Date Archives: February 2022

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February
27

Just as expected once the Omicron variant had peaked there would be a rapid drop in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis across the United States.    The peak date was Sunday, January 16th, and just 15 days later the number of people testing positive daily has decreased by half.

  • 890,000 daily – Sunday, January 16th
  • 690,000 daily – Sunday, January 23rd
  • 523,000 daily – Sunday, January 30th
  • 397,000 daily – Sunday, February 6th
  • 223,000 daily – Sunday, February 13th
  • 102,000 daily – Sunday, February 20th  

  • New York Times, February 20, 2022
February
26

U.S. home sales unexpectedly increased in January, but investors paying in cash are squeezing out first-time buyers from the housing market amid record low inventory and higher prices.  Existing home sales surged 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.50 million units last month. Sales rose in all four regions, with strong gains in the Midwest, the most affordable region. Sales jumped 9.3% in the densely populated South, which is experiencing an influx of residents from other regions as companies embrace remote work.

First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales last month, compared to 33% a year ago. Rising mortgage rates could make home buying even less affordable for this group.  Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, bought 22% of homes, up from 15% a year ago. Investors are renovating, and either reselling or renting the homes to take advantage of the hot housing market. All-cash sales made up 27% of transactions compared to 19% last January.

  • Reuters News, February 18, 2022
February
25

First gas, then heating and now rents. Runaway inflation is driving rents skywards across America, delivering an average of a 20 percent increase in the U.S.'s biggest 50 cities over the past 12 months, a study details.  The rent spike has stung wallets nowhere more than in the Miami metro area, where the median rent surged to an eyewatering $2,850, 49.8 percent higher than the previous year.  Other cities across Florida — Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville — and the Sun Belt destinations of Texas and Tennessee, all saw spikes of more than 25 percent in some cities during that time period. Rising rents and high inflation are moving hand-in-hand to become one of the nation's top economic problems.  Economists worry about the impact of rent increases on inflation because the big jumps in new leases feed into the U.S. consumer price index, which is used to measure inflation.

  • Breitbart, February 21, 2022
February
24

Go further North young family, go further North!  The building permit decline didn't occur across the board.   January building permits jumped 87% in Anna.  Permits in Melissa also rose, from 59 in January 2021 to 89 in January of this year, which is a 51% increase.  Denton new home permits jumped 171%, from 77 in January 2021 to 209 in January 2022.  Sherman rose 69%, from 32 in January 2021 to 54 in January 2022.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2022
February
23

Building permits fell sharply in January in Celina, Frisco, Prosper and Little Elm — some of the hottest markets in North Texas and the nation for new home construction last year.  Celina, the top residential construction market in North Texas last year, dropped 51% in the number of homebuilding permits issued in January compared to the same month last year.  Frisco's building permits fell 48% year over year in January.   Prosper dropped 44% in homebuilding permits issued in January.  The January permit plunge was similar in Little Elm which fell 56%. Homebuilding permits also fell in McKinney, which posted a 22% year-over-year decline in January.

The downturn in some of North Texas' hottest homebuilding markets isn't a sign of diminished demand as much as it is a reflection of higher construction costs. The costs of construction nationwide are the highest seen in 50 years with contractors and homebuilders feeling the effects.    Homebuilding costs jumped by 17.5% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, the largest spike in this data from year to year since 1970, recent data from the U.S. Census shows.  Homebuilders in North Texas last year were hit by an unprecedented swell of housing demand that prompted the industry to boost its production pace, said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc.  But a shortage of labor and materials has driven up costs and stretched out average building timelines, according to Residential Strategies' most recent quarterly market update.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2022
February
22

Homebuyers looking to move to Dallas from other regions last year, especially from California and the west coast, were willing to pay 10.6% more than locals, new research finds.  People looking to move to Dallas are willing to pay an average maximum budget of $701,760, while locals are willing to pay up to an average of $634,465, according to a recent report from Redfin.   The company compiled the average maximum list price filters for homes in the saved home searches of its users. The analysis includes cities with at least 3,000 home searchers from inside the metro and 3,000 from outside the metro last year.

North Texas suburbs Plano and Frisco are prime examples of out of state transfreees willing to pay more.  Plano's average maximum for migrants was $695,729 and the average maximum was locals was $646,383 for a difference of 7.6% more. Frisco had an average maximum for migrants of $784,688 and the average maximum for locals was $802,154 for a difference of 2.2% less.

States without income taxes such as Texas and Tennessee are seeing many transplants from California who see that as a deal, said Redfin.   "People moving from the West Coast will pay way over asking price without batting an eye," Geyer said. "It's really hard for locals to compete right now, and it can be devastating for first-time buyers who aren't able to offset high prices by selling a home before they buy a new one."   The number one out of state buyer into Dallas-Fort Worth is from the Los Angeles suburbs.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2022
February
21

Vertical Garden Tips

Limited on yard space? Consider building your garden "up" instead of "out" this spring.

Vertical gardens are a beautiful touch to any home, and they're very much in style this year. Vertical gardens consist of greenery suspended to a vertical wall, frame, or panel. Think of an ivy wall but with a wide assortment of plants. There are also super easy to build and maintain and can give your exterior a unique appeal. Some of our favorite Dallas homes for sale have had well-maintained vertical gardens that really impressed buyers.

Our real estate agents love exterior design trends that include vertical gardens, so they offered to pull together some tips to help you with yours this spring:

  1. Choose The Right Location
    Location is everything when it comes to a vertical garden. You'll want to choose a wall that is not only accessible but also receives a significant amount of sunlight. If you have a wall that could use a makeover, a vertical garden could also be a good way to conceal blemishes.
     
  2. Create A Sturdy Frame
    Your vertical garden needs to consist of a strong frame that can support pots, planters, or other soil containers. However, your garden is only as durable as the frame you select. Use thick, strong wood or even PVC pipe. Flimsy, thin pieces of wood or loose wire can lead to chaos when strong winds or storms roll in. Your structure also needs to be strong enough to support the weight of your plants.

  3. Protect Your Wall And Foundation
    Your vertical garden is going to need to be watered frequently, so it's important to take the necessary steps to protect your outer wall. Attaching a protective backing layer allows you to protect your building from any damage caused by ongoing water exposure. Also, consider adding a pooling tray to the bottom of your vertical garden. This will prevent water from pooling near the foundation of your home.

  4. Choose The Right Plants
    Not all plants are suited for a vertical garden. Since you're building up, you'll be limited on soil depth. Consequently, you'll need to choose plants with shallow roots. Aim for plants with roots that don't exceed 6 inches beneath the surface. Leafy vegetables and most popular flowers will work well.

  5. Give Your Plants Support
    Many plants don't grow vertically on their own, so they'll need a bit of extra support. Use fasteners, clips, and stakes to help keep your plants growing upward. This will be critical to keeping your plants healthy and your garden looking good.

  6. Choose The Right Watering System
    Watering a vertical garden can be a bit difficult, as gravity pulls water to the ground before it has a chance to soak into the roots. Consequently, you may need to water your vertical garden more frequently. Using a hose or a sprinkler system will work; however, a drip irrigation system will help evenly distribute water across the soil and provide the water a better chance of soaking into the soil.

  7. Prune Often
    Like any garden, your plants are going to need regular maintenance and upkeep. Vertical gardens often don't receive the same amount of sunlight as a horizontal garden, so it's important to keep adequate space between your plants and prune and trim regularly.

If you're looking to make your home stand out among these beautiful Fort Worth homes for sale, a vertical garden is a great addition to your exterior. For more landscaping tips, contact us today.

February
14

Dallas-Fort Worth

When it comes to long-distance travel, airplanes have replaced trains in convenience and popularity. Fortunately, many of the former train routes have been repurposed as these great hiking and biking rail trails around the DFW, and our real estate agents love to explore them. Take in the beautiful Texas scenery when you plan a hike on these Dallas-Fort Worth rail trails.

  • Katy Trail
    While the Katy Trail spans just 3.5 miles near Dallas homes for sale, its beauty and proximity draws more than 1.5 million visits each year. Established in 2000, the trail traces the line once used by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, commonly referred to as the K-T. More than 125 acres of local parks can be accessed using the pet-friendly trail, which is also the site of an annual 5K race. The Katy Trail Art initiative recently completed its first installation, a series of five sculptures suspended from trees. Hours are 5 a.m. - midnight daily.

  • Santa Fe Trail
    Echoes of the Wild West past of Texas can be heard in the name of the Santa Fe Trail. The 4.3-mile route uses a corridor once belonging to the railroad of the same name. Bring Fido along to catch waterfront views of White Rock Lake at one end, with the vibrant neighborhoods of Deep Ellum and Fair Park at the other end. The Santa Fe also makes up part of the route for the Dallas Marathon, regarded as one of the top long-distance races in the country. Friends of Santa Fe Trail is a non-profit group that supports the trail through fundraising, enhancements, and maintenance. 

  • Chaparral Rail Trail
    History is embedded in the 35-mile span of the Chaparral Rail Trail. Starting in the quaintly-named town of Farmersville, the trailhead is named for Audie Murphy, the iconic WWII hero who once made his home here. Nearby is the Historic Onion Shed, a restored building dating back to the 1930s. The path is a mix of pavement and gravel, and the trail is a favorite spot for geocaching. Outside the city, there are many stretches of undeveloped land, creating a lovely background that makes this trail a favorite. 

  • A-train Rail Trail
    In a twist on rail trails, rails-with-trails are active railroad corridors with adjacent paths for hiking and biking. The 19-mile A-train Rail Trail connects the Dallas suburbs of Denton and Lewisville with a commuter line as well as a multipurpose path for non-motorized travel. Spend a day with the family hiking the trail and visiting Lewisville's Railroad Park, which includes three man-made lakes, an off-leash dog park, and outdoor fitness equipment.

When you live in the DFW, every day can be an adventure. Thinking about moving to the area and starting your own new adventure? If you're looking at Fort Worth homes for sale, contact us at RE/MAX DFW Associates for friendly and knowledgeable help.

February
11

After a year of record-breaking construction, North Texas homebuilders are starting 2022 with a backlog of sales and not enough supply.  Dallas-Fort Worth builders sold almost 46,000 single-family homes in 2021.  Even though local builders started more homes than in any market in the country, they can't keep up with demand for new housing units in North Texas.  Don't look for the supply-demand imbalance to end this year, housing analysts warn.  "2021 turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years in D-FW housing history," said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. "Builders were enveloped by an unprecedented swell of housing demand that prompted the industry to rev up its production pace.  "Unfortunately, as builders rushed to sell houses to the wave of buyers, the resulting surge in starts was quickly met by the reality that there were limitations to the North Texas construction capacity."  A lack of labor, materials shortages and other constraints have driven up costs and stretched out average building timelines, Wilson said Thursday in his firm's quarterly market update.  Unlike in previous housing cycles, North Texas builders can't meet the appetite of consumers.  "There appears to be ample demand to sell houses at healthy margins but the reality is that no one is able to get houses constructed and completed as quickly as they would like," Wilson said.  North Texas housing demand is being driven by a combination of demographics and relocations to the state.  D-FW led the country in single family new home starts last year.

 

Phil Crone, executive director of the Dallas Builders Association, said most of the area's builders are focused on overcoming the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic-impacted industry.  And with the prospect of both higher mortgage rates and construction costs this year, affordability issues will continue to plague D-FW builders.    "We can't just have a market where only Californians can afford it."

  • Dallas Morning News, February 11, 2022

Inflation Concerns Are Sweeping the Nation

February
10

The U.S. housing market shifted into overdrive during the pandemic, with more than 6 million homes selling in 2021 despite skyrocketing prices in many cities.    The median selling price for a home in November, $416,900, was nearly 25% more than it was in February 2020.   In the early weeks of 2022, there's no sign that cutthroat bidding and rising prices won't continue. The total inventory of homes on the market dipped below 300,000 nationwide in early January — less than half of the inventory available before the pandemic.   "It's uniquely challenging for first-time buyers, since they're not benefitting from the increase in home prices," said Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale, who predicts more record-high home prices this year. "We don't have prices decreasing in any area of our housing forecast, calling into attention that many of these issues are nationwide." 

  • Bloomberg, February 6, 2022
February
9

Homebuyers got crushed last year as home prices soared at their highest clip on record. Housing economists saw that price growth—which peaked at a year-over-year rate of 20% last year—as simply unsustainable. Their economic models agreed: Among the seven forecast models reviewed by Fortune heading into 2022, every single one predicted home price growth would slow significantly this year.

But over the past few weeks, that consensus is no longer so unified. Now, more industry insiders are throwing out their previous forecasts and replacing them with more bullish short-term outlooks. Indeed, some experts say the 2022 spring housing market might go down as one of the most competitive on record.

Look no further than Zillow. Back in December, the home listing site predicted that U.S. home values would climb 11% this year. Economists at Zillow now say that forecast is too conservative. Their latest forecast finds home prices are set to spike 16.4% between December 2021 and December 2022. If it comes to fruition, it would mark another brutal year for home shoppers.

  • Fortune, February 7, 2022
February
8

When North Texas homes hit the market, they're getting plenty of attention from potential buyers. The number of showings per home listing is among the highest in the nation.  That's according to the latest data from ShowingTime, a home-showing management and market stats firm.   But the bigger news is the declining available inventory.  As of this past weekend according to a broker report there were only 610 active listings in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, down from over 13,000 active listings at the same time period some five years ago.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 7, 2022
February
7

DFW Cooking Classes

If you feel like you've done it all, our real estate agents have a new date night suggestion for you: Cooking classes!

Cooking classes are both fun and functional. You'll learn to create wholesome, satisfying meals that can save you plenty of money. At the same time, you'll share a unique experience that might just give you a new favorite thing to do together. Maybe your next date includes cooking the dinner of your dreams!

No matter whether you're looking at Dallas homes for sale or down the road at Fort Worth homes for sale, there are plenty of cooking classes to browse. Virtual or in-person options are both available, so you can choose to have date night in the comfort of your own kitchen if you prefer.

Here's a taste of some of the leading local brands for local cooking classes:

  • The Village Culinary Lab – 6130 Greenville Avenue Suite #102, Dallas, TX 75206
    The Village Culinary Lab is one of the first and most beloved places for cooking classes in Dallas. It always has a range of classes for both beginner and intermediate chefs, including seasonal events such as "Holly Jolly Cooking." The roster of classes changes every three months, so there is always something new to try.

  • Dallas Chocolate Classes – 1626 Banbury Lane, Carrollton, TX 75006
    Dallas Chocolate Classes gives you a whole new way to appreciate one of the most popular candy and dessert foods in the world. Private couples classes are available both online and in-person, and you have the opportunity to learn chocolate and dessert-making by exploring classic European recipes. All this and more can be found near Carrollton homes for sale.

  • The Cookery – 710 South Main Street #130, Fort Worth, TX 76104
    Billing itself as "cooking classes meet dinner party," The Cookery features both public classes and private events that can be customized to suit your interests. "Can't-miss" classes include how to host a cocktail party, the secret to perfect homemade pasta, and the "Elegant Dinner Party" evening where students learn a bevy of rich and comforting dishes. Locations in both Houston and Dallas are coming soon!

  • Cooking the Details – 1414 South Broadway Street #3107, Carrollton, TX 75006
    Cooking the Details is headed by chef and NASM Certified Nutrition Coach Dazore, a local success story who took a chance on her dream of a cooking business in May 2019. She believes the difference between good and great food is "all in the details," and you'll learn your favorite foodstuffs inside and out as you opt for one-hour or 2.5-hour themed cooking classes.

  • The Table Market – 120 St. Louis Avenue, Suite 103B, Fort Worth, TX 76104
    The Table Market makes the most of its core values of "Fitness, Farmers, and Fort Worth" by offering cooking classes at all levels and a full commercial kitchen for entrepreneurs to use. There's a monthly cookbook club and a variety of workshops that will make your meals even better, from tablescape to food photography. Classes have an international flair, with offerings like "Dumpling Party" and "Indian Curry Feast" topping the list.

Contact us to learn more about real estate in Dallas-Fort Worth.

February
6

Rates are rising, inventory remains historically low and prices are sky high. Is a buyer's market on the horizon? Even as forecasters predict an uptick in homes hitting the market early this year, the most homes under construction since before the Great Recession, and more buyers to be priced out due to already high prices and rising mortgage rates, economists told Inman they don't foresee a return to what has traditionally been known as a buyer's market any time soon.  Sellers remain in the driver's seat, and economists told Inman the country still has a long way to go to settle into potentially new ways of thinking about just what is a normal housing market in the modern age.  So while December 2021 saw more new homes hit the market than at any other time, the country is working its way through a supply backlog that is helping to keep sellers in control.  If you look at demographics, you can say that the current level of construction is pretty close to normal. But what that doesn't tell you is how much behind that total supply is.   "It's still going to take a really, really long time to make up for the last 15 years of a lack of supply coming in," said Nicole Bachaud, economist for Zillow.

  • Inman News, February 1, 2022
February
5

Image by: Flo Pappert.

One in five homes resold by iBuyers Zillow, Opendoor and Offerpad in 2021 ended up being flipped to institutional investors and other private entities, "a secret pipeline" with the potential to exacerbate inventory shortages in markets where iBuyers are active, according to a Bloomberg analysis.  Bloomberg's analysis of 100,000 property records compiled by Attom Data Solutions found that iBuyers were 60 percent more likely to flip homes to investors in predominantly non-white areas, with thousands of homes sold to landlords backed by KKR & Co., Cerberus Capital Management, Blackstone Inc., and other private ventures.  "These companies go around saying, 'We're going to help mom and pop and inject liquidity into the market,'" Inman contributor Mike DelPrete told Bloomberg. "They don't say, 'We're going to suck up houses from the ordinary market and sell them to Wall Street.' "

  • Inman News, January 10, 2022
February
4

Christian Schools – 12% growth in 2021, 15% Growth Expected in 2022, Homeschooling Tripled in Past 3 Years

You want a Christian School for your child?  Expect a waitlist to enroll.  Homeschooling – unprecedented growth as well.  Some 16.1% of all Black children are now homeschooled.   It's happening in the city.  It's happening in the suburbs.  It's happening in small towns.  Parents are opting for reading, writing, arithmetic – and moral and spiritual values.   Over 35,000 North Texas children have been pulled from public schools in the past three years going to Christian schools or homeschooling.  And this phenomena may accelerate.

Some 750 attendees are expected in March to the Christian Schools Conference in San Diego.  One of the hosts, Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), state that the growth of faith-based schools in the United States is unprecedented.    One of the reasons is that over 90% of Christian schools remained in-person open over the past two years.  Consequently, student testing and academic excellence continued.  The other reason of course is the parent's belief that the religious schools help provide the moral and spiritual compass for their children.  Based on April 2020 statistics, some 11% of all students in the United States are now homeschooled, up from 3.3% some four years ago.   In addition, approximately 11% of all students now attend either Catholic or Evangelical Protestant schools – a huge increase particularly in the Evangelical schools.

  • Dr Susan Berry, University of Minnesota (excerpts)
February
3

Just as expected once the Omicron variant had peaked there would be a rapid drop in the number of people testing positive on a daily basis across the United States.    The peak date was Sunday, January 16th, and just 15 days later the number of people testing positive daily has decreased by half.

  • 890,000 daily – Sunday, January 16th
  • 690,000 daily – Sunday, January 23rd
  • 523,000 daily – Sunday, January 30th
  • 457,000 daily – Monday, January 31st

  • New York Times, January 31, 2022
February
2

In recent days, investment bank after investment bank has published revised forecasts, and they all predict the same thing: That the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a quicker pace this year than anybody would have anticipated just a week ago.  The latest is from Goldman Sachs, which now sees five rate hikes this year, joining Deutsche Bank at that number. Bank of America thinks the central bank will be even more aggressive. It predicts seven 25-basis-point hikes this year, one for each of the remaining FOMC meetings. That would bring the federal funds rate to 1.75%-2% by year-end, essentially hiking up borrowing costs for Americans after years of rock-bottom lending rates.   At last week's meeting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave a clear signal that the central bank will move to raise interest rates as often as needed to tame run-away inflation. "The striking thing about Chair Powell's press conference this week was that he in effect made a compelling case that the Fed should have already hiked rates in the second half of last year," said Ethan Harris, global economist at Bank of America, in noting tell-tale signs of a slowing economy, a turbulent labor market and rising prices. "The only thing missing from the narrative was: 'and so, we are behind the curve and are hiking today.'"

  • Fox Business, January 31, 2022
February
1

Rising rents are expected to be a driving force in inflation this year

Average rents rose 14 percent last year nationwide with cities like Austin, New York and Miami notching increases of as much as 40 percent, according to real estate firm Redfin. The DFW Metroplex increased 29 percent.  And Americans expect rents will continue to rise — by about 10 percent this year — according to a report released this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  "Rents really shot up in the second half of 2021," said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. "The pandemic was kind of a pause on the economy and now that things are reopening, inflation is picking up, rents are going up and people are realizing they don't have as much disposable income as they might have thought they had."  Higher rent prices are also expected to be a key driver of inflation in coming months.   The share of first-time home buyers has dropped to its lowest level in eight years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The group estimates that nearly 1 million renters were priced out of the housing market last year because of rising real estate prices and increased competition from wealthier, all-cash buyers.

  • Washington Post, January 30, 2022

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