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Coronavirus Hits DFW Home Sales, But Prices Holding Up

DFW home sales took another hit in April. Home sales slid 18 percent during the month of April as the coronavirus took a toll on the Dallas-Fort Worth real restate market. Pending home sales slid even further, falling 24 percent for April. Despite the noticeable seasonal increase in activity during the past few weeks, it appears the spring/summer selling rush we would typically expect is going to be muted by Covid-19 this year. With over 33 million Americans filing for unemployment during the past two months, a downturn in real estate activity should be expected. [...]

North Texas Real Estate Gets Coronafied As Fed Nationalizes Bond Market

North Texas real estate is going to get coronafied, and the coming months will reveal the extent of what looks to be lasting damage for the local real estate market.  The official press release estimates compiled by the A&M RECenter and regurgitated by major media outlets pegged March home sales for a 4 percent increase. It's important to keep in mind these press release numbers are statistical estimates which run off of algorithms accounting for late closings. Sometimes the padding added for late closings or contract activity is overdone, and I believe March is one [...]

Contracts For North Texas Home Purchases Still Shrinking

I have been monitoring the contracts for home purchases in the North Texas area since last week, and the numbers are not encouraging. The number of active option contract properties (listings where the home has gone under contract with a buyer option to back out) continues to shrink. This is not surprising considering the economic backdrop, but it also points to a more prolonged downturn than many in the real estate industry were expecting. Pending sales data for March will not be pretty, but the April data for North Texas home sales could be an [...]

October New Home Sales Rise On Easy Comparison

On the surface, the Census Bureau's 31.6% year-over-year increase in new home sales for October looks spectacular. To put it in context, however, new home sales are simply responding to the Federal Reserve's market interventions and that spectacular plunge in mortgage interest rates providing a very easy year-over-year comparison. On a monthly basis, new home sales dipped about one percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 units. The longer term view shows new home sales still rising on a steady path out of the abyss. Along with the big drop in [...]

NAR: Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% In September

The National Association of Realtors reported a 3.9% increase in existing home sales for the month of September. Home sales in the South region were reportedly up 6 percent according to NAR, and this is reflective of what we saw in the North Texas housing market last month. The big year-over-drop in rates pushed both home sales and prices higher last month. According to NAR the median price of an existing U.S. home increased 5.9% in September. The average price of a U.S. home at $308,500 was higher by 4.2%. Months of supply stood at [...]

Stagnating Home Sales, Mortgage Rates & Job Growth But The Fed Only Has Eyes For Wall Street

Home sales are stagnating, mortgage rates are falling and job growth is now waning. What's not to love? Today's nonfarm payrolls report was a resounding thud with only 75,000 jobs added in May. Previous months were revised downward as well. Everywhere you look, cracks are beginning to appear in the carefully varnished edifice the Federal Reserve likes to call an economy. Maybe this is why there were 13 Federal Reserve officials hitting the airwaves this week to talk up their most favored metric of economic validation, the U.S. stock market. Earlier in the week we [...]

New Home Sales Jump 7 Percent In April But Momentum Is Fading

The Census Bureau reported new home sales in April which rose 7 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Sales (contract signings) for April posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units. This was close to expectations, but interestingly the April figure represented a rather large 7 percent drop from revised March numbers. The sales numbers for the previous three months were revised higher. The median price of a new home rose in April to $342,200, while the average price of a new home contracted in April rose to $393700. This [...]

Home Builder Confidence Not Confirmed By Housing Starts & Permits Data

This week the National Association of Home Builders reported improved confidence and business conditions among new home builders. With the big drop in mortgage interest rates, builders have been enjoying solid sales so far in 2019. NAHB chairman, Greg Ugalde, even said as much... “Builders are busy catching up after a wet winter and many characterize sales as solid, driven by improved demand and ongoing low overall supply...However, affordability challenges persist and remain a big impediment to stronger sales.” With mortgage rates just above 4 percent, the year-over-year interest rate comparisons are very favorable for [...]

Texas Realtors Pay Over $6 Million For Bogus Research At A&M RECenter

"The first rule of fight club is: You do not talk about fight club." Texas Realtors continue to throw money at bogus research at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. Many Texas Realtors probably don't even know that a portion of their annual licensing dues goes to pay the salaries of the staff at the RECenter. Many are probably unaware of how they are being shortchanged by this Texas institution which is still partnering with the Federal Reserve when it comes to economic research. That is a shame, because the garbage being produced by the [...]

DFW Contract Activity Cools In April As Stimulus From Lower Rates Fades

DFW contract activity faded in April. Looking at the preliminary sales data for North Texas, it is apparent that the stimulus from the big drop in mortgage rates has run its course. It will be another week or so before we get the official press release numbers, but the data is telling. April was another good month for home sales. Actual closings for home sales showed a robust real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but contract signings were another matter. Preliminary sales data indicate that the DFW real estate market is peaking prematurely [...]