Although nationwide building has slowed in recent months, North Texas builders are setting records for sales and starts, thanks to strong job growth. Sales of new homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area rose about 15 percent in the first quarter. Starts also grew at a double-digit rate.

“We’ve gone above 50,000 annual starts for the first time,” said David Brown, director of Metrostudy’s Dallas-Fort Worth office. “What’s driving it are the job numbers. The Dallas-Fort Worth area currently ranks second in the country for job growth, with 92,300 jobs added in the last 12 months,” Mr. Brown said. Builders sold almost 11,000 houses in the first three months of 2006, according to statistics released by housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. During the same period, starts rose 13 percent to more than 12,000 homes. Not all the new-home market is booming. “The lower price points continue to slump,” said Ted Wilson of housing analyst Residential Strategies Inc. “Not surprising, the cancellation rates are high, especially in southern Dallas County.” Despite overall strong sales, the number of unsold new homes on the market increased by about 20 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier. At the end of March, there was more than a seven-month supply of new houses on the market.

Source: Dallas Morning News