Things are looking up in the neighborhoods served by People Newspapers, and by “things” we mean home prices.
“This quarter, we have turned the corner on two wheels at 90 miles an hour,” said Lydia Player, an agent with Ebby Halliday Realtors. “Overnight, it has become a sellers’ market.”
According to MLS statistics compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the average price for single-family houses sold last quarter in Area 25 was $1.11 million. That represents a 13-percent increase over the homes sold there in the second quarter of 2012. Area 25 includes the Park Cities as well as Bluffview, Devonshire, and Greenway Parks.
Not all real estate transaction are reported to MLS. But the average reported price in Area 11 — which is bounded by Northwest Highway, Midway Road, LBJ Freeway, and North Central Expressway — rose by 14 percent to $829,894. And the average price in North Oak Cliff, a.k.a. Area 14, jumped 60 percent to $177,019. But Area 14 includes so many lower-income neighborhoods that only one or two sales in Kessler Park could have caused the spike.
“Prices are on their way up. They aren’t soaring, but they are on their way up,” Player said. “That’s where people get excited sometimes, when they read a headline that says the market is 20-percent better, and they think that means the prices are 20-percent better. That’s not the case.”
A statistic that keeps dropping is the months of inventory. For example, there was an average of 3.8 months’ worth of single-family homes in Area 25. That means if no other houses came on the market, it would take 3.8 months for all of the listed homes to sell.
That stat was 5.7 months for Area 25 in the second quarter of 2012. It dropped from 8.1 months to 4.5 months in Area 11, and it dipped from 4.5 months to 2.6 months in Area 14.
“Because the Park Cities/Preston Hollow market is land-supply driven, the shortage continues to drive up prices due to great demand,” said Leanne McKinley, a vice president of Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “A slow down in demand would rebalance the market, but at this point that doesn’t seem likely.”
Jacie Scott contributed to this report.