McKinney's housing market rebounds following COVID-19 slowdown

Lisha and Martin Marshall recently purchased a home in Trinity Falls in McKinney. (Courtesy Lisha Marshall)
Lisha and Martin Marshall recently purchased a home in Trinity Falls in McKinney. (Courtesy Lisha Marshall)

Lisha and Martin Marshall recently purchased a home in Trinity Falls in McKinney. (Courtesy Lisha Marshall)

Image description
Image description
Image description
Despite a lingering decline in home sales from COVID-19, the housing market in McKinney remains healthy, local real estate agents said.

It’s still a seller’s market, said Gisella Olivo, a McKinney-based Realtor with JP & Associates. She described a seller’s market as one that has less than four months of housing supply available for buyers currently in the market.

“There’s a limited inventory right now,” Olivo said. “For the $300,000-$399,000 price range, we only have about two months’ inventory.”

Data from the Collin County Association of Realtors reflected this trend as well. Collin County’s new listings for May are still lagging, with 15.5% fewer homes listed compared with the number in May from the year prior.

However, the year-over-year numbers for May are still better than those for April, which saw a 35.3% decline year over year, according to an association news release.

“In May, we saw more home sellers who were aware of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] guidelines and who felt comfortable and appreciative of the precautions the real estate industry has implemented to ensure real estate transactions can be successfully and responsibly completed,” CCAR President David Long said in a statement.

Robert Ditthardt, general manager of the growing housing development Trinity Falls in McKinney, said that after the initial slowdown, there has been a definite upturn in recent weeks. He referred to this trend as “the Nike swoosh,” saying the visual is a fairly accurate representation of the market’s performance since March.

“In the first couple of weeks after the shelter-in-place orders were issued, we saw a decrease in sales and a temporary decrease in construction of our speculative homes,” Ditthardt said. “And then as time went on, the builders realized that to have finished homes completed, it was going to be a benefit to have that inventory ready.”

He said the Trinity Falls neighborhood is up 60% in sales from March to mid-June year over year.

While McKinney has seen an uptick in sales, Texas and the nation have fared differently. The state had existing home sales decline for the third month in a row, and Texas’ existing home sales sank 32% year over year, according to May data from the National Association of Realtors and Texas A&M Real Estate Institute.

Pending home sales in the nation, however, mounted a comeback in May, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

“The outlook has significantly improved, as new home sales are expected to be higher this year than last, and annual existing home sales are now projected to be down by less than 10%—even after missing the spring buying season,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, in a news release.

More interested buyers

Other McKinney builders confirmed the “Nike swoosh” rebound described by Ditthardt. While the coronavirus pandemic slowed real estate activity in March and April, Bryan Swindell, division president of Pulte Homes, said home construction made a comeback in May.

“May was a big pickup. Really, we’ve pretty much recovered what we lost in April,” Swindell said.

The Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market overall has fared well through the pandemic, said JP Piccinini, CEO and founder of JP and Associates Realtors. There is more demand for homes in recent weeks as stay-at-home restrictions loosened and interest rates for new homes plunged to record lows, he said. In addition, buyers also had the time to consider the kind of home they wanted should they face quarantining again.

With the coronavirus pandemic at the forefront of buyers’ minds, the people looking for homes are serious shoppers, said Kelly Rudiger, a Coldwell Banker Realtor who serves the McKinney area. While summer has traditionally been the busy season for real estate, this year it started in the spring with more people looking at new houses online from their homes, she said.

“Relocations started early because they had no real reason to stay where they were,” Rudiger said.

This was the case for Dallas-based couple Martin and Lisha Marshall. The two of them had been talking about purchasing their first home since March of last year, they said, but took the conversation more seriously once the pandemic hit.

“On the days where we couldn’t do much, we just would get out and just drive around and look at different neighborhoods from the car,” Lisha Marshall said.

Following weeks of searching, the Marshalls selected a new home in Trinity Falls and are going through the process of customizing their house. They pivoted from plans of getting a new condo in Dallas and opted instead for a house that would give them more space should they need to quarantine again.

“If we’re going to be inside of a place that we have to spend a bunch of time, it might as well be one that we absolutely love and where we have plenty of space,” Martin Marshall said.

The Marshalls opted to build their home, but inventory for homebuilders is slimmer than usual Piccinini said. And there are not enough existing homes on the market to support the serious buyers and meet their needs, he said.

However, the opposite is happening in the multifamily sector, Piccinini said. Realtors are now seeing what they refer to as a “bubble” in this market, he said. Similar to the Marshalls, buyers are more interested in single-family homes, leaving condos and apartments up for lease.

As a result, single-family rentals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are “almost nonexistent,” he said, and homes for sale in the first-time homebuyer price range of under $300,000 are also in short supply.

Effects of low inventory

Buyers looking for a new home in this market need to move fast, Olivo said. While most people typically go online and start looking for a new home, she advised buyers to first get prequalified for a home loan. They also need to get a Realtor who is familiar with local trends, such as the area’s low inventory.

“It’s a great market because the interest rates are so low right now,” Olivo said. “But when you’re ready, you have to be ready, because when you find it [your house], then we’re going to go for it.”

Houses that are less that $300,000 are seeing numerous buyers look at them, developing into multiple-offer situations, Realtors said. In some cases that competition is driving up prices, and buyers need to be prepared for that, Piccinini said.

“You’d think that home prices would crash and tumble, ... but obviously, the economics of supply and demand helped prices go up with the demand,” he said. “We saw prices increase by 3% year over year in the month of May.”

Realtors forecasted a strong July for the real estate market, but the condition of the long-term market is still in unknown. With coronavirus cases increasing, Piccinini noted local governments have not shut down all businesses and services as they did earlier this year, and Realtors are continuing to see “a tremendous interest as we would expect for the summer months.” The year could finish close to what was originally forecasted, experts said.

“It’s anybody’s guess what the market long term will do,” Swindell said. “But June has been an incredible month for us.”
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the McKinney edition.


Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Mitzi's Sonoma offers wine and gifts, such as this tea starter kit. (Courtesy Mitzi's Sonoma)
Mitzi’s Sonoma moves to new location in downtown McKinney

The fine wine and gift shop, which is just off the square in downtown McKinney, offers a curated selection of wine from around the world.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Visit McKinney works to encourage visitors to come to the city. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Inside info: What to know about Visit McKinney

Learn more about Visit McKinney and how its services benefit the city.

 (Community Impact Newspaper)
Tracking COVID-19: McKinney cases climb, county hospitalizations surge

The number of cases in McKinney has nearly doubled, increasing from 327 to 570 over a period of 14 days.

Play Street Museum recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in McKinney. (Courtesy Play Street Museum)
Play Street Museum celebrates fifth anniversary in McKinney

The interactive children’s museum and indoor play area is designed and scaled for children age 8 and under.

Santa Claus has arrived in downtown McKinney and is ready to ring in the holidays. (Courtesy city of McKinney)
McKinney cancels annual Home for the Holidays event, replaces with four-week celebration

“The biggest difference this year is that we are not concentrating all of the activities into one weekend for a closed street festival," said Amy Rosenthal, McKinney Main Street program director.

Collin County commissioners unanimously approved a $2 million allocation of federal funding to continue reimbursements of local food pantries. (Screenshot courtesy Collin County)
Collin County allocates additional $2M in CARES funding for local food pantries

Collin County commissioners allocated an additional $2 million in federal funding to the Collin CARES program to continue reimbursements for local food pantries.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

texas health breeze urgent care concierge desk
New urgent care center in McKinney, plus four more DFW-area business updates

Here are five businesses that opened recently in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

chilangos tacos
Chilangos Tacos opens in Plano, plus three more DFW-area restaurant updates

Here are four restaurants that opened recently in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.