March 29, 2013

Is there a danger of a housing bubble in Texas?

First, four things have to be available for a housing bubble: tight supply, demand, regulation, and easy financial terms. Statewide, only tight supply and demand are present; only in Austin does regulation come into play. Financing is still a challenge in today’s environment. What is a bubble? Bubbles have characterized recent economic history, as institutional […]

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March 22, 2013

Shadow inventory in Texas

With the national and local real estate markets turning positive, questions remain about the “shadow inventory” that was supposed to be holding down the market. Concerns over shadow inventory re-entering the market has kept some on the sidelines of the real estate market, while over the last five years big investors have been buying foreclosures […]

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March 15, 2013

Indicators of a recovering economy

The resale and new home market continues to improve nationwide. The National Association of Realtors reported that previously-owned homes sold at an annual pace of 4.92 million, 9% higher than this time last year. Home prices were up 12.3%, taking the median to $173,600. That marked the biggest percentage gain since January 2005. And foreclosed […]

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March 8, 2013

Current home buying conditions are the best in thirty years

If you have been paying attention, you know the real estate industry has turned up from its bottom. The three factors needed for such a transition include demand, supply, and investment. Job growth is coming back slowly nationally, and in Texas our metros continue to outperform the rest of the country. Renters are realizing the […]

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March 1, 2013

Are you prepared to own a home?

When most of us got out of school (I am a baby boomer), the thought process was: get a job, get married, get a house, start a family. It all seemed pretty easy. A lot has changed over the last ten years. Young people finishing their education have been faced with one of the hardest […]

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February 22, 2013

Texas vs. California (Part 3)

This is our third installment in a series discussing Texas and California. We have written about why businesses and individuals seem to be leaving CA for TX. One in five Americans calls California or Texas home. The two most populous states have a lot in common: a long coast, a sunny climate, a diverse population, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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’ […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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