Friday, February 3, 2023 Feb 3, 2023
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Dallas Real Estate Market Predictions

A local astrologer gives us her reading of the local real estate market, plus three of the hottest listings in Dallas.
By Mary Candace Evans |

Advice from the Stars
A local astrologer predicts the good, the bad, and the not-so-ugly of the Dallas real estate market.

So what would you do if your column was due at the end of the week, and it’s 4:30 on Friday afternoon? I’m supposed to figure out the Dallas real estate market, and my sources are at complete odds: “Real estate is solid. No, the market is weak. Interest rates are low. Interest rates are going up. We’ve hit the bottom. Yada, yada, yada.” All I know for sure is that there are a lot of cocktail parties going on in those megamansions that are still on the market.

Anyway, I just got off the phone with an astrologer. (Do you have any better ideas?) Introducing Elexis Rice, astrologer, nontraditional counselor, and independent real estate agent, whom I have asked to chart the Dallas real estate market.

First, the good news: as of this writing, the local market is surprisingly brisk, given the war. And 2004 is going to be even better, says Elexis. Not necessarily better as far as property values go, but less tumultuous, which will make us feel like moving and overspending again.

I hope you enjoyed the good news. Now, for the . . . other news. Elexis says it’s time to sell. Yes, sell. Unless you plan to stay in your house for at least five years, or your last name is Perot or Hunt, she recommends selling while property values are still strong. This has something to do with Saturn. In March, that ringed planet was in Gemini, just as it was in 1972, and, as those of us who remember that far back can attest, 1972 to 1974 was a phase of big price corrections in real estate.

Apparently, property values are going to start slipping around June 3, as Saturn enters Cancer. When Saturn—the planet of constriction and realism—is in Cancer, the overall theme is “let’s get real about the price we’re going to pay here, folks.” Cancer rules residential real estate, and Saturn will be hanging near Cancer for the next two-and-a-half years.

Elexis also cautions clients and Realtors alike to prepare for a lunar eclipse on May 16. And with Mercury in retrograde for the three weeks following, this could mean lots of loopholes in contracts, the pesky “you can have the house, but I’m keeping the sandbox, swimming pool, and every single hook in the walls” sort of thing. Review your contracts very carefully and get ready for closing madness!

Well, regardless of what the planets say, our Doris Jacobs is immune to any real estate downturn now that she’s won a free pair of Jimmy Choo shoes at the Highland Park boutique’s snazzy opening party. Very lucky gal, considering a pair of Choos cost about as much as the commission on a North Dallas Ranch. But Doris, like most of the Realtors I’ve talked to, says no matter how out of bounds Mars may be, closings are stacking up nicely in Dallas.

Take, for instance, 5030 Shadywood, that gorgeous fossilized-limestone Dilbeck home owned by Gerald Sampson, he being the former president and CEO of Neiman Marcus. And comedian Steve Harvey’s second home in Willow Bend. Or Allie Beth Allman, who has signs everywhere I turn and is writing a contract on A-Rod’s home as I write this column. Alex closed on 4608 Lakeside in January, 2002; the home cost more than $7 million, so that ought to quash those rumors that he was living in the guest house on Douglas.

“There are always buyers at the upper end,” says Allie Beth, whose phones were silent during the Gulf War. Not so this time. Mindy Gaines tells me that she sold $3 million in February and March. And the Northwest Highway office of Ebby Halliday (aka the Little White House) sold more than $50 million in March. And the appraisers are running from yardstick to tape measure as buyers move up, down, across, and out of town.

Which may mean more trips to the marriage counselor: Della Lively had an options contract on her stunning Preston Road Luptonshire estate (aka the Compound), but the buyers got into a spat over future plans. She wanted to add another 5,000 square feet to the 10,863-square-foot estate. He found out that would tack on another year of construction and cancelled the contract. (Della has lowered the price.)

Everyone I’ve talked to is wondering if Kenny Troutt has shelved plans to build his own little colony on that 30-acre lot on Inwood and Royal. Word is he may buy an entire street (Middlegate Road) from the city—eventually. Well, I guess you really do have majority rule when you own every house on the block.

Another burning question—this one with a firm answer: is the dirt on Strait still holding its value? You bet, says Bradford L. Edgar, SRA, of Edgar Appraisal Services, who has appraised more than 10 Strait Lane properties in the past six months. There’s even a FSBO: 13,000 square feet (not counting the 5,000 square feet of unfinished space) on 3.6 acres, with tennis court, pool, cabana, and gazebo—all for $10.9 million. The land is valued at $1.6 million per acre, and I suppose we have Phil Romano to thank for that. He was the first to pay $1 million-plus for a site on Strait Lane. Let’s hope he’s not the last!

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Hot Properties

Get with Allie Beth Allman, and you could own 16500 HARVEST COVE, the estate of the late Lupe Murchison, one of Dallas’ most important art patrons. Her 6,800-square-foot contemporary-classic home is one of three structures on the 11.6-acre lot. There’s also a small (4,400 square feet) guest house and the original 18,000-square-foot home, formerly the Dallas Polo Club. UV-limiting glass walls are equipped with remote controlled hurricane shutters. This is real, old-money Texas history. $11,600,000

Allie Beth Allman’s listing at 27 STONEBRIAR WAY in Frisco has a private water slide and 125,000-gallon multilevel pool. There’s a 4,000-square-foot indoor golf pavilion, complete with kitchen, wind tunnel, and computer/video analysis of your swing. That 16,000-square-foot wonder includes a guest wing with two-story game room, an exercise room, whirlpool, and steam room. Mark Cuban’s dream house? $4,900,000

Okay, so “French” is currently a dirty word. Closet Francophiles will love Dave Perry-Miller’s very faithful rendering of a typical French townhome at 5935 DELOACHE. This home has the requisite three Ms of the new century: moldings, millwork, and marble galore, in 10,000 square feet. Current owners Bonnie and Beau Purvis are retiring to their Canadian ranch to devote themselves to European jet-setting. Mais oui! $5,000,000