Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, as part of the GrowSouth economic development initiative, has convinced a group of local builders to commit to building 1,500 new homes during his second term, reports Robbie Owen of CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

The city agreed to trim red tape and make the building process easier. Rawlings would like to make it easier for middle-class families to purchase homes.

Ted Wilson, principal, Residential Strategies, Inc., says strong job growth, rising wages, and low mortgage rates have made home ownership a possibility for more middle class families.

Still, the southern sector housing stock (ranging from near in sites like Trinity Groves and South Lamar to the city’s southern borders) is expected to fetch prices ranging from $200k-$500k. Again, it’s simple economics.

“For example, over the last five years, direct construction costs to build a new house have climbed between 30 and 35%,” says Wilson, citing a labor shortage in the area. The upside to rising prices is that home values have also risen in southern Dallas neighborhoods as well.

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