Housing Policy

/Housing Policy

housing policy

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 [...]

Dallas Morning News Misses Glaring Example Of Appraisal Fraud Right Under Their Noses

The company selling the 'Rock of Truth' campus just missed a glaring example of appraisal fraud right under their noses. Belo Corp reportedly just sold the old Dallas Morning News downtown campus at 508 Young Street for $28 million. The 325,000 square-foot campus includes two buildings and a parking garage on roughly 8 acres. That 8 acre site happens to be one of the largest redevelopment sites in downtown Dallas Texas. The former campus of Dallas' largest newspaper was purchased by Ray Washburne, a local developer who owns Charter Holdings. Washburne also bought a shopping [...]

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 [...]

Fed Says No Rate Hikes In 2019, Balance Sheet Drawdown Ending In September

The Jerome Powell cave is now a comical farce. Aside from using the word "patient" about 30 times in the March FOMC statement, Jerome Powell told us the Fed does not expect to hike interest rates at all in 2019. To top things off, the Fed balance sheet that was on autopilot at the end of last year will now end this September. In terms of the Fed's projections for the economy, growth was revised down and the unemployment rate was revised up slightly. "In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation [...]

Shadow Bank Lending, Rising Debt To Income Ratios Fueling Denton County Home Price Growth

Shadow banks, or nonbanks as they are often called, continue to dominate the mortgage space in the real estate echo bubble. This is the case in Denton County Texas and all across the country. Since 2008 the share of mortgage originations by nonbanks has more than doubled, rising from 24% in 2008 to 54% in 0217. The share of mortgages issued by traditional large banks continue to decline. As home prices rose throughout Denton County, the quality of the mortgages originated during this boom began deteriorating. Last year the deterioration in mortgage quality was pronounced. [...]

Caveman Powell Looking To Levitate Stock, Housing Bubbles

Yesterday the Federal Reserve yelped like a whipped puppy as Jerome Powell turned into the latest iteration of his market-dependent Bernanke/Yellen/Greenspan predecessors. If you remember, Mr. Powell was here in the DFW area back in November playing up the fabulous state of the U.S economy and the Fed's wonderful policies. At the time expectations were that the Fed would be raising the Federal Funds rate four more times this year with a balance sheet reduction schedule that was supposedly on "autopilot" to the tune of $50 billion per month rolling off. Flash forward one quarter [...]

Buc-ee’s Suit Against Denton Central Appraisal One Of Many In Broken Property Tax System

The new Denton Buc-ee's is already testing the waters of the two-tiered property tax system in Texas. Buc-ee's representatives already convinced the DCAD appraisal review board to chop over $850,000 off the initial appraisal last year, but apparently Buc-ee's feels the taxed value of the new Denton store is still too high, thus the suit in Denton County District court. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the efforts of business and industry as they buy justice at the local CAD. County records show 170 active cases against the Denton [...]

False Narratives About The Housing Market Refuse To Die

False narratives about the U.S. housing market refuse to die. Mainstream media and real estate industry shills continue to deflect attention from the complex, but at the same time rather simple reasons behind the lack of housing affordability. Politico author, Lorraine Woellert, offers us a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the U.S. housing market, including the mainstream media reporting on it. I hadn't come across this piece previously, but having  now read it, there are a number of red flags that are worth calling out. Woellert seems appropriately concerned that only wealthy [...]