According to the Dallas Morning News, housing starts in North Texas, were sky high in the first quarter of the year, offering a look back at how things were going before the virus hit. The data comes from Residential Strategies Inc. and shows that Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders started 10,581 single-family homes in the first three months of 2020 — a 25% jump from the same period last year. “The first 10 weeks of 2020, before the coronavirus disruption hit D-FW, were exceptionally strong for area builders,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Residential Strategies Inc. “Driven by ultra-low mortgage rates, builders reported robust traffic and sales.

“This is the first time since 2006 that builders have been able to generate over 10,000 starts in a single quarter.” New home sales during the quarter rose almost 16% year-over-year, with 9,370 houses changing hands. The first-quarter start and sales numbers likely represent the peak of the local building market.

“Obviously, the world changed in mid-March” Wilson said. “With the shelter-in-place requirements that were issued with the spread of the coronavirus, builders reported that prospective buyer traffic declined in the following weeks.

“Nonetheless, while sales for most builders declined to levels that were 30% to 40% of the pace experience of February, they have remained positive, especially at the price points under $300,000.

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