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THE GRAND OPENING

D-FW housing slowdown is worse than you thought, but there are some winners

By Steve Brown | Real Estate Editor

The slowdown in Dallas-Fort Worth's housing market may be worse than at first glance.

Sales of preowned single-family homes dropped 1 percent annually in August in all of North Texas, according to the latest numbers from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Those numbers include data on more than two dozen counties stretching from the Red River to Waco.

When you drill down in the numbers to just the immediate D-FW area, August's dip in home purchase activity was much larger. In the Dallas-area, sales of preowned homes by real estate agents fell by about 4 percent in August from a year earlier.

Fort Worth-area sales managed to eek out a 1 percent year-over-year rise in home purchases made through real estate agents.

But some Dallas-area residential districts saw marked declines in home buying last month.

Real estate agents say that the overall numbers understate the housing sector cool down. A look at individual neighborhoods gives a clearer insight into the state of the market.

Sales last month were down almost 32 percent in Far North Dallas. They dropped 24 percent from August 2017 totals in Allen and were off 20 percent in Coppell. Plano had a 16 percent year-over-year sales decline and sales were down more than 11 percent in Richardson and about 9 percent lower in Frisco.

Not all of North Texas' markets saw the housing market hit the brakes.

Sales soared 40 percent in Prosper, for instance, and were 37 percent higher in DeSoto. The pricey Park Cities market had a 29 percent jump in August sales from the previous year.

And in a just-released statewide snapshot of home sales activity by the Texas Association of Realtors, the D-FW market was the only major metro area in Texas that had a decline in overall second quarter sales of homes by real estate agents.

Also, the number of D-FW home purchase loans was down 15 percent in the second quarter, according to numbers from Attom Data Solutions.

"I would expect this somewhat disappointing spring selling season will be a bit of a wake-up call for home sellers, and they will eventually consider lowering asking prices, which in turn will bring some buyers back to the table," Attom Data's economist Daren Blomquist said.

So what's the takeaway from all this?

D-FW still has a good home sales market, but not as robust as last year.

That's good news if you are trying to buy a house in the area.

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