July 2016 Megatel Minute: Model Home Grand Opening

Megatel Homes is excited to announce the grand opening of its newest model home in the Central Park on Preston community. Located in the heart of Plano, Texas, Central Park on Preston features 66 home lots with 24 lots already reserved.

Texas Association of Realtors: Great Year for the State

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Metrics show an active, profitable year for the housing industry. Texans who bought or sold homes in 2015 had an idea of the frenetic pace of the single-family sector, as did those who were employed by the industry. Now data from the recently released Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) fourth-quarter report proved the strength of the single-family housing market.

Booming Home Sale Stats for DFW in 2016 – So Far

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As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, 2015 was an active one for home sales in North Texas. And according to recent reports, 2016 is shaping up to be just as busy, if not record-breaking, for home sales. Specifically: New home sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area hit its strongest quarter in close to a decade. According to analyst Residential Strategies, local builders sold 7,289 new houses in Q2 2016, an increase from the 6,029 homes sold in the second Q2 2015[1].

Homeownership Rate Remains Low – It might start with the mortgage

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The homeownership rate remains low, especially in the face of easing credit standards and an improving economy. It’s been commonly acknowledged that several reasons for this trend include the struggle to save for down payments and lower credit scores (mainly due to student debt). Another important reason could be general ignorance involved with actually applying and being approved for a mortgage.

JCHS: Housing Older Americans

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A few generations ago, housing older individuals wasn’t much of a problem. Setting aside the fact that the average life span was shorter, older generations tended to stay put in the same town or city, as well as the same houses. The adult offspring of these older people also remained at home to raise their own kids, and to tend to their aging parents. Three or four generations under one roof was more the norm, than the exception.

Are Foreclosures Still A Thing?

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Starting with the Great Recession and moving through its aftermath, the news each week brought new information about the increase in home foreclosures, short sales and transactions involving distressed assets. Yet these days, amid news of home sales, housing starts and even affordable housing have pushed foreclosure from the headlines. Or so it seems.

Brexit, Texas and the UK: A Discussion About Homebuilding

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Anyone who even remotely follows current events knows about the United Kingdom’s June 23 historic vote to leave the European Union. Even as world markets are in turmoil, one question arises. Namely, what will Brexit’s impact be on homebuilding? Another question: Should Texas home builders even care? The answer to the latter question is yes. Texas homebuilders should keep abreast of the UK homebuilder’s market, and not just because of any potential global economic fallout (as important as that is). Also important is that issues impacting homebuilders across the pond aren’t too different from what Texas homebuilders face.

June 2016 Megatel Minute: Erwin Farms Grand Opening

Megatel Homes is excited to announce the grand opening of the Erwin Farms subdivision in McKinney, Texas. The 100+ acre development features over 600 lots, with all-inclusive custom home pricing ranging from the mid-$200’s to the high-$300’s.

Is there enough housing to meet demand?

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Reading about the single-family housing market almost resembles a roller-coaster ride. The top of the ride represents a housing market that has become quite healthy since the end of the Great Recession. However, the troughs represent housing shortages, especially shortages in affordable price ranges. This issue is starting to have an impact in Texas, because of increasing population growth. Atlas Van Lines has released an infographic regarding movement of household goods between states from Jan. 1, 2015-Dec. 15 2015. [1] Texas’ total number of moves was 12,403, ranking second behind California. This breaks down to 5,326 outbound moves, and 7,077 inbound relocations.

Housing, According to Ivy Zelman

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You might or might not remember Ivy Zelman. She was a somewhat obscure housing analyst for Credit Suisse during the “oughts.” Obscure that is, until she downgraded the housing sector in 2006. Though ridiculed at the time (she received the nickname “Poison Ivy” for her downer forecasts during the insane days of the housing market), her downgrade proved to be prescient. These days, as head of Zelman & Associates, Zelman has become a major research and data housing source for the media and clients.

GTT (Gone to Texas): The Lone Star State’s Population Growth is Real

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It’s said everything is bigger in Texas, a concept that is definitely true when it comes to the population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau[1], four major Texas metros together added more people from July 2014-July 2015 than any other state in the country. The population in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio increased by 412,000. As a point of comparison, Texas’ overall population increased by 490,000. [2]

Is Texas Job Growth Really Tanking?

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Looking at Texas’ job gains and growth, the first question that could come to mind is: “What happened?” In February 2015, the state’s job growth stood at 3.4%, well above the national average. A year later, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), February 2016’s job growth stood at 1.4%. Economists note that oil’s pricing volatility has had – and will continue to have – a negative impact on Texas’ job growth for the remainder of this year. But what economists forget is that Texas is a huge state with several major metros. In fact, three major metros — Dallas, Austin and San Antonio — continue adding jobs even as oil prices plunge.

Can love letters sway home sellers? Don’t bet on it…

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Can Love Letters Sway Home Sellers? Don’t Bet on It Anyone involved with home buying these days understands that, in many markets, sellers have the advantage. Low inventory, combined with still-reasonable mortgage rates, means a seller placing a house on the market could end up with not just one, but multiple, offers in a relatively short period of time.

Dallas Unseats Houston in New Housing Starts

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Though the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metros are both in Texas, they are vastly different. Houston’s weather is more humid thanks, in part, to its Gulf Coast proximity; it’s called the “Bayou City” for a reason. DFW gets an annual ice storm or two during winter. Houston is considered the energy capital of the world. Dallas and Fort Worth are fueled by industries other than oil and gas. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) led the nation single-family housing starts in the fourth quarter of 2015. But in 1Q2016, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA beat out Houston in housing starts.

Bank of Mom & Dad – The Parental Gift and Home Buying

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In previous blogs, we’ve mentioned difficulties young adults have in saving to buy homes. According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey, half of young adults reported that scraping enough money together for down payments or closing costs ends up one of the largest obstacles in purchasing a home[1]. Parents will, many times, step in to help. Their help is welcome; the Federal Reserve Board reported, in its 2014 “Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making” that 18.1% of respondents of any age purchasing a home in the past four years said they made use of a loan or gift from family or friends for a down payment[2]. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors noted that, in 2015, 14% of all home buyers received some kind of gift to help with the down payment[3].