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Navigating the Fort Worth Housing Market: What Buyers, Sellers, and Renters Need to Know

Buying, selling or renting a house in Fort Worth, Texas? The frenzy in the housing market during the pandemic may have subsided, but that doesn’t mean real estate is back on track.

As we head into the most vigorous season for the housing market, here’s what They can wait buyers, sellers and tenants of Fort Worth.

What’s happening in the Fort Worth housing market?

Spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for the housing market, but this year real estate agents aren’t sure how the season will play out.

“It’s been tumultuous,” said Shelby Kimball, a broker with Kimball Real Estate and past president of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors.

According to the association, in February in Fort Worth:

  • Median home price was $325,000, down 2.1% from a year ago.

  • There were 1,772 active ads, 153.5% more than a year ago.

  • 776 sales were closed, 10.1% less than a year ago.

  • There were 1.9 months of inventory, up from 0.6 in February 2022.

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What do these figures mean?

The housing market has cooled off significantly. And while prices are down and more homes are on the market, many buyers have been turned away by rising mortgage rates.

Map shows the average home values by ZIP code in the Fort Worth area, and the chart shows total home sales in Fort Worth for the last two years.

The map shows median home values ​​by ZIP code in the Fort Worth area, and the graph shows total home sales in Fort Worth for the past two years.


How do mortgage rates evolve?

After declining from their November peak, mortgage rates rose in late February. The Average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.62% in the week ending February 17. But since the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in early March, rates have registered the biggest drop in four months. Between the week ending March 10 and the week ending March 17, average rates fell from 6.71% to 6.48% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

April 6 marked the fourth straight week of falling mortgage rates, to 6.28%, National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said. Rates may fall below 6% by the end of the year, he predicts.

“This is because with so much apartment building, new vacant units constantly coming onto the market will limit rent growth and calm overall consumer price inflation. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can stop tightening its monetary policy,” Yum wrote.

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How is the rental market?

The rental market tends to lag behind the housing market. As a result, we are beginning to see the cooling of rental prices that has persisted in the housing market for a few months, said Jon Leckie, a researcher at Rent.com.

Between February 2022 and February 2023, the median apartment price in Dallas-Fort Worth dropped 2.5%. Rents in the Metroplex declined about 0.5% month-over-month, according to Rent.com.

Maps show the 12-month percent change by ZIP code for median home values and median rent price in the Fort Worth area.

The maps show the 12-month percentage change by ZIP code for median home value and median rental price in the Fort Worth area.


Where should first-time buyers look?

There are some great entry-level options in South Fort Worth neighborhoods like Wedgwood, Edgecliff, Candleridge, and South Hills; northwest of the city in River Oaks; east of downtown on Meadowbrook, and on the outskirts of the Metroplex at Weatherford and Cleburne, Kimball said.

“Right now there are definitely some bargains if you’re flexible with what you want in a home, there are homes on the market that are really negotiable,” Kimball said.

Are we still seeing multiple offers at certain price levels?

Yes, for homes with a “desirable location, right price and in good condition,” Kimball said. But not as often as in the housing heyday during the pandemic.

How are buyers doing?

Buyers can finally negotiate with sellers again, Kimball said. They are less likely to run into bidding wars or bid well above the asking price.

The market is more competitive for sellers than it was a year ago, so sellers are more likely to fix up their homes before putting them up for sale. At the height of the housing market frenzy during the pandemic, sellers could put their homes on the market as-is.

So is it now a buyer’s market?

No. Although prices have dropped and time on market has increased, inventory in February was still less than two months old. A “balanced market” typically requires six months of inventory. So it’s still very much a seller’s market, Kimball said.

“There are still people moving here, which has been for many, many years. And there are still people getting out of leases, who are tired of paying pretty high rents,” she said.

What do current market conditions mean for first-time homebuyers?

Interest rates have been unpredictable, but some new measures could help newcomers break into the housing market.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would reduce mortgage insurance premiums. In a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home, this would save the average buyer about $800 a year, Kimball said.

Also, the Texas Legislature is about to increase the property tax exemption.

“Every little step is going to help,” Kimball said, “especially first-time homebuyers.”

Since prices have gone down since last year, can I expect my property tax assessment to go down?

No. Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) Chief Appraiser Jeff Law said Tarrant County homeowners can expect to see that residential property values ​​increase between 10% and 20% this year.

How is that possible if the market is slowing down?

The appraisal you are about to receive is a reflection of what the TAD thinks your home was worth on January 1, 2023. As of the end of December 2022, the median home price in Tarrant County had risen by 6.1 % from the previous year.

However, that was not a linear jump. The median home price in Tarrant County topped out at $380,000, a 15% jump from the start of the year. The year ended with homes at $350,000. Appraisal districts use prior year data, which means your appraisal may reflect price fluctuations experienced throughout the year.

“The appraisal district is only doing what the law requires them to do,” said Chandler Crouch, a property tax consultant and broker who helps people protest their appraisals. “The real problem is the law.”

The property tax code was developed in 1979, “without the idea that we could have double-digit price appreciation,” Crouch said.

What prospects are there for spring?

During the spring and early summer, the housing market usually picks up. Buyers want to release their home before the school year starts.

However, uncertainty about interest rates has tempered local real estate agents’ optimism about this spring. Mortgage rate fluctuations are also likely to keep potential first-time homebuyers renewing their leases.

Jon Leckie of Rent.com predicts that we will see a rebound in rental prices in the spring.

“We are going back to the seasonal trends that we saw before the pandemic,” he said.

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