D-FW new home sales jumped in fourth quarter but builders couldn’t keep up

New home construction in Phillips Creek Ranch photographed Thursday, January 7, 2016 in Frisco, Texas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

New home construction in Phillips Creek Ranch photographed Thursday, January 7, 2016 in Frisco, Texas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

By Steve Brown and the Dallas Morning News

North Texas new home sales rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

But even with strong demand, Dallas-Fort Worth builders couldn’t break the 30,000-home start barrier in 2016.

Builders started 29,337 new homes in the area last year — an increase of only about 5 percent from 2015 levels, according to a report by Residential Strategies Inc.

A lack of labor, rising costs for land and building materials, and slow government approvals held back home construction in North Texas.

“The market continues to be constrained by a lack of construction trades,” Ted Wilson, principal with Residential Strategies, said in the report. “While there have been some reported improvements in certain subcontractor categories, the overall construction cycle time remains protracted. Read More >