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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Mar. 7, 2013

TAB News Briefs
Mar. 7, 2013
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Texas Housing Hall of Honor call for nominations opens
TAB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nominations for the 2013 Texas Housing Hall of Honor are now being accepted. Hosted by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB), the Texas Housing Hall of Honor celebrates men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the Texas housing industry. Inductees are selected annually from the categories of: builders, developers or remodelers; trades professionals and suppliers; government; and, industry-allied professionals. Sixteen legends grace the walls of the Texas Housing Hall of Honor. The contributions of these men and women have resulted in the long-term advancement of the residential construction industry in Texas. Inductees for the 2013 Texas Housing Hall of Honor will be formally recognized during a ceremony on Nov. 21, 2013 at the Excellence in Leadership Dinner at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. More

Modern design in the oil patch
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Creating housing from old shipping containers is generally the stuff of high-end design magazines and the territory of the urban and hip. But one San Antonio developer is taking shipping containers to the Eagle Ford Shale region, with a project that brings modern design to the oil patch. David Monnich has started construction in Encinal, between Laredo and Cotulla off of Interstate 35, on what will eventually be a 70-unit apartment complex made from recycled shipping containers. More
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FHFA outlines 2013 goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Federal Housing Finance Agency    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco has released the 2013 Conservatorship Scorecard for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Scorecard details specific priorities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2013 that builds upon the three strategic goals announced in FHFA's Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships released in 2012. More

Lawmakers again pushing for TWIA overhaul
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefTexans living along the coastline have endured a nearly 50 percent hike in Texas Windstorm Insurance Association rates over the past 10 years. This session, they're hoping lawmakers are able to rein in costs by focusing on rate control, adding more coastal residents to TWIA's board of directors and ensuring catastrophe preparedness. More

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San Antonio's housing market is still steady as she goes
San Antonio Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It’s business as usual in San Antonio. Meanwhile, a growing percentage of housing markets across the U.S. are seeing an uptick in home prices as well. Home prices in the San Antonio/New Braunfels metropolitan area rose 0.7 percent between the third quarter of 2011 and 2012, according to the latest study by Brookfield, Wis.-based financial services firm Fiserv Inc. Fiserv is also forecasting that between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of 2013, local home prices will rise another 0.8 percent. More

Houston area among tops in U.S. for inter-county commuting
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Houston area's continuing sprawl has placed the region among the highest in the country for inter-county commuting, according to new data from the Census Bureau. Based on responses from the American Community Survey from 2006 to 2010, statisticians estimate 414,000 workers in Harris County commute from neighboring counties. This places Harris County sixth in the nation, with figures close to those of cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. More

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Texas State University

Construction and Concrete Industry job fairs for construction employers recruiting for summer jobs, internships or full-time:
October 24, 2012 or February 14, 2013.

Foreclosures down in Waco and nationally
The Waco Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home foreclosure rates in Waco continue to improve, with only 1.10 percent of outstanding mortgage loans reaching foreclosure status in December, down from November and the lowest since the 1.08 percent in April 2011. Foreclosure activity was lower than the national rate of 2.96 percent in December, the most recent month for which CoreLogic has local data. The delinquency rate decreased in Waco, too. According to CoreLogic, 3.58 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent in December, compared to 4.14 percent for the same month last year, said California-based CoreLogic, which tracks real estate trends nationally. More

TAB testifies in favor of State Water Implementation Fund
Dallas Builders Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House Natural Resources Committee recently took up HB 4 by Allan Ritter, R-Nederland. The bill would establish the State Water Implementation Fund to provide financing for projects included in the state water plan or education projects related to the development of water resources, the conservation of existing water resources, or water reuse. Scott Norman, Executive Director of the Texas Association of Builders, testified in support of the bill. "As we are trying to meet the housing needs of Texas moving forward, as our population continues to grow, as our economy continues to grow, water will be vital," said Norman. "Not just directly for our industry for future housing needs but for the economic well-being of the state." More

Immigrants buoy the housing market
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Immigrant home buyers have bolstered the housing market across the country in the past decade and will continue to fuel demand at least through 2020, according to a new study. Foreign-born buyers accounted for the bulk of growth in home ownership in states with large immigrant populations and helped offset a decline of purchases by U.S. natives in other areas. All told, the number of foreign-born homeowners in the U.S. has increased each decade since 1990. Immigrants, who represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for 39 percent of net growth in homeowners between 2000 and 2010. (Registration may be required to view article.) More

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Hinojosa, Hunter file Texas Windstorm reform legislation
Corpus Christi Caller-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lawmakers legislation to repair the anemic funding structure supporting the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and address certain operation concerns. State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, and state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, filed bills in their respective houses that seek statewide participation in the way the association raises revenue before and after storms. Both bills are based on plans set forth by the Coastal Windstorm Task Force, which Hunter created last year to help provide solutions to the problems plaguing the state's insurer of last resort for wind and hailstorm insurance along the Texas coast. More

January marks milestone month for Lubbock economy
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lubbock Economic Index numbers for January reflect the local economy has officially recovered to pre-recession levels. The Economic Index and Consumer Price Index, presented Wednesday by Lubbock National Bank Senior Vice President James Arnold, posted 131.6 in January. The last time the LEI reached 131.6 was in September 2008, just before the onset of the economic downturn. More

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Legislation filed for SpaceX project at Boca Chica Beach
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Rep. Rene Oliveira filed legislation Wednesday aimed at furthering the SpaceX project at Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, he said. "We're definitely more optimistic than ever that Cameron County will have SpaceX," Oliveira said. "Obviously, there are still major decisions that need to be made with the federal government. But the fact that we and others are proceeding with legislation, and Mr. Elon Musk is going to be (in Austin), indicates, I think, a very favorable view on his part," Oliveira added. Musk is the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., a California-based space exploration firm, which is considering a location near Boca Chica Beach for a rocket launch facility. More

Bryan, College Station enjoy rise in sales tax revenues
Bryan-College Station Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bryan and College Station received pleasant surprises from the state comptroller's office, which released figures showing both cities experienced double-digit sales tax increases in January. January sales tax revenue increased 10.16 percent in Bryan and 11.11 percent in College Station over the same month in 2012. That amounts to a $103,000 increase for Bryan and a $174,000 increase for College Station. The year-to-date increase for Bryan is 7.51 percent and for College Station is 7.32 percent. More

El Paso needs parcel for Downtown ballpark: Railroad land swap sought
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The city is negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad to swap parcels of land needed for the Downtown ballpark and to accommodate track changes the railroad company needs in the area, city officials said. Alan Shubert, the city engineer in charge of the ballpark project, said the city is working closely with Union Pacific on a property agreement under which the city would give the railroad a part of the nearby Union Depot property in exchange for a small parcel of railroad land that abuts City Hall. More

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Lawmaker aims to undo law that makes penny theft felony
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the past year and a half, stealing a penny in Texas has been a felony under state law. Lawmakers didn't set out to target the smallest of small-time thieves, though. It happened inadvertently in 2011 when they passed a bill aimed at curbing the growing problem of metal theft. State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington, has filed a bill to correct the goof. In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 694, which edited a line in the penal code focused on theft valued at less than $20,000. The law originally classified such theft as a state jail felony if at least 50 percent of the stolen item was made of certain metals, such as copper or aluminum. More
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