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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Apr. 4, 2013

TAB News Briefs
Apr. 4, 2013
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources

House members expecting daylong budget fight
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 150-member Texas House and the staffers who support them are bracing for a late night as the lower chamber takes up the $193.8 billion House budget and its 267 proposed amendments. The amendments forecast a wide range of discussion topics Thursday, though how much the state should spend on education and health care is likely to dominate the dialogue. More

In Texas, underground reservoirs take hold
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas summers are so hot that in many West Texas reservoirs, more water evaporates than gets used by people. In 2011, more water evaporated out of Lakes Travis and Buchanan in Central Texas than was used by their largest city customer, Austin. So what about storing water underground — in manmade reservoirs? More
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Americans not convinced housing crisis is over
24/7 Wall St.    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than half of Americans do not believe the country's housing crisis is over, according to recent research sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. Nearly 20 percent believe that the worst is yet to come. These conclusions appear to fly in the face of recent hopefulness among analysts, home builders and market watchers that the U.S. housing market is recovering. More

Fannie Mae rides the wave of US housing, books record profit
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. housing recovery is showing up all over the market these days. Hedge funds made a mint betting on subprime mortgages last year, residential construction companies have kept their months-long rally running in early 2013 and real estate-related companies are lining up to go public. April 2 brought the latest dose of good news: An upbeat earnings report from Fannie Mae. More

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US grants to aid with adaptation to droughts
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $5.3 million in federal grants for programs that will help farmers and ranchers find new ways to adapt to severe drought and other extreme climate changes. Drought is causing problems for water users throughout Texas, the El Paso region and farmers in Mexico. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working diligently to help American farmers and ranchers rebound from last year's drought and prepare for future times of climatic extremes," Vilsack said in a telephone interview. More

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Traffic remains a serious problem in Texas
Your Houston News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Those of us in the Houston metro area know we spend way too much time stuck in traffic and too much time planning our schedules around traffic. In 1982, the average Houston-area commuter wasted 22 hours in traffic. In 2011, the average Houston-area commuter wasted 52 hours in traffic congestion, according to a recent Urban Mobility Report by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. Congestion like this is not just a big city issue, either. All parts of Texas are impacted with higher costs of goods and services when congestion occurs in our large urban areas. More

Immigrant dreams to keep sparking US housing recovery
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Efforts to revamp U.S. immigration laws may bring at least one unintended benefit for the economy: The nascent housing recovery will probably get an added boost. The number of foreign-born homeowners will increase by 2.8 million in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4 million gain in the previous 10 years, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association study that didn't assess the potential impact of any new legislation. More

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February home prices: A new milestone for the US housing recovery
Seeking Alpha    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
CoreLogic has reported that its repeat-sales Home Price Index, based on sale prices for the same homes over time, posted a 10.2 percent year-over-year gain in February (including distressed sales). That was the largest annual increase, and the first double-digit gain in home prices nationwide in nearly seven years, going back to March 2006. The February gain was the 12th consecutive monthly increase in national home prices on a year-over-year basis starting in March of last year. More

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Insurance commissioner takes controversial stands ahead of confirmation
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With more than half of the legislative session in the rearview mirror, Texas' insurance commissioner isn't spending much time trying to win over state senators — even though she needs their support to keep her job. Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in the interim between legislative sessions, must receive the blessing of two-thirds of the Texas Senate within the next two months. But the commissioner, known for being tough and terse, has taken a couple of controversial stands lately that aren't winning her any friends. More

Central Texas power plant to double in size
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Officials say a natural gas-fueled power plant in Central Texas will double in size and supply power to approximately 1.5 million homes. It was only last September when Dallas-based Panda Power Funds broke ground on a 758-megawatt plant in Temple, about 35 miles southwest of Waco. More

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Number of improving housing markets holding steady in April
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Following seven consecutive months of gains, the list of improving U.S. housing markets remained virtually unchanged in April, with 273 metros on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. This total reflects a net reduction of one market since March and again includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More
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