New Home Sales Tumbled In April, Unchanged Year-Over-Year

So much for the Trump bump euphoria. New home sales tumbled in April, posting at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 569,000. This was 73,000 below the revised March figure and far below analysts expectations. Then again analysts haven’t been paying attention to the real economy, so this latest data is not a surprise to anyone who doesn’t have their … Read More

Houston Employment Growth Lags State, Wage Growth Still Absent From Picture

The good news for the Houston economy reading through the latest employment figures from the Texas Workforce Commission is that the Houston area is still creating jobs in 2017. The pace of job growth actually picked up a bit for the State of Texas in April, while Houston has continued to lag other metro areas. It continues to be a … Read More

When Will The Houston Texas Apartment Specials End?

Houston Texas Apartment Specials

When will the Houston Texas apartment specials end? Probably not as soon as many local economists are hoping for. I will explain why, but before I do enjoy this interesting podcast with the Houston Chronicle’s real estate reporters Nancy Sarnoff and Erin Mulvaney. In this podcast Bruce McClenny offers some nice historical perspective of the Houston apartment market and why … Read More

Houston Texas Employment Still Mixed Despite Narratives To The Contrary

Houston Texas Empoyment

Benchmark revisions to employment figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show that Houston added 16,700 jobs in February 2017. The latest figures show that Houston has added 19,300 jobs over the previous 12 months. It would appear the employment sector in Houston is rebounding from the recent downturn. The Greater Houston Partnership and their economic-development-oriented staff claim the revised employment … Read More

Average Houston Worker Earnings Decline In 2016

Houston Worker Earnings

Through the third quarter of 2016, earnings for the average Houston worker continued to lag wages for the prior year, about $51 less than what workers earned in the same period in 2015. Texas Workforce Commission numbers also show that Houston added a total of 14,800 jobs for the year, well shy of what many economist were projecting at the … Read More

Why Home Builders Can’t Meet Housing Demand

Home Builders

America’s home builders are having a difficult time meeting housing demand, or so they say. While access to credit is cited as a factor that is holding back builders, that’s only a partial cause of builders’ reluctance to put their money where their optimism index mouth is. As NAHB chief economist, Robert Dietz, explains it builders are finding it more … Read More

Houston Building Permits Plunge In November

breakeven estimate

The latest building permits data for the city of Houston shows that the value of building permits plunged during November. The total value of permits fell 52.4 percent from last year. YTD figures show that Houston building permits are still off by 18.5 percent compared to 2015. Building permits for multi-family residential plunged 91 percent year-over-year. More importantly, single-family permits … Read More

Air Pocket Coming To A Housing Market Near You

Cane Island New Homes

The Federal Reserve’s 25 basis point rate hike was widely anticipated. What is less appreciated is the slack it’s going to create in Houston home sales as we head into the first quarter of 2017.  This week the Houston Association of Realtors reported record November home sales. Both the median ($222,000) and average ($281,671) home price hit new record highs in … Read More

Houston Experiencing Falling Home Prices, Declining Wages

Average Weekly Earnings Houston Texas

A few days ago I wrote about the fact that Houston home prices are rolling over. Home prices aren’t the only thing shrinking in Houston, because average wages are also declining in 2016. Average weekly earnings in the Houston MSA were year-over-year negative in both the first and second quarter of the year. The chart above shows how paychecks for … Read More

Houston Home Prices Rolling Over In Sea Of Financialization

US Homeownership Rate

As Houston home prices roll over in many submarkets across the area, it is interesting to see the pundits and establishment players parade and endless supply of “fake news” to offer the impression that Houston’s real estate market is still a relative bargain. This weekend I came a across a rather humorous piece of “sponsored content” from a major real … Read More