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Home sales down in August

… we have a tendency to read and react to every bit of short-term news without looking at it from a broader perspective. Continue reading

Local Economic Challenges, Relative Strength

The Central Texas economy paid its dues in the late 1980s and again in 2001-2002 with the end of the “dot-com” bubble, giving up significant percentages of home values and, particularly six or seven years ago, substantial high-tech employment.  After that last downturn, we entered a new phase of strong but reasonable growth — very … Continue reading

Report: Austin among best performing U.S. metros

The Austin Business Journal reported yesterday that, “Austin and San Antonio will be the first two U.S. cities to recover from the recession, according to a new national forecast from IHS Global Insight.”  (More: I constantly monitor and measure market activity in the Austin area, and home price trends over the past 4 1/2 … Continue reading

Home Prices Rose In 2nd Quarter

This article was posted on RISMedia late last week: Positive Signs: Home Prices Rise 1.7% in Second Quarter It notes that “Over the year ending with the second quarter of 2009, U.S. home sales prices fell 6.7% in the CMHPI Purchase-Only Series – less than the 8.5% annual decline recorded between the first quarter … Continue reading

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

It’s safe to say that the word finally got out about this tax credit. It seemed like it took a couple of months after the program was announced, but first-time homebuyers have represented a very large part of the residential real estate business all summer. The end of the program is closer than most imagine. … Continue reading

Entrepreneurship and Real Estate

Developers see in Austin the opportunity to make well-considered risk-vs.-reward investment decisions based on the knowledge that our local economy has weathered economic storms before and is well-positioned to do so again now. For those that follow my quarterly “market updates” via email, you won’t be surprised that I remain bullish about the Central Texas real estate market. Continue reading

Austin Economy

The Austin Chamber Of Commerce reports (based on Texas Workforce Commission data) that job losses in Austin from July 2008 to July 2009 were just -0.2%, the best performance among the 50 Top Metros.  Four of the top 10 performers were in Texas:  Austin, San Antonio (-0.8%), Fort Worth (-1.4%), and Dallas (-1.6%). In addition … Continue reading

This Is Austin

Check out the This Is Austin link on my website —  This is an annual look at All Things Austin (and suburbs) from the Austin American-Statesman.  It’s an excellent get-acquainted tool for folks from out of town and a comprehensive exam for “insiders” who think they know everything there is to know about our … Continue reading

HVCC — new challenges in 2009

So far, I haven’t had a deal killed by HVCC complications, but this process was a really bad idea that complicates too many transactions.  Undoubtedly, there were lenders over the past five years or so who knew they could get almost any property appraised for the contract price/LTV.  Now, however, in too many cases, appraisers … Continue reading