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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 [...]

Denton County Employment Growth Still Solid, Why Are Home Sales Stagnating?

Denton County employment growth is still humming along. The Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to add jobs. Even with the job growth, home price gains in the DFW area continue to slow. This is confirmed in the recent numbers from Case-Shiller. Along with many professional PhD economists, the Case-Shiller committee seems to be puzzled that the housing market isn't firing on all cylinders given the recent plunge in mortgage interest rates. "Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better." Even Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist seems to be perplexed that the housing market isn't [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Texas Property Tax System Collapsing Under Its Own Fraud

As appraisal districts across the state of Texas put the screws to homeowners this summer, some interesting things are happening behind the scenes in the operationally corrupt system known as uniform and equal appraisal. The predators are starting to eat each other as the system comes unglued. I am not surprised this is happening. It's something I fully expected because the Texas property tax system is mired in conflicts of interest and dysfunction, rotten to its very core. "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding [...]

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 [...]

Denton CAD’s Chief Appraiser Doesn’t Want To Be Overwhelmed With Property Tax Protests

Denton Central Appraisal District chief appraiser, Rudy Durham, apparently doesn't want to be overwhelmed with property tax protests this year. Durham recently called out Watchdog Dave Lieber for encouraging everyone to file a protest, something every property owner is entitled to do under the Texas Property Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Lieber is right that everybody should protest, but he's missing the big picture. Homeowners should protest not just their valuation from the CAD, but the system in its entirety. Every homeowner in Denton County should protest an operationally corrupt system that bulldozes residential property owners [...]

Denton County New Home Sales Spring To Life In March

Denton County new home sales are enjoying a spring revival courtesy of lower mortgage interest rates. Preliminary March data for North Texas shows that home sales rebounded in March, with new home sales driving the action. Buyers were obviously lured off the fence in the DFW area when it came to buying new homes. It also helped that new home builders were keeping price points lower. The average price of new homes in Dallas-Fort Worth still shows to be softening. Pending sales data for March looks a bit weaker than closings, so it will be [...]

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 [...]