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Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)

A vision for homebuilding

At the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) Conference in Denver, Douglas Yearley, CEO of Toll Brothers presented the Keynote Address “A Vision for Homebuilding”. Here is a snapshot of his state of builder/buyer.

Business is good
Toll Brothers announced earlier this summer that they had the best spring selling season that it has had in the past ten years. This can be attributed to many things:

  • Low interest rates
  • Rising home values
  • Consumer confidence
  • Improving job growth, along with wage growth

There are low inventories in most markets in used homes, and we finally have release of pent up demand. As the economy improves and personal balance sheets improve, pent up demand could bring people off the sidelines.

A slow recovery
According to Toll Brothers, we have seen a slower recovery than past cycles:

  • Key metrics are improving
    • Number of households has grown 98% since 1970.
    • 1980 – 1989 – 1.49 million housing starts
    • 2008 – 2016 – .85 million housing starts
    • Home ownership peaked in 2004 at 69%.
    • Today’s home ownership rate is at 63.6%.

We are not quite where we should be. We are still behind the demand, but this only leave room for growth.

Buyers buying new and where the sun shines
There is a 32% premium from a new home to used home. The average is 18%. People are gravitating to buying new homes as the used inventory is older. And, energy efficiency and the opportunity to customize home is driving the premium.

More than 50% of Toll Brothers’ business in done in the West. Denver to the West is where builders are focused. Builders are focused on pro-business states, where land is available and where people want to live – where the sun shines. Boomers are buying in Florida, no big surprise here. And, Texas, a pro-business state, is doing very well in Dallas.

Demographics – the Boomer is driving growth
Baby boomers continue to drive Toll Brothers’ business. As they did for years when they moved to suburban areas to “move up”, and still today as they downsize and prepare for the next stage of their life. Many are buying into active-adult communities or are buying second homes in Palm Springs, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Design trends – casual family-friendly spaces
According to Toll Brothers the open, casual living with free flow indoor and outdoor space has completely caught on. People want casual environments where living space is connected. And, where the outdoors is a continuation of the home. Where the back of the home will be one big wall of glass making the outdoors, the indoors.

There is also a trend for multi-generational living. With additional living space with a sitting area, little kitchen area, direct access outside and separate entry in the home for older generations living with their family.

And, smart home solutions are evolving and expanding with the ability to remotely control the home.

Labor on the rise
We went from two million houses a year to 500,000. Labor dramatically went away. And, every market has a different issue; there is no national plumber. As we get further into recovery, we are seeing improvements and a return of the builder labor market. Contractors are ramping up their businesses. There is still cost pressure, but according to Yearley, it is definitely less now than it was a year or two ago.

Getting creative with land acquisition
For Builders it is all about the land – whether you are building one home or a master-planned community. You are stuck with the land once you buy it. Builders have to be much more creative in how they look for buy land because people want to live differently. Buyers want to live in a more connected community. And, creativity comes into play due to the availability of land in urban areas. An example of this creativity in land acquisition is buying a car dealership and renovating it. Or, building a park with the mixed use and condo development as part of the sales price for the land, like Maxwell House, former Maxwell House Coffee plant, in Hoboken, NJ. This was the largest in the world and a landmark on the Hudson River since 1939. What was a tragedy for Hoboken is now a trendy redevelopment leveraging both the best of the outdoor and the indoor space.

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SOURCE:
National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) Conference
Toll Brothers
https://www.upi.com/Archives/1990/06/27/Landmark-Maxwell-House-plant-to-shut-down/2261646459200/

 

 

 

It’s February – best bargains for homebuyers!

Can you believe it is February already? 2017 is flying by already. February tends to be a seasonally slow month for real estate. As we hit February 1st, homebuyers should be on the lookout for home price bargains. Per ATTOM Data Solutions, February is the best month for homebuyers to buy a home at a discounted rate. ATTOM data solutions looked at more than 50 million single family and condo sales for the past 16 years to determine the numbers of sales, median sales prices, and calculated the discount/premium against the annualized sales price. In their findings, “Homes in February sold at a price per square foot that was 6.1% less than the rest of the year on average – the biggest discount of any month of the year.”

Check out the ATTOM infographic for the details on the best bargain months.

It is not a strange coincidence that the first four months of the year are also in the Top 4 list of the best month to purchase a home at a bargain. We in real estate know that real estate is seasonal. November – January are typically slow due to the holidays. As the new year rolls in sellers who have homes on the market tend to get a little impatient, which could be why home prices decrease. In the early part of the year the spring and summer frenzied selling seasons have not yet hit, but more people begin to list their homes making it a more competitive buyer’s market.  Then comes the summer when buyers and sellers want to complete a move before school which helps drive peak activity and increase home prices. 

Let’s bring on the real estate seasons.

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SOURCE:
http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/why-february-is-the-best-month-to-buy-a-home/
http://www.attomdata.com/
http://static.realtytrac.com/images/reportimages/infographic_best_month_to_buy.png http://www.themreport.com/daily-dose/01-30-2017/homebuyers-adore-february

 

Slow and steady growth for the Texas economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have said before, 2017 is looking very hopeful – reports are predicting a slow and steady growth. We may not increase at a rate that we have in the past, but we are still on the rise. This is confirmed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Austin American Statesman. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released their Regional Economic data for December 2016, and all major metro business cycles indexes increased, except for a small dip for Houston.

The Austin American Statesman reports that Texas is ready to shift into 2nd gear in 2017. According to AAS, Keith Phillips senior economist of Dallas Fed, reported that, “Texas employers should expand payrolls by 2 percent this year, about 242,000 jobs. While far lower than the state’s long-run average, which typically exceeds national job growth rates, the job gains in 2017 are expected to surpass the estimated 1.6 percent annual growth rate through November of last year.”

Phillips said, “Texas still fared better than most energy states. And the Interstate 35 corridor, particularly Dallas and Austin, remained an exception to the otherwise modest growth in Texas.”

Phillips went on to say, “job growth picked up in the second half of 2016 due to a stabilization of the energy sector,” he said. “With that positive momentum, the Texas economy enters 2017 poised to shift into ‘second gear.”

Hear first hand from Phillips on how our Texas economy will be “slightly better than last year”.

Mine Yucel, Dallas Fed’s director of research, supported this with, “Despite the sharp drop in oil prices that sent the energy industry into a tailspin over the past two years, Texas did not drop into a recession at any point. And the modest recovery in commodity prices has helped stem the bleeding of oilfield services jobs and helped buoy statewide manufacturing outlooks.”

For more insights into the economy and how this will affect your business, please subscribe to my updates.

SOURCE:
https://www.dallasfed.org/research/econdata/metro9tab.aspx
https://youtu.be/IaoHg499HEg
http://www.mystatesman.com/business/economists-texas-economy-pick-2017-but-modestly/PY8GfgB4e0hndibj1oOK8J/?ref=cbTopWidget

Two Top 10 lists in one: Top 10 New Year’s resolutions and the Top 10 cities for job seekers

A new year is full of potential – the promise of what is to come. People make resolutions and promises to themselves on what they want to accomplish or how they will improve in the year to come. Curiosity has gotten me when it comes to the resolutions people make, especially as we enter into the post-New Year’s Day weeks where these promises to ourselves begin to become less of a priority.

According to Inc.com the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions are:

  1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)
  2. Exercise more (65%)
  3. Lose weight (54%)
  4. Save more and spend less (32%)
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
  6. Quit smoking (21%)
  7. Read more (17%)
  8. Find another job (16%)
  9. Drink less alcohol (15%)
  10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

Not too far off from what I was thinking: be healthier, kick an old habit, save money, advance your career… I don’t think there are any huge surprises on the list. Today I want to focus on one in particular – finding another job. If your resolution happens to be in line with #8, one of advancing your career or finding a new job then, this will come as good news to you. According to NerdWallet, Austin is the best city for job seekers.

Here are the Top 10 lists of cities for job seekers:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Denver, CO
  3. Nashville, TN
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Durham, NC
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Lincoln, NE
  9. Irving, TX
  10. Raleigh, NC

The report analyzed federal data for the 100 largest cities to see where there is the most potential coupled with affordability. Data included the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase in the working-age population from 2010-2015 with U.S. Census Bureau data, as well as census data for median earning and monthly rent in each city to factor in the cost of living.

Laura McMullen & Sreekar Jasthi at Nerd Wallet summarize the Top 10 list by saying job seekers should follow the young people, find fast growing hubs (like technology or healthcare), and head to the state capitals. And wherever you are, volunteer to grow your professional and friend network. They say to surround yourself by people who know and like you and want to help you. I could not agree with this more.

Two Texas cities made the list. Austin at #1 and Irving at #9.  Austinites understand this, but for those looking to change up your career or job here is a breakdown for you on why Austin and the Dallas area could help you fulfill your new year’s resolution.

Low unemployment

Unemployment in Austin was 3.2% in October 2016 and 3.6% in Irving. Texas unemployment held steady in December at 4.6% overall. And, according to Sterling’s Best Places, “the unemployment rate in Irving, Texas, is 3.60%, with job growth of 3.09%. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 42.59%.”

High quality jobs in technology

Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-2024 employment projection says that technology is one of the fastest growing in terms of output. Austin is no stranger to technology, being the home of two major technology companies, Dell and IBM, with many other companies following suit, like Apple. Forbes argues that Austin is the most attractive tech hub attributing the draw to the “young, educated population, large VC presence and burgeoning restaurant and music scene”. Companies see the potential of Austin’s labor pool and are taking advantage of this to grow their tech advantages.

According to Christopher Calnan at the Austin Business Journal, “Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for number of tech jobs, 585,614, second only to California. And, tech companies accounted for 6 percent of the Lone Star State’s private sector jobs, the report by Computing Technology Industry Association found.”

Attractive salaries

So, the jobs are here, and per CIO.com Austin salaries are 106% of the national average. Not too bad. For a detailed look at wages, here is snapshot of tech salaries by industry from the Austin American Statesman. In addition, the Salary Increase Forecast for U.S. Jobs projects a 3.3% increase in tech salaries from the 87K median salary as reported by the Economic Research Institute.

This is exciting news for our city.

Job growth in healthcare

On the healthcare side Will Anderson with the Austin Business Journal says that, “in the health care sector, the opening over the summer of the Dell Medical School is expected to accelerate the development of a business ecosystem that combines the city’s existing care centers with entrepreneurial startups and innovators in medicine.”

Irving attributes much of its growth to technology. According to the Irving Chamber of Commerce, “Irving was recently ranked number three for tech startups per capita in the United States by American Express through research conducted by SizeUp.com. In addition, the City of Irving is the first city in Texas and the second in the nation to earn the Malcom Baldrige Quality Award.”

The Irving Chamber of Commerce also notes that “five of Irving’s approximately 50 Fortune 500 companies have chosen Irving for their global headquarters: Celanese, Commercial Metals, ExxonMobil, Fluor and Kimberly-Clark. Irving is home to more of the DFW Metroplex’s largest private and public companies than any other city except Dallas, including Citi, Microsoft, Verizon, NEC Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, Time Warner Cable, RIM (BlackBerry), Aviall, Michaels Stores, Pioneer Natural Resources, CEC Entertainment and TXU Energy.” These companies choosing Irving, TX as their home base no doubt makes it a hot bed for career opportunities for job seekers.

So, how about it, are you ready to make the move to one of our great Texas cities? The opportunity is definitely here.

And, of course, I would love to help you with Resolution #7. If you are trying to read more, please subscribe to my updates.

SOURCE:
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/best-cities-job-seekers-2017/
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.nr0.htm
http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/01/20/texas-unemployment-holds-steady-in-december/
http://www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/texas/irving
http://www.erieri.com/nationalcompensationforecast
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/techflash/2016/03/texas-among-tops-in-nation-for-technology-jobs.html
http://www.irvingchamber.com/edc/
http://www.irvingchamber.com/edc/economic-profile-demographics/
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/12/20/with-low-unemployment-and-relatively-affordable.html
http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/10-top-new-years-resolutions-for-success-and-happiness-in-2017.html
http://www.512tech.com/technology/which-tech-jobs-pay-the-most-austin/9ZmYz20mz9KxfAm8u2eemN/

 

Austin ranked number 4 in economic expansion for 2015

Austin ranked number 4 in economic expansion for 2015 with 5.0% growth rate and number 2 with an amazing 28.1% growth over the last 5 years.  According to new data on gross domestic product (GDP) by metro released late last month by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), in 2015, Austin grew 5.0%, San Antonio grew 5.9%, Houston grew 4.6% for a ranking of number 6 in the nation and Dallas was ranked 16 with 3.6% growth.

https://www.austinchamber.com/blog/10-11-2016-gross-domestic-product-by-metro

best-performing-large-metros

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