Senate Bill 2 Insufficient Fix For A Broken System

After numerous meetings throughout the state taking copious amounts of public input through the Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, Paul Bettencourt has filed Senate Bill 2 dubbed the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017. Among other things, the bill would require cities and counties to ask for voter approval for any property tax hike greater than 4 percent. More interestingly, the bill will not affect school district taxes. School property taxes make up roughly half of the property tax bill for Katy and Houston area homeowners. This bill would do [...]

By | 2017-08-19T11:02:58+00:00 December 10th, 2016|Politics, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Debt, Deficits & Housing – The Smoke & Mirrors “Recovery”

Many among the status quo have defended the last 8 years as a productive "recovery" from the abyss of financial armageddon unleashed by our criminal banking sector. The efficacy of the recovery depends on the person responding to the question. For the vast majority of the U.S. population, there has been no recovery, but instead a steady decline. If you have been paying attention to the early release of season 5 of 'House of Cards', speaking of the email data dump exposing our corrupt political machine for all to see, the reasons behind the phony [...]

New Home Sales Decline To 511,000 Annual Rate In March

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for March declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000. This was below expectations of 522,000, but higher than March of last year. The median price of a new home contracted in March was $288,000, a YoY decline of $5,400. The average price of a new home contracted in March was $356,200, $3,500 more than March of 2015. New home sales have remained grounded as the Fed's "wealth effect" continues to diminish within the real economy. New home sales are still hovering around 1991 levels, due [...]

KB Home Q3 Earnings Confirms Shrinking Margins Problem For Homebuilders

KB Home reported third quarter earnings, and the theme of compressing margins was apparent. KB reported revenues that were 43 percent higher and a 25 percent rise in deliveries for the quarter, but the company's profits suffered as a result. KB Home saw their gross profit margin fall from 18.8 percent last year to only 16.2 percent this year. KB cited higher land costs as a primary source of the dent to their profits. While KB's 25 percent rise in deliveries and 19 percent jump in new orders may look impressive in a headline, the [...]

By | 2015-09-24T14:31:48+00:00 September 24th, 2015|Development, Economy, Markets, New Home Sales, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Toll Brothers Discovers “Recovery” Is A Mirage, Stock Drops 7 Percent For The Day On Weak Q3 Results

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers announced FY 2015 third quarter quarter results today. Toll reported that Q3 net income was lower than a year ago with net income falling from $97.7 million to $66.7 million year-over-year. Toll's gross margins for the quarter fell from 22.7 percent last year to 19.8 percent this year. Amusingly, Toll's average price for a home in backlog was $829,000, the first time above $800,000. On a day when a market recovery looked quite possible, it was also interesting to see Toll's stock drop 7.8 percent today. Like many investors were finding [...]

By | 2015-08-26T00:25:56+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Development, Economy, Markets, New Home Sales, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

Renter Nation: Multi-Family Permits And Starts Soar In June While Construction Of Single Family Homes Flatlines

The Census Bureau reported housing starts and permits data for June, and it was another case of divergence between single family construction and apartments. The reclassification of America into a renter nation continued in June. Single-family housing starts dipped by roughly one percent from May posting at a rate of 685,000. Multi-family starts jumped from 370,000 last month to 476,000, a rise of 28 percent. This was highest figure YTD and up 55 percent from 2014! While single-family starts look to be stuck in the mud, construction of new apartments is all the rage. In fact [...]

By | 2016-11-20T15:38:35+00:00 July 17th, 2015|Development, Economy, New Home Sales, Real Estate|0 Comments

Rental Rates Decline For Katy Area Apartments

It appears the building boom in multi-family construction has created an oversupply of apartments in several Houston area neighborhoods. According to data from the Houston Apartment Association and Apartment Data Services several popular areas in Houston are actually seeing rental rates decline. One of the areas seeing softer rental rates this year is Katy. Katy's apartment rental rates have fallen about 2 percent from the same time last year. If you have driven down Grand Parkway or I-10 in the Katy area, it's hard to miss all of the multi-family construction going on in the [...]

By | 2015-02-17T17:38:52+00:00 February 17th, 2015|Economy, Real Estate, Relocation|0 Comments

Lack Of Real Reform Continues To Strangle The Economy, Housing Market

"Washington has become our Versailles, We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers - and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with the prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception." Chris Hedges For all of the talk about green shoots and "solid" economic growth, the real [...]

NAHB: Builder Confidence Rises In Novermber

The National Association of Home Builders reported that confidence among home builders rebounded in November, with a reading of 58 on the housing market index. The South region posted a four point gain to 62. So far this year, the builder confidence gauge seems to be a little ahead of actual new home sales. “Low interest rates, affordable home prices and solid job creation are contributing to a steady housing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “After a slow start to the year, the HMI has remained above the 50-point benchmark for five consecutive [...]

By | 2014-11-18T16:54:34+00:00 November 18th, 2014|Development, Housing Market, New Home Sales|0 Comments

COTD In Phoenix AZ: “Buy Your Salesperson A High-Quality TV Set So They’ll Have Something To Do”

That's the recommendation of Joel Shine, CEO of Salt Lake based Woodside Homes regarding the current state of the Phoenix Arizona real estate market. Similar to Las Vegas, the miracle "recovery" of the real estate market is starting to unravel again. After a rash of overly aggressive price increase, the rug has been pulled out from under the Phoenix real estate market. It certainly didn't help that prices jumped way beyond normal affordability levels, but the FHA scaled back loan limits on the Phoenix market, likely realizing that things were a bit out of hand. [...]

By | 2016-11-20T15:52:29+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Economy, Housing Market, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate|0 Comments