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Houston Texas Employment Still Mixed Despite Narratives To The Contrary

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 …

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Average Houston Worker Earnings Decline In 2016

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 …

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Why Home Builders Can’t Meet Housing Demand

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 …

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Houston Building Permits Plunge In November

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 …

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Air Pocket Coming To A Housing Market Near You

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 …

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Houston Experiencing Falling Home Prices, Declining Wages

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 …

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Houston Home Prices Rolling Over In Sea Of Financialization

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 …

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New Home Sales Soften In October

New home sales for October came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000. This was below forecasts, and the previous three months of new home sales were revised downward by 34,000 units. Even with the decline, new home sales were still 17.8 percent higher than October of last year. The Census report for new residential sales in October …

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Mortgage Rates Rip To Highest Level Since July 2015

Katy Texas mortgage rates rose to their highest levels since July 2015 as we ended the week. That new home you may have been looking to purchase just became more expensive. Unless you already had a mortgage rate locked in, higher rates likely means higher home payments or diminished expectations. As Friday came to a close, mortgage brokers were discussing …

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New Home Sales Softening, Higher Rates Won’t Help

New home sales have rebounded nicely in 2016, but recent developments suggest the new home market could be looking at more softness ahead. In recent posts I detailed how the Census numbers for new home sales were likely overstated, and I was proven correct when the most recent report noted a dramatic downward revision of new home sales during the …