What do you get when you compare seasonal summer home buying in a single month to the same month a year earlier shortly after a home buyer tax credit expired? If it's July 2011 in Houston, Texas, it's a nearly 17 percent increase in home sales. Last year's third quarter slowdown in home sales continues to make this year's generally "typical" real estate activity appear slightly more positive than it otherwise would be considered. July marked the third time in 2011 that sales volume entered positive territory. It also saw the average price of a single-family home reach its highest level for a July in Houston.
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As you know the three rules of real estate are location, location, location - right? Well this is especially true in Houston. Because we are such a sprawling city with plenty of land to build on as you go outside the city. Many developers have done just that. The problem is, not all of these neighborhoods end up being a big success. What I mean by that is that there is not a sustained history of the re-sale homes appreciating in price and selling fairly quickly(liquidity) - these are the two main factors that indicate whether the public views an area as desirable or not.
Read all of Why I recommend the Katy area as the best suburbs to purchase a home in Houston!
With the 82nd Texas Legislature coming to a close, the Texas Association of Realtors confirms the recent regular session was a legislative success for Texas homeowners.
Read all of Realtors successfully advocated for homeowner wins during Texas session
According to CNN.com's analysis of 2010 Census data, nine of the top 10 counties that closely mirror the racial and ethnic makeup of the US population are in Texas. Brazos County claimed the top spot out of every county in the country, followed by Lee County, Galveston County, Colorado County, Wilbarger County, Austin County, Ellis County, Milam County, and Williamson County.
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Houston home sales rose for the second time this year in June, with the average price reaching an all-time high and the median price achieving the highest level in nearly two years. The sales increase reflects the slowdown in home purchases that set in a year ago following expiration of the home buyer tax credit. The credit triggered a surge in home buying during the spring of 2010 that resulted in slower sales volume during the remainder of that year.
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Insurance experts are warning people in areas burned by wildfires to prepare for the second disaster — flows of black water full of ash and debris that will flood these areas when the summer rains come.
There is an urgency for buying flood insurance.
There is a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy takes effect, and the summer rains typically begin in the first week of July.
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The 2010 home buyer tax credit continues to obscure an accurate gauge of how the Houston real estate market is performing. The 2010 federal incentive triggered a short-term surge in local home sales last spring that has skewed the year-over-year analysis most of this year.
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The boost that the federal home buyer tax credit gave the Houston housing market in April 2010 continues to overshadow local home sales one year later. Sales of homes declined in April 2011 along with average and median prices, however volume rose among rental properties.
Read all of Federal incentives cast shadow over spring sales in Houston
Q: In a down economy, can't we all save money by renting instead of buying property
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An increasing number of Americans are opting to buy smaller homes or even rent, experts say, as uncertainty about the struggling housing market, energy prices, and a lackluster domestic economy persists.
Read all of Why we're shunning the McMansion
The Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February is 8.2 percent, down from 8.3 percent in January, and well below the United States unemployment rate for February of 8.9 percent.
Texas total nonfarm employment jumped 22,700 jobs in February, for a total gain of 254,200 jobs from a year ago.
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Note: the following is an excerpt from an opinion piece printed by the Wall Street Journal in February 2011
It's enough to make you believe in miracles: The Obama Administration is now on record as saying that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should go out of business. It took a global financial panic and $140 billion in taxpayer losses, but on Friday there it was in black-and-white in the US Treasury's report to Congress on reforming the mortgage market: The Administration will "ultimately . . . wind down both institutions."
Read all of The end of Fannie Mae
Texas' property tax burden is legendary.
Citizens from other states often point to the crushing levy as a deal killer when considering a move here.
Read all of Debunking the myths about Texas' property taxes
Data released late September by the Texas Multiple Listing Services (MLS) show existing home sales and dollar volume up while average and median prices fell for the month.
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Texas economy gained 133,100 jobs from August 2009 to August 2010, an annual growth rate of 1.3 percent.
During the same period, the U.S. economy added 278,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 0.2 percent. The state's private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 1.4 compared with 0.3 percent for the United States.
Read all of Texas adds 133,100 jobs in last 12 months
Texas' economic recovery is strengthening, according to the latest monthly economic review from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
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The oil spill in the Gulf and statewide budget cuts are the two big unknowns making it difficult to project what will happen to the Texas economy in the coming months, according to a recent report made by Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines on the center's weekly "Real Estate Red Zone" podcast.
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Statistics reported mid-June by the Houston Association of Realtors illustrate a healthy level of real estate sales activity for the month of May 2010, buoyed largely by first-time buyers taking advantage of the federal tax credit of $8,000. While sales had to be executed by the end of April to take advantage of the credit, closings continued into May and June, and a small percentage will close thereafter.
Read all of Houston real estate market strikes balance after tax credit surge
In April 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that renovations and repairs of pre-1978 housing must now be conducted using safe practices to protect children and pregnant women from exposure to lead-based paint. Almost a million children have elevated blood lead levels as a result of exposure to lead hazards, which can lead to lower intelligence, learning disabilities, and behavior issues. Adults exposed to lead hazards can suffer from high blood pressure and headaches. Children under six years old are most at risk.
Read all of Pre-1978 house? New lead-based paint safety rules on renovations
According to a report released mid-May by the Houston Association of Realtors, sales of single-family homes across the greater Houston area rose for a second straight month in April, apparently buoyed by transactions incentivized by the federal government's homebuyer tax credit that expired on April 30. Prices of single-family homes also maintained their months-long appreciation.
Read all of Tax credit buoyed Houston home sales last month