While location, location, location is still the golden rule in residential real estate, buying and selling smart can seal a deal. The most important factor of a home today is price,” said Carole Hoffman, Ellen Terry Realtors’ Senior Vice President and producer extrordinare. She describes Dallas as a buyer’s market. “We are dealing with a sophisticated public in Dallas these days and they are able to shop around, compare and make demands based on their knowledge.” Economic conditions are also influencing our decision making, however, residential real estate in Dallas will always be a wise investment
The higher interest rates affected home buying in the last months of 1994,” said Suzy Adair, senior vice president and a member of Ellen Terry’s Director’s Circle. “The low interest rates of ’93- when so many people refinanced- have kept those people from moving and becoming sellers and then sub-sequently buyers at higher interest rates.” But while higher interest rates may be slowing sales somewhat, demand is still strong. In the Park Cities, the trend toward buying lots or “tear down” cottages to build a new home is surging. As a result, land values are on the rise, said Director’s Circle associate Lynn Gardner.
“One area that is especially becoming enhanced in value is the neighborhood immediately west of Central Expressway and South of Lovers Lane,” said Gardner. “The streets have become culdesacs with parks and screening walls. As the Central renovation lowers the freeway by 25 feet, a good number of houses are being built for both speculative and custom.”
This new construction gain, however, may be an existing homeowner’s loss, said Nell Anne Hunt a Senior Vice President and a top producer from the Las Colinas office.
“Buyers are willing to pay ’retail’ for new, but only ’wholesale’ for pre-owned homes. When there is high builder inventory, owners of pre-owned homes will update their homes completely to compete,” said Hunt, who specializes in the Las Colinas market.
Ellen Terry’s most senior veteran and Hall of Fame Member Emily Price Carrigan has also seen newer construction harm the remodeled existing home market.
“They [buyers] are willing to take a much smaller lot in exchange for all the bells and whistles,” said Carrigan, a top associate. “The market is definitely driven by dual income couples. And since they are both working, they look to “move-in” conditioned homes because they don’t have the time or energy to do the fixing up.” Today’s buyers want quality construction, good neighborhoods, finishout amenities and outdoor landscaping. This holds true whether it is a young couple buying their first house or a business executive’s family moving into a dream home,” said Hoffman.
For expensive homes, land and large square footage are vital, but Realtors are also seeing an increased demand for attention to detail. Good insulation, in both walls and windows; moldings and fine flooring materials including wood, marble, slate; and gourmet kitchens opening to dens with fireplaces are just a few of the trends. For Outdoor ambience, house hunters are looking for landscaping and lighting both for security and visual effect, mature trees, and areas for entertaining.
After several years of a declining market, our company had its best year ever in 1993, which continued through the first half of 1994, only to experience a dramatic softening in the last half of 1994 and continuing the first quarter of 1995.
One thing we are certain of is that markets are cyclical and the last four years to withstand market fluctuations we have diversified our company in several areas. Under the adroit direction of General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Murdock Richard, we created specialized divisions. Each of these divisions have proven to be smart choices and have helped insulate us with the overall softening of the market
Dallas is a very vibrant and ’can do’ city and continues to be a major hub for business activity and we remain very bullish on the residential real estate market in general. We are excited to be able to contribute and be a part of the economic recovery in Dallas.”