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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           August 04, 2015


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Harold Pollman set to be inducted in Texas Housing Hall of Honor
TAB
The Texas Association of Builders will posthumously honor Harold Pollman as the sole 2015 inductee into the Texas Housing Hall of Honor. The announcement was made at the TAB Summer Board Meeting on July 31, 2015. Mr. Pollman will be formally inducted during the Excellence in Leadership Dinner at the Westin Hotel Downtown Austin on Nov. 12, 2015. Mr. Pollman was a remarkable leader whose legacy is one of unparalleled service to the housing industry, our state, our nation and the world. Pollman’s companies Northwood Homes and Pollman Development helped establish Dallas as one of the nation’s most desirable places to own a home.
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Texas sales tax holiday this weekend — Aug. 7 to 9
TAB
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds shoppers the annual sales tax holiday is scheduled for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 - 9. The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend. Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller's website at TexasTaxHoliday.org. This year, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday, which has been an annual event since 1999.
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Falling oil prices haven't put brakes on Texas home costs
The Dallas Morning News
There’s still no sign that the slowdown in Texas' energy sector is having an impact on the state's home prices. Texas home sales prices were at a record high in the second quarter, according to a report by the Texas Association of Realtors. Texas median home costs increased 8.1 percent year-over-year to $200,000, the real estate trade group said.
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Abbott aides: 'Magic words' used to block vetoes
The Texas Tribune
In a lengthy memo defending his line-item vetoes in the new state budget, aides to Gov. Greg Abbott decry a legislative agency's use of "magic words" to try to block him and insist its arguments threaten the constitutional separation of powers. Abbott vetoed $227.6 million from the $209.4 billion two-year state budget. The Legislative Budget Board challenged most of those changes, contending that the governor is limited to striking "items of appropriation" and not descriptive sections of the budget that direct agencies' spending without actually appropriating money.
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Paxton will plead not guilty, demand jury trial
KVUE-TV
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has vowed to fight a three-count felony indictment unsealed, accusing him of breaking securities laws while a member of the Texas Legislature. Paxton smiled for his official mugshot, which Collin County officials allowed him to pose for without the signature white towel swaddling used to photograph all other county inmates. A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on two counts of securities fraud and one count of failure to register as an investment adviser.
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Utilities hope Texas plays ball on clean air plan
The Texas Tribune
President Barack Obama is set to unveil a seemingly stricter final version of his sweeping, state-by-state plan to fight climate change — his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector. When he does, no one doubts that Texas will sue. Taking the federal government to court over environmental regulations has been a palpable source of pride and political capital for Gov. Greg Abbott, who filed dozens of lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as attorney general.
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Powerful conservative activist asks court to quash state ethics subpoenas in dark money case
San Antonio Express-News
One of Texas' most influential conservative figures is again asking a judge to shield him from subpoenas a state ethics agency has issued in a probe of his nonprofit's political activities. The Texas Ethics Commission has engaged in the equivalent of a tug of war with Michael Quinn Sullivan, an anti-tax and limited government activist, over subpoenas for an array of documents since August 2013.
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5 things D.R. Horton's results tell us about the new-home market
The Wall Street Journal
Home building giant D.R. Horton Inc. hat the spring home-selling season has turned out well for most builders. But a closer look at D.R. Horton's results reveals cause for mild concern that the home building recovery might be losing momentum as the year goes on. Here's a look.
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Buried treasure: The state budget hides a mystery
The Texas Tribune
It is a mere drop in the fiscal ocean, just $200,000 in a state budget totaling more than $200 billion. But the tiny amount of money lawmakers set aside this past session to fund a maritime museum on the Texas coast has spawned an oversized mystery. It seems to have attached itself like a barnacle to the ship of state with no one's knowledge, discovered only when Gov. Greg Abbott tried to scrape it off.
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Wells Fargo to end some marketing ties with home builders and brokers
The New York Times
Citing intensifying regulatory uncertainty, Wells Fargo is severing roughly 200 agreements with builders, brokers and other real estate firms that the bank uses to bolster its mortgage business. One of the nation's largest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo announced on Thursday that it was ending all mortgage marketing services and desk rental agreements with builders and real estate brokers. These arrangements are widespread throughout the highly competitive mortgage industry, where lenders scrap to find eligible borrowers.
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Houston home builder positioned to weather the oil storm
Houston Business Journal
The last recession was a bad one for William Gray. Right before the housing market crashed in 2008, the president of Contemporary Garden Homes acquired several large land tracts — nearly 30 acres worth about $8 million — to redevelop into patio homes and townhomes for first-time homebuyers. But when the Great Recession hit, Houston's entry-level housing market became "dead as a doornail," Gray said.
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Texas single-family home sales, prices keep rising
Houston Chronicle
The Houston area, which makes up one out of every four single-family home sales in Texas, saw a slight drop in sales activity in the second quarter, while other markets contributed to a statewide gain. Sales in Texas reached 88,906, a 4.7 percent gain year-over-year, according to the Texas Association of Realtors' 2015-Q2 Texas Quarterly Housing Report. Metro areas posting double-digit gains were: Amarillo, Beaumont, El Paso, San Angelo, San Antonio, Texarkana and Wichita Falls.
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Mayor wants developers to add thousands of Austin-area homes
Austin Business Journal (
Austin Mayor Steve Adler wants developers to bring a lot more housing into the area, and thinks 100,000 new housing units by 2025 is a good place to start. The number comes from comments made by the mayor reported by the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday. But it's a number also rooted in a January report from the Real Estate Council of Austin that lamented "that most of the housing being delivered close to the city's largest employment core in downtown is in the form of luxury apartments, upscale single family houses on large lots and high-priced condominiums," as the Austin Business Journal reported at the time.
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What's in a name?
Builder
It's only August, but home building's boldest move in 2015 thus far is the merger that will combine Ryland and Standard Pacific into CalAtlantic, a $5.2 billion enterprise, operating in 17 states, 41 market arenas, 538 active communities, and 74,000 lots owned and controlled. The merger's inner logic--pairing organizations whose customer segments dovetail, and whose geographies align and whose financials can probably stand up to at least a few years of battering by goodwill and a host of integration costs — is clear. Intentions stated as they now have been, one can only wonder what scenarios may have opened to each organization had they not chosen to wed. The challenge now: to move from a "merger of equals" to unity.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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