NO!

In the last couple of weeks a report by Fitch in New York, an analytic ratings firm, predicted that the Texas economy will slow, even possibly collapse, due to oil dropping from $106 per barrel to around $50 per barrel because of less demand and increased production. In a word from other economists the Fitch analysis is hogwash, and its prediction has more to do with politics than reality. Yes, there will be a small downturn in West and South Texas with layoffs from the drilling companies. But it will have little to no effect in the major cities across Texas, and especially Dallas. In the 1986 the collapse of oil prices sent Texas into a deep recession. But today oil is only 11 percent of the Texas economy. Texas has grown considerably and greatly diversified its work force. And cities such as Dallas have boomed in technology, health and finance. Most economists believe that there is little that can stop the North Texas boom.

- Excerpts from Dallas Morning News, December 26, 2014

December
19

With the number of houses for sale in North Texas at the lowest level in more than a decade, prices jumped in November as demand for properties surpassed supply.Median home prices in the area rose 12 percent last month from November 2013, according to the latest report on local home sales. It was the second-largest annual price increase this year.The tight supply of homes on the market is limiting sales, property agents say.Annual home price gains are running more than twice the average rate of increase in this market.We are going to continue to see aggressive price increases, said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center. You do run the risk of having artificially high prices.But we arent there yet.The strong local economy is driving a high demand for homes at a time when fewer properties are available for purchase.
-Dallas Morning News, December 14, 2014
December
17

The Lone Star State is the most economically free state in the nation, according to a new report released by the Fraser Institute. The ranking took into account the size of government, taxes, red tape, and labor market freedom. The study said, "When the government taxes one person in order to give money to another, it separates individuals from the full benefits of their labor and reduces the real returns of such activity. These transfers represent the removal of property without providing a compensating benefit and are, thus, an infringement on economic freedom." Following Texas was South Dakota, North Dakota, Virginia, and New Hampshire. "The link between economic freedom and prosperity is clear - states that support low taxation, limited government and flexible labor markets see greater economic growth while states with lower levels of economic freedom see lower living standards and less economic opportunity," study co-author Fred McMahon reportedly said. Texas' economic freedom has allowed every industry in the state to expand. Many, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, claim that this growth was bolstered by the state's low taxes and reliable regulation.

-Brietbart.com, December 14, 2014

December
18

Fort Worth came in as the top big city in the nation for population growth between 2000 and 2013, boasting a 42.34 percent increase. On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a ranking of the fastest-growing cities in the country, putting Cowtown at the top of the list. It dwarfed Austin, which came in third, by nearly 15 percent, and had more than double the gain of San Antonio, which came in fourth. Dallas was also left in the dust by its neighboring city, taking 24th with 2.83 percent. Still, it shows the mass migration to Texas and North Texas specifically. When looking at why DFW is bringing in thousands of new residents every year, the refrain remains the same from several sources: jobs, jobs, jobs.
-Dallas Business Journal, December 4, 2014
December
11

In 1994, Plano ISD was 91% white and Coppell was 89% white. What a difference twenty years make. Today, PlanoISD is 39% white and Coppell ISD is 45% white. The multi-cultural growth in North Texas is unprecedented, and approximately 83 percent of people moving to the DFW area today are non-white. Jobs and the quality of life style bring people, and the DFW area has been a haven for almost all groups of immigrants. Asians (including Indians) settle almost exclusively in the suburbs. As Blacks have prospered, they have left the city of Dallas for the suburbs the new term is Black Flight, not that different from the White Flight of years ago. And the exploding growth of Hispanics has had huge gains in the suburbs, as well as the city of Dallas.

2014 Demographics - Suburban School Districts

School District

White

Asian

Hispanic

Black

Carrollton -FB ISD

18

21

52

15

Coppell ISD

45

36

13

4

Frisco ISD

53

18

14

11

Garland ISD

22

8

50

17

Grapevine ISD

63

12

21

4

Irving ISD

9

4

72

12

Lewisville ISD

47

12

28

9

Little Elm ISD

43

6

36

15

Plano ISD

39

23

23

11

Prosper ISD

71

4

15

9

Richardson ISD

28

7

39

22

December
10

Gas dropped below $2 a gallon at a handful of stations in Oklahoma and Texas this past week, a level that a price-watching group said Friday was the lowest in the nation and a bargain thats proved irresistible to some long lines of drivers coming from miles away to fill up. A station in Oklahoma City started the trend earlier this week at a new location as a way to thank residents who put up with construction. Two nearby stations followed suit, becoming what Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com said early Friday were the only ones in the United States with sub-$2 gas. A San Antonio station also later dropped its price. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas was $2.71 Friday, nearly $1 below this years peak of $3.70 in June. In Dallas, the average price for regular unleaded was $2.43 Friday, down more than 70 cents from last year, according to AAA. Gas hasnt been this cheap since October 2010. The decline has been driven by falling global oil prices as supplies are high. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 68 cents to $66.11 a barrel in New York on Friday, after hitting $107 in June.

-Dallas Morning News, December 5, 2014
December
9

Dallas-Fort Worth area home prices increased 9.1. percent in October year-over-year, outpacing the national average, according to the latest CoreLogic report released Tuesday. Overall, the country's home prices have been slowing down in the past few months and has only grown at moderate levels, according to economists. "Home price growth is moderating as we head into the late fall and is currently running at half the pace it was in the spring of 2014," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at Corelogic, in a statement. "However, there are still pockets of strength, especially in several Texas markets, especially Dallas and Houston and other markets with strong economic fundamentals." Based on CoreLogic projections, economists expect home prices to continue to rise, with home prices in over half of the United States to reach or surpass levels seen at the height of the housing bubble sometime in mid-2015.
-Dallas Morning News, December 2, 2014
December
8

Hiring blew out the consensus forecast from economists surveyed by CNNMoney, who expected a gain of 228,000 jobs. "The number is almost off the charts, given what we've seen over the past 10 years," said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at accounting firm CohnReznick, who does not feel it's an anomaly. "Companies are making up for hiring that was deferred earlier in the cycle." The U.S. economy has been gaining an average of 224,000 jobs a month over the past year. Any month with job gains over 200,000 is considered strong. However, wages still aren't growing:Wage growth still remains muted, likely because employers still have their pick of job seekers, especially as discouraged workers start sending out resumes again. So companies haven't felt compelled to offer higher salaries. That's changing, though, said O'Keefe, who expects earnings growth to pick up soon.
-CNN Money, December 5, 2014
December
4

Prosper got its start as a railway whistle-stop is on the verge of a building boom that will forever change the once rural community. Homebuilders are plowing up thousands of acres of former farmland to create housing to serve growing employment centers to the south in Frisco and West Plano. And on the south edge of Prosper along U.S. Highway 380, surveyors are laying out sites for new shopping centers, office buildings and medical complexes.
Its been a whirlwind summer, said Robert Winningham, who heads the Prosper Economic Development Corp. We have 15,000 residents and are getting ready to double to 30,000. We will hit close to 500 new homes this year, Winningham said.
With Friscos neighborhoods quickly filling up with new homeowners, Prosper is next in line to benefit from North Texas need for more housing. Its already the second-fastest-growing community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to recent census reports. The town couldnt be in a better location, straddling Preston Road and the route of the Dallas North Tollway. Prosper stretches about 9 miles east to west and 3 miles north from U.S. 380 to the Celina city limits. Were like a big net catching everything that comes up from Frisco, said Winningham, who came to Prosper about two years ago after a stint as Allens top economic officer. As Frisco fills up along the tollway, that leaves us next.
Two major residential projects in the works in Prosper will eventually add more than 15,000 residents. The 2,000-acre Windsong Ranch community on the west side of Prosper opened this summer and has seen sales of dozens of new houses. The development by Terra Verde Group will eventually have about 3,000 homes.
-Dallas Morning News, November 21, 2014
December
3

Get ready for 2015! I expect the appreciation to stay in the high single digits, said David brown in the Dallas office of housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. Our forecast is for homes to appreciate in the 7 percent to 8 percent range in 2015. This is still about double the long-term average rate of increase. It is also about double what is expected around the country.
-Dallas Morning News, November 26, 2014
December
2

Prices of preowned homes in the Dallas area were up 7.4 percent in the latest Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. The gain in September from a year ago was the fourth highest in the country significantly ahead of the 4.9 percent nationwide increase. Home price increases nationwide have slowed in recent months, but in the Dallas area, the year-over-year price increases have remained steady. Charlotte, North Carolina and Dallas continue to have price increases considerably above the national average. Dallas-area home prices are now 12 percent higher than they were before the recession and at record level in the Case-Shiller index.
-Dallas Morning News, November 26, 2014
October
3

Is there life after Uptown for real estate developers? For the last decade, the district north of downtown has been the hottest development market in Dallas. But with prime land prices soaring past $200 per square foot and fewer empty lots to build on, commercial property companies are looking at nearby neighborhoods.

West Dallas, the Design District, the Farmers Market, South Side and near East Dallas are now at the top of apartment builders shopping lists. It is getting very difficult to justify dirt cost in Uptown, if you can even find a site, said Ryan Miller of apartment builder Wood Partners. With higher dirt prices, escalating construction costs and concern for rents capping out, it makes Uptown more and more risky. We have been targeting alternative submarkets that are just as close to jobs and nightlife with dirt at a lower basis, which means we can keep our rents in check, Miller said.

Wood Partners has rental communities under construction at the Farmers Market, in West Dallas and in the Medical District on Maple Avenue. Most of these are neighborhoods that developers wouldnt have crossed the street to look at a decade ago. Weve done an incredible job in Dallas of pushing successful development into unproven areas, said Greg Willett, vice president of Carrollton-based apartment consultant MPF Research. Weve done it with the Knox-Henderson area and the Design District. And Im optimistic about the development thats going to these other areas, including West Dallas and the Farmers Market area, Willett said. With average apartment rents for new units now running $1,800 a month in Uptown and downtown, Willett said its important for developers to offer locations with slightly lower prices. If there is any concern about how much we are building, its how expensive it is and if we are going to run out of people who can afford the rents, he said.

In the suburbs, retail and restaurants usually follow new rooftops. But in booming West Dallas and north Oak Cliff neighborhoods, new housing is following successful restaurants and shops that have made residents comfortable with the areas. Sometimes the customer doesnt know they want to be there because the product hasnt been there before you have to give them the product, said Dallas developer Michael Ablon, whos played an important role in turning the Design District into a popular restaurant and apartment address.

Ablon said many potential renters are being priced out of Uptown. They only product you can build in Uptown is the upper echelon you can only do apartments at the premium price point, he said. But low land costs alone cant be the basis for new urban neighborhoods, Ablon said. In some of these other areas, I have a hard time knowing who really wants to be there, he said. Longtime Dallas real estate broker Newt Walker said Uptown is still ground zero for urban development in Dallas. If you build it in Uptown, they will come, said Walker. A lot of developers are crossing the Trinity River, but its still somewhat uncharted waters. The question is, whats the depth of the market there?

Apartment builders are betting that proximity to the central business district and postcard skyline views will bring young, professional apartment renters to nearby neighborhoods. People are excited again by the inner city and want a more urban lifestyle, said Doug Chesnut, one of the founders of Dallas-based development firm StreetLights Residential. We are running out of land affordable or unaffordable in Uptown, so we must continue to expand our geographic footprint.

StreetLights, which has built an Uptown apartment tower and has a second under construction, has contracted to purchase a former industrial site on Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas where it plans hundreds of new apartments and homes. The Calatrava bridge and Trinity Groves opened a new gateway to the west, just as other gateways are opening to new areas east and south of the central business district, Chesnut said. People are moving to North Texas, whether we like it or not, and we need to provide housing and amenities for those people.

- Dallas Morning News, September 19, 2014

October
2

Texas works for business. What about for consumers?

The state, so proud of its light regulatory touch, has the highest mortgage closing costs in the nation. We pay $500 more than the U.S. average for a $200,000 home loan, according to a Bankrate.com survey last month. The survey didnt include title insurance, one of the largest expenses in the process. Texas also ranks near the top in that category, and heres a twist: Because state regulators set title rates, online upstarts cant push down prices as theyre doing in other states.

In North Carolina, borrowers can pay $900 less for title expenses, according to Entitle Direct, a discounter. In New York and Minnesota, the savings top $800. Even in high-priced, highly regulated California, title costs are $300 lower than in Texas.

The upshot is that even the savviest shoppers must pony up for a home loan here, just as they pay high rates for homeowners and auto insurance. The common thread through all this is that our regulatory schemes protect the industry, said Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, a consumer advocate in Austin. We wish it empowered consumers instead.

Winslow often focuses on homeowners insurance, because premiums keep climbing and Texas ranks among the most expensive. When he recently bought a house, he gave up comparing the closing costs. There was so much conflicting information that it was almost impossible to shop, he said. If an insurance expert is stumped, imagine the challenge for everybody else. Most rarely buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage, so they face a learning curve. While they should concentrate on getting the lowest interest rate, fees are worth some work, too.

Mortgage fees

Closing costs on a $200,000 loan in Texas usually top $5,000, including title insurance. (Prepaid taxes and homeowners insurance are extra.) While out-of-pocket costs can be reduced with a higher interest rate, that merely shifts the expense. Beyond the title, most costs can be negotiated between lender and borrower. On a new home, sellers often pay some expenses, too.

For many years, Texas has ranked among the leaders in closing costs, said Holden Lewis, senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com. The company surveys 10 lenders in each states largest city and compiles data from their good faith estimates. The survey uses a hypothetical borrower with excellent credit (a 740 FICO score). Texas high title costs explained some of the past high rankings. Then two years ago, Bankrate started excluding title in the annual surveys because the price was too difficult to nail down, Lewis said. Yet Texas still led the nation this year. Origination fees to lenders and brokers were the biggest costs, followed by fees for closing and document prep.

Such expenses are estimated when applying for a loan and even when shopping for mortgage rates online.

So why do Texans pay more? Ive always been mystified by it, said Lewis, who grew up in Fort Worth and has been with Florida-based Bankrate.com for 15 years. Its all about what the market will bear. He speculated that state rules may contribute to the higher costs or that loan closers are providing more hands-on service. A local lender suggested that title claims may be higher here.

Title companies

With homeowners insurance, providers in Texas always cite costly damage from hail and tropical winds. But title companies pay out a tiny share of premiums to cover their claims. In 2012, Texas title companies collected $1.4 billion in premiums and reported losses of just $17 million, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. Thats a loss ratio of 1.2 percent. Title companies nationwide paid about 6.6 percent of premiums for losses last year, said Demotech, an insurance rating company. The title industry says it spends most of its money on preventing claims, rather than paying them off later, unlike most insurance products.

But there seems to be room for low-cost disrupters. Entitle Direct offers title policies for one-third lower than traditional brick-and-mortar shops, said founder Tim Dwyer. Were in Texas, but we cant compete on price, Dwyer said, because title rates are the same for everyone.

He wants to be established here when Texas changes the rules and allows discounting, as other states have done. Even then, the onus will be on borrowers to track the various costs and make apples-to-apples comparisons.

Some changes in loan disclosures may help, starting next summer. On the new closing costs page, the reports will break down expenses by those you can shop for and those you cannot. Appraisal fees and credit reports are locked in, while pet inspection fees and surveys are negotiable. According to the new docs, title expenses can be shopped, too. That may be good advice in the rest of the country. But in Texas, theres less to be gained.

Follow Mitchell Schnurman on Twitter at @mitchschnurman.

- Dallas Morning News, September 23, 2014

October
1

According to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 45 percent of buyers used open houses as a key part of the home search. If they do manage to connect with a real estate agent in this process, then you lose out if you ignore this segment of the home market. Also, those in the neighborhood who are considering selling will likely come to your open house to check out the competition. Unfortunately many agents do not know how to hold an effective open house designed for conversion, so many open houses turn into lost opportunities. When hosted properly, open houses are an effective way to promote your sellers listings while generating new business opportunities for yourself.

- RIS Media, September 19, 2014

September
30

Developers are making a $15B bet that as North Texas grows, so will the demand and prices for giant, ready-made communities As more millennials take to the workforce in Dallas-Fort Worth, and around the country, why are developers continuing to furiously build northward in the region? After all, millennials want to live in urban neighborhoods and delay the homebuying decision, right? Not necessarily. As more people move to North Texas to fill the growing amount of jobs (more than 120,000 in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) there's a high demand for either apartments or homes in the 'burbs, sources say. Typically, residential developers expect to build a new home for every two new jobs generated. In North Texas, thats more than 60,000 new homes per year. But less than half of them are under construction. The housing market is tight because of the number of corporate relocations and expansions fueling development throughout the region. That's especially true in the region's northern reaches where schools have the good ratings said Fred Balda, president of Dallas Hillwood Communities, which kicked off the $600 million Union Park master-planned community on Wednesday. Because there aren't enough homes to go around, people are being forced to rent apartments or delay their home purchases, and that means demand for homes wont go away any time soon, Balda said. Theres going to be good, sustained housing demand in North Texas, he said.

- Dallas Business Journal, September 12, 2014

September
29

Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked as one of the best markets in the country to sell a house, according to a new study. Zillow Inc. said the D-FW area is the fourth best place in the country for home sellers. Sellers in the Bay Area, Seattle and Dallas have the most negotiating power, with final sale prices largely at or above asking, Zillows report says. Zillow said that overall home prices in D-FW were up 5.8 percent in August from a year ago and there were about 5 percent fewer houses on the market. U.S. home values will continue to rise during the year ahead, but at a slower rate than last year, according to Zillow. D-FW home prices are forecast to increase by about 4 percent in the next 12 months.

- Dallas Morning News, September 19, 2014

September
28

Two planned developments will bring hundreds of apartments and homes to West Dallas. Developer StreetLights Residential and Stonelake Capital Partners are planning apartments, retail and homes on a 25-acre industrial property west of downtown Dallas. The tract is on Singleton Boulevard just west of Sylvan Avenue. The project is one of the largest planned in West Dallas an area thats seeing increasing redevelopment. StreetLights Residential and its partner intend to turn the former Austin Industries complex at 1000 Singleton into a community called Trinity Village. The first phase will include about 300 apartments in four-story buildings. A park and owner-occupied homes are also proposed for the development, which is located between Singleton and Duluth Street. We are excited to invest in this dynamic neighborhood, said Streetlights CEO Doug Chesnut. Chesnut said that his firm hopes to deliver the first apartments in mid-2016. Trinity Village is just west of the popular Trinity Groves restaurant complex and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Its the latest in a string of high-profile mixed-use developments in the works for that area.

- Dallas Morning News, September 15, 2014

September
27

With construction winding down on the Sylvan Thirty mixed-use project in West Dallas, developers are about to start a second apartment community next door. Wood Partners will build its Alta Yorktown project on the east side of Sylvan Thirty between Yorktown Street and Interstate 30. The rental community is planned to contain 226 apartments in three four-story buildings. The project will have different architecture from the apartments Wood Partners is building a few blocks away on West Commerce Street. We decided to go with a different look than our Commerce project, Wood Partners Ryan Miller said. The Alta Yorktown project is the latest development thats transforming the area west of downtown Dallas. Sylvan Thirty, which formally opened last month, contains more than 200 apartments and almost 50,000 square feet of retail space. Wood Partners built the apartments in the complex. Trammell Crow Residential is planning to build more than 300 apartments and retail space on a nearby block at Fort Worth Avenue and West Commerce. And Wood Partners Alta West Commerce apartments will have 252 units.

- Dallas Morning News, September 16, 2014

September
26

Columbus Realty Partners is teaming up with Trinity Groves developers to build the urban-style rental community at Singleton Boulevard and Amonette Street, just a block from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Construction will start in the first quarter. Designs for the mixed-use project were unveiled at Fridays annual West Dallas Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Trinity Groves. The 5-story project is planned to have 349 apartments plus 33,500-square-feet of retail space. It will be built on parking lots directly south of the Trinity Groves restaurant building. Its one of a handful of new rental communities in the works for the West Dallas area. Were really excited about it and think the project will be good for the neighborhood, said Trinity Groves partner Butch McGregor.

- Dallas Business Journal, September 14, 2014

September
25

PSW Homes Comes to West Dallas

Austin-based PSW Homes is planning to build a 60-home residential community just north of the Belmont Hotel near Sylvan Avenue. The neighborhood of small houses is planned for a 5-acre site at Seale Street and Willomet Avenue. PSWs Adam Stetson said the homes planned on the property will be priced at less than $300,000 and will range in size from 1,700 to 1,800 square feet. The site has great views of downtown Dallas, said Stetson, who presented plans for the project at last weeks meeting of the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce. PSW is still working on conceptual plans for the subdivision and has to obtain zoning for the property. The West Dallas project is just one of a handful of such neighborhoods PSW Homes has going in the Dallas area. The builders other communities are in north Oak Cliff, North Dallas and near White Rock Lake in northeast Dallas. The houses use low-maintenance exterior materials and energy-efficient operating systems. All of them come with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.

- Dallas Morning News, September 15, 2014

May
8

Crews in Flower Mound are well on their way to create a massive $16 million development anchored by a body of water that doesn't exist yet. They are currently working to divert water from three surrounding ponds to form the modest river. The goal is to create a "river walk." Its very difficult. It takes some trenching, some building of some wells, in order to infiltrate restoring and retaining the water in that particular location, explained Alvin Jackson with Centurion American, the lead developer on the project. Flower Mound voters approved the multi-million dollar project through the creation of a Public Improvement District back in November. The creation of a PID allows the developer to levy assessments on the river walk property, and revenue generated would go to future economic development. The hope is that a water feature will attract business. The mixed-use development will include restaurants, shops and housing along the waterway. It's a massive, ambitious project happening all at once. Jackson predicts the water feature will be complete by October. They plan to release a list of stores and restaurants by mid-summer.

- WFAA, April 10, 2014

May
8

With demand for new homes surging in Collin County, developer Huffines Communities is rushing to start work on a 1,400-home residential community. The almost 600-acre Inspiration development is under construction at the east end of Parker Road. Construction has begun on the shores of Lake Lavon with the first 206 houses. Builders include Highland Homes, K. Hovnanian, Meritage, CastleRock, and Shaddock, and the average price will be $375,000. Inspiration will have a community center with a pool and an outdoor pavilion.

- Dallas Morning News, May 3, 2014

May
8

Developers in Frisco have begun construction of an urban-style mixed-use village that will have almost 2,000 homes. The $500 million Canals at Grand Park development on Legacy Drive will have a variety of apartments, houses, townhomes and senior townhouses built around landscaped parks and waterways. Dallas-based Charter Holdings and Arcadia Realty Corp. are the developers of the land, which is west of Dallas North Tollway and near Friscos Main Street. Work has begun on the 152-acre project at Legacy and Cotton Gin Road. The first homes should be ready next year. We wanted this community to be developed with new urbanism, so it doesnt look like a traditional suburban subdivision, said Charter Holdings CEO Ray Washburne said Monday. Since it is all coming up at once, it will be incredible. Our whole project will be in three phases, said StreetLights CEO Doug Chesnut. We will have the first phase finished late next year. The units in the buildings will have walk-up front doors and front porches, he said. This is an old way of thinking that we forgot. The single-family home neighborhoods will also be built with houses that front on tree-lined streets and face the almost dozen small parks and greenspaces. Builders including CB Jeni Homes, Darling Homes, Cambridge Homes, Normandy Homes and Drees Homes have bought the home sites, Gietema said. It will be the late fourth quarter when we deliver the first building lots, he said.

- Dallas Morning News, May 5, 2014