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'It is unprecedented': Buyers beware in Dallas-Fort Worth’s supercharged housing market

It's a tough time to be a buyer of existing homes or new builds. "We even had one last week with 97 offers," one broker said about a recent home for sale.

DALLAS — It’s one thing for the housing market to be sizzling, but now in Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s become superheated, at least from a buyer’s perspective.

Sellers are receiving multiple offers within hours of their home hitting the market. Buyers are offering thousands or tens of thousands above the asking price — depending on price point — for even a shot at the home, and sellers are demanding that buyers waive appraisals and in some cases even inspections.

“There has never been a market like this before,” said Mark Wolfe, broker and owner of RE/MAX DFW Associates, which operates seven offices with 335 agents in Dallas-Fort Worth. “It is unprecedented.”

The median home-sale price in DFW is $314,900 — up 14.9 percent over one year ago, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report.

Housing inventory in DFW is at a 1.1 months supply — down 57.7 percent over last year. And homes are selling nearly 38 percent faster than one year ago, according to the report.

The swing to a seller’s market is not just a D-FW phenomenon. The U.S. median home price reached a record high of $291,000 in February, according to the RE/MAX report, and houses are flying off the market in many parts.

“It’s not worse (for buyers) in the sense that our homes have been more affordable than the East Coast of West Coast,” Wolfe said in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal. “What is worse is the sticker shock in that home prices are going up so rapidly.”

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The inventory continues to drop, and in the Dallas northern suburbs, homes last no more than three to five days, with multiple offers within hours of the home going on the market, Wolfe said.

Buyers’ sense of urgency is rising as interest rates tick up from historic lows. And the asking price for D-FW homes? Well, that’s just a suggested minimum.

“Fifteen offers, 25 offers, we even had one last week with 97 offers — and the list price is the starting point,” according to Wolfe. “An agent in our firm received 17 offers on a property before they cut off receiving any additional offers. Twelve of the offers were cash, all above list, and most buyers not even seeing the home. They are just grabbing.”

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