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New Analysis Finds Even the Least Expensive Homes in Dallas Are Unaffordable to Most

The city of Dallas' new analysis of the housing market found that home ownership is increasingly out of reach for many residents.
A new map of Dallas median home prices reveals that the priciest homes are still clustered in North Dallas and the Lakewood area, while the (relatively) less expensive homes are south and west. City of Dallas

A recent analysis of home values in Dallas found that no neighborhoods lost value over the last five years, which is pricing out potential homebuyers who earn the city’s median income of $58,200. The most new housing construction in Dallas are single-family homes that sell for a median of $1.4 million.

In a memo earlier this month, Assistant Dallas City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry revealed the findings of a new market value analysis that helps inform long-range planning for a variety of city departments. The last time such a study was commissioned was in 2018.

“The MVA is a tool for neighborhood revitalization and investment that guides interventions not only to where there is a need for them, but also to places where public investment can stimulate private market activity and capitalize on larger revitalization efforts,” Al-Ghafry wrote.

This new analysis splits the city into nine housing market types, with A being the most expensive and I being the least. The criteria considered value, investment, financial stress, blight, and vacancy rates across specific Census block groups. Al-Ghafry said that the makeup of those market types has changed considerably since 2018. Those changes mean fewer places where the average Dallas homebuyer can find a home in their price range. 

“The lack of affordability affects Dallas’ Hispanic and Black households more than other racial and ethnic groups due to the incomes of each group,” he wrote. 

Those changes are displacing more people because neighborhoods that were once more affordable have incurred significant price increases. The analysis found that displacement is especially pronounced in West Dallas, South Dallas, and Deep Ellum. Median home prices in West Dallas and Oak Cliff’s Cedar Crest have grown so much that they’ve moved up a category since 2018. The report found that Dallas has no neighborhoods where prices were declining. The market types that saw the most significant home sale price increases were at the lower end of the spectrum as demand for more affordable housing outpaced supply.

And it’s not just the city’s analysis that confirms that housing prices here have increased substantially. Industry analyst Construction Coverage reviewed home price data from Zillow to identify the cities with the biggest jumps in home prices. Dallas came in third, with a 175 percent price increase over the last 10 years.

The new MVA map helps visualize this trend. Preston Hollow, Far North Dallas, East Dallas, and areas around Uptown and Oak Cliff sit at the higher end of the market spectrum. The furthest part of Northwest Dallas and southwest Dallas sit in the middle of the range, while swaths of southern Dallas and furthest east Dallas are in the weakest market types. 

A few takeaways from the analysis:

The market type with the most new construction is not considered affordable to residents making near the median income. It is market type A, which has a median home sale price of $1.4 million. Almost 9 percent of the homes included in that bracket are new builds. Second place goes to type B, which has a median price of $671,801, of which 7.2 percent are new construction.

The market type with the most vacant homes is type G, which has a median home sale price of $241,818. About 4 percent are vacant and only 29 percent of the homes are owner-occupied. In higher-priced categories A and B, at least 80 percent are owner-occupied. (The last group, I, has the fewest owner-occupied homes at 10 percent.)

More than 330 of the city’s 847 Census blocks fall into the G, H, or I market type groups, compared to 237 in the A, B, and C groups. Almost 40 percent of the city’s housing stock falls into that lower market type, while the middle of the range accounts for roughly 30 percent.

Affordability is further away than ever. Even in type I, the median home sale price is almost $200,000. Most home finance experts say that to afford a home in that range, the buyer must earn at least $62,000 annually. That is almost $4,000 short of Dallas’ median income.

As affordable housing advocates and the city make long-range plans to add housing to Dallas, determining how to make homeownership affordable for more people will continue to depend on savvy public policy but also a great deal on the vagaries of the market.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.