Home Prices

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Fed Unwinds $21 Billion, Markets Puke On Higher Yields

The Federal Reserve System Open Market Account Holdings (SOMA) report for January 31st finally revealed the balance sheet unwind in action. Since the Fed announced their balance sheet unwind last year, the actual process had been proceeding at a snails pace, particularly with the mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The MBS instruments can take 2-3 months to roll off, so the MBS unwind has been virtually invisible until this week. With a $21 billion drawdown in the latest week, including over $10 billion in agency MBS unwind, it becomes increasingly clear why the markets were puking all [...]

Dallas TX Employment Growth Sputters In December But Finishes Year Higher

Dallas TX employment growth sputtered in December with the non-adjusted numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission showing a gain of 2000 jobs for DFW in December. That's a far cry from the strong numbers seen in November, but the yearly gains were still respectable. Over the 12 month period the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA added 91,700 jobs. Dallas Fort Worth is still running hotter than the Houston region, with CPI numbers that are almost twice as strong (3.2% vs 1.7%). The official (massaged) unemployment rate in Dallas stood at 3.6% in December. Houston posted an unemployment [...]

Another Fed “Senior Economist” Demonstrates Willful Ignorance

The Federal Reserve and its army of economists continue to demonstrate willful ignorance of their failed policies. This week it was the Kansas City Fed's Jordan Rappaport who penned another dose of misdirection on the housing market. Rappaport's piece, "Pent-Up Demand and Continuing Price Increases: The Outlook for Housing in 2018" is yet another example of how the Federal Reserve touts itself as a champion of real economy while they continue toe the line for Wall Street and wealthy investors. In the usual captured culture of Fed Mr. Rappaport lays out the theme of continued [...]

Denton County Home Construction Marches Higher

Denton County home construction pushed higher at the end of 2017, with the number of new homes on the market up over 16 percent. That figure is likely even higher since some new home construction is intentionally left out of the multiple listing service by home builders to avoid spooking potential home buyers with any obvious inventory gluts. Recent numbers from Dallas-based Residential Strategies showed construction starts in the DFW area up 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in construction is a welcome sign, particularly since resale home inventory continues to [...]

Fed Balance Sheet Unwind Proceeding At Snails Pace

The balance sheet unwind for the Federal Reserve is proceeding at a snails pace. After a rather large jump in the securities holdings last week, we should have seen a resumption in the balance sheet shrinkage. Interestingly the Fed's holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities only fell by $4.8 billion this past week. A look at the weekly System Open Market Account Holdings shows there is a lot of work to do in the last week of the year if the Fed is going to stick to it's stated unwind schedule. While the Fed has [...]

Tax “Reform” Makes Denton County Property Taxes Even Less Appealing

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act was signed into law this week, and a significant portion of your Denton County property taxes may no longer be deductible under the new law in 2018. Aside from being one of the worst researched and most ill-conceived pieces of legislation in modern history, the new tax bill is very favorable to corporate America. Unfortunately the new tax "reform" is not exactly friendly to home ownership. It remains to be seen how the new tax law will affect DFW area home prices, but the new rules certainly don't favor [...]

New Home Sales Soar In November Despite Higher Prices

New home sales jumped 26.6 percent compared to November of last year. The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for November posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000. This was well above expectations, and a 17.5 percent increase from the revised October numbers. Before you get too excited however, it's important to realize that the Census numbers are highly volatile and subject to significant revisions. The previous three months of new home sales were all revised lower, so expect some revisions to this November spike as well. The median price of a [...]

Denton County Home Prices Closing Year On High Note

Denton County home prices and sales volume have remained strong into the holiday season. After experiencing a soft patch in September home sales in Denton County resumed their march higher. It would appear that home prices in the Denton area are poised to hit new highs at the end of the year if momentum continues. Median home prices in Denton were about 3 percent higher through November, while median prices in Denton County jumped 11 percent compared to a year ago. Average prices in Denton County also reflect a 10 percent increase through November. Denton [...]

Mortgage Interest Deduction In Play, 2018 Housing Market Still Cloudy

The controversial mortgage interest deduction is still in play if you follow the back and forth in DC, and the picture for housing is still rather cloudy. There is a lot which could change depending on what Congress tries to ram through reconciliation in terms of the House and Senate tax sausage. Regardless of what Congress and the GOP approve, you can rest assured it won't stimulate job growth and it won't contribute to long-term economic growth. What we are seeing play out in the halls of DC and Wall Street right now is a [...]

ATTOM Misses Big On Single Family Rentals For Dallas, Houston

I'm always curious when sell-side media types tout the glorious returns to be had when it comes to investing in single-family rentals. As if it weren't bad enough that the Federal Reserve has eviscerated housing market fundamentals, there is apparently never enough of a good thing when it comes to hyping up potential real estate riches in our hyper-financialized economy. That brings me to a gloriously entertaining piece from one Andrea Riquier at Marketwatch. The article is "Fancy being a landlord? Here are 10 metros offering double-digit rental returns." And what a story it is! Since [...]