What kind of real estate appreciation will the fourth largest MSA see?


In 1971, with construction of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional Airport underway, the North Texas Commission, a consortium of businessmen, hired three advertising agencies to suggest a market makeover to attract residents and businesses after the airport opened in 1973.

Tracy-Locke Vice President Harve Chapman, perhaps inspired by the successful merging of Dallas and Fort Worth (not to mention Tracy and Locke), won the account by simply smooshing “metropolis” and “complex” into Metroplex.

Today the Metroplex, formally known as the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA, is the largest in Texas, the largest in the South, and the fourth largest in the United States. In 1985, the airport became DFW International and now ranks fourth in annual U.S. passenger traffic – behind Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles – and 12th in the world.

Whether it was the new clever name – or the more practical invention of the frozen margarita machine, which also happened in Dallas in 1971 – the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA has been enjoying a Texas-sized growth spurt ever since.

In 2017, according to Molly Cromwell, a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau, its population grew by 146,000 people, which was “the nation’s largest numeric growth in annual population among metropolitan areas.” And, the economic and cultural center of North Central Texas is expected to just keep getting bigger. Last year, the local CBS affiliate estimated that the population could grow from 7.3 million to over 9 million by 2027.


That top-ranking population growth and all the development that helps attract it, however, are not driving the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA to the top of projected real estate appreciation through August 2019. The most recent VeroFORECAST from Veros Real Estate Solutions, which predicts property appreciation in 358 MSAs nationwide, ranks the Metroplex at 160. Its 5.3% projected annual appreciation for both single-family residences and condos/townhomes places it slightly above the median forecast annual price change among all MSAs, which ranged from a projected high through next August of 11.7% in Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington to a projected low of 2.2% depreciation in Farmington, New Mexico.

Furthermore, the Dallas-Fort Worth market is expected to soften somewhat over its stellar double-digit results of the past few years. The reasons are in the other criteria, beyond population trends with growth up 12% over the past seven years. Its housing supply is creeping up to 3.0 months, and that is putting the brakes on its lofty past appreciation levels. Other significant factors in VeroFORECAST’s data analysis of the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA were seasonality, rising interest rates and the unemployment rate, which is currently better than the national average at 3.4%.

Because the quarterly VeroFORECAST reports provide 12-month predictions of changing property values for both single-family residences and condo-townhomes at the metropolitan, county, and ZIP code levels, we can look at whether the projections indicate differences between cities and counties in each state.

Texas has 25 of the nation’s 388 MSAs, which incorporate its 254 counties, far more than the state with the next most, which is Georgia at 159. The 13 counties that make up the Metroplex have a total area of 9,286 square miles, one of the largest geographical areas of the nation’s most populated MSAs.

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