Housing Market Cooling Off This Quarter

The North Texas housing market is showing signs of cooling down. The latest North Texas Real Estate Information Systems statistics show that the median September home price in the Park Cities was down 17 percent compared to June. Despite a double-digit drop, the $1.2 million median price is still 5 percent higher than it was in September 2015.

The median home price in Preston Hollow climbed 19 percent to $952,000 over the third quarter. However, houses in Preston Hollow are taking longer to sell, as is the case in the Park Cities. According to some local real estate experts, these trends are not necessarily a bad thing.

“This is a much more healthy and balanced market,” said Virginia Cook realtor Lori Sparks. “It’s still an awesome time for sellers, but we couldn’t have continued on that pace forever. It would have been impossible.”

Cook says that there is a perception among some that limited home inventory is always good for sellers. She has witnessed several instances in which a panicked buyer overbid for a home only to back out after having second thoughts. This forces sellers to put their homes back on the market, where they often fight the perception their house might have a problem since the sale fell through. In the meantime, potential buyers may have moved on after losing out on the initial bid.

“With more things coming on the market, there’s not that same urgency and frenzy,” Sparks said. “Buyers are now taking their time a little bit.”
According to Will Seale, a partner with Trusler-Seale at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, the unusual presidential election is also causing some buyers to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months.

“I still think we are in a regular seasonal pattern, but there is a lot less activity,” Seale said. “People are distracted by other things.”

Seale compares the long-term market pattern to a heart EKG. Since the end of the great recession in 2010, area homes sales have followed a fairly regular pattern for the past six years. He sees the current price drop and inventory increase as natural market corrections to inflated prices. The key to doing business in the current environment is conducting proper research to determine a correct price point.

“I still have not seen houses sell for less than last year,” Seale said.

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