Affordability

Denton County House Payments Hit Record Highs

Denton County house payments hit record highs in July. Prospective home buyers continued to get pinched by higher mortgage rates and the rebound in North Texas home prices through the first half of the year. As mortgage rates mushroomed back toward 7 percent, area house payments have soared for buyers using a market rate mortgage. Median home prices came in at $475,000 for the month of July. The median house payment for Denton County buyers factoring in the rise in interest rates translates to a principal and interest payment of over $2500 per month. That's [...]

New Home Sales Bounce in May with Big Drop in Prices

The Census Bureau reported new home sales in May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 763,000 units. That was 12.2 percent better than the revised April estimate and 20 percent better than May of last year. So what drove the jump in new home sales? Lower prices! "The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2023 was $416,300. The average sales price was $487,300." That average new home price of $487,300 is the lowest in 2023 and over $28,000 lower than the March estimate. The May average price is $81,400 lower [...]

North Texas Housing Market – Summer of Denial

The North Texas housing market continued correcting in July. Closed sales were 15 percent lower for the DFW compared to July of last year. Pending contracts also slid lower by a corresponding amount. The median price of a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth market slipped to $389,000, up 16.1 percent year-over-year. Average prices in DFW dropped even more, sliding over $25,000 from the high in June. That may be the high for North Texas home prices for a few years depending on how this cycle plays out. The housing market correction has definitely been noticeable [...]

New Home Sales Begin Slide As Interest Rates Rise

New home sales are beginning to slide as rising rates clamp down on the housing market euphoria. The Census Bureau reported February new home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 772,000 units. That's a 2 percent slide from January and down 6.2 percent from last year. The unadjusted February sales estimate shows 65,000 new homes sold. That translates to a 7 percent slide year-over-year. The median price of a new home came in at $400,600. The average price posted at $511,000, a new record high for the series. It's interesting to note [...]

Media Narrative on Housing Shortage is Comically Absurd

The current media narrative on the U.S. housing shortage is comically absurd misdirection. Numerous experts in the industry continue to float the same tired narratives and misdirection while media mouthpieces nod in agreement. It's truly sad to watch. News segments offering up explanations of our housing affordability crisis look more like industry infomercials. According the Wall Street arm of the housing industry renting is the new American dream. Wall Street predators are just filling the gap, providing much-needed housing in a time of need. Just a few days ago our local CBS affiliate ran this [...]

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 [...]

Denton County Real Estate Market Gets Lift From Crashing Yields, Lower Rates

The Denton County real estate market is getting a much-needed lift going into the spring selling season. That lift is coming courtesy of crashing bond yields and a drop in mortgage interest rates. Lower interest rates were desperately needed to stimulate a stagnating housing market. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey confirmed today what many have been expecting.... a continued drop in mortgage rates. Freddie Mac's index just posted the biggest one-week drop in a decade. If the economy continues to slow, 3 percent mortgage rates could be in play again. That could be [...]

Denton TX Mortgage Rates Lowest In 9 Months

The benchmark 30-year mortgage interest rate dipped to 4.45 percent in the latest Freddie Mac weekly survey. That's the lowest level for mortgage interest rates that Denton Texas home buyers have seen in since last March. Not surprisingly, mortgage purchase applications have picked up slightly to start 2019. That's good news because purchase applications were trending lower for much of the fourth quarter of 2018 It remains to be seen whether the dip in interest rates will be enough to spark area home sales into the green. While mortgage rates are the lowest we've seen [...]

The Fed Has Successfully Destroyed The U.S. Housing Market

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to some "insight" on the coming economic developments that we should be preparing for in terms of debts and deficits. The company providing this research piece has over a $trillion in assets under management. Since I have a healthy skepticism of anything the financial "services" industry is selling I decided to give it a read. It was very informative, partly due to a complete fundamental ignorance of basic economics, but also because of an obvious contradiction with the author's stated assumptions. As I [...]

Meritage: “Strong Demand For Entry Level Homes” Drives New Orders Increase

Meritage Homes reported first quarter sales yesterday, and the publicly traded home builder admitted what many, including myself, have been saying. New home prices have eclipsed the threshold of what most Americans can afford (or are willing) to pay. Meritage saw a 2 percent increase in closed sales for the quarter on average new home prices that were up by just 1 percent. New orders grew 10 percent compared to the same quarter last year on average sales prices that were 2 percent lower. This is the dilemma now facing most new home builders with [...]

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