Wichita Falls needs more homes for future buyers

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 10:13 AM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls leaders feel the city could be on the cusp of growth, but are there enough homes in the city?

One realtor said more homes in Wichita Falls isn’t a bad thing. Danny bishop, owner of Bishop Realty Group, said if people are going to move here, building new homes to accommodate newcomers is a smart plan, but he also mentioned that Wichita Falls is a slow-growth market. Predicting when it will happen is a hard call to make.

“That growth is coming towards us,” Bishop said.

By growth, Bishop is taking a look at other cities near Wichita Falls. His team of realtors is keeping a close eye out on the market of other neighboring cities, and he said he wouldn’t be shocked if population growth hits Wichita Falls.

“The growth from the Dallas/Forth Worth area, I think you can see it coming from the west, coming from Decatur,” Bishop said. “Decatur used to be a little quiet crossroads going to Dallas. Now, it’s alive and busting. Bowie now, the Montague County is growing.”

According to census estimates, Texas welcomed about 550,000 new residents in 2019, which made it the seventh year in a row the Lone Star State attracted more than 500,000 new residents from out of state.

With more residents comes the need for more housing. It’s no surprise that the cost of housing is on the rise.

“There are some neighborhoods where the average selling price was $70,000 to $80,000,” Bishop said. “Now, they’re approaching $140,000 to $150,000. Last year, 2022, the average selling price in the multiple listing service in Wichita Falls was $217,000.”

Having affordable housing will look different for each person, but affordable has always been an issue since Bishop has been in the real estate industry.

“We had a problem 40 years ago finding affordable housing because it all goes back I think to the cost of construction,” Bishop said.

If things are more expensive, it could delay building timelines.

“Lumber used to be way, way down here and all of a sudden it spiked up here,” Bishop said. “Now it’s come back down and now concrete is expensive, so really the cost of the construction is a problem for affordable low-incomes because builders can’t get the cost down.”

The average cost of concrete can range anywhere from $100 to $200 per cubic yard.