View Post

Katy Texas Real Estate Market February 2017

Katy Texas home sales rose 13 percent in February, besting the 4 percent increase in sales activity in the general Houston area. Sales of new construction were also slightly higher in February compared to the leap year month of last year. Despite one less day for the year-over-year comparison, sales volume was still in positive territory. It appears more buyers …

View Post

Investor-Owned Homes In Houston Texas Landlord Nation

Landlord Nation is alive and well in Houston Texas. It is quite likely that investor-owned homes have been a major factor behind the resilience of the local real estate market after energy markets collapsed. As I mentioned in a previous post rising median home values are just another indicator of the distortions in the new housing market, which is highly …

View Post

NAR Finally Gets Real About Home Affordability Issues

The National Association of Realtors is out with a new method of gauging home affordability. As part of NAR’s look at the the growing rift between housing availability and home affordability, NAR has developed a new affordability distribution curve and a home affordability score. The new monthly research is designed to look at home affordability conditions among different income percentiles, …

View Post

Texas Economic Development Fueled By Taxpayer-Funded Corporate Subsidies

Texas economic development continues to be fueled by taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies. An estimated $1.4 billion in property tax revenue has gone uncollected in Texas from 2005 to 2015 as a result of Chapter 313. These are the findings from the state auditor’s report in October 2016. As Texas Observer detailed last year, the free lunch to corporations doing business in …

View Post

Katy Texas Real Estate Market January 2017

Katy home sales fell 10 percent year-over-year in January as the mean reversion continued to take shape in the Houston area real estate market. Houston as a whole saw home sales volume that was up about 1 percent. Sales of new construction declined in January, falling 5 percent within Katy ISD and down 4 percent in Houston. Single-family home prices …

View Post

Zillow’s Breakeven Estimate – Garbage In, Garbage Out

Zillow’s latest Breakeven Horizon estimates offer another another interesting look at junk science. Since Texas is a non-disclosure state, that makes any analysis of home values more tricky for third-party aggregator sites like Zillow/Trulia. But then again, they have ads to sell. The show must go on, regardless of the facts. Interestingly enough the Houston Chronicle offered up Zillow’s latest …

View Post

Katy Area Rents Continue Downward Trend In January

Katy rent prices continued their downward trend in January. Preliminary data for closed leases in Katy’s relocation market indicate a year-over-year price drop of more than 5 percent. As noted in the chart above, closed lease prices in Katy’s most popular master-planned community were the lowest they have been in years in January, even below the weakest numbers seen in …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Texas Renewable Energy Capacity Continues To Grow

Texas renewable energy growth is making important strides. Texas has been a leader in wind generation capacity for some time, but it appears solar energy is receiving long-overdue attention as well. A look at ERCOT’s recent Monthly Operational Overview shows significant growth in renewable energy power capacity in Texas. In the November ERCOT report, Texas was tracking 247 active generation …

View Post

New Home Sales Rise In November To 592,000 (SAAR)

New home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 in November. Census Bureau numbers showed the average price of a new home contracted in November was $359,900, down from the average price of $376,800 seen last year. The median price of $305,400 was also lower than last year’s median of $317,000. New home sales have been surprisingly …