you’re no doubt familiar with the saying “everything’s bigger in Texas’, right. well, april unveils MORE statistics to support that very statement!
you may recall from one of my previous posts that JOBS will be responsible for kicking off this housing recover – NOT interest rates…NOT gov’t fueled tax credits – JOBS is what fuels housing, plain and simple. if we lose our jobs we can’t make our payments. if we lose our jobs we can’t buy houses. if we can’t find a job we can’t buy houses. its elementary. and now its REAL! according to newgeography.com TEXAS, for the 2nd year in a row, filled up HALF of the top ten spots in their annual ranking of the best cities to find a job with dallas settling in at the #5 spot and fort worth coming in at #7. the study also revealed that “places like fort worth’s level of growth will come back pretty easily” and “the big story nationally is that when we recover, it’s going to happen, for the most part, in places like fort worth…those places are going to lead us out of the recession”. you can find the full star-telegram story here http://tinyurl.com/22ppwse
HIGH-END HOME SALES
the doom & gloom media will have you thinking that once this gov’t fueled home buyer tax credit expires the housing market is doomed to CRASH. maybe they need to tune in to my blog! recent sales data from MLS says otherwise. according to MLS data there has been a SURGE in high-end home sales with pre-owned homes jumping as much at 80% in Park Cities, North Dallas, and Westlake. i’m pretty sure a home buyer who qualifies for the tax credit (within the income limitations) would be hard pressed to find an affordable home in any of the 3 aforementioned areas. need more compelling data?? first quarter sales of million-dollar homes in North Texas increased 23% from last year and first quarter sales of homes priced between $800k – $900k were up 56% from last year. according to cole the expiration of the tax credit will have NOTHING to do with these sales!
TEXAS HOME SALES / PRICES
existing home sales in Texas increased 15% in march compared to last year which is GREAT news coming off the declines noted in january and february. removing last november’s surge ahead of the tax credit’s original deadline and this is the largest year over year increase since march of 2006!! major market sales jumped 16%! activity in the four largest markets for homebuilders (austin, dallas, houston, san antonio) improved 16%!! need more?? the MEDIAN home price in Texas increased 4% from last year making this the 7th straight month prices have improved on a year over year basis! while sales and median prices are on the rise you’ll be happy to know that foreclosures are on the decline. fourth quarter mortgage delinquency data from the mortgage bankers association revealed only 2% of texas loans were in foreclosure – compared to 4.6% national average.
DALLAS FED SURVEY VERY STRONG
this, in my opinion, could be the most exciting news of all. texas factory activity increased for the 6th month in a row in april according to the Texas manufacturing outlook survey. this index is a key indicator of state manufacturing conditions. if manufacturers are manufacturing then that would lead one to believe that there are orders being placed by businesses. well, the proof is in the pudding – the “growth rate of orders” index jumped to its highest level since june of 2006!! the Dallas fed survey also revealed that labor market conditions continued to improve with the employment index signaling further job growth, the hours worked index climbed again, wages and benefits index rose, AND the “finished goods prices” index increased again. price increases are healthy for the economy but not so friendly for interest rates. when prices rise inflation begins to rear its ugly head and inflation is the arch-enemy of interest rates. you can find the whole story here http://tinyurl.com/2ejlhk3
so, overall, according to cole the real estate sky is NOT falling and the west Texas horizon is lookin’ real nice!
much success! – cole