REAL ESTATE REPORT: Downhill Slide

The news was not good for Oak Cliff in the fourth Advocate Home Price Snapshot, compiled with the help of Ron Burch at Coldwell Banker. The average home sale price decreased in all four ZIP codes where we distribute the magazine in Oak Cliff — the second consecutive six-month period that this has happened in our neighborhood.

Yet Oak Cliff was not alone, as the national housing slump that had left Dallas mostly unscathed through the middle of last year seems finally to have arrived. The average sales price declined in 17 of the 23 ZIP codes where we publish magazines, compared to 14 declines at the end of 2008. (We used sales figures through May 31 reported to the North Texas Real Estate Information System. A chart with complete figures for all 23 ZIP codes is on our website at advocatemag.com/home_price_snapshot).

The decreases, mostly around 10 percent in each area, left home sales prices about where they were five years ago. But that wasn’t the worst news in the survey, which found double digit declines in prestigious Preston Hollow and Far North Dallas neighborhoods. And our neighborhoods still aren’t in as bad a shape as Phoenix, where home prices have fallen in half since the market peaked in the middle of the decade.

One key indicator, homes sold, was also down significantly, and looks to finish 2009 well below 2008 levels if present trends hold. For example, only 71 homes were sold in 75208 through the end of May, compared to 231 last year. On the other hand, the number of homes for sale remained more or less consistent with last year’s figures. And days on market didn’t seem to show any discernible pattern; two ZIPs increased and two decreased.

Elsewhere in the neighborhoods where we do magazines:

• Single-family home sale prices in East Dallas and Lakewood fell in all five ZIP codes. Four areas declined in 2008, and just one ZIP code fell in January 2007 from 2006 sale prices.

• Preston Hollow, which held its own in 2008 with increases in three of five ZIP codes, finally looks to be slumping. Prices declined in three areas, and each by 11 percent or more. In 75225, the average sale price dropped 17.9 percent to $1.1 million, about the 2006 average.

• Far North Dallas also was hit hard, with prices declining in five of the six areas. In 75254, between Spring Valley and Beltline, prices dropped 20.4 percent to an average $477,472.

• Lake Highlands was a bright spot, with sales prices increasing in two of the three ZIP codes for the second consecutive period. The hike wasn’t much in either case, but it looks like the area may have hit bottom in 2007 and be working its way back up.


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