Single-family home construction continues to be a major force in Grayson County as developers are racing to get new houses on the market in 2019.
Sherman and Denison have already seen an increase in new home permits issued for 2019 over the same period last year.
Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said via email the city set a modern-day record for home building with nearly 200 new homes permitted in 2018.
“January saw that momentum continue with another 18 single-family and 3 multi-family projects approved,” Strauch said of the first month of 2019. “With continued building in Pebblebrook and Austin Landing on the city’s west side, as well as infill projects on the east side, home building shows no signs of abating.”
Denison Director of Community Engagement Sunny Mackey said things are also looking to be similar to last year in Denison.
“We have issued 11 new housing permits this year and have 9 in review,” Mackey said via email. “Compared to the same time frame for 2018, we issued 13 new housing permits.”
Easy Life Realty’s Lisa Hitchcock, who is a member of the executive committee of the Greater Texoma Association of Realtors, said there is development all over the county right now.
She said the biggest demand has been for three- to four-bedroom homes with two and a half baths. Hitchcock said the average selling price for those homes is between $180,000 and $200,000.
“We’re still seeing growth, the market is already heating back up,” Hitchcock said. “There has been growth in the whole county, it’s not centralized to one area.”
Hitchcock said the hot markets currently are concentrated in Sherman, Denison and Pottsboro with some new subdivisions springing up in Whitesboro, Van Alstyne, Bells and Tom Bean.
Home builder Josh Holley also commented on the current state of the market.
“The Texoma area is certainly one of the ‘development hot spots’ in the nation,” Holley said via text message. “Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding areas are continually being recognized for their rapid and noteworthy growth. Subsequently, we as a community are seeing that growth reflected here.”
Holley said he’s seen new builders, as well as national builders, beginning to enter the market.
“It’s exciting, and I feel that it’s an honor to be a small part of that growth,” Holley said.
Ron Barton, of Cupid Custom Homes, said his firm is currently working on dozens of homes throughout the year with 30-40 of them expected to be move-in ready by the end of the year.
He is concentrating on the Sweetwater Springs subdivision, which is in Sherman near Dripping Springs Road and Marshall Road, that will have 120 homes between the next two phases of the project.
“We’ll start construction in the next week or two at Sweetwater Springs in Sherman,” Barton said. “We’re finishing up the utilities right now. The roads are built, everything is in — we should begin construction in February for sure.”
He said his firm will begin with 15 homes, then build the rest along the way. He estimated it to be between two to three years to complete the project.
Barton said the subdivision is his biggest project right now, although he does a lot of custom-built homes too. He said there will be a combination of spec homes and custom homes on the lots at the subdivision.
“Our history is getting homes that are affordable and well built,” Barton said. “(In) that particular neighborhood, we can build houses starting at $190,000. In order to do that, we have to put in streets and utilities — that’s the most expensive part. That’s where the market starts in this area.”
Barton said the custom market has remained steady, estimating it constitutes 30 percent of his business. He said Sherman and Denison are where most of the new homes are being built — but despite the strong market, things have leveled off from the last couple of years.
“We wanted to build closer to TMC (Texoma Medical Center) and the golf course,” Barton said. “That was the driving factor, especially the hospital, so many people want to be close to that.”
Scott Bates, of Ceci Bates Custom Homes, said he has been seeing a lot of development in the Sherman and Denison areas, as well as Pottsboro.
“Right now the focus is on single family (homes),” Bates said. “It’s looking to be similar to 2018 — plenty busy.”
Bates said he has homes for sale in six different subdivisions across those three cities. The focus he has seen from buyers has been on single-family homes with a modern farmhouse style, though some go for a rustic, traditional lake home in Pottsboro.
“We just started selling our first batch this year,” Bates said. “They aren’t all constructed yet. It takes about five months to build a home, some larger homes can add about a month.”
Bates said there are a variety of factors pushing the demand for more homes in Grayson County, noting the influx of people moving north from the Dallas area seeking jobs and baby boomers retiring. He also said all the new industrial jobs in the area are attracting people from all over.
“We’re seeing steady growth here,” Bates said. “As we start growing our cities, the infrastructure has to grow with subdivisions to see that expansion. The infrastructure controls where developments can go in some respects. Most cities are expanding facilities to accommodate that growth. We have plenty of water and sewer in our cities for that growth — we’re not seeing any problems there.”
He said the biggest challenge going forward is going to be the price of land. Bates said he’s seen people with land seeking custom built homes, while developers are building homes to spec in the subdivisions and selling with ease.
“What we’re doing now is matching the growth, not exceeding it by any means,” Bates said. “It might appear that way but we’re matching demand.”