Frisco is the No. 1 best place to buy a home, according to a list released late last month by WalletHub, a personal finance website. McKinney earned the No. 4 position, while Denton and Allen came in at 5 and 6, respectively. Their neighbor to the south, Austin, was named as first runner-up.
WalletHub compared 300 cities nationwide based on the local real estate market, as well as economic environment and affordability. Frisco landed the top spot on both of those measures.
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said many factors play into why Frisco is such an attractive destination: Its school district is great, and it’s a safe community, plus there are many amenities.
“It’s new, and it’s clean, and it’s well-planned and thought-out, and so I think just naturally it becomes a destination for people, and we’re seeing that,” Cheney said.
“We’re also seeing just the job relocation to this market, the corporate relocation. This is one of the hottest markets for that type of movement in the entire country,” he continued.
Construction in Frisco is running at a fast and furious pace, Cheney said, adding that they're running out of available lots. It also makes sense that other North Texas towns made the list, especially given their close access to airports, high standard of living and unique communities.
Denton City Council member Deb Armintor said her town is a wonderful place to live for people who can afford it. Even though it’s reasonably priced compared to similar U.S. cities, she said many Denton residents are struggling to keep their homes amid stagnant wages and an ever-increasing cost of living.
While Armintor is proud that Denton is getting recognition, she argued it's important that people know that many are still struggling to get by. For them, purchasing a home is an impossibility right now, she said.
“We’re losing what’s great about Denton when the people who make Denton great — the artists, the musicians, service industry workers — can’t afford to be here. So that’s a real concern to me,” she said. “So my question is when they say Denton is the best place to buy a house — for whom?”
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is booming, said Marc Moffitt, an adjunct professor of real estate in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business at the University of North Texas. The region is ideal for businesses because it boasts a gifted and high-demand labor pool, made up of a diverse group of talent.
The North Texas towns that made the list all have a major interstate highway and offer residents a great work-life balance, Moffitt said. Certain cities with good infrastructure in place are prime and ripe for development and growth.
Calling it the “land of opportunity,” Moffitt said present-day Texas is comparable to California in the 1960s. Businesses are moving to the Lone Star State in part because it “costs a whole lot less to get started and it costs a whole lot less to go broke,” he said.
Plus, roughly 1,000 to 1,500 people are moving to Texas from other states each day, he said.
“Every single one of those people moving here needs a place to live,” Moffitt said. “If you’re not supplying an additional 1,000 to 1,500 homes a day for those people to occupy, your supply is going to be gobbled up.”
To derail that trend, a global economic event or significant changes in interest rates would have to occur, he said. Still, Texas would be more resilient than other markets nationwide.
“Right now, there is just simply not enough homes available for sale and there are a lot of buyers that are trying to compete for housing,” Moffitt said. “As long as that imbalance stays in place, you are going to continue to see what we call a sellers’ market. And I don’t foresee that changing any time in the near future.”