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Fort Worth home owners are experiencing some sticker shock. Among the country’s 50 biggest metro areas, Dallas-Fort Worth saw the 10th biggest rise nationally in mortgage payments from March 2021 to this March 2022, according to a new report from real estate platform Zillow.

The report shows a year-over-over change of 48 percent in the typical DFW-area mortgage payment. That figure is based on principal and interest for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment.

That compares with a nationwide jump of 38 percent.

Zillow says Dallas-Fort Worth's typical monthly mortgage payment is $1,445.

But, let's say it again: "At least we aren't Austin." The Capitol City saw the biggest spike nationally — a whopping 63.5 percent — last year. Zillow pegged the Austin metro area’s typical monthly mortgage payment at $2,299.

“Home shoppers are facing a one-two affordability punch this spring: Quickly rising mortgage rates are compounding affordability challenges that have been brought on by record home value growth,” Zillow says.

Other major Texas metro areas experienced year-to-year spikes in the typical monthly mortgage payment, but not nearly at the level witnessed in Austin. By comparison:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 10th with a 48 percent year-over-year increase in the typical monthly mortgage payment ($1,445).
  • San Antonio ranked 16th with a 42.8 percent year-over-year increase in the typical monthly mortgage payment ($1,256).
  • Houston ranked 21st with a 38.8 percent year-over-year increase in the typical monthly mortgage payment ($1,144).

Among the 50 biggest metro areas, Washington, D.C., registered the lowest year-over-year increase in the typical monthly mortgage payment, 27.4 percent, the Zillow report shows.

“Higher mortgage rates were anticipated this year, but the speed of their rise has been breathtaking,” says Jeff Tucker, Zillow’s senior economist. “Record-low mortgage rates had been an affordability lifeline during the pandemic, keeping monthly payments in check even while prices climbed quickly.”

“March was the biggest test yet of whether enough buyers can meet the new asking prices to keep home values growing at a record pace, and the answer was ‘So far, yes,’” Tucker adds. “There will be a point when the cost of buying a home deters enough buyers to bring price growth back down to earth, but for now, there is plenty of fuel in the tank as home-shopping season kicks into gear.”

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Dallas-Fort Worth stars as top attraction for residents leaving Los Angeles, Zillow says

Home is where you hang your cowboy hat

Los Angeles’ population losses were Dallas-Fort Worth’s and Austin's gains in 2020.

A new report from residential real estate platform Zillow puts Austin at No. 3 and DFW at No. 4 among the five U.S. metro areas that saw the most inbound moves in 2020. For DFW and Austin, the Los Angeles metro area topped the list of places sending the most new arrivals, the Zillow report says.

Here are the top five metros for inbound moves last year:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina
  3. Austin
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth
  5. Sarasota, Florida

The ranking is based on SIRVA/North American Van Lines data for moves in the first 11 months of 2020.

Zillow expects the population influx in Phoenix, Charlotte, and Austin to continue in 2021 as people in higher-cost markets seek lower-cost housing elsewhere. A Zillow report in January forecasted DFW as the sixth hottest housing market in 2021, and Austin as No. 1.

Aside from L.A., last year’s top sources of new residents in DFW were the New York City and Chicago metros.

San Jose and San Francisco — accounted for the most new arrivals last year in Austin (after L.A.), the Zillow report shows.

The metro area that experienced the most departures last year was New York City, followed by L.A., San Francisco, and Chicago, according to Zillow.

Zillow refers to this population shift as the “Great Reshuffling.”

In a March survey by Zillow, 11 percent of U.S. adults indicated they had moved in the previous year — either by choice or out of necessity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.8 percent of Americans moved in 2019.

“The pandemic brought an acceleration of trends we were seeing in 2018 and 2019,” Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow, says in an April 6 news release. “More affordable, medium-sized metro areas across the Sun Belt saw significantly more people coming than going, especially from more expensive, larger cities farther north and on the coasts. The pandemic has catalyzed purchases by millennial first-time buyers, many of whom can now work from anywhere.”

In a typical year, other cities in Texas represent the most inbound moves for DFW and Austin. The Zillow report doesn’t reflect these relocations, in large part because many in-state movers don’t hire moving companies like North American Van Lines.

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Zillow reveals how fast home values are rising in Dallas-Fort Worth

Hot Homes

The spring selling season is underway, and those looking to purchase a home in Dallas-Fort Worth should expect to pay a premium — regardless of price point — Zillow says.

A new study from the real estate authority shows that the annual appreciation of DFW home values at all price tiers was at least 8 percent in February 2021, with home values in the most affordable tier growing the fastest.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth metro, the lowest tier of home values grew 9.5 percent year-over-year, to a typical home price of $194,484, Zillow says. That rate slightly outpaced home values in the middle tier, which were up 8.9 percent to $278,259, and home values in the top tier, which grew 8.6 percent to $445,949.

In most major U.S. metro areas, "homes in the entry-level segment of the market most likely to be sought by first-time and/or lower-income home buyers have also grown the most in value over the past year," Zillow says.

Two other Texas metros follow the national trend:

  • In the San Antonio metro, the lowest tier appreciated at a rate of 7.9 percent, to a typical home value of $153,904, compared to 7.3 percent for the top tier.
  • In the Houston metro area, the lowest tier saw a 9.3 percent increase, to $166,556, compared to a 7.4 percent increase for the top tier.

In Austin, however, home values in the most expensive tier grew the fastest, up 14.9 percent to $666,034. At the same time, the lowest tier of home values in the Austin metro area grew 14 percent year-over-year.

“Demand for homes in the Dallas, Houston, and Austin metros is largely uniform across price tiers," notes Zillow economist Arpita Chakravorty. "While home values in the most affordable segment are growing the fastest in Dallas and Houston, the mid- and higher-valued homes are quickly catching up due to strong demand. The spread between appreciation rates in Austin is tightening as well, indicating extreme competition across all price tiers."

Whether you're in the market right now or planning to house hunt in the future, don't expect things to slow down.

Looking ahead, Zillow expects the typical home value in each of the Texas markets mentioned to grow by at least 10 percent by next February. For Dallas-Fort Worth, Zillow predicts a 12.6 percent price increase — the largest in the state.

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New Zillow study shows how fast homes are selling in Dallas-Fort Worth

Red-Hot Real Estate

Have the stay-at-home orders this spring convinced you it's time to buy a house, or upgrade to a bigger one? You're not alone — a new report from Zillow shows that Dallas-Fort Worth homes are flying off the market at their fastest pace in more than two years.

For the week ending June 13, it only took a median of 28 days for a DFW home to go from "available" to "pending." That's one fewer day than the same time last year, as well as six fewer from the same week in May 2020. To show just how quickly the market is moving, it's even two days less than the week before (ending June 6, 2020).

Inventory is still low thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with buyers in May finding themselves competing over the smallest pool of inventory on record for that month in years. But as "the new normal" begins to take hold, it seems that buyers are now eager to make up for lost time with speedy offers.

Surprisingly, DFW is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to red-hot real estate.

In mid-June, the typical home sold in the U.S. had an offer accepted 22 days after it was listed. That's as fast as homes have sold since early June 2018, when they typically sold in 21 days. Even at the slowest point of the spring — in late May — that national number only climbed to 31 days, just six days slower than late May last year.

"Buyers shopping today might expect to be welcomed by desperate sellers, but they'll instead discover houses selling like hotcakes in the speediest market in recent memory," says Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. "The market did slow down in April, but anyone shopping this summer needs to be prepared to keep up with the lightning-quick pace of sales today.

"The question is whether the tempo will slow after buyers finish playing catch-up from planned spring moves, or if this fast-paced market will stay hot thanks to continued low interest rates and buyers scrambling over record-low summer inventory."

Home sales are still moving relatively quickly around the Lone Star State, especially in Austin. Homes there are moving within 12 days a change of three days from 2019, three days from May, and one day from the previous week.

In San Antonio, it took a median 32 days for listings to move to pending. That's down two days from last year, down four days from last month, and no change from the week before.

Houston homes are only available for 26 days — three days fewer than last year, nine days fewer from last month, and four days fewer than even the week ending June 6.

Homes are selling the fastest — in only five days — in Columbus, Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio (six days); Kansas City, Missouri (six days); Seattle (seven days), and Indianapolis (seven days) are just behind. Pittsburgh has seen the most dramatic acceleration of late, with sellers typically accepting an offer 17 days sooner than at this time last year and 40 days sooner than a month ago.

The slowest market by some margin is New York, where homes are typically spending 70 days on the market before an offer is accepted, more than three weeks longer than at this time last year. Miami (55 days) and Atlanta (38 days) are the next slowest.

Zillow points out that more homes are coming onto the market — new listings are up 14 percent nationally month-over-month — showing that sellers appear to be gaining confidence in buyer demand. Inventory remains incredibly tight and sales are happening quickly, so buyers should be prepared to move fast when they find a home they're interested in.

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Dallas-Fort Worth home listings dip thanks to COVID-19

Coronavirus impact

We're coming up on the best time to list your Dallas-Fort Worth house, but thanks to COVID-19, the real estate landscape looks pretty different this year. Zillow reports that 3-D home tours are up 408 percent from February, and newly listed homes nationwide were down 27.1 percent from a year ago in the first week of April.

But it's not quite as bad in Dallas-Fort Worth. While the rest of the U.S. is seeing a 19 percent drop in new listings since March 1, 2020, DFW only decreased 18 percent.

Active listings here are down 1.1 percent since the same period. Total U.S. inventory, meanwhile, has only grown by 2.5 percent since March 1, which likely correlates to homes sitting on the market for longer.

"It is clear that many would-be home sellers are adopting a wait-and-see approach as uncertainty continues to rule," says Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow. "Our understanding of U.S. economic conditions is changing weekly, if not daily, and early unemployment figures are striking, so it's understandable that some are hesitant to put their home on the market.

"It is possible that this year's busy home shopping season is pushed into winter as some opt to hang back, but activity continues from those who need to buy or sell for a job move or another major life event. What's not likely is that the bulk of potential home sellers and buyers simply throw up their hands and pull back from the market entirely."

By March 1, 2020, new listings in DFW were up 25.2 percent from the same time a year ago. Fast-forward just a month, and that number was down 17.2 percent. The outlook in DFW is definitely brighter than what's happening nationwide: nationwide listings were up 17.3 percent on March 1 and down a significant 27.1 percent by April 5.

Elsewhere in Texas, Houston has seen a 1.9 percent increase in new listings from March to April of this year, but listings are down 8.7 percent from April 2019.

San Antonio is an outlier, remaining neutral at zero percent change in new listings from March 1-April 5, 2020, and only down 11.8 percent from April 2019.

But Austin is truly bucking the trend, with new listings up 12.8 percent in the past month, for a year-over-year increase of 13.5 percent.

The greatest slowdowns in new listings since March 1 were seen in Detroit (down 61.8 percent), Pittsburgh (down 55.5 percent), and New York (down 49.1 percent). But new listings were actually up or flat in 12 of the 35 largest U.S. metros, led by Phoenix (up 18.3 percent), Atlanta (up 15.6 percent), Sacramento (up 13.7 percent), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 13.7 percent).

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Lightscape' shines bright in this week's 5 most popular Fort Worth stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. What to expect at 'Lightscape,' Fort Worth's new walk-thru winter wonderland. Fort Worth’s most Instagrammable new holiday lights display is best enjoyed without clinging to a phone. “Lightscape,” which made its North Texas debut at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Friday, November 18, walks visitors through a winter wonderland experience unlike any other in DFW.

2. Hoffbrau Steak fires up the grill for new location in Grapevine. A longtime steakhouse is coming to Grapevine: Hoffbrau Steak & Grill House, a small family-owned and -operated chain that's been in Dallas-Fort Worth for more than 40 years, will open a location November 28 at 700 W. State Hwy 114, previously home to a Brick House Tavern & Tap, which closed during the pandemic.

3. Yellowstone and 1883 stars cowboy up at Fort Worth gala honoring Taylor Sheridan. Fort Worth has always been "where the West begins," and now it's where TV's hottest Western drama begins, too. The 2022 Lone Star Film Festival Gala - held November 11 at Hotel Drover in the Stockyards - leaned hard into the city's connections to Yellowstone and its prequel, 1883, with signs and programs that boasted "The Road to Yellowstone Began in Fort Worth."

4. Divine doughnuts and tempting tamales top this Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth has tidbits about doughnuts, Cajun food, vegan tamales, and gourmet ice cream, culled from press releases, social media, and the occasional hot tip. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

5. Here comes Santa House, back to Grapevine for a very charitable 2022 Christmas season. After taking a much-needed break last year, Louie Murillo and his family are once again decking their halls, yard, and rooftop to bring back the Grapevine Santa House — a smash hit during the 2020 holiday season. The half-acre property is a "Where's Waldo?" maze of more than 1,000 Santa statues, which visitors can walk among, snap photos with, and then, they hope, make a donation to Grace Grapevine's Christmas Cottage program.

Texas parks beckon throughout 2022 holidays with festive events and peaceful escapes

If roasting ‘smores and hiking in the great outdoors sounds fun, pack up your family and visit one of Texas’ state parks this holiday season.

Texas state parks and historic sites are ringing in the holidays with a number of festive events. There are drive-thru light tours, special holiday hikes, arts and crafts for the kiddos, and more.

Reservations fill up quickly, so be sure to visit an individual park's website before you head out. And check the Holidays in the Parks page for many more fun options, pricing information, and more information.

Dallas-Fort Worth-area parks

Tyler State Park
Avoid the Black Friday madness with the 15th annual “Walk-off the Bird” Bird Walk, a 2.1-mile walk by the lakeshore at 9 am November 25. Bring your binoculars to relax and enjoy the bird life of the East Texas Pineywoods. At 2 pm the same day, enjoy a Fall in the Savannah fall foliage hike. Enjoy Reading Ranger Campfire Stories around a cozy campfire at 3 pm December 3. Head back December 9-10 for A Pineywoods Christmas, when you can stroll or drive through the Lakeview and Big Pine campgrounds to take in campers' elaborately decorated sites and take a Winter Wonderland Hike.

Lake Tawakoni State Park
Drive through or stay at the park and decorate your campsite with your favorite Christmas decorations to receive your second night of camping free during your stay. There will be a decorating contest, complete with awards, as well as a reading of The Night before Christmas — all part of Twinkle Tour 2022, 5-8 pm December 3.

Daingerfield State Park
Drive through the park lit up like Santa Land during the 10th annual Christmas in the Park drive thru lights tour December 14-17 (times vary). Marvel at the decorated campsites and lights, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while waiting for a chance to visit with Santa.

Eisenhower State Park
Help those in need and spread holiday cheer — and as a bonus, get free entry to the park — by bringing one unwrapped donation item to the park’s Holiday Donation Drive from November 25 to December 19. Come back December 9-10 to visit the Light Up the Park drive-thru lights event, featuring milk and cookies with Santa. This year, the park is taking unwrapped toys to donate instead of collecting entrance fees for the event.

Cleburne State Park
Enjoy Pancakes With Santa and make pinecone bird feeders 9-11 a.m. December 10.

Cedar Hill State Park
Walk off your Thanksgiving Day meal and explore nature in the cool fall air during the three-mile Thanksgiving Nature Walk 7:30-9 a.m. November 26. Search for birds taking their winter break at the park during their Winter Birding Walk, which takes place 7:30-8:30 am December 13. Explore Christmas on Penn Farm on December 17: Learn about the history and pioneers of the Penn Family and the farm they built 150 years ago.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Experience Christmas, cowboy style, at Cross Timbers Cowboy Christmas, December 3. Park ranger and cowboy poet David Owens will gather guests around a campfire at the Lone Star Amphitheater for an evening of cowboy culture through songs, stories and poems.

Dinosaur Valley State Park
In partnership with Toys for Tots, the park is hosting Christmas in the Valley, a full day of ranger-led events, programs, family friendly activities, arts and crafts, food and more. Bring a new and unwrapped toy for free admission for the whole family. The event takes place 1-4 pm. December 17.

Austin/San Antonio-area parks

Bastrop State Park
The park’s annual Gobble Till You Wobble hike November 25 has been canceled due to predicted rains. However, you can still follow ornaments with clues through the park every day in December during the annual Fa La La Through The Forest Scavenger Hunt. Enjoy the Lost Pines Christmas Parade, a collaborative event with Bastrop and Buescher Parks, at 6 pm December 10. Tour the inside of the historic Refectory and see how the Civilian Conservation Corps celebrated Christmas away from home during A Lost Pines CCC Christmas 9 a.m. to noon December 17.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
Attend Deck the Halls, 10 am. to 3 pm November 26 to explore how early Texans at the Sauer-Beckmann Farm got ready for the holidays by stringing popcorn and decorating cookies to hang on their Christmas tree; learn how to make wreaths out of local cedar and dip candles as the farm staff get ready for das Weihnachten (Christmas). Return to the park at 5:30 pm December 18 for the 53rd Annual Tree Lighting, a holiday tradition started by President and Mrs. Johnson.

Garner State Park
Join the Buffalo Soldiers program and friends as they stop into Garner State Park before leaving for Christmas break during the Marching Towards Christmas event 10 am to 2 pm December 10. Christmas activities will include hand-dipped candles, frontier Christmas painting, Christmas-themed hard tack in Dutch ovens, and stories of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Buescher State Park
Take a Giving Thanks Guided Hike and learn how the Civilian Conservation Corps built the park from 3-4 pm November 26. On the Fa La La in the Forest Scavenger Hunt, you can follow ornaments with clues through the park to secure a prize at the end, December 1 to January 1. Enjoy the Smithville Festival of Lights and Lighted Parade, a collaborative effort between Buescher and Bastrop parks, on December 3.

Hill Country State Natural Area
See how art, history and state parks are connected; learn some basic watercolor techniques and paint a card or two to take home during the Watercolor Christmas Cards event 2:30-4 p.m. December 3. Come back for Horses in History & Ornament Craft from 2:30-4 pm. December 22 and learn how horses played important roles in the lives of vaqueros, native people, ranchers and more. Then, play a round of horseshoes and paint a horse ornament to take with you.

South Llano River State Park
At Christmas at the Ranch, 2 to 5 pm December 3, guests can warm up with hot chocolate and cider, listen to live entertainment, enjoy crafts and cookie decorating, and anticipate Santa's visit while taking in the twinkling lights and Christmas decorations at the historic Ranch House that now serves as Park Headquarters.

Houston and Gulf Coast-area parks

Brazos Bend State Park
Holiday in the Park is an all-day affair on December 10. Events include a self-guided "Elf Hike," Christmas crafts, "Pup Parade," s'mores, and more.

Goose Island State Park
See the park in lights, enjoy holiday activities, and camp for free when you decorate your campsite during Christmas in the Park on December 17. Guests are invited to "Santa's Village" at the CCC Recreation Hall for holiday crafts, games, hot chocolate around the campfire, and to drop off letters to Santa in the North Pole Mailbox.

Lake Livingston State Park
Learn about your favorite Thanksgiving food (the turkey) during Campfire Turkey Talk on November 26. Rangers will cover the history of Thanksgiving, the habits and behaviors of wild turkeys, and share interesting facts about turkeys, including how it nearly became our national bird.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park
Get in the holiday spirit with the second annual Holiday Light Drive Thru 6-9 pm December 10. Visitors can enter the park for a drive through the lighted areas of Javelina and Opossum Bend camping loops, plus the Old Pavilion.

West Texas and the Panhandle-area parks

Franklin Mountains State Park
Pack your Thanksgiving leftovers and hike 1.5 miles up to Aztec Caves during the park’s Turkey Trot at 11 am November 25. On December 3, make ornaments and holiday cards with recycled materials as part of the Art in the Parks series. During Cookies and Cocoa, you can decorate and take home your own Christmas treat while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate 2-4 pm December 23. Come back on Christmas Eve for a guided, two-mile Santa Hike at 11 am.

Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Bring your family out for Home for the Holidays guided family hike on December 10 and moderate hike on 17.

San Angelo State Park
Enjoy a drive-thru tour of lights and optional pictures with Santa and Smokey Bear during Holly-Days in the Park 6-8 pm December 10.

Affluent Fort Worth neighbor leads list of lavish holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Flower Mound as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Flower Mound is $3,531 per person, the third highest in the nation.

The town's 2021 population of 77,243 (per the U.S. Census) boasts a median income $139,703 and earlier this year was named by Ventured.com as the richest city in Texas.

In spite of an increase over last year's gift list totals, Flower Mound dropped to the third spot after being ranked No. 1 last year with a budget of $3,427. Newton, Massachusetts (budget $4,233) and Palo Alto, California (budget $3,920) edged out the Texas city this year.

Flower Mound was the only Texas city in the top 10, but there's plenty of holiday cheer to be found in the report, and not just for Flower Mound Santa fans.

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

This could be good news if your Christmas wishes are on local shopping lists. Eight other North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630

Fort Worth landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890, while Dallas landed at No. 401 out of 558 cities with an average holiday budget of $845.

Elsewhere in Texas, spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.

Santa's bag could be a mixed bag in the Houston area with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling behind:

  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Houston, No. 366, $890

Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.

At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, Connecticut, with a budget of only $211.