Katy TX

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November Housing Starts, Permits Both Decrease

The Census Bureau reported that single family housing starts came in at a rate of 677,000 for the month of November. This was a slight decrease from last year. Single Family permits posted at an annual rate of 639,000. The non-seasonally adjusted numbers for housing starts show that 47,700 single family homes were started, compared with 50,900 in November of 2013. That translates to a 6.2 percent year-over-year decline. Without the "seasonal adjustment sauce" November permits for single family structures were 41,200, 5.9 percent lower than November of 2013. Optimism in the home building sector [...]

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

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. [...]

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 | 2018-05-12T01:05:48+00:00 September 18th, 2014|Development, Mortgage Rates, New Home Sales, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|1 Comment

How Texas Central Appraisal Districts Can Railroad Homeowners With Near Impunity

I had my 2014 ARB hearing with the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District this week, and it was certainly educational. The ARB panel wasted little time in verifying FBCAD's notice of value for my home with no change, but that's what I expected.  The fact that the property tax system in Texas is broken is not old news. What is a surprise to most homeowners is how local Appraisal Review Boards operate with near impunity when putting the screws to average homeowners. The CAD essentially does what it does, and it is expected that the [...]

By | 2017-12-22T03:02:37+00:00 September 16th, 2014|Politics, Real Estate, Regulation, Spin Cycle|7 Comments

TRI Pointe Homes Acquires Trendmaker Homes In $2.8 Billion Merger

Local home builder Trendmaker Homes became part of TRI Pointe Homes yesterday by virtue of TRI's acquisition. California based TRI Homes will now be one of the nations largest home builders following the $2.8 billion acquisition. In addition to the local nameplate of Trendmaker Homes here in Houston, TRI also inherited Pardee Homes, Winchester Homes, Maracay and Quandrant Homes. TRI CEO Douglas Bauer suggested that additional expansion is in the works now that the Wayerhouser home building companies like Trendmaker are part of a home builder team rather than a timber conglomerate. “There is obviously [...]

By | 2014-07-24T10:24:47+00:00 July 8th, 2014|Development, New Home Sales, Real Estate|0 Comments

U.S. Pending Home Sales Miss Expectations Again, Down 9% Year-Over-Year

The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales came in a bit lighter than expectations, with the index rising only 0.1% to 95 in January. That's 9 percent below January of last year. Once again, NAR economist Lawrence Yun was quick to play the "cold weather" card. Unfortunately, that dog doesn't hunt anymore. The real reason sales are down is because homes have become too expensive for many prospective buyers. Here's Yun's excuse:  “Ongoing disruptive weather patterns in much of the U.S. inhibited home shopping."...“Limited inventory also is playing a role, especially in [...]

Warped, Manipulated, Flipped & Distorted – The New U.S. Housing Market

That's the message from Jim Quinn at The Burning Platform. As much as I would like to disagree with him, he's right. The reflation of U.S. real estate has been a spectacle to behold, particularly when you consider the mountains of fraud that were buried fines that were paid and money that was printed along the way to make it possible. By most measures, 2013 was a banner year in terms of U.S. housing, at least as far as prices were concerned.  But what about the health of actual market?  That's a question posed by Quinn, and ignored [...]

Mortgage Monitor – 2013 Loans Best Vintage In Years, But Housing Headwinds Remain

Black Night Financial (formerly LPS) is out with its latest Mortgage Monitor report, and it notes that 2013 was a good year in terms of performing vintages. Loan performance improved significantly. The report also notes that home equity originations are up, not surprising with the recent rise in home prices around the country. The rise in home equity loans is concerning considering that much of the recent home price appreciation has been driven by artificial stimuli. The collapse in refinance originations is also highlighted in the report, noting that 4 million fewer loans are 'refinancible' [...]

By | 2018-02-02T23:53:00+00:00 January 14th, 2014|Mortgage Rates, Real Estate|0 Comments

Texas Home Insurers Just Raised Your Premiums Up To 15%

State Farm, Farmers, and Allstate, have notified the Texas Department of Insurance that they want to raise the premiums for Texas homeowners. Those fee hikes apparently went into effect January 1st of this year.  According the fee hike requests, Farmers asked for a 15.4% increase while State Farm is raising rates 9.8% and Allstate is bumping premiums up by 6.5%  The Office of Public Insurance Counsel has opposed all the rate increases for Texas homeowner's insurance, saying the proposed hikes aren't justified. I agree. Alex Winslow of Texas Watch notes that Texas already has the third highest policy rates according to the [...]

By | 2016-02-29T00:02:23+00:00 January 6th, 2014|Real Estate|0 Comments