Apartment construction
Apartment under construction in the 600 block of Texas Street. (3/31/21 Fort Worth Report Rodger Mallison)

An influx of out-of-state residents moving into North Texas even during the pandemic likely drove up Fort Worth home prices, which could increase further.

This trend many prospective home buyers already have felt was validated by Zillow’s first-ever Mover Report, which found 11% of Americans relocated last year seeking new opportunities or due to circumstances. 

Additionally, pandemic-related changes like remote work are persuading an estimated 2.5 million more households to look for a new home in different parts of the country, suggests findings from a survey on the report.

As people spent more time at home during the pandemic, many realized that their housing needs changed. Residents living in expensive coastal areas factored in and opted for larger space, relative affordability, warmer climate and big-city culture and amenities, Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow, told the Fort Worth Report.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex finds itself on the receiving end of “The Great Reshuffling,” as Zillow termed the nationwide movement of people.

Top Metros for Net Inbound and Outbound Moves (Zillow)

Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C., and Austin were the top three destinations for movers in 2020. Dallas-Fort Worth ranked fourth and Sarasota, Florida, fifth.

The Fort Worth area attracted movers from Los Angeles the most, but Californians, in general, preferred the growing North Texas region as their destination of choice. The metroplex also saw large inbound interest from movers from Chicago and New York.

“That will push up home prices in Fort Worth and provide plenty of eager buyers for homeowners looking to sell,” Tucker said.

The outbound-inbound ratio from Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth was 3:1 over the first 11 months of 2020, according to data provided to Zillow by northAmerican Van Lines. Among the nation’s 50 largest metros, Riverside, California, had the largest outbound ratio to Dallas-Fort Worth at 3.5.

The current cost of an average home in Fort Worth is about $270,000. Compared to February 2020, home prices in the city have increased by 14.9%, year over year, according to the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors.

With limited supplies, the market has not been able to keep up with the growing demand. 

Active listings are down 57.1%, year over year, while Fort Worth’s residential inventory is at a new low, according to the Realtors association.

The housing market anticipates more rigidity in the coming months. According to Zillow, 70% of homeowners surveyed could potentially move to a new home when vaccine distribution is more widespread.

“Because buildable land is not as constrained in North Texas, we don’t expect astronomical price growth to push prices up to California levels,” Tucker said. “But in the short-to-medium term, homebuyers should expect a lot of competition when they’re shopping.” 

Neetish is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at neetish.basnet@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter

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Neetish Basnet is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He has previously worked as a business reporter at Fort Worth Business Press and Dallas Business Journal. He graduated from University...

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