Not enough houses to go around as Toyota moves to Plano

by rmears

If you’re having trouble finding a house, blame it on Toyota — and State Farm Insurance, Boeing, Kubota Tractor, McKesson Corp. and dozens more corporations moving tens of thousands of workers to North Texas.

Each year, more than 60,000 people come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to fill thousands of jobs; Toyota alone is bringing almost 4,000.

That’s made the D-FW area one of the hottest home markets in the country, driving up prices to unheard of levels.

The strong demand for housing has also created one of the biggest home shortages in decades. It’s a tough time to buy, both for the people moving here and longtime residents.

Employees relocating to North Texas with Toyota’s headquarters move to Plano are finding that it could take months to find a house.

It’s very difficult with how crazy the market is — very hard to find a pre owned home not significantly overpriced. Many older pre owned homes with no updates have 9 or 10 offers and they are already overpriced.

While North Texas residents are gasping over the run-up in prices, buyers relocating from the West Coast and the Northeast think the area is a bargain, agents and analysts say. With most of California and the bigger East Coast cities, their median prices are well above ours. They come here and can afford it and put money in their pocket.

Toyota captures the headlines, and some of their people are coming here with big equities from California. The “relo business” has been a boon to North Texas housing — particularly the builders. Builders in the area are reporting corporate moves have really bolstered their sales.

Out-of-towners are snapping up dozens of new houses at the 2,000-acre Windsong Ranch community under construction on U.S. Highway 380 in Prosper, where prices start at about $350,000.

“We’ve sold a lot of houses to Toyota people,” said project developer Craig Martin of Terre Verde Group. “I have almost 100 Toyota relos. Relocations make up a little over 40 percent of our buyers.” The largest share of his out-of-town homebuyers is coming from California — about 14 percent.

One of the reasons homebuilders have been able to raise their median prices about 55 percent in the last five years is that corporate transfer buyers are willing to pay more, said Page Shipp of MetroStudy Inc.

They are often dealing with buyers who are used to higher prices, that’s one of the reasons they’ve been able to push prices.

Many of Toyota’s California relos still think North Texas home prices are a bargain.

The newcomers aren’t put off by the traffic in Dallas’ northern suburbs either.

“I heard stories about the traffic Dallas was having with all the construction,” Abenes said. “It reminds me of the Midwest — it’s nothing like L.A. traffic.”

The prospect of a long commute didn’t phase Peter Lokken, who relocated with Toyota from Kentucky. He’s rented an apartment in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood, more than 20 miles from Toyota’s new campus. Lokken said he likes the walkability of Dallas’ close-in neighborhoods.

Most of the relocation Buyers are opting for homes in the northern suburbs of Frisco, McKinney, Prosper, Allen and Plano.

Published on 2017-05-15 16:20:48