Dallas-Fort Worth has been reaping the benefits of a multi-year upswing in its housing market, but we’re starting to see a shift in that trend as DFW pumps the brakes on home sales. In August, Fort Worth managed to eke out a 1% increase in sales, but Dallas saw a 4% decline, and North Texas overall posted a 1% loss. Of course, no one wants to hear that a hot market is cooling off, but the change is not entirely unexpected. It’s a truth universally acknowledged among scientists and realtors alike that what goes up must come down, and the housing market is no different.
While a slowdown is a natural part of the market cycle, we must also consider the other factors at play. Several years of skyrocketing home prices and this year’s increased mortgage rates have negatively affected sales. In addition, first-time buyers looking for an affordable home continue to be priced out of the market as there is currently a shortage of homes under $250,000.
But it’s not all bad news for DFW. Some areas, such as Prosper and DeSoto, had mini-booms of their own in August, with sales up a whopping 40% and 37%, respectively. Sales of luxury homes are up as well; the expensive Park Cities neighborhood increased sales by 29%.
So what do all these numbers mean for you in a practical sense? If you’re a buyer, now is a great time to start looking. Home sale prices will likely drop as the market continues to cool. Remember, the DFW market isn’t all doom and gloom: you might consider selling your house if you live in one of those hot neighborhoods or if you’re selling a luxury home before those pockets start to cool off as well.
That said, other sellers have options as well. First, consult a realtor. Your real estate agent will help you determine the asking price. Getting the price right is absolutely crucial to the sale of your home under these market conditions. Since you likely won’t get a line of potential buyers out the door, there is no time for trial and error. Curb appeal is becoming more of a factor in which homes sell quickly and which ones will sit on the market, so consider making those repairs you’ve been putting off. Your home must also be clean, in good working condition, and properly staged. Staging doesn’t necessarily mean renting furniture; it means making the space in your home aesthetically pleasing to buyers, which might involve rearranging existing furniture or decluttering. Above all else, listen to your realtor!
A slower market does present more challenges for sellers, but don’t let the statistics scare you. Just because the market isn’t piping hot doesn’t mean that it has disappeared entirely. With the right realtor by your side helping to navigate you through the ebbs and flows of the market, you’ll get the best price for your home despite the downturn.