Category: Independence Voice

November 30, 2017

Has the Texas Real Estate Market Slowed?

by Mark Sprague I am frequently asked if the Texas real estate market has slowed. In this piece I’ll explain the state of the market and try to answer this question. First, some context. Austin real estate has been traveling at light speed with over 60% appreciation on residential real estate in the last ten […]






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August 23, 2016

Article from Austin American-Statesman about a possible national downturn in the housing market

Recently, the Austin-American Statesman ran a story about a speech from Gary Keller, the co-founder of Keller Williams. Keller warned his agents across the country to prepare for a coming downturn in the national housing market. You can review the story here. I and several other local housing experts were asked to comment for the […]






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June 17, 2016

Luxury homes trending towards buyers’ market

Welcome back to the Independence Voice! This week, we will take a look at the state of the national economy, and how it is influencing our local and regional real estate markets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its most recent job report showing that the U.S. economy added only 38,000 jobs in May, far […]






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December 18, 2015

End of year Texas economic review

It seemed like the Texas growth miracle would never end. Texas has led the nation in job creation and home price appreciation since the end of the Recession. 2013 was a tremendous year, with home price appreciation at 15% or greater in all Texas metros. 2014 saw continued strength but a slowing of demand. At […]






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November 6, 2015

Conservative mortgage rules helped save Texas from the recession

The United States is still recovering from the longest and most severe economic recession since the Great Depression. Real GDP fell 4%, employment 6%, and the headline unemployment rate crossed the 10% mark for only the second time in postwar US history. As we know now, housing and finance were at the center of the […]

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October 9, 2015

Enjoy low interest rates – for now

In September, the Federal Open Markets Committee, the Fed’s policy setting arm, decided not to raise its benchmark rate, which has been near zero for seven years. The benchmark rate is what a central bank issues which other interest rates are calculated against. Also called base interest rate, it is the minimum interest rate investors […]

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September 18, 2015

Texas metros remain sellers’ markets

We are in interesting times. Texas metros have had hot real estate markets for the past five years. For the last few months, we have had questions at both end of the selling spectrum. On the one hand, we are still seeing a sellers’ market in terms of inventory and demand. On the other hand, […]

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August 14, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part III

This week, our series on the major Texas metro real estate markets shifts its focus to San Antonio. San Antonio continues to see growth near or above prerecession numbers, unlike the majority of the country. After a slow start to 2015, economic activity in San Antonio picked up in May. Jobs grew at an annualized […]






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August 7, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part II

We are continuing our review of the major metro real estate markets in Texas. This week we will spotlight Dallas / Fort Worth. Five Texas cities were among the top 10 U.S. cities in population growth between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014 — Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, with each […]

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July 31, 2015

2015 Texas Midyear Review, Part I

Of the 3218 counties in the US, only 65 have fully recovered from the recession. By “recovered”, we mean that employment is back to prerecession numbers, GDP is same or better, and real estate values are at or better than prerecession. It’s important to understand this context when talking about the market in Texas, where […]

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July 10, 2015

Mid-year condo report doesn’t tell the whole story

The Texas Association of Realtors released a report about condo sales in the Austin, DFW, San Antonio, and Houston metro areas. Values are strong in all, and sales are strong and improving except for Austin. According to the report, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio experienced an aggregate 1% decrease in condo sales between January […]

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June 19, 2015

Markets find their own values

Texas and its metros continue to be singled out as overvalued by different sources. The map below from real estate analysts KCM, using CoreLogic numbers, shows when the states saw peak prices and how far they are from that pinnacle. As you can see Texas is just now hitting the highest values they have seen […]

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May 29, 2015

2015 points to slower growth ahead

Last year, the U.S. job market had its best year of gains since 1999.  Economic activity hit a whopping 5% in the third quarter, the best quarter since 2003. On the other hand, employment is still relatively weak with only 2% of the nation’s counties recovered to prerecession unemployment, GDP, and real estate values. Unemployment […]

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April 24, 2015

Texas housing markets (still) aren’t overvalued

The Austin Board of Realtors reported that the March 2015 median price for single family homes was $255,000, a 10% year-over-year increase. This is a record high for Austin homes, so it isn’t surprising that some are saying our market is overvalued or in a bubble. Still, you can’t just look at appreciation and say […]

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April 10, 2015

Expect low inventory to persist

One of the most common concerns for those moving to Texas is the lack of inventory in all real estate channels. Strong demand is the main reason there has been little to no increase in inventory in the last few years. There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the consistently low housing inventory […]

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March 27, 2015

Texas continues to outpace the national economy

Officially, the Great Recession reached its lowest point in June of 2009, and the national economy began its path to recovery. Almost six years later, some states like North Dakota and Texas with strong energy industries are home to the most fully recovered economies in the aftermath of the Great Recession. However, if we look […]

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March 13, 2015

Economic outlook positive for 2015

The strength of the Lone Star State’s economy has led our national economy through the general gloom of the slowest national economic recovery in modern history. Now, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil hovering around $45/barrel, and unleaded gasoline selling for as little as $1.89 a gallon, some worry that the […]






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February 20, 2015

The shape of residential real estate to come

Demographic trends are among the strongest forces that shape real estate markets. Different generations have different housing needs. The largest and wealthiest generation, the Baby Boomers, is reaching retirement age, which will have a profound effect on the national economy and the supply of available housing. Let’s take a look at the major generational cohorts, […]






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February 17, 2015

CFPB brings changes to mortgage lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in 2010 in direct response to the financial crisis of 2008. As many remember, the crisis was set off by a number of problems in the subprime mortgage market, and the downstream selling of those mortgages in security markets. This reform process has been compared to the […]






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January 23, 2015

Low oil prices and the national economy

In our last edition of the Voice, we discussed the potential effects of the decline in oil prices on the Texas region. The fall in energy prices has the potential to cost the Texas economy 125,000 to 150,000 jobs. This week, we’ll look how declining oil prices could affect the national economy. Most of us […]






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