DFW Home Prices to Rise, Forecast Says

Read how the out look for D-FW home prices is looking bright in 2012.

Analyst predicts 5.8% gain for 2012, the first increase since 2007

By Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor
The Dallas Morning News 


After almost five years of declines, the Dallas-Fort Worth home prices will edge up in 2012, according to a new forecast.

The D-FW area will be among the top 10 home price gainers this year, according to a report by California-based housing analyst Clear Capital.

Overall home prices in D-FW should rise 5.8 percent by the end of 2012, Clear Capital predicts. That is higher than the nationwide forecast of a 0.2 percent price gain.

About half of the 50 major cities in the Clear Capital forecast are expected to have price gains this year.

“Our projections show that the current balance the market has found will continue through 2012,” Clear Capital research director Alex Villacorta said in the report.

The largest price increases are forecast for Orlando, Fl., and Bakersfield, Ca. – both over 11 percent. Those markets have been among the hardest hit during the housing downturn. Along with D-FW’s increase, Clear Capital also predicts a 3 percent price gain in Houston. 

Major declines of home prices are forecast this year for cities including Atlanta, down 14.4 percent, and Los Angeles, down 10.3 percent. Home prices in the D-FW area have been falling since mid-2007, down about 9 percent since then. Nationwide, home prices are down more than a third.

“Dallas hasn’t fallen very far and is hanging in there,”Villacorta said in a recent interview. “The positive year you have (2011) is outperforming the nation.”

Through the first 11 months of 2011, the median price of homes sold in North Texas through real estate agents’ multiple listing services was flat compared with the same period of 2010.

Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies said that since the market in North Texas is falling, makes since that prices would inch up. “The tighter supply of housing should help boost prices,” Wilson said.

Local data shows that prices in D-FW are rising slightly in affluent areas. But prices were still falling in 2011 in low- and moderate-price neighborhoods that have seen large numbers of home foreclosures. 

Clear Capital estimates that in the fourth quarter more than 28 percent of the homes for sale in Texas were previously foreclosed properties. That was higher than the nationwide rate of just under 25 percent of distressed properties on the market.

North Texas home prices will be negatively affected if large numbers of additional foreclosed homes hit the market, said Dr. James Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “2012, though, will generally be an up year, ” Gaines said.