Houston TX

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Lennar Homes Sees Declining Deliveries & New Orders In Houston During Q2

Lennar Homes reported fiscal second quarter numbers this week. Although the company posted higher revenues and earnings for the quarter, Lennar's Houston numbers were a noticeable soft spot. As one of the Houston area's largest new home builders, Lennar is a good gauge for the overall strength of the Houston market. As one might expect, the local market for new homes is still facing the headwinds of weak employment growth and general economic weakness stemming from the downturn in the energy sector. For the second quarter, Lennar delivered 613 new homes at an average sale [...]

Dallas Fed – Single Family Housing Squeeze To Ease In 2015

This is an interesting paper from the Dallas Fed on the single family housing squeeze in Texas. It's always entertaining when you have economists reflecting on the effects of their own actions, even if they are unaware that's what they are doing. The massive amounts of liquidity injected into the markets and the Fed's now $4.5 trillion balance sheet have created an echo bubble in housing markets across the U.S. Houston has certainly seen a decline in affordability for single family homes during the last two years. This Fed paper notes how affordability has declined [...]

Crude Oil Does The Limbo Touching $55 – How Low Will It Go?

Crude oil prices took another dive Monday, falling over 4 percent to a fresh 5-year low of $55.02 per barrel. The only question now is how low will oil prices go before the market stabilizes and how long will that process take? The markets are beginning to wake up to the reality that this could well be a replay of the situation we experienced in 1985. This weekend we learned that the UAE is willing to ride the current price slide out, at least for the time being. OPEC continues to stand by its decision [...]

By | 2014-12-15T21:37:54+00:00 December 15th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, In the Press, Markets, Real Estate|0 Comments

Toll Brothers Q4 2014 Results: Higher Prices, Flat Contracts, Higher Cancellation Rate

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers released fourth quarter earnings results today. As expected, Toll reported higher average sale prices and higher earnings.  Toll reported a 39 percent rise in net income for the quarter on a 29 percent increase in revenues. The average price of a home delivered in Q4 was $747,00 compared to $703,000 in Q4 of last year. Toll Brothers has made a significant expansion into the Houston market, and Houston area sales probably made a significant contribution to Toll's bottom line in the latest quarter. Toll currently sells in 9 different communities in [...]

By | 2016-09-29T14:21:15+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Development, New Home Sales, Real Estate|0 Comments

Be Careful What You Ask For Houston: WTI Crude Breaks Below $61

Houston area drivers are probably rejoicing with the rapid fall in gasoline prices, but anyone who really understands the implications of the collapse in energy market is probably a little less sanguine. WTI crude oil briefly dipped below $61 per barrel this morning after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a rise in oil inventories of 1.5 million barrels in the week ended December 5. It probably didn't help that OPEC lowered its 2015 oil demand forecast. So far, U.S. drilling hasn't seen much of an effect, but things could change if oil prices don't [...]

By | 2014-12-10T16:14:18+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Transportation|0 Comments

Falling Oil Prices Prompt Staff Cuts At BP, CapEx Budget Cuts At ConocoPhillips – Houston’s Housing Affordability In The Crosshairs

With oil prices plumbing a fresh new 5-year low to open the week, the fallout in the oil sector appears to be gaining some traction. Yesterday BP announced it would be laying off 100's of mid-level supervisor jobs around the globe. Fortunately, those planned cuts don't appear to affect the Houston office at this point. Today ConocoPhillips picked up the torch announcing it would cut capital spending in 2015 by $3 billion, or roughly 20 percent. With dramatically lower oil prices ConocoPhillips said it would defer significant investment in developed projects, including the Permian Basin [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:54:59+00:00 December 8th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate|0 Comments

New Home Sales Disappoint At 458,000 Annual Rate In October

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for October posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 for October. This was below expectations of a 470,000 rate. More interestingly, July, August and September sales numbers were revised down. September was revised down from 467 thousand to 455 thousand. August was revised down from 466,000 to 453,000, and July was revised down to 399 thousand. The median price of a new home sold in October was $305,000 and the average sales price was $401,100, both sharp increases from the same month a year ago. [...]

HAR.com Prepares For Rebrand With ‘Homes And Realtors’ Web Portal

HAR.com, the web presence of the Houston Association of Realtors is slated to lose the "Houston" moniker from it's name as it aligns with the new statewide focus. As the number one search portal for Houston area homes, HAR.com has earned a reputation for one of the most consumer-friendly websites for browsing home listings. With a new statewide focus, the old HAR.com will become the new statewide 'Homes and Realtors'. Earlier this year, HAR.com expanded it's reach as part of the new ListHub network. The major Texas markets covered by the new 'Homes and Realtors' [...]

By | 2014-11-05T01:42:24+00:00 November 5th, 2014|Development, Real Estate, Tech|0 Comments

Lennar Homes Q3 Report: Lower Average Sales Prices For Houston Deliveries And New Orders

I had a chance to look at Lennar's 2014 third quarter results, and there were some interesting numbers for Houston. Lennar of course touted higher earnings and revenues across the board, but if you look further down past the headlines you see that Lennar is also active in the multifamily construction space as well. Lennar's gross margin inched up to 25.2% in the third quarter from 24.9 percent last year. Sales incentives to buyers rose $1700 from the same quarter last year, up to $20,400 per home delivered in Q3 2014. Houston Texas is its [...]

By | 2016-11-20T15:54:03+00:00 September 18th, 2014|Development, Mortgage Rates, New Home Sales, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|1 Comment

“Re-Assessing” And Miscalculating Houston’s Housing Affordability

I was browsing articles this morning, and came across a piece in the Houston Chronicle that caught my attention because the headline mentioned affordability.  Affordability metrics are often cited by Realtors and media pundits to show that houses are still cheap and affordable, thus you should run out and buy a home. The problems is, many of those "affordability" measures are seriously flawed. The statistic cited by the Houston  Chronicle this week is one such example. In the article, Prime Property reporter, Nancy Sarnoff, looks at the $204,000 median price of a Houston home and [...]

By | 2018-02-02T23:48:10+00:00 August 28th, 2014|Education, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|1 Comment