DFW New Home Construction Starts Increase 60% in First Quarter From Year Ago

With new homes sales still declining, down more than 20% from 2009 levels, Dallas home builders are betting big that sales will rebound soon. Starting 60% more new homes in the first quarter of 2010 than they did in 2009, are home builders betting too big, or is this number of starts insignificant in a market with 100,000 available lots?

New Home Starts Upside Down From Sales Home builders in Dallas and Fort Worth started almost 60 percent more houses in the first quarter of 2010 than they did a year earlier, in 2009.

According to housing industry analyst MetroStudy, this increase in housing starts is the largest year-over-year increase since 1983. This phenomenal increase is being spurred by a shortage of finished new homes available for sale.

Continue reading

A Guide To Incentives For Green Built Homes

Beyond the health and environmental benefits of living in a green home, many local and state governments, utility companies and other entities across the country offer rebates, tax breaks and other incentives for adding eco-friendly elements to your house.

As a Certified Green Building Professional – and one who believes strongly in building green homes – I’d like to pass on some resources where consumers, homeowners and renters can learn more about incentives which are available for Going Green.

cgp-155 Beyond the health and environmental benefits of living in a green home, many local and state governments, utility companies and other entities across the country offer rebates, tax breaks and other incentives for adding eco-friendly elements to your house. Following are just a few of the many resources to help you find those incentives in your area.

Continue reading

Texas Will Lead the Recovery is the Prediction From Experts at Moodys

Moody’s estimates that US households have lost almost $6 trillion in housing values during the recession.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that Texas will outpace the rest of the country coming out of the recession. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road to recovery, the folks at Moody’s Analytics said Tuesday at their annual Dallas economic confab. Continue reading

Woodall Rodgers Park: Dallas Takes A Giant Step Towards Becoming A World-Class City

Three attributes seemingly shared by all world class cities are outstanding public parks, transportation and neighborhood connectivity. In building Woodall Rodgers Park, Dallas improves all three.

woodall-rodgers-park-birdseye In September, Dallas broke ground on a park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets. The park creates tremendous connectivity between Downtown Dallas and Uptown – the neighborhood immediately north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway – arguably one of the hottest real estate markets in Dallas.

Continue reading

Moody’s Says US Debt Could Test AAA Rating

Even before massive costs of socialized medicine are piled on, crushing deficits being amassed by Obama and the Democrats are leading the United States to a downgrade of its AAA credit rating.

Dark Days Over the US CapitolThe gold-plated credit rating of the United States may be at risk as the nation copes with growing debt. According to Moody’s, even AAA-rated US Treasury bonds, considered  the safest of investments, could be downgraded if Washington continues on its current path of failing to manage the federal debt.

Moody’s said the United States and other major Western nations, particularly Britain, have moved substantially closer to losing their gilt-edged ratings. The ratings are stable, but their ‘distance-to-downgrade’ has in all cases substantially diminished,” the credit rating agency said.

Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion.          Moody’s

A downgrade would negatively affect the country’s ability to keep borrowing money on favorable terms. If cut, investors will demand higher interest rates on Treasury Bonds.

Those higher rates, in turn, add to the country’s overall debt burden and can force the government to reduce spending, increase taxes or both. That difficulty has been well-illustrated recently in Greece and Portugal, with strikes and protests as citizens march in the streets to oppose tough austerity measures that directly reduce entitlements and state benefits.

“Preserving debt affordability” — the ratio of interest payments to government revenue — “at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion" said Moody’s, with the United States and Britain in the toughest position.

Believe a downgrade to the US Credit Rating can’t happen? Moody’s cut Japan’s AAA rating last May as the market grew uneasy with Japan’s debt burden.

The Obama administration estimates that the US deficit will rise to 10.6 percent of gross domestic product in the current fiscal year – the highest since World War II – and federal debt will reach 64 percent of gross domestic product. Government expenditures under Obama will rise to a postwar high of 25.4 percent of GDP this year.

Growth will support some governments’ adjustment plans, but no government can rely on it. There is also a danger that, with governments unwilling or unable to begin withdrawing stimulus, central banks will take the initiative to raise interest rates before the economy is ready. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

US Housing Market Update

New home sales increased for the fifth straight month in August fueled by builder incentives, low mortgage rates, attractive prices and the homebuyer tax credit.  New home sales increased 0.7% from the previous month to an annual rate of 429,000 units.  New home sales for the previous three months were also revised higher by 9,000 units.  The annual pace of new home sales is now at the highest level since September 2008.

Median new home prices in August declined to $195,200 from an upwardly revised $215,600 in July.  Median new home prices are now 11.7% lower than the same year-ago period hitting their lowest level since October 2003.  The median new home price has now recorded eight straight months of year-over-year declines.  For those of you keeping score, that means that new home prices have retreated to the lowest level in six years.  For those who are still sitting on the fence, thinking about buying a home, but too cautious to commit, remember that fortune favors the bold, and a year from now you’ll wish you had pulled the trigger on your purchase in October 2009.  We have hit bottom.

New  home inventories declined to 261,000 from July’s figure of 271,000 as the decline in the number of new homes for sale has now continued unabated, failing to record a monthly increase since May 2007.  Seasonally-adjusted inventory of unsold homes have now declined for 28 straight months to 262,000 units.  Declining inventory levels and increased demand for new homes in August helped inventory (when viewed as the number of months of supply at the present rate of sales) improve to its lowest level since January 2007, declining from 7.6 months supply in July to 7.3 months in August.  With inventory on the decline and demand remaining steady, inventory is falling back towards the 6 months of supply that is considered normal in a healthy housing market.

Existing home sales in August fell for the first time in five months despite favorable mortgage rates and lower prices.  Annualized sales of existing homes declined 2.7% from July levels to 5.10 million units.  Existing single-family home sales declined 2.8% from last month to 4,480,000 units while condo and co-op sales were down 1.6% from July to 620,000 units.  However, sales of existing homes are still up 3.4% from their same year-ago levels of 4.93 million units.  This is the second straight month that existing home sales have recorded year-over-year increases. 

Existing home inventory dropped to its lowest level since January last month.  Inventory of existing homes dropped almost 11% to 3,622,000 units from 4,062,000 units in July.  Months of existing inventory dropped last month to 8.5 months of supply on the market, reaching the lowest level since April 2007.

Mortgage rates declined last week to 4.94% in the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released October 1st.  Rates have not increased since the end of August and are now at their lowest levels since the end of May.  For more detailed information on the indicators discussed in this article, please visit the following links:


Employment Growth Existing Home Sales
Unemployment Rate Existing Home Inventory
Real GDP Growth Existing Home Affordability
Consumer Confidence Median Price New Home
Purchase Mortgage Applications New Home Sales
Mortgage Rates New Home Inventory
Median Price Existing Home New Home Affordability Ratio