Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor for Dallas News, recently wrote an article examining where D-FW starter home sales failed in 2016. It is certainly an important topic to consider as we trek into the Spring in 2017, and there may be more to it than Brown suggests:
Homes selling in 3 days is the driving force behind the fallout. The article mentions what used to be the predominant drivers, and I believe those are still occurring at “normal levels”. What the article failed to address is the speed of the current market. It used to be that a Buyer would see a house, like it, go home and sleep on it, come back in the next day or two and see it a second time, and then make a well considered offer. Take that much time making a decision now, and the opportunity will be gone. So, now, Buyer will spend 30 minutes to an hour in the house, and decide to make an offer. At lower price points, they may make several offers, just trying to get to contract. Once the contract is executed, the real decision gets made. And more frequently than in the past, the Buyer decides there is just something they don’t like about the house. Or they execute the contract on their 2nd or 3rd choice home because they could, and then their 1st choice also offers them a contract. They drop the contract done in haste to execute the one they *really* want.
Rising interest rates may quell this a bit. The higher interest rates go, the more impact will be made on affordability. In turn, the ability of Buyers to offer higher and higher prices will diminish. Forecasts I am hearing for mortgage rate in 2017 is perhaps a rise over the past couple years, but likely not higher than 5%.
So I see another year of increasing prices in the DFW market. Perhaps not in the double digit range we have seen for the past 3 years, but likely in the 4-6% range, maybe as much as 8%.