More signs of a housing recovery in North Texas

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 2:29 AM

Richwoods subdivision

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FRISCO — Home prices in North Texas are up once again.

A new report out Tuesday lists July home prices at 3.7 percent higher, on average, over last year. It's the fifth month in a row that Dallas-area home prices were higher.

Drive on the streets of one Frisco neighborhood and you'd think the housing crisis never happened. It's a gated community where every lot has been sold.

The work on Brian Jorgenson's new house just started. He's moving to the Richwoods subdivision from a nearby Frisco neighborhood. He said he can't resist interest rates at historic lows.

"I can trade up in a house and have nearly the same payment as I do today and get a much better value for my money," he said.

The Jorgensons are among scores of families who are buying new homes in the gated community where prices range from the $300,000 level to the $700,000 level. In real estate terms, the location is considered "best" or "A," just North of Sam Rayburn Tollway, off Independence Parkway in the Frisco ISD.

"We've already sold 180 homes, and we haven't even grand-opened," said Richwoods developer John Landon.

In six months, every available lot has been sold. It's reminiscent of the pre-recession Frisco housing boom.

Landon attributes this new boom, in part, to the willingness of banks to loan money.

"For the builders to build homes, definitely, the money's available to build the homes," Landon said. "For the buyers who are getting mortgages, money is available... but you've got to make certain your credit is good and you're creditworthy."

Brian Jorgenson said he's seeing signs of recovery as a buyer. "When we were looking for homes, everything was busy. There was continuous traffic. There was a lot of people in all of the models," he said.

Jorgenson recently put his current house up for sale and has already had a few offers.

There are other positive signs in the area housing market that point toward recovery: Foreclosures are falling again, as are the number of North Texans who are behind in their mortgage payments.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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