North Texas leads the country in apartment construction with more than 50,000 units on the way.
But when it comes to condominiums, not enough is being built to even move the needle.
While other major metros including Atlanta and Denver are seeing a flurry of condo construction, Dallas-Fort Worth hasn’t seen much built in this cycle.
Most of the condos being constructed are in a few high-rise projects so far clustered in the central city. Condo projects are so few and far between that they can get a big response when one pops up.
Developers recently announced plans for a seven-story condo building near Dallas’ White Rock Lake that would have more than 90 units and start in price under $300,000.
“We’ve had so many calls and inquiries on the Drake that we haven’t been able to get to them,” said Al Coker, who is marketing the building. “I think the tide is turning.
“There is no new condo inventory to speak of.”
Coker said apartment builders have priced up construction sites that could be used for condominiums.
And a flurry of lawsuits on the West Coast regarding construction defects chased off some builders.
While a few deluxe high-rise condo projects have gotten attention in Dallas, the multiple smaller, less expensive developments common in other markets have been absent in North Texas.
“Dallas has never been on par with any of the other top 10 cities in America,” Coker said of condo development.
Demand for existing condo units is strong. Through the first four months of the year, real estate agents sold more than 2,000 D-FW condos. Median sales prices are up 15 percent to $212,500.
Two more condo towers are kicking off in Dallas this year. Developer Craig Hall is building a 44-unit condo high-rise in downtown’s Arts District. Units in the 25-story tower on Flora Street will start near $2 million.
In Plano, work will begin this summer on the 24-story, 95-unit Windrose condos as part of the $3 billion Legacy West development. Homes at the Plano tower are priced starting near $650,000.
Developer Harwood International is opening its 33-story Bleu Ciel condominium tower in Dallas’ Uptown area. Those luxury units begin at about $800,000.
The high-rise condos are priced at multiples of what a new single-family home costs in D-FW — a median price of about $350,000.
Paige Shipp of housing analyst MetroStudy thinks it may take developers from outside North Texas to tap into the potential for moderately priced condos.
“It’s not going to come from a builder that’s been building single-family homes in Dallas-Fort Worth,” Shipp said. “Our traditional builders will have a hard time trying to crack that.”
Shipp said restrictions from local city governments and neighborhood associations may also limit the spread of condo development.
“There is no question there is demand,” she said. “I definitely think we will see it, but it’s going to be an education.”