Dallas-Fort Worth Home Prices Continued Historic Decline, as U.S. Followed Suit

A well-respected indicator of the housing market points to a historic change in home prices, but experts suggest the bottom may be behind us.

U.S. home prices recorded their first year-over-year decrease since 2012 in April, while Dallas-Fort Worth prices continued their historic decline, according to one of the most respected measures of the housing market.

Nationally, single-family home prices fell 0.2% from April 2022 to April 2023, down from an annual gain of 0.7% in March, the latest reading of the S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller home price index shows.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, prices were down 2.9% from the previous April after a 1.2% year-over-year increase in March.

From March to April, U.S. prices were up 1.3% and local prices were up 1.4%.

The last time the U.S. market posted an annual decline was in April 2012. Dallas-Fort Worth prices saw their first decline on the index since February 2012 in March.

Of the cities that appear in the Case-Shiller index, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta saw the biggest year-over-year gains in April, with Dallas-Fort Worth in the middle of the pack. But no market surpassed 6%.

The days of double-digit increases among the 20 tracked cities, which were common last year, have ended.

The Case-Shiller index is a three-month moving average that compares sales-price changes of specific properties over time.

While it is a couple of months behind current market conditions — with April’s data reflecting purchases made at the start of the year — the index’s price estimate is considered more accurate than data from agents, which can be influenced by the type of properties that are selling each month.

More recent numbers from the listings database used by real estate agents showed a 5% year-over-year decline in median single-family home prices to $412,500 in May, according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems. Sales declined 2% from a year before.

Up We Go?

On a monthly basis, the Case-Shiller index shows U.S. prices declined from last June through this January. But with three consecutive months of monthly gains since then, the market may be recovering, according to S&P managing director Craig Lazzara.

“If I were trying to make a case that the decline in home prices that began in June 2022 had definitively ended in January 2023, April’s data would bolster my argument,” Lazzara said in a statement.

“Whether we see further support for that view in coming months will depend on how well the market navigates the challenges posed by current mortgage rates and the continuing possibility of economic weakness.”

Selma Hepp, chief economist for CoreLogic, said the month-over-month gain in U.S. home prices suggests homebuying conditions and prices are heating up in many markets again.

“In addition, price gains among high-tier homes are once again showing a strong rebound,” Hepp said in a statement. “Also, some markets that were weak during the pandemic are now showing strong price gains across price tiers, particularly Boston.”

Still Competitive

After a historic 57% rise in prices from April 2020 to June 2022, D-FW prices sank 8.5% through January 2023 but bounced back 2.5% through this April.

The D-FW market still has a very low amount of inventory fueling competition and prices, just not to the intense levels seen from 2020 to 2022.

“There are buyers right now who are calling me and asking me to help them buy a home in Plano, but I have no inventory to show them,” Todd Luong, a real estate agent in Frisco with Re/Max DFW Associates, said in an email. “Sellers still have a tremendous advantage right now, creating a challenging situation for buyers.

“It would not be surprising to see further upward pressure on home prices in the near future.”

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.67% as of June 22, down from 5.81% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac.

“The biggest factor is still going to be interest rates,” Luong said. “If interest rates somehow go down, I think demand is going to go up and we are going to see even higher prices, especially as we continue to see population growth and a healthy job market here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Amy Messer, a real estate agent in Dallas with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said that while some luxury markets have slowed for the summer as families have gone off to second homes or on vacation, the region’s housing market is still steady throughout all price ranges, from the $300,000s to the millions.

She said the market is just not seeing the double-digit price increases of previous years and there is more hesitancy around mortgage rates.

“Some people are nervous to sell because of interest rates. Other people are waiting to see interest rates drop, which I think is actually a huge mistake,” Messer said. “I think people should buy before prices go up, because they will continue to go up.”

Source: Dallas Morning News