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U.S. New Home Sales Fall 9.5% To 627,000 SAAR

The Census Bureau reported new home sales (contracts) for March at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 627,000. That was 15.4 percent below the revised February rate and down 9.5% from the same time a year ago. As a reminder, the Census counts a new home sale at the time of contract signing, not the actual closing. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic we actually have a more relevant, forward-looking indicator of new home sales activity, similar to the pending sales metric we would use in the MLS. The median new home sales [...]

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 [...]

Market Chaos Hits Mortgage Market, iBuyers Disappear

Chaos is hitting the mortgage markets, and iBuyers have suddenly disappeared from the real estate landscape quicker than a cat on a hot tin roof. The Fed is in utter panic mode, and we are only beginning to find out how fragile the U.S. economy really is. Here's the QE to Infinity announcement from the Fed: "Federal Reserve announces extensive new measures to support the economy." If you thought the Fed's response to 2008 was extreme, this week's actions by the Federal Reserve make 2008 look tame in comparison. During the height of QE 1, [...]

Reckoning Awaits For Inflated North Texas Real Estate Market

The reckoning awaits for the hyper-financialized north Texas real estate market.  It may take a few months for reality to sink in, but the writing is on the wall regardless of the efforts of housing industry pundits and professional economists to downplay the damage. The hopes of a v-shaped recovery are vanishing faster than the toilet paper on the shelves of your local grocery store. Many of the supposed experts, like the PhD economists employed at the Texas Real Estate Center at A&M, have turned a blind eye to the artificial inflation in Texas real [...]

Mortgage Rates at Record Lows as 10-Year Treasury Yield Crashes Below One Percent

It has been an exciting week, and it's only Wednesday. After a massive market ramp on Monday failed to extend into a two-day rally, the Federal Reserve did what many, including myself, expected them to do. Jerome Powell and his central bank cronies pulled out an emergency 50 basis point cut to the Fed Funds rate. The Fed rate cut was little more than the Fed playing catch-up to the actual drop in market rates which were crushed by the ongoing coronavirus economic blowback. The Fed's poorly telegraphed rate cut was followed by a near [...]

New Home Sales For December Post At 694,000 SAAR

The Census Bureau reported new home sales for December at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 694,000. This was slightly lower than downwardly-revised November figures, but up 23 percent compared to December 2018 when the markets were sliding off a cliff. The median price of a new house sold in December 2019 was $331,400 while the average sales price was $384,500. Both figures represent slight price increases from last year and noticeable jumps from prices in November. The supply of new homes for sale stood at 5.7 months. Despite the downward revisions to previous [...]

Low Rates Keep North Texas Home Sales Alive In September

North Texas home sales improved by roughly 7 percent in September, boosted by an extremely favorable year-over-year mortgage rate comparison which kept affordability levels manageable for area home shoppers. Denton County saw a 7 percent improvement in September home closings, while the City of Denton saw home sales fall slightly compared to the same month in 2018. Pending home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area improved by 9 percent in September, but not by the magical 12 percent as reported in the area's largest paper. Pending sales activity in Denton County was up double digits, [...]

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 [...]

Dallas Fort Worth Employment Growth Still Solid, For Now

Dallas-Fort Worth employment numbers show that the DFW economy was still on solid footing in December. While local job growth has been slowing a bit, the economy has been rather resilient. Texas posted annual employment growth for 104 consecutive months in December 2018. The state unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent. Unemployment in Texas was near record lows for a third consecutive month as we ended the year, and unemployment in the DFW area was lower than the state average at only 3.3 percent. With the recent slowdown in the economy, it will be interesting [...]

Denton County Home Sales Continued Sliding In December

Denton County home sales continued their slide in December as the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market saw a 5th consecutive month of year-over-year declining sales activity. Denton County experienced an 11 percent decline in closed home sales along with a corresponding 11 percent decline in pending home sales activity. The drop in forward-looking contract activity suggests that a spring housing rebound may be a tough proposition. Home prices were still rising in many DFW submarkets in December, including Denton Texas where the average price of a home rose 11 percent to $274,012. Looking at a [...]