Texas Real Estate

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Single-Family Housing Permits & Starts Still Stagnating

The Census Bureau reported permits and starts numbers for May which were less than impressive. While permits were up from revised April figures, they were still lower than levels seen last year. Single-family permits (one unit structures) were down 3.3 percent from the same time a year ago. The sluggish numbers for housing permits and starts in May is a bit surprising to some of the experts considering the recent plunge in mortgage interest rates. Unfortunately there is more to the demand for new homes than just ultra low interest rates. Housing starts in May [...]

Denton County Home Sales Climb In May, City of Denton Sees All-Time High For Prices

Denton County home sales rose 3 percent compared to the same month last year, driven by a the precipitous drop in mortgage rates which are now back below a 4-handle. The increase in home sales this spring has offset the weak start to the year during the first quarter. The average price of a Denton County home was roughly $368,525 in May, up 4 percent from prices last year. The inventory of homes for sale in Denton County rose 25 percent, hitting 3.4 months of supply. New home sales continued to fare better than the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

New Home Sales Improve On Lower Rates, Big Drop In Prices

According to the Census Bureau new home sales for March posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000, a 3 percent increase from the same time last year and 4.5 percent better than February sales numbers. Apparently the big drop in mortgage interest rates continued to provide some lift to the new home market in March. This confirms what we were seeing in the DFW market last month as new home sales outperformed the resale market. The supply of new homes stood at 5.0 months in March, up from 4.5 months a year ago. [...]

Hoisington Quarterly Review: Parallels of Past Fed Mistakes

Hoisington Investment Management has released their latest Quarterly Review, and it's certainly worth a read if you want to understand the Federal Reserve's capitulation on policy normalization and the stagnating global economy. The global economic slowdown should really not be surprising considering the massive amounts of stimulus by global central banks which have resulted in massive amounts of debt and economic bifurcation. The problem with quantitative easing and all of the central bank intervention is that liquidity has not not been used for productive, organic growth. As the debt keeps piling up, the economic benefit [...]