February 15, 2013

Texas: ‘The Better Choice’

Last week we started a series comparing California and Texas. Rather than get in the name calling and yelling match that the two states’ governors have engaged in, we wanted to look at economic factors of both states. The take away from our last issue was that both Texas and California were growing at the […]

February 7, 2013

California vs. Texas

It’s hard not to compare California and Texas against each other. Both states are geographically large, coastal, resource-rich, ethnically diverse, and are the #1 and #2 states in both population and GDP. However, the states differ greatly in culture, government, and political and business climate. Much has been made throughout the Great Recession of the […]

February 1, 2013

Strong local economy spurs San Antonio housing market

The strength of the Texas real estate and housing market has been making headlines nationwide. Forbes recently identified the Austin MSA and the Houston MSA as the #1 and #2 fastest growing areas in the nation. Dallas and San Antonio rounded out the list at #4 and #9, respectively. We wanted to give you some […]

January 25, 2013

New Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Regulations

There is an old idiom that a pendulum always swings too far, one way or the other. This seems to be the case with regulations on finance and lending. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recently released regulations designed to protect consumers from so-called “predatory lending” practices that were prevalent in many markets during the ‘boom’ […]

January 18, 2013

Taking a Look At Texas’s Mid-Size Metros

Texas is one of only seven states to reach prerecession employment this past year. North Dakota, Alaska, New York, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Dakota were the other states. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas, so this week we wanted to address growth in Texas’s other metro areas. […]

January 11, 2013

2013 Texas Metros Housing Forecast

This week we had the good fortune to attend the 2013 housing forecast by the Austin Home Builders Association and the Austin Board of Realtors. Although the discussion was centered on Austin, the majority of the statements apply to what is happening in all Texas metros. Here are some of the major points about Austin […]

January 4, 2013

Kicking the can

The fiscal cliff has been delayed for two months. Fears about how the government would handle the fiscal cliff — the tax hikes and budget cuts that were set to start on January 1st — frightened businesses into delaying capital spending and hiring, diminishing what little momentum the economy had going into 2013. At the […]

December 28, 2012

The fiscal cliff in-depth

Talk of the impending fiscal cliff has been dominating the news cycle, and for good reasons. First let me get this disclaimer out of the way – I am an analyst, not a CPA, lawyer, or lobbyist. I am an interested onlooker to the dysfunction in Washington. So keep that in mind as you read […]

December 14, 2012

2012: A Year in Review – San Antonio, Houston, and DFW

Last week we talked about the major 2012 happenings in Austin real estate. This week we wanted to focus on the other Texas metros and the strength of their markets. San Antonio Over the last year, San Antonians have shown more confidence as the city’s economic base expands – signs of an improving metro economy […]

December 7, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

2013 is here and 2012 is behind us. 2012 started great and continued to gained steady momentum. We thought it would be worthwhile to review. We started the year with a battered national economy, high unemployment and low credit liquidity, which hampered the economic recovery. However, by the end of the year, national markets have […]

November 30, 2012

Where is the economy headed in 2013?

Discussion over the impending “fiscal cliff” and continued fiscal instability from the Eurozone, combined with a still sluggish recovery are leaving many Americans feeling pessimistic about our economic future. However, that fact remains that we are recovering, and there are some less-reported economic barometers that show we are moving in a positive direction. A great […]

November 16, 2012

Getting ready for the next housing boom

Yes, you read that right. Get ready for the next housing boom. With the negative media, political dysfunction, mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures we still have going on, and the record levels of housing inventory, how could we possibly have another housing boom, right? Despite all the problems we are seeing today, pent up demand is […]

November 9, 2012

Where does America, and subsequently Texas, now stand?

The election is over, and the cloud of uncertainty about the future of America’s leadership has passed. Many pressing political and business decisions had been delayed, as people waited to see what would happen. This indecision limbo is over, and now it’s time to get back to work. Where does America, and subsequently Texas, now […]


Texas’s Largest Independent Title Company Continues Expansion, Announces First Branch Located in DFW

PRESS RELEASE – November 5, 2012 Austin, Texas – Austin-based Independence Title Company is expanding its presence into the Dallas-Fort Worth market with the acquisition of Noble Title, located in Dallas. “The Dallas-Fort Worth metro market was the only major Texas metro market that we did not serve. This addition will put us in a […]

November 2, 2012

The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance Is Coming to an End

I have talked about national retail being challenged in the past few issues of the Independence Voice. Since not everyone reading has access to the information that we have, I want to inform the reader of the facts and trends that are happening nationally in different channels of real estate. One trend to watch is […]

October 26, 2012

The Best Economic News in a Long Time

Last week’s national housing starts and permits report is the best economic news in a long time. Why? Because housing always leads the economy, and the direction of that lead lasts a year or two into the future. And at this point, the positive trend in housing construction is strongly established. The most important measure […]

October 19, 2012

Austin and San Antonio Housing Markets

After reviewing the Texas commercial real estate market last week, we would like to review residential sale prices in the Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas over the last twelve years. Texas housing markets has shown steady strength in 2012, and this will give you a comparison of how we stack up to previous years. […]

October 12, 2012

Texas continues to outpace the US

Texas continues to outpace the US in job growth, driving Texas real estate The Texas economy continues to grow at a rate higher than the national average. The state gained 261,000 nonagricultural jobs from August 2011 to August 2012, an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent compared with 1.4 percent for the United States. The […]

October 5, 2012

Winding down FNMA and FHMA

Where are thirty year home loan rates going? I get this question weekly. If I knew, I would have gotten lot better grades in quantitative math (confession: I never took quantitative math). Since the QE3 announcement nearly three weeks ago, rates have fallen. The average rate for a conforming loan (a conforming loan is home […]

October 1, 2012

Has the housing market turned?

The media is pushing that the U.S. housing crash is over and the market has turned. Has it? In the Austin SMSA, yes. In Texas, three out of four metros have turned. The national market is not quite there yet. Nationally and locally there are still some challenged areas. In all Texas metros, outer rim […]