Welcome to my May post about real estate in Fort Worth. Each month, I dedicate one post to looking at recent real estate news relevant to Fort Worth. I also look at three numbers that will help readers get a better grasp on the current status of the real estate market in Fort Worth. May is my birthday month (celebrated number 49 this year!). Summer has begun officially and we are looking at some hot times ahead in real estate. News keeps hitting the airwaves concerning the slowdown and how we are doomed in the near future. Of course, these media outlets are trying to attract customers so you might want to take the news at arms length. After all, real estate has always been cyclical business so it should come as no surprise that we might ending the upswing in the next two to three years.
For my first news article today, let’s talk about growth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram had this article about how quickly we have grown in this city. We are now the 13th largest city in the USA. We are bigger now than San Francisco (thank god we don’t have their real estate market here). Our longtime Mayor, Betsy Price, speaks about the greatness that is Fort Worth with good business climate, great culture and affordable cost of living. Each one of these characteristics would attract new residents. When you have a combination of all three, you get a boom. Real estate is booming as well as we added more homes in Texas than other state. Out of state residents are moving here for the jobs and cost of living. I don’t see this changing much.
Our next article deals with Fort Worth wealth with Fort Worth having the fourth most expensive neighborhood in Texas. CultureMap Fort Worth has named Mira Vista with this honor with the average price being around $840K. Crestline and Tanglewood also made the top 20 with average prices $662k and $602k respectively. I found the remarks from a local broker interesting in that he said these luxury neighborhoods bring more than beautiful homes. You also have infrastructure within the neighborhoods like good schools, and great parks. These luxury prices are kept stable for more than the property, but the amenities of their neighborhoods. Good lesson for developers looking to make their mark on the city.
Our final news piece is about how Ibuyer companies are taking over real estate. The post comes from Real Estate Weekly and explores how quickly this sector of the real estate market has grown in the last six years. Opendoor started it and now we are seeing several other competitors coming to play. Fort Worth has almost all of them working sellers with cash offers with high fees and unreasonable repair costs. The South tends to have more of these companies because the values are lower and inventory slightly better. I believe these Ibuyer companies provide a valuable service to sellers who don’t mind sacrificing some cash to avoid the hassles of the traditional selling route. In other words, sell quick, get less for your house, but you can move on with your life. For some, this works really well.
April Months Supply
The inventory of homes in Fort Worth has gone up 14.3% from this time last year. In 2017, we had a months supply of 1.9 months. This year, we have 2.4 months.
What this means for sellers: Sellers need to take note that the inventory has gone up nearly 25% over the last two years. The seller’s boom of the last few years might be coming to an end as more homes stay on the market longer. This fact means sellers will have more competition. With increased competition, sellers will need to work with their listing agents to price the property correctly and do things to make the property stand out in the crowd like upgrades or repairs. If your house is vacant, you should consider having it staged for better presentation in person and in photos.
What this means for buyers: Buyers can rejoice again that they will have more options when it comes to homes in Fort Worth. It might not seem going from 1,9 months to 2.4 months is a huge increase, but when you have below 2 months inventory for several years, the additional options are very nice for buyers. Buyers can be more selective on making offers with more choices, but should still move quickly if a property shows well and is price correctly. You do still hear about houses going quickly in a multioffer situation.
Average April Days on Market
Homes have been staying on the market longer this year, increasing to 40 average days on market for real estate in Fort Worth. This is about a 23% increase from two years ago when it took 32 days for a home to sell in Fort Worth.
What this means for sellers: Sellers will have to face the fact that it is going to take longer for their home to sell. As frustrating as this might seem, the end result is still the same. You get your house sold in a reasonable amount of time. You will need to keep your house show ready by making sure to continue to clean carefully and avoid excessive clutter throughout the house. One trick is to make sure you are giving buyers enough time to see the house. You need to make the house available for buyers as often as your schedule allows for it. If buyers can’t see the house, you won’t get offers.
What this means for buyers: Buyers have more time to make decisions. Two years ago, many buyers were putting offers on homes because they were on the market and you didn’t have time to really consider other options. Today, this pressure has decreased somewhat. You can even afford to go see a house two or three times before making a decision on a offer. The exception, of course, is if the house is priced well and shows nicely. You still have to make a quick decision on the good listings.
Average April Sales Price
Sales price appreciation has slowed down quite a bit this year with only a modest 4% increase in Fort Worth. Last year, we saw a 7% increase from 2017. Overall, we are still seeing sales prices going up, but not at the furious pace of the last few years.
What this means for sellers: Sellers on the fence about selling should look carefully at this number and make a decision to sell sooner versus later. We might have reached the peak of sales prices for Fort Worth. Despite this development, sellers should still feel good about prices going up for them this year. The appreciation means more money in their pockets. At the same time, sellers should be more conservative on pricing their homes as an overpriced home lingers on the market far longer than ones at market rate.
What this means for buyers: Buyers will be realizing more home for their money with appreciation slowing down. With mortgage interest rates still very low, there is no reason for buyers to hold off on buying right now. Homes are becoming more affordable and you have many more options than you have in the past. Now is the time to move on a home!