A pair of recent real estate listings in Highland Park highlight what has long been a trend in Dallas-Fort Worth for those who have the means: Buy an older house in a nice neighborhood, knock it down, build a new house on the land.
Both properties are multimillion dollar listings — 3812 Beverly Drive is on the market for $5,495,000 and 4328 Belclaire Avenue is going for $2,950,000 — and both properties, despite having houses on them already, are being advertised for the land.
“Part of what is so valuable about owning a home in Highland Park is the actual dirt, and so, in this instance, somebody will scrape it and build something new,” said Brittany Mathews, a VP at Allie Beth Allman and the listing agent for the Belcaire property.
Built in 1938, the red brick Belclaire home is a three bed, three bath that has fallen into disrepair.
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“Gorgeous building site on one of Highland Park’s premier blocks,” is how the real estate listing describes the property. “Mature oak and magnolia trees for a beautiful setting to build your dream home.”
“If you want to be in this prime location in Highland Park you are going to have to pay a pretty significant amount in order to do so,” Mathews said.
The listing on Beverly Drive is advertised as “an important piece of property in a neighborhood where new construction exceeds $10,000,000.”
The primary difference between the two homes is the condition they are in.
Madeline Jobst, one of the listing agents on the property and a realtor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, acknowledged that the three bed, three-and-a-half bath home retains attractive curb appeal, even when compared to the multimillion dollar mansions that line the 3800 block of Beverly, just one block from the grounds of the exclusive Dallas Country Club.
But at 4,300+ square feet, the Beverly home is approximately half of the size of the home that a modern builder would put on the land, Jobst estimated.
In addition, the house, which was completed in 1952, features 8-foot ceilings whereas the ceilings in a modern mansion would no doubt be much higher, according to Jobst.
Housing prices have risen steadily in Dallas-Fort Worth in recent years. Yet despite that rise, million dollar-plus listings only account for a small percentage of overall home sales.
According to the MetroTex Association of Realtors there have been approximately 22,000 single family homes sold in DFW through the end of March. Of those, only 324 — or 1.8 percent — were sold for $1 million or more.
In addition, million dollar-plus sales are down about 5 percent through the first quarter of 2018 in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to Metro Tex. However, according to a representative for the organization, it is far too early in the year to determine if that slide represents any sort of trend in the market.