Homebuilding robust in some of DFW's northern suburbs but slumping in others

New housing activity has jumped in some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s northern reaches as builders pick up the pace of construction. 

Building permits have leapt in places like Celina, McKinney and Princeton as other cities in the area continue to see a slump in new construction. Overall, homebuilding continues to slide in most of DFW’s northern suburbs, per the latest roundup of single-family building permits in Collin, Denton and Grayson counties. 

The number of single-family permits issued through the end of September has surged 52% in Princeton and 44% in Celina, according to data compiled by Addison-based Tomlin Investments. Builders have taken out 1,879 single-family permits in Celina so far this year and 1,368 in Princeton. 

McKinney has also seen a surge in homebuilding where builders have taken out a whopping 1,259 single-family permits so far this year, representing a 22% increase year over year. Building permits have risen 49% in Sanger, a community north of Denton near Lake Ray Roberts. The community has had a total of 91 single-family building permits taken out this year. 

Meanwhile, most northern suburbs have less homebuilding activity than this time last year. Frisco has seen single-family permits drop by 32%, and homebuilders have taken out 47% fewer home permits in Sherman compared to last year. 

Builders have taken out 793 single-family permits in Frisco so far this year and 212 in Sherman. Comparatively, they took out 1,162 during the same period last year in Frisco and 400 in Sherman. 

Other northern communities have seen a decline in activity, albeit a smaller slump. Denton single-family permits fell by about 16% year-over-year. Builders have taken out about 848 single-family permits so far this year, compared to 1,015 during the same time period last year. 

Meanwhile, new home starts across DFW remain strong despite repeated interest rate hikes. North Texas builders started construction on 13,348 homes in the third quarter of the year — slightly lower than the 14,637 starts in the second quarter but 39% higher than the 9,592 starts in the same period a year ago, according to Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc.

As a result, the North Texas annual start pace improved to 45,908 units, up 8.9% quarter over quarter and down 14.5% from a year ago. Prices for new homes across Dallas-Fort Worth, meanwhile, remain at or near all-time highs.

Sales activity in the existing home market remains “muted,” the Residential Strategies report noted. Homeowners that have a 30-year mortgage in the 3% to 4% range remain reluctant to consider listing their house for sale and, as a result, existing home sales have declined.

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