Digging Out from the Snow

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 04-16-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

Metrostudy’s latest research shows that new home sales have tracked slightly lower than the same period last year, but things are turning UP in so far in April, at least for some builders.  Shaking off the winter blues, consumers seem to be moving ahead with the purchase of new homes with more confidence.  Builders in areas that were snowed-under a couple of months ago are now able to move forward with construction at a more normal pace as well.

The markets that didn’t get snow (Las Vegas, So Cal, etc.), suffered an unusually deep slump in sales this winter too, so weather wasn’t the main cause for the drop.  Things seem to be picking up in those areas as well so far this month.

Demand is improving, particularly in the move-up segment of the market, but mortgage financing is still an issue.


In Las Vegas, the FHA loan limit has dropped 28% from $400k to $287.5k in 2014.  As Greg Gross, our Las Vegas director says, new home base price is up 30% over last year (and incomes has certainly not risen that much).  This has already had a negative impact on housing demand.

The West lost momentum from the FHA resets and QRM changes in January as they impact first move up.  According to Steve Johnson, our So Cal director, the result has been “a learning curve for buyers” with transactions requiring more down payment or forcing the buyer to consider “less house,” or the resale market. The FHA limit was lowered from 500k to 335k in the Inland Markets, and the QRM debt-to-income ratio was lowered from 56% to 43%, both impacting demand.

Metrostudy’s expectation is that sales paces will get back to normal for the majority of builders over the next two months, but that some of them will end up “below plan” for the year, based upon their internal targets.

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; marquee trade shows and executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com.

About Metrostudy

Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services to help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day.  For more information, visit www.metrostudy.com

4/14/14: Metrostudy – RMA Texas State Conference

Posted in Events | Posted on 04-02-2014 | Written by David Jarvis


RMA Texas State Conference

Thursday April 17-18, 2014

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WHERE: Norris Conference center.

AGENDA: Thursday 4-17

8:30-11:00  Roundtables (Mike Shaw coordinating roundtables)

Facilitators- YP Jaclyn Smith, Brannon Kroll

Large Bank-Tony Ross, Sonny Lyles, Will Ingram, Randy Majek

Community Bank-Mike Gunnels, Robert Messer, Burt Blacksher, Mike Marshall

11:00-11:20 Break with sponsors

11:20-11:30 Opening remarks-Dave Linaburg-conference chair

11:30-12:45 Keynote- Dr. Harold Hunt-Texas A & M (intro by Melanie Edmundson)

Unconventional Oil and Gas Activity in Texas and its Implications for Real Estate

1-2 First Breakout  Session

2-2:20 Break with sponsors

2:30-3:30 Sam Golden-Alvarez and Marsal-Interpreting the New Regulatory Landscape

3:45-4:45  Second Breakout Session

5-7 Reception

Friday 4-18

7:45-8:30  Breakfast with Sponsors and Awards

8:30-9:30 Industry Risk  Panel  (moderator-Tony Ross)

Banking-Bill Perotti-Frost

Oil and Gas-Patrick Leach- CEO Decisions Strategies

Health Care-Ivan Wood- Strasburger and Price

9:30-9:45  Break with sponsors

9:45-10:45  Social Networking-Tawn Williams, Amarillo National bank Eddy Badrina

10:45-12 Reid Ryan-President – Houston Astros

Break out session #1

ALLL and Pending Changes (Debbie Scanlon -BKD)

Cyber Security (Ron Hulshizer-BKD) (intro by Matt Bryant)

Audit and Loan Review-What your Reviewers Wish You Knew

MetroStudy’s (David Jarvis)

Breakout session #2

ALLL and pending changes (Debbie Scanlon BKD)

Professional Coaching and Growth (primarily for YP’s) (Jonathan Brinsden)

Audit and Loan Review-What your Reviewers Wish you Knew (Cynthia Dopjera –HarperPearson

Cyber Security (Ron Hulshizer-BKD) (intro by Matt Bryant)

March Madness in Houston’s New Housing Market

Posted in Houston Market | Posted on 03-28-2014 | Written by Patrick Mai

It’s time for March Madness in Houston, and I’m not talking about basketball.  The March Madness I’m referring to doesn’t require an advanced degree in bracketology, nor can it be streamed online at your desk (after hours, of course).  The March Madness I want to talk about is taking place in communities and subdivisions all over Houston, as builders and developers attempt to write their own Cinderella stories.

In each of the last three years, March has been the strongest month of the year in terms of home sales, and Houston area builders are hoping this March is no exception.  Have a look at the next two graphs, taken from Metrostudy’s monthly sales and traffic survey, which show gross and net sales by month:

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In the past two years, buyer traffic has also been at its highest levels in March.  Here’s a graph showing this trend:

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The trends show themselves readily.  So, this is it.  Will March 2014 live up to the hype created in the last three years?  I’d bet so.

4/08/14: Metrostudy – Texas Mortgage Bankers San Antonio

Posted in Events | Posted on 03-27-2014 | Written by Jack Inselmann


Texas Mortgage Bankers San Antonio

Save the second Tuesday of each month for TMBSA! Join us at our next TMBSA meeting!

Please join us for this informative session. This information will include all of calendar 2013 for our local market, as well as an eye towards this year.

The cost is of the meal is $30.00 for members, $35.00 for non-members. To remit payment for your meal, click on the “Add to Cart” button below. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to use your credit/debit card or bank account.

To join the TMBSA, click here to complete a Membership Application

Tuesday April 8, 2014

jack i WHERE: Sonterra Country Club on Stone Oak Blvd. at Sonterra Drive, north of 1604, San Antonio, Texas

AGENDA: Networking begins at 11:30am

Texas-style lunch at High Noon

The cost is of the meal is $30.00 for members, $35.00 for non-members. To remit payment for your meal, click on the “Add to Cart” button below. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to use your credit/debit card or bank account.

SPEAKERS: Jack Inselmann, Metrostudy’s Regional Director of the San Antonio Market and Tyler Benjamin with Westar Alamo Land Surveyors.

3/2/14: Metrostudy – Sensible Land Use Coalition

Posted in Events | Posted on 03-25-2014 | Written by Ryan Jones


Sensible Land Use Coalition
Townhomes & Condos: A Forgotten Market?

Highlights of the panel discussion:

•Do the demographics support a resurgence in Townhomes and Condominiums?

• Who are the buyers and where do they want to live?

•Lessons learned from the last decade.

•The legal and financial challenges for developers and builders–can they be overcome?

•Today’s players and what projects are in the pipeline.

Wednesday March 26, 2014

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WHERE: DoubleTree Park Place – 1500 Park Place Boulevard St. Louis Park, Minnesota  55416

AGENDA: Begins @ 11:30 AM

SPEAKERS: This third program in a series brings together a panel of residential experts who will focus on the status and future of Townhomes and Condominiums in the Twin City region.

•Ryan Jones, Regional Director for MetroStudy will give a Market overview with specific focus on Townhomes and Condos.

•David Siegel, Executive Director for the Builders Associations of the Twin Cities will speak to the challenges for Developers and Builders.

•Mike DeVoe, Division President for Ryland Homes will present Townhome projects they have pending and where they see future opportunities.

•Joe Grunnet with the Downtown Resource Group can provide insight into the market demand for Condominiums and where he sees potential growth.

CONTACT INFO: Pat Arnst – admin@sensibleland.org

Register Here

05/01/14: Metrostudy – Economic Development Forum featuring keynote speaker Jack Inselmann

Posted in Events | Posted on 03-25-2014 | Written by Jack Inselmann


Economic Development Forum featuring keynote speaker

Jack Inselmann

Thursday, May 1, 2014

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WHERE: Boerne Civic Center -  820 Adler  Boerne, Texas 78006

AGENDA: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

FEES: $40 members; $45 for future members

Take a $5 discount if you register AND pay by 11:30 a.m. April 18

CONTACT INFO: Mary Sue Hurdt  - marysue@boerne.org

Register Here

3/26/14: Metrostudy – SMPS San Antonio Monthly Luncheon: Planning for Growth in Northside ISD

Posted in Events | Posted on 03-25-2014 | Written by Jack Inselmann


Planning for Growth in Northside Independent School District

With many families moving into the district and development on the rise, Northside ISD is faced with both challenges and opportunities to respond to this growth. Welcome Jack Inselmann, Regional Director of Metro Study and Dr. Brian Woods, Superintendent of Northside ISD as they discuss the growth of residential and private development within the district and the importance of passing the 2014 bond.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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WHERE: Marriott Plaza Hotel – 555 S Alamo Street, San Antonio, Texas (La Villita Ballroom)

AGENDA: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Limited walk-in space available.

Registration cut-off is March 20th at 5:00 pm.

Sponsor pre-lunch begins at 11:15 am.

No refunds will be given once registration has closed.

No-shows will be billed/invoiced.

SPEAKERS: Jack Inselmann, Regional Director, Metrostudy

Brian Woods, Superintendent, Northside Independent School District

Register Here

February Sees Improving Traffic and Consumer Confidence

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 03-25-2014 | Written by Jonathan Smoke

The first read of February new home sales from the Commerce Department was released this morning.  Economists had been expecting a decline of 5 percent from January on a seasonally adjusted basis, but instead a non-statistically significant 3.3 percent decrease was reported.  Remember that last week we saw existing home sales decline moderately in aggregate but the mix of what is being sold was much better.  Looking at the new data along with Metrostudy’s more detailed traffic and sales data and recent survey data on consumers’ plans to buy a home, we continue to see encouraging signs that spring is just around the corner.

The suspicious January reading was revised down.  The year-over-year change was inconclusive.  In other words, the Census and Commerce Department data can’t really tell us if the short or long trends are changing.

Looking at Metrostudy’s data on traffic and sales per new home community, we are seeing improvement over January despite continued tough weather.  In February, the average number of traffic units per community was up 35 percent over January, with most markets covered showing positive growth month over month.  And traffic was up 6 percent over 2013. In addition, the month-to-date March traffic average continues the trend over 2013 despite the more severe weather this year.

Reported new contracts per community were again weaker in February, year-over-year, down 18 percent and only slightly  more than a third of markets seeing gains in sales year-over-year.  But, February saw a substantial improvement month-over-month of 35 percent.  Even though the year started slower in sales than 2013, the pattern appears much more normal than last year’s very strong start that tapered once spring began.  This year we are riding an increasing trend over the last three months, and have much more positive momentum going into spring.

The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index in March increased much more than expected by 5 percent from February. The underlying data collected on intentions to purchase a home suggests strong demand for housing in the spring and summer.

For plans to buy a new home within six months, March saw a slight decline from February’s revised reading but the revision to February was a substantial change from an initially reported 4.8 percent of households indicating they are planning to purchase a home to a revised 5.7 percent.  The initial March reading was 5.4 percent.  Additionally, plans to buy a new home are up for the month and year-over-year.

Remember that all housing is local.  As I mentioned above, over a third of markets actually saw better new home new home sales in February than last year.   Areas with the highest improvements in new home sales compared to last year are Will, IL; Frederick, MD; DuPage, IL; Fairfax, VA; and Charles, MD.  Markets improving on sales the most over January include Imperial Valley, CA; Frederick, MD; Calvert, MD; Southwest Valley, AZ; and Prince George’s, MD.

Markets in Maryland, Utah, Illinois, Colorado, and Nevada have seen the biggest increases in traffic year-over-year in February.  How’s that for defying the snow and ice?

Back to the Future – Present Day Land Run

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 03-21-2014 | Written by Quita Syhapanya

I am no historian but there is something about the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 that reminds me of today’s new home construction industry. In April of 1889, an Indian Territory in Oklahoma was opened up for settlement in unassigned land. It is regarded as the first and most prominent land run in American history. The unassigned land in Oklahoma was considered the most desirable unoccupied public land at that time in the United States. The Indian Appropriations Bill of 1889 was passed and authorized the president to open two million acres of land for settlement. Legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres in size provided the settler lived on the land and improved it. Then the settler could receive the title for the land, according to historians.

At noon on April 22, 1889 an estimated 50,000 people raced to get their desired land in our modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Logan, Payne, Oklahoma, and Kingfisher in counties in the state of Oklahoma. What happened next was the settlement of entire cities in less than a day. It is incredible considering the means of transportation the early settlers used. With some with wagons with their families, horse and carriage, just a horse, some arriving from other parts of the country by train, and even many on foot with just a bag and a shovel to settle the land they wanted. They all had one goal in mind and it was to get the land they considered prime real estate. Some had intentions of building a home for their family, others farming, some had ideas of getting back their equity from land they lost in Kansas with a fresh start in Oklahoma, but the main attraction was to create wealth with this new found land or all of the above. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge: Mortgages

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 03-21-2014 | Written by J.W. Colvin IV

Blackstone’s American Homes 4 Rent owns roughly 840 residential properties in the Triangle, and closed on about 75% of those properties during 2013. About half were from businesses and the other half from individuals.

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Read Full Story Here