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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 head in the sand. Year-over-year, new home sales for April are back to unchanged according to the latest Census figures. And just like that, the "pent up demand" that pundits have been talking about has [...]

City Of Katy Lands Amazon Fulfillment Center, But At What Cost?

"A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean." As residents of Katy Texas are busy making their daily slog down the congestion of the Grand Parkway or the soon-to-be traffic debacle around what is arguably the most expensive high school football stadium on the planet, perhaps it is time to question the pursuit of endless growth and the "more is better" mentality that seems to be the mantra of local, state and federal officials.  As we learned this past week, Katy Texas is going to be the home of a [...]

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, gauging how many homes on the market are actually affordable to various buyer income groups. The new affordability distribution curve and score show that many U.S. homes are no longer affordable to typical prospective buyers. [...]

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 example of flawed estimates based on dubious assumptions without so much as a fact-checking glance or a dive into the methodology behind the numbers. It's easy to understand why "fake news" is the order of [...]

By | 2017-08-19T10:58:56+00:00 February 3rd, 2017|In the Press, Real Estate, Spin Cycle, Texas Home Prices|0 Comments

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 interconnection requests totaling 59,527 MW which included 26,643 MW of wind generation. As a leader in wind energy production, Texas already had 17 GW of wind-generated power production installed at the end of 2016. That's [...]

Miami Investor Capitalizes On Harris County Appraisal Scam…Again!

The definition of "fraud" according to Wiki is "the deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right". Homeowners across the Houston area should now be wondering how long our elected representatives will continue to pretend that our current property tax system is anything but a giant hoax, a work of fiction which advertises that all property is taxed at market value or something approaching 100 percent of market value every year by your local appraisal district. Recently I detailed examples of how our operationally corrupt joke [...]

The Credibility Trap – HCAD Appraises Downtown Parking Garage For 36.8 Percent Of Sale Price

It appears the credibility trap for our local appraisal districts and appraisal review boards is even larger than I had imagined. As fate would have it, the Houston Chronicle reported another commercial transaction this week, this time involving the parking garage at 611 Fannin. A San Diego based REIT recently purchased the 4-story parking garage at 611 Fannin for $8.375 million. What's particularly interesting in this case is that the Harris County Appraisal District valued/appraised this property at only $3,084,166. That's $5,290,824 that was essentially vaporized from the Harris County property tax base. I wonder [...]

By | 2015-06-18T12:39:40+00:00 June 18th, 2015|Politics, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Lennar Homes Q1 2015 Earnings Report Has Fed’s Policy Errors Written All Over It

Lennar Homes reported first quarter results for 2015, and the report had the Fed's policy errors written all over it. The Houston numbers from Lennar were particularly revealing since the Federal Reserve has managed to obliterate the real economy once again, and a good portion of the housing market along with it. Lennar reported first quarter revenues of $1.6 billion, a rise of 21 percent. Deliveries of new homes were up by 19 percent. Lennar's homebuilding revenues rose 17.1 percent for the quarter compared to last year. Unfortunately Lennar's homebuilding expenses rose 18.9 percent year-over-year. [...]

KB Home Reports Q4 2014 Results, Cuts Guidance, Pulls Out Of Houston Land Deals

KB Home reported results for the fourth quarter of 2014 that were higher by 29 percent. The only problem was that the revenue came courtesy of a community count that was also 19% higher than a year ago. For the full year, KB Home reported revenues of $2.40 billion, up 14% from 2013 figures. KB reported that the overall average selling price for their homes was $328,400 in 2014, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. This summarizes the problem facing KB and all of the other publicly traded home builders. New home [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:51:25+00:00 January 13th, 2015|Development, Economy, Markets, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

IEA – U.S. To Become Net Energy Exporter By 2030…NOT!

The International Energy Agency has released it's World Energy Outlook (WEO) report for 2012, and it has some suprising projections.  According to the IEA, the United States will be the world's largest oil producer before 2020, and a net energy exporter by 2030.  Courtesy of non-traditional sources of oil and gas, and improving fuel efficiency, the U.S. is slowly weening itself of costly imported energy.  The shift in the global energy trade raise some serious questions about what role Iraq will play with their expected ramp in oil production.  The "New Silk Road" shows most [...]

By | 2017-12-22T04:12:02+00:00 November 12th, 2012|Economy, Energy & Utilities, In the Press|0 Comments