Buying a home in Dallas isn’t a bargain anymore, not like it used to be. For decades, this region’s low cost of living has attracted families and employers from around the country, helping the economy weather the booms and busts of the oil business. Now that competitive advantage is eroding in a big way. Since 2010, the median price for new and existing homes sold in the Dallas area has soared 77 percent. Over the same time, median incomes are up about 4 percent. As a result, buying a home in Dallas is beyond the reach of many, according to a measure of affordability. In 2010, almost 80 percent of homes sold in Dallas were affordable to families earning the median income. By late 2016, just 50 percent were affordable. That’s Dallas’ lowest score since 1991, when the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index was launched.
Dallas is still much cheaper than Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. But on housing affordability alone, Dallas trails Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver and most other rival metros. Eventually, that may create headwinds. “For local residents, it gets a lot more difficult to buy a house,” said Luis Torres, a research economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. “It also affects recruiting from other cities and states.” There’s more to relocation decisions than the price of housing. North Texas also touts business-friendly regulations, no state income tax, a central location and a history of strong job growth.
- Dallas Morning News, April 27, 2017