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America's 20 fastest-growing cities
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two states — Florida and Texas — each boast four cities on Forbes' Fastest-Growing Cities List this year, with three of the Texas cities ranking in the top 10: Austin (No. 1), Dallas (No. 4), Houston (No. 10), and San Antonio (No. 20). Strong population growth in 2013 and unemployment under 6 percent — well under the national rate of 6.7 percent — helped all four cities make the top 20, although last year the cities did even better, with Austin, Houston, and Dallas sweeping the top three slots. Given its business-friendly regulatory environment, lack of state income tax for corporations or people, and highly educated labor market, it's perhaps not surprising that Texas continue to grow. More



Polls are open for early voting
TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Early voting for Democratic and Republican primaries started Feb. 18 and ends Feb. 28. Election day is March 4. Texas voters are now required by law to provide a valid photo ID in order to vote in elections. For a list of acceptable forms of ID, visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website. Link to the HOMEPAC Primary Election Voter Guide. More

What did the Fed say that matters to the housing market?
Housing Wire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The big takeaway from the minutes of the Federal Open Markets Committee January meeting for the housing industry is that tapering is likely to continue apace, and that the Federal Reserve is throwing out its previous goal post of 6.5 percent unemployment in favor of an ill-defined mandate for continued quantitative guidance. Although the employment situation is dire, given record numbers of people dropping out of the workforce, the official unemployment rate breeched 6.6 percent in January. More

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Cold weather drives housing starts down in January
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Due largely to unusually severe weather, across much of the nation, housing starts fell 16 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 units in January, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, single-family permits, which are often a harbinger of future building activity, posted a modest 1.3 percent decline to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 602,000 units. More

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Will US housing win gold in 2014?
World Property Channel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. housing market got off to a slow start in 2014 due to a lackluster job report. However, as long term rates have eased in the past month, some borrowers may have a chance to refinance, according to the U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook from Freddie Mac. The labor market report from January showed only 113,000 jobs were created, less than the 194,000 per month averaged in the U.S. in 2013. More

Gov. Rick Perry appoints 3 to Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
Office of the Governor Rick Perry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners for terms to expire Sept. 5, 2019. The board enforces plumbing regulations and oversees examinations and the licensing of plumbers and plumbing inspectors in the state. More

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Why companies that build homes are having a hard time finding workers
Business Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The housing recovery has been cooling recently, and while severe weather is one factor, it's not the only one. The slowdown in home construction and the decline in homebuilder confidence has been partly attributed to the cost and availability of labor. Essentially, building a house takes a lot of people with specific skills, and after the housing crash, many people who had been in the industry set out for work elsewhere. More



Wells Fargo economists: Texas leads economic growth across the South
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas, with its large energy and technology industries, has led economic growth across 16 southern states, according to a new report from Wells Fargo's Economics Group. Nearly every key economic metric improved in the 16 states in the last year, but especially in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Florida, said Wells Fargo economists Mark Vitner and Michael Wolf. For example, the South's employment rose 1.7 percent and the unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage points to 6.4 percent in December. More

Houston ranks in top 10 US market for home sellers
Houston Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home sellers could make out like bandits this year in Houston, as the region ranked No. 8 on ZipRealty's Top 10 Best Cities for Home Sellers. The study — which is based on housing market trends in 24 metro areas in the United States — ranked the markets based on the performance of median home sales, number of days houses stayed on the market and total housing inventory, according to the research conducted by California-based ZipRealty Inc. More

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Why homeowners are investing in smart homes
By Archita Datta Majumdar    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you locked the door on your way out only to go back in and check whether your stovetops and faucets are quietly sleeping? Perhaps, we have all done that at some point. With 101 jobs in hand to do every day, homeowners are rushing from pillar to post. In the midst of all this chaos, there pops up the worry about home security — not just from unwanted intrusions but also from slight mistakes of their own doing. It makes sense, therefore, to take advantage of the emerging technologies and invest in a smart home. More
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