DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In Dallas’ trendy Uptown area, new construction can’t go up fast enough—whether at high end apartments, or pricey condominiums.

“You always hear that Dallas is affordable,” says 24-year-old Stephen Salerno, “but, not so much in Uptown.” He admits to being drawn to the area so popular with millennials because of the active night life and restaurant scene. And although he knows he could buy more house for his roughly $300,000 budget in the suburbs, he’s determined to find a place in Uptown that he can afford.

“You’re always there a day late and a dollar short, it seems like… everyone’s willing to pay more. They know the value is going up and there’s really not a lot of space left.”

Construction came to a near standstill during the recession. So it will take time, experts say, for new properties to come online and catch up with demand. And that wait is a recipe for rising prices.

“They’re selling for $600,000 for just the shell,” says realtor Kyle Lyon of one high rise condominium in the area. Lyon, with Keller Williams Urban Dallas, says Uptown attracts a diverse demographic—from young millennials to wealthy empty nesters. As such, available properties and price points will vary, depending on the location and the condition. According to Lyon, properties needing renovation can sell for $150 to $180 a square foot, and updated properties will command much more. And the demand is still there.

“It’s booming,” says Lyon. “Things go on the market and they’re gone within a day or two. Sometimes they don’t even hit the market and they’re gone before you even see it.”

Experts say a number of factors are fueling the demand: Texas’ strong economy means more homebuyers are relocating to the area for jobs. And then there’s the growing dissatisfaction with long commutes from the suburbs.

“It takes me an hour to get there and an hour to get back,” says Salerno, speaking of the trek to visit his suburb dwelling parents. “And I just don’t want to do it.”

In fact, for the first time in nearly two decades, experts say population trends show that more homeowners are moving into urban areas than there are homeowners leaving for the suburbs. And Salerno can’t wait to add his own Uptown address to that urban trend.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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