Economy

/Economy

Economic Issues Affecting Texas Housing Markets

Toll Brothers Stock Trips On Higher Cancellation Rate

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers reported fiscal second quarter results today, and Mr. Market was not amused. Toll Brothers net income declined for the latest quarter as did income from operations. Income from operations fell from 10.1 percent of revenues last year to 8.4 percent of revenues in Q2 2018. Perhaps more concerning was the jump in Toll's cancellation rate, rising from 3.5 percent last year to 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018. While the absolute percentage may seem small, this is actually a significant development when you consider that Toll can be extremely [...]

Dallas TX Employment Reaches New Heights In April

Employment growth in the Dallas area (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlingon MSA) pushed to new heights in April with a new record for jobs in the region. Dallas has added jobs each month so far this year as the unemployment rate sits near 3.4 percent. Texas added a total of 39,600 jobs in April according to seasonally adjusted data from the Texas Workforce Commission. The oil boom in the Permian Basin continued to boost employment in the Odessa Midland area with Midland posting a state-low unemployment rate of just 2.1 percent. Non-adjusted data show that the Dallas area [...]

The Fed Has Successfully Destroyed The U.S. Housing Market

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to some "insight" on the coming economic developments that we should be preparing for in terms of debts and deficits. The company providing this research piece has over a $trillion in assets under management. Since I have a healthy skepticism of anything the financial "services" industry is selling I decided to give it a read. It was very informative, partly due to a complete fundamental ignorance of basic economics, but also because of an obvious contradiction with the author's stated assumptions. As I [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Denton County TX Home Sales Flat In February As Prices Rise

Denton County home sales followed the trend in the DFW area during February, roughly unchanged from the same sales volume a year ago. The average price of a Denton  County home rose almost 5 percent year-over-year to just over $341,000. The median price of a Denton County home rose 7.5% to $304,990. The average price of a new Denton County home rose 9.6 % in February to $432,625. Resale price gains were more muted in February, rising only 4.0 percent compared to last year. Pending home sales in both Denton County and the greater DFW [...]

Dallas TX Employment Engine Sheds 59,000 Jobs In January Turnover

The Dallas TX employment engine was misfiring as we headed into 2018. Recently revised figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA shedding 59,000 jobs in January. While it is typical for the January numbers to decline after the holiday turnover, the 59,000 jobs lost in January represents the highest seasonal turnover loss in several years. Employment levels were already declining with the December numbers, so this is a development that could be worth watching. We'll know more in a few weeks when we get the February employment data. What is particularly [...]

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, [...]