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Anyone interested in American cities, the South, real estate, or just fantastic locations to live should keep a careful eye on the huge Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
To provide a few instances, opinion writer Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times recently wrote, “Everyone’s migrating to Texas,” and provided several reasons why.
Stephen Dubner, host of the Freakonomics podcast, traveled up from Gotham to find out why. (The article “Big D is a Big Deal” in the City Journal prompted that journey.)
“Dallas is ready to rule America’s heartland,” the Kinder Institute for Urban Research said from the corridors of academia.
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Invasion of Chicago
There’s a reason for the city’s and Dallas real estate’s heightened interest. DFW’s population has expanded three times faster than the national average of the 50 biggest metro areas, to 7.6 million people as of the 2020 Census, making it the most populated metro region in the South. In 2010, the population was 6.4 million, an increase of 350 individuals each day over the previous decade.
It is forecast to grow to 10 million people by the 2030s, displacing Chicago as the country’s third-largest metro, after New York and Los Angeles.
“I believe half of those who migrated here last year came from California, as well as a lot from the Midwest and Northeast,” says Bernard Weinstein, a recently retired economist from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.
Others people are leaving locations with higher taxes and/or colder climates, and some are retirees, he notes, but the majority of the rise is due to job creation. He points out that total employment in Texas is higher than it was before the outbreak.
Read more about the best Dallas neighborhoods for investors.
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The population and home prices in Dallas are both increasing.
During the epidemic, DFW’s property values skyrocketed, as did many other regions with a low cost of living and low congestion.
- According to a recent Zillow survey, property prices in the metro region have increased by 25.1 percent since February 2020 and by 49 percent since the 2007 housing meltdown.
- In February 2022, the median listed house price in Dallas County was $349,500, up 7.5 percent over the previous year.
- In February, the median house selling price was approximately $342,018, up 10.1 percent year over year.
- In February, the median number of days on the market was 42, down from 56 the previous month.
“Our prices will continue to rise,” says Robyn Bullard, a real estate broker who has lived in the metroplex for 40 years and has worked in the industry since 2008. “It’s just a month’s worth of merchandise.”
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Competition for homebuyers
Dallas real estate is growing, and buyers are vying for the best deals.
“It’s absurd when homes are listed,” Bullard remarked. “If you want to purchase a home, you may look at 50 places and make 40 bids and still end up with nothing.” There will be 95 offers, with incredible conditions. However, if you know what you’re doing, it’s still a fantastic area for investment.”
Experts predict that Dallas will continue to expand at a rapid pace, making it an attractive real estate investment. DFW is a “magnet” among the “Super Sun Belt” cities (along with Atlanta, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tampa/St. Petersburg), according to the PwC/Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report for 2022, which ranks it fourth in homebuilding prospects and seventh in overall real estate prospects among American metro areas.
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Real estate supply is scarce.
Dallas’ real estate supply will not be able to keep up with demand in the near future. According to the Texas Tribune, “Texas added the most inhabitants of any state between 2010 and 2020, according to the most recent census.” Three of the country’s ten biggest cities are located here, as are four of the fastest growing. As a result, it’s been tough for builders to keep up.”
Many would-be owners have been priced out of the market, causing rents to rise throughout the nation. Dallas just jumped to number six on the list of metro regions with a population of one million or more with the fastest-growing rents, with rentals increasing by 5%.
Read more: The 4 Best Investment Spots in Dallas
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Dallas offers a diverse range of industries.
While Weinstein brags about how good the employment market is, there is plenty of data to back up his claim. Only New York and Chicago have more Fortune 500 headquarters than DFW. (There were just a few in the area four decades ago.)
Before recently adding Toyota Motor North America, Tenet Healthcare, commercial real estate services firm CBRE, and Charles Schwab, it was already home to Texas Instruments, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.
In addition, the metroplex is the country’s third-largest financial center.
“For 10 or 15 years, Dallas has been the financial capital of the South, and it’s really accelerating,” says Edward Friedman, a Moody’s analyst. “Capital One has a Plano facility, and Fidelity wants to add 2,000 workers in client-facing positions.”
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Businesses are booming.
Both Vanguard and Goldman Sachs want to grow their operations in Dallas.
“In the Southwest, you’ve got a lot of money rising up,” Friedman remarked. “Big banks, who do a lot of banking with mid-market enterprises and high-net-worth people, are drawn to this.”
According to a research released in 2021 by Wealth X, DFW attracted super-wealthy inhabitants at a quicker pace than New York and Los Angeles in 2020.
Big players and the super-rich aren’t the only ones that drive economies. According to a recent survey, Dallas is the 18th greatest area in the nation to start a new company, as Dubner points out in his podcast. (L.A. was rated 52nd, while New York was placed 60th.)
The area’s more than 40 schools and institutions, notably Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Dallas, provide talent to these firms.
TrongNguyen / istockphoto / TrongNguyen / istockphoto / TrongNguyen / istockphoto
While Dallas doesn’t have a techy label like Austin in the southern Texas Hill Country, “Silicon Hills,” North Texas boasts the continent’s fifth-largest pool of tech talent, according to CBRE.
“Austin gets the publicity, but Dallas–Fort Worth gets the jobs,” Weinstein says of high-tech employment.
Dallas boasts a comprehensive transportation infrastructure, including the nation’s second-busiest airport, and a popular one at that: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. In the 2021 J.D. Power North America Airport Satisfaction Study, DFW rated above average among major airports.
It’s bigger than Manhattan Island, at over 17,000 acres. “From Dallas, you can go anyplace,” adds Bullard. “The DFW airport is quite simple to navigate, the timetables are fantastic, and on-time performance is excellent.”
Weinstein adds, “We also have strong transportation networks in terms of rail and major interstates, and we’re an inland port, just 300 miles from the Gulf.”
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Cowboys, rodeos, fine art, and frozen margs are all part of the Dallas culture.
DFW, like every other megacity, has a diversified populace with a wide range of interests.
Sports enthusiasts have a plethora of choices. The Dallas Cowboys (nicknamed “America’s Team”) are the city’s most well-known team, having been in the Super Bowl eight times, winning five times, and boasting a well-known cheering squad. It is the most valuable sports professional franchise in the world, according to Forbes, with a value of $4 billion.
The Texas Rangers (baseball), Dallas Mavericks (basketball), Stars (hockey), and FC Dallas are some of the other professional teams in the city (soccer).
Others follow the call of the Texas Motor Speedway, which has a 1.5-mile-long track and 154,000 seats and is home to Big Hoss TV, the world’s biggest HD screen, which is 218 feet wide – larger than the Lincoln Memorial.
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Fort Worth has a unique culture.
Meanwhile, Fort Worth offers a variety of sports. One million people attended the annual Stock Show and Rodeo in 2022, but cowboys may be seen all year in the Stockyards, and they two-step every weekend at Billy Bob’s Texas nightclub.
Those with more avant-garde tastes will find enough to like.
All the industrial wealth has made the city a major center for buildings by some of the world’s best-known architects. The 15-story Praetorian Building, erected in 1909, was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi, and today, downtown is studded with high-rises by superstars like I.M. Pei, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Philip Johnson.
Barbara Smyers / istockphoto contributed to this image.
Other cultural activities
Affluence has also led in the establishment of high-quality art institutions and art collectors. The Nasher Sculpture Center, which provides one of the world’s biggest yearly artist prizes, at $100,000, anchors the arts area, which also includes the Dallas Museum of Art. In 2009, the city added an art fair to its schedule.
Why wouldn’t Dallas residents dine out frequently? In addition to the classics (Chicken Fried Steak, Fried Okra, Pecan Pie, and Fletcher’s Original Corny Dogs), there’s plenty of barbecue, Mexican, and Tex-Mex in the city proper, as well as a diverse range of cuisines in the suburbs, ranging from Indian and Chinese to African, Taiwanese, and Persian.
Diners worldwide may credit Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez for creating the frozen Margarita machine, which he created because his bartenders couldn’t make them quickly enough.
courtesy of asiantiger247 / istockphoto.
The state of Texas isn’t for everyone.
Nobody can make everyone happy, and DFW has its own set of problems.
Some realtors these days are choosing to be up-front with potential clients about their markets’ downsides, so they know what they’re getting themselves into. One straight-talking realtor’s YouTube video The state of Texas isn’t for everyone. has hit about 140,000 views in the nine months since he posted it in June.
The flat and uninteresting environment, hot summer heat (average August temperatures may reach 95 degrees), and the importance of weapons and God are just a few of the causes.
The sprawling metroplex’s traffic is also notorious. In a 2021 report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the city rose to the no. 8 spot for worst traffic by one key measure.
“There still isn’t a decent deli in Dallas,” gripes Weinstein. “There’s only one really good one in the whole state, and that’s Kenny & Ziggy’s, in Houston.”
TrongNguyen/istockphoto contributed to this image.
The political scene
Those migrating to Texas from more liberal areas may be disappointed by the state legislature’s strong conservative leanings, as seen by the controversial 2021 legislation, which prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and empowers private people to sue anybody who “aides and abets” the operation.
On the other hand, some conservatives in Texas have adopted the slogan “Don’t California my Texas!” in response to the inflow of immigrants from the coasts.
Weinstein also shows out how unrepresentative the government is.
“You’d assume elected politicians would represent the majority-minority nature of the big metro regions,” he added, “but the Republican legislature has gerrymandered the districts to secure a Republican majority in the next decade.”
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Oil, an assassination, and a successful TV program are all part of Dallas’ history.
The current metroplex came out of a town that was built down in 1844. The meaning of its name is unknown. Perhaps it was named after a Scottish town. For example, Joseph Dallas, an early inhabitant. Vice President George Mifflin Dallas, for example.
In the 1870s, railroads fueled expansion, resulting in a massive wholesale industry and retail businesses like the now-famous Neiman-Marcus. (As a New York Times reporter put it, co-founder Herbert Marcus’ spirit “remains as worshipped in Dallas as the Buddha’s in Tibet.”)
Early expansion was powered by grain, leather, and cotton, with insurance and oil companies following closely after, followed by automotive manufacturing and a branch of the Federal Reserve System. In the 1930s, the city became an energy sector powerhouse thanks to the discovery of the first large East Texas oil well, and aircraft manufacture fueled tremendous expansion throughout WWII.
The assassination of Democratic President John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza in 1963 cemented Dallas’ image as “a city of hatred,” which was fueled in part by a raging population of right-wing radicals.
Local businesspeople (including Ted Dealey, son of Dealey Plaza’s namesake) had greeted visiting Democrats with boisterous demonstrations and caustic mocking. Civic leaders worked hard to change that perception by desegregating schools and implementing the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
NiseriN / iStock / NiseriN / iStock / NiseriN / iStock
Other noteworthy aspects include:
The fictitious J.R. Ewing, the oilman and rancher in the popular prime-time soap opera named for the city, personified the city’s luster when the runways at DFW International Airport opened in 1974, enhancing the city’s luster, and the 1980s saw an oil boom personified by the fictitious J.R. Ewing, the oilman and rancher in the popular prime-time soap opera named for the city. (He was shot in the third season of the program, prompting the slogan “Who shot J.R.?” a sarcastic reference to conspiracy theories surrounding who shot JFK.) The episode that revealed the solution drew in 83 million people.)
Southfork Ranch, where the program was shot, remains a tourist draw even after the oil boom stopped and the show finished in 1991.
The Dallas Cowboys and their famed cheerleaders, as well as the gleam of multiple skyscrapers rising from the landscape, boosted the city’s image. Following two Jewish woman mayors, the city elected a Black mayor in 1995.
Despite its advances, DFW is still quite divided. According to a 2015 research by urbanist Richard Florida, the city is the seventh-most economically divided among American metro areas with populations bigger than one million people, and the second-most segregated among the top ten. Kelvin Walker, CEO of the Dallas Citizens Council, describes Southern Dallas as “a gigantic gaping economic void.”
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Cowboys and tech millennials are drawn to Dallas.
Despite its challenges, Dallas remains a draw, with a variety of attractions, according to Bullard.
“When someone says they want to relocate here, the first question I ask is, “What are you searching for?” According to Bullard. “Do you want to live in a high-rise as a millennial with a tech job?” Dallas is a city you’ll want to call home. If you want more room or a cowboy culture, Fort Worth is the place to go.”
(And, as she points out, while a previous generation had its Dallas-themed television program, there’s now Yellowstone and its prequel, 1883, which is set in a seedy Fort Worth neighborhood known as Hell’s Half Acre.)
“With two cities that are so different, we have so much to offer,” she says. “This place has something for everyone.”
“I’ve been to every country, yet I can’t picture living anywhere else.”
MediaFeed.org syndicated this story, which first appeared on Mynd.co.
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The “texas observer” is a news website that covers the city of Houston. The site has been giving Chicago a run for its money.
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