Real Estate

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New Home Sales Climb In March With Lower Average Prices

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales in the United States climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 694,000 in March. This represents a sales increase of almost 9 percent compared to last year. Sales for January and February were also revised higher. The median price of a home sold in March was $337,200 while the average price of a new home contracted in March was $369,900 according to Census estimates. While the median price climbed in March, the average price of a new home in the United States declined by $14,500 [...]

Dallas Morning News Circulation Decline Might Reflect Quality Of Content

The circulation decline at the Dallas Morning News during the last few years might have something to do with the quality of the content. This is just the opinion of your humble blogger. According to Statista, the circulation of the DMN dropped in each of last three years for both daily and Sunday papers. Circulation of Dallas' largest paper still edges out the Houston Chronicle, but that's not saying much. While the number of readers of both papers is significantly higher, it appears fewer people are paying for the old print newspaper. Looking a the [...]

Denton County Home Prices Hit New High In March As Sales Cool

Denton County home prices hit a new record high in March with the average price of a Denton County home posting at just over $360,000. Median home prices for Denton County also hit a new all-time high rising to almost $320,000. That was a jump of 8 percent from March of last year. While home prices throughout the DFW area were hitting new highs at the end of the first quarter, actual closed sales of homes declined 5 percent in March. Denton County saw a similar 5 percent decline in home closings for the month. [...]

Markets Wobbling As Fed Normalization Hits $30 Billion Per Month In Q2

The markets were wobbling again this week, but regardless, the Fed normalization will hit $30 billion per month in April. I must confess that I get a good laugh when I hear market apologists and real estate pundits talk up the magnificent economy and housing market we are blessed with in Texas. Yes, things are pretty good here in the Lone Star State, and the DFW housing market still seems to have legs. Unfortunately the real economy is not nearly as robust as many talking heads and sell-side practitioners would have you believe. The March employment [...]

Lennar Homes Posts Solid First Quarter After CalAtlantic Acquisition

Lennar Homes delivered 6765 homes during the first quarter of 2018, the first fiscal quarter capturing a portion of the CalAtlantic acquisition. New orders at Lennar jumped 30% with a dollar value of $3.4 billion. After absorbing CalAtlantic Homes, the combined company now boasts a backlog of 17,566 homes with a combined value of $7.7 billion. Contributing to that huge backlog were 7190 homes from CalAtlantic worth an estimated $3.6 billion. Lennar is now America's largest home builder looking at the total dollar value of homes. We'll have to wait for 2nd quarter results fully [...]

U.S. New Home Sales Flat In February

The Census Bureau reported new home sales for February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000. This was slightly below expectations, but January was revised significantly higher so month over month the change was negligible. Compared to last year new home sales in February were up less than one percent. The median price for a new home contracted (signing of contract, not actually closing) was $326,800 while the average price of a new home last month posted at $376,700. The supply of new homes stood at 5.9 months in February, near the top of [...]

Fed Orders China Bank To Tighten Anti-Money Laundering Protections

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday faulted the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd for its weak anti-money laundering protections, ordering ICBC to tighten its screening of illicit money. Real estate money laundering from China into global property markets has been an ongoing theme for several years, and by all accounts the volumes of money being cleaned are still substantial. Last month the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) introduced new guidelines to replace its "Foreign Income Program". CIBC decided it should obtain income verification for foreign buyers gobbling up overpriced Canadian homes. Many of [...]

New Home Sales Softer In January At 593,000 (SAAR)

New home sales came in softer than expected for January, posting at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000. The Census Bureau numbers were 7.8 percent lower than Decembers revised numbers and 1 percent below January 2017. The median price of a new home contracted in January was $323,000, while the average price of a new home stood at $382,700. There was 6.1 months of supply for new homes in January, a gain of almost a full month compared to this time a year ago. As interest rates have spike during the past two months, [...]

DC’s Fiscal Lunacy, Fed’s Unwind Creating Waves For Housing Market

The fiscal lunacy in Washington and the Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind are creating waves for the housing market. 2018 was starting off on the right foot with a noticeable, yet moderate rise in bond yields. As we received more concrete evidence that the Federal Reserve was actually unwinding some of that gigantic balance sheet, volatility erupted pretty quickly. After a 12oo point plunge in the Dow, some savvy mortgage borrowers probably took advantage of the temporary fear in the market to score a decent mortgage rate. It was a small window of opportunity, because [...]

Quicken Loans Overtakes Wells Fargo As Largest Mortgage Lender

Quicken Loans overtook Wells Fargo as the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2017. Quicken Loans, with their Rocket Mortgage platform, reportedly originated $25 billion in home loans in the last three months of 2017. Wells Fargo was second with $23 billion, followed by Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase at $13 billion and $11 billion respectively. In case you missed it, here's the Rocket Mortgage ad aired during the Super Bowl... 2018 was poised to be a decent year for mortgage lenders, but likely not for Wells Fargo. Serial [...]