Austin | Dallas | Houston
Economic outlook

Dallas real estate is uber green, but mortgage rules and regs are red

Candy Evans
Home Sold sign
In October 2012, home sales were up across Texas 29 percent from the same time last year, and home values were up 9 percent. 123rf.com
Louis Vuitton, The Galleria, November 2012
Europe’s recession could mean Prada and Louis Vuitton are holding pricing, but it won't knock us off our feet.  Photo by Joel Luks

Although Texas reportedly has the best seat in the house to survive the Fiscal Cliff, there is still talk of getting away from it entirely — via secession. Gimmicks aside, Dallas-Fort Worth remains nearly at the top nationally when it comes to residential real estate, and if inventory continues to be so dang scarce, we will see more home appreciation.

Well, that's something to be thankful for this month. Here's a look at the economic factors affecting Dallas real estate and where the market is headed in the next few months.

Europe, holiday shopping and unemployment
In October 2012, home sales were up across Texas a whopping 29 percent from the same time last year, and home values were up 9 percent. No, our homes are not going to spike in values suddenly like California's and Phoenix's did — and don't ever wish for that, because when the values head south, it ain't pretty.

 I hate to get all Debbie Downer on you, but news from the annual SMU Cox Economic Outlook Panel was not exactly cheery.

I hate to get all Debbie Downer on you, but news from the annual SMU Cox Economic Outlook Panel held on November 13 was not exactly cheery: Europe’s recession could mean Prada and Louis Vuitton are holding pricing, but it won't knock us off our feet. 

Experts tell us America’s on track to be energy independent by the end of the decade. Just another reason I love my hybrid car.

The holiday season will be strong for retail, with 5 percent sales growth, though most folks will shop online. Who in the world parks outside a store at midnight on Black Friday just to friggin' shop? I support the Target employees who do not want to start working on Thanksgiving.

You will not find me in any store except Highland Park Village after November 30. And Realtors are still too busy to get out of town, so I suspect our real estate December is going to be mighty merry.

Then comes January. U.S. growth will be “painfully sluggish” next year, dipping below 2 percent, as we slosh around, up and down. Do not expect a return to full employment until 2030.

Taxes and mortgage regulations
Even though housing is on the rebound, the bounce back is stronger in more affluent neighborhoods, like in-the loop areas. The great thing about North Texas: Frisco is still growing.

 Realtors are still too busy to get out of town, so I suspect our real estate December is going to be mighty merry.

The middle class, those earning $75,000 a year, is expected to be hit the hardest when Medicare and payroll taxes go up next year. And that's not good news, because the gap between the rich and the poor hasn’t been this wide since the 1920s. 

Al Niemi Jr., dean of SMU Cox School of Business, believes the federal government will retain most of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire by year’s end as everyone sells stocks December 31 to avoid an increase in capital gains taxes. He also thinks we will be taxing the rich more but raise the threshold above that $250,000 number the president is so obsessed with.

Jobs, housing starts, consumer spending and public policy will get our economy humming again. I love Harvey Rosenblum, director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He wants to see the big banks broken up. Me, I'd shatter them into itty bitty pieces.

Still, it's not a bad idea to listen to J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon when it comes to real estate. He says housing is positively flashing green. Now, if we could only get the federal regulators to loosen up the mortgage rules ...

Fix what are the new rules around mortgages because I think it is too tight. [Property] appraisal is too tight, income appraisal is too tight, underwriting is too tight, and we don’t know the new rules on capital requirements. If we get that finalized, it will help housing not hurt it.

I'll drink to that, Jamie!

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Dallas news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address

Vote Now
Vote now for the first-ever CultureMap Stylemakers

To celebrate the most fashionable men and women in Dallas, we present the first CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, sponsored by the Plaza at Preston Center. But we need your help to start the party. From these 12 fabulous individuals, who fuels your passion for fashion? You can vote once a day, every day, until October 1.

Matt Alexander, Men of Dallas Campaign at Pockets