According to the Texas Relocation Report 2021, more than 500,000 people moved to the Lone Star State in 2019. And while the pace of migration into Texas has picked up significantly over the past decade—contributing to the second highest population growth rate in the United States—the pandemic has only further increased interest in the state and its real estate.
“Last year’s lockdowns increased people’s desire for space—and in Texas, we have space,” explains Rick Wegman, principal agent of Ulterre in Fort Worth. Here, he, Laura Collins, listing manager for Ulterre in Burleson, and Christie Deaton a realtor and certified luxury home marketing specialist with Ulterre in Dallas, share more of their insights into the region’s real estate market. Read on for the trends to know about, investment opportunities to look out for, and predictions for 2022 and beyond.
Space isn’t the only factor attracting homebuyers to the state. Along with luxury real estate that offers excellent value for money compared with elsewhere in the country, Texas extends a range of other benefits to residents. No personal state income tax, business tax incentives, good school districts, and a year-round outdoor lifestyle are just a few.
Together, these elements have a combined appeal that’s been hard for homebuyers to resist—particularly during the lifestyle changes being wrought by COVID-19. It’s something all three real-estate experts have noticed first hand.
Even though it was during the height of the pandemic, “2020 was our best year ever as a team,” says Collins, explaining that people have been attracted to the Burleson area as they seek to “move into the country with land and distance themselves from busy areas.”
Fort Worth is experiencing similar demand. “By the year’s end, our transaction volume will have increased by over 30 percent compared with last year,” Wegman says. And he adds that the area’s luxury market offers the kind of “must-have” amenities—such as multiple home offices and large outdoor areas—currently in high demand with buyers.
“The demand in the luxury market has continued to increase,” says Deaton of Dallas. “But what we’re seeing is that the inherent value of people’s homes has increased, too. Between working, homeschooling, entertaining, and staycations, people are spending more time within their houses—so home is more important than ever before.”
The view of the home has changed. It’s become the center of all our activities, a true destination—Christie Deaton
But what of the adaptations that have come along with the extraordinary events of last year? “Our online and virtual resources are more important and impactful than ever before,” Deaton explains of the technological innovations that brokerages have had to adopt.
For Wegman and Collins, meetings and property viewings via virtual platforms have become indispensable, with Collins adding that online closings have now been fully embraced, too.
When it comes to investment in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, both Deaton and Wegman share excellent advice. “The view of the home has changed,” Deaton says. “It’s no longer simply a place to relax, sleep, and eat. It’s become the center of all our activities—a true destination.”
With this in mind, she believes that “as the inherent value of the home increases, so too will home values, and any upgrades or enhancements to a property will see return on investment.” Wegman also sees opportunity in expansion—although he recommends starting afresh thanks to the wealth of “raw land for commercial and residential development available in reasonable proximity to the city center.”
A Positive Outlook
All three real-estate experts are positive about what the future holds for Texas. “In spite of interest rates ticking up, I feel the market will continue to be robust for the remainder or 2021 and into 2022,” says Wegman.
While Collins believes that a rise in interest rates might see “the market levelling out a bit,” she predicts it will continue to be strong throughout 2021 and the first half of 2022, and adds that Burleson “will stay fairly stable for the foreseeable future.”
And Deaton’s outlook? “It remains bullish,” she says, “and I especially look forward to working with homeowners and prospective buyers in this unparalleled market.”
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