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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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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Lennar: Houston No Longer Meets Reportable Segment Criteria

Lennar Homes reported fourth quarter and fiscal year-end numbers today. While reporting a 7 percent rise in new home sales and a 9 percent rise in new orders, Lennar (LEN) also hinted at the stagnation of the Houston new home market by ending reporting for Houston as a special segment. “There was an increase in home deliveries in all of …