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 […]

September 19, 2012

WIRED UP: Moving Money in Real Estate Transactions

The big moment in a real estate transaction is at the finish line, when all parties receive the benefits outlined in the contract. For the seller, the benefit may be proceeds from the sale, allowing them to buy another home, fund their retirement, or just close a chapter and move on. The benefit to the buyer is keys to the property, pride of homeownership, an investment for the future. From there, Realtors receive commissions, contractors are paid for their work on the property, etc.

September 14, 2012


Since the founding of Texas, there has been constant change in the composition of the state’s growth. Population in rural areas in many parts of the state is declining and in all likelihood will continue to. The opposite is true in Texas’s four major metros. Projections show that the state’s doubling of population in the […]

September 13, 2012

Federal Reserve launches third round of quantitative easing

Today at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC) voted to launch a new program of bond purchases (quantitative easing / QE3) and to extend their forward guidance about the fed funds rate. The Fed will purchase additional agency mortgage‐backed securities, at a pace of $40 billion per […]

September 7, 2012

Formula One Q&A

Since the announcement of the new F1 track site in southeast Austin was made, there have been many opinions offered about the wisdom of this venture. Was it going to really happen? Most of the Austin and Texas ‘big’ real estate and finance players seemed to not know about it until after it was announced. […]

September 6, 2012

Special Market Update at Cool River Cafe

Today, Independence Title had the priviledge of hosting our quarterly market review, forecast, and networking event at Cool River Cafe.

July 3, 2012

Texans realize the blessing.

Texans realize the blessing we have with one in four of all new jobs created in our state since the recession. Employment as a whole in Texas is up 1%. The Dallas and Fort Worth areas have grown jobs by 8.8% and 10.6%; San Antonio is up 15%, Houston 17% and Austin nearly 23%. Positive […]

June 22, 2012

With all the good economic news, why doesn’t the economy “feel” better?

We keep hearing that we are in a recovery from the ‘great recession’, yet it seems that the market is just a single media zinger away from locking up and shutting down for the third year in a row, perhaps from a sound bite that originates from China, the European debt crisis, or standstill on […]

March 2, 2012

The problem with Case/Shiller

First, there is no such thing as a national real estate market. A sale in Tucson has no bearing on a sale in Houston or Atlanta or Boston. All real estate is local. No matter what the Case-Shiller Index says, what matters to your local market is what’s happening in your local market. Each neighborhood […]

December 2, 2010

The Truth About Title in Texas

Tell the truth – do you really know what title insurance is? Why most people should have it? Why it costs what it costs? Most people don’t. When I tell people at parties that I’m in the title business, I get a vague “Ohhh …that must be interesting …” uttered in pointedly uninterested tones. I […]