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Apr 2

Dallas Spring-Slow Season for Home Sellers

by Mary Teresa Fowler
Dallas Homes for Sale

Springtime is seen traditionally as an active season for home buying. Usually, Dallas is a hub of real estate activity at any time of year. Yet spring 2011 is shaping up as a slow season for home sellers in Dallas.

Slow Sales

Even though Dallas is considered one of the better markets in the US, spring selling has met with low demand. Tim Gehan, a builder in this dynamic Texas city, reported that their company’s home models receive plenty of traffic. Obviously, people are interested in new houses. Shoppers, however, are not making that final commitment to buy a Dallas home. The city’s builders are using incentives to entice home buyers especially in extra slow areas.

Falling Prices

There is a concern in more than one U.S. market that home prices will fall to a new low. Actually, Dallas home prices had experienced a rebound. Home prices have dropped, however, about 6% since the summer of 2010. Figures from the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index suggest that home values in North Texas are almost the same as in early 2004.

Investors’ Market

Investor purchases can pick up the slack in the Dallas housing market. Indeed, there is an eight-month supply of ‘shadow inventory’ sales in Texas. These homes include houses not listed yet for sale and houses scheduled for foreclosure or approaching foreclosure in the near future. Almost 13% of houses in the country are sitting vacant but investors can bring these properties back to life. Putting properties back into use is a better option than watching the inevitable decline in home value. Of course, the Dallas area has encountered only about a third of the challenges of home prices as the remainder of the nation – at least in the past few years.

Will Dallas home buyers be helped by the announcement of Federal Home Loan Bank Funding?

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (Bank) has announced additional funds for its Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) and Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAP) for 2011. In January, the Bank committed to initial allocations of $750,000 each for HELP and SNAP. In addition, the Bank has added another $950,000 in HELP funds and another $1.35 million in SNAP funds.

HELP is a program funded through the Bank's Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The Bank gives out funds through its member institutions that assist low-to-moderate-income, first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs. The Bank provides almost $5,000 for homebuyers, or about $7,000 if the member or another lender contributes at least $350 in financial assistance or other concessions related to the home purchase.

SNAP, an AHP set-aside program, provides grants through the Bank's member institutions that assist special needs households with home rehabilitation and modification costs. Special needs households can receive up to $5,000 in SNAP funds, or up to $7,000 if the member or another lender contributes at least $350 in concessions associated with the rehabilitation. Grant funds are available until December 31, 2011, or until the funding is depleted (whichever comes first).

Are You Interested In Buying A Home In Dallas?

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BuilderOnline.com; Spring Selling Season Hasn't Lived Up to Expectations—Yet; Boyce Thompson; April 2, 2011

Dallas.CityBizList.com; Federal Home Loan Bank Announces Nearly $4M in Funding; March 27, 2011

Image courtesy of dallashomesforsalebyowner.com

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