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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Dec. 8, 2011

Report: Construction insurance rates could be rising
Business Insurance    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Insurance rates for construction contractors, architects and engineers could be on the rise, according to new market reports from Lockton Cos. L.L.C. released recently. Unprecedented property losses stemming from natural catastrophes, anemic interest rates and worsening workers compensation results may conspire to drive up construction contractors' premium rates on commercial general liability, builders risk and workers compensation in 2012, executives from Lockton wrote in its report. More

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Texas gains construction jobs
KUT-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. construction industry was hit hard by the 2008 recession and continues to struggle with its recovery. A recent study showed stagnant construction employment rates throughout the nation, but there may be more hope for the industry in Texas than other states. The Associated General Contractors of America surveyed 337 metropolitan areas from October 2010 to October 2011. The number of construction jobs declined in about half of those places, according to the data, while the other half gained jobs instead. More

First American and NAHB add more housing markets to improvement index
HousingWire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of improving housing markets expanded for a fourth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. The number of improving housing markets rose 37 percent to 41 in December from 30 in November. The new list features 20 new markets, including several major markets such as Washington, San Jose, Calif. and Toledo, Ohio. Nine smaller markets dropped of the list mainly because of softer house prices. More

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'Extreme' TV in Bastrop County as local firefighter gets picked for new home
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many things raced through Mizzy Zdroj's head when "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" host and designer Ty Pennington knocked on the door Wednesday morning to tell the volunteer firefighter that in a week, she will be getting a new house. "'Overwhelming' comes to mind," said Zdroj, whose lost her home while she was fighting the wildfires that began Labor Day weekend. Thanks to the ABC show and Bastrop homebuilder EFC Custom Homes, the member of the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department is getting a $250,000, 2,500-square-foot home to replace the 724-square-foot recycled bungalow that burned. More

Bridgeland wins 'Community of the Year' in national awards
The Cypress Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bridgeland is one of five developments across the nation named Community of the Year in The Nationals 2012 Silver Awards. The community, which most recently won the Developer of the Year Grand Award in the Texas Association of Builders' Texas Star Awards, also won four other Silver Awards: Print Campaign, Special Promotion, Signage and Graphic Continuity. It was the third time Bridgeland has won a Silver Award for Community of the Year. More

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Construction resumes on Austin's Formula 1 track
WFAA-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Wednesday, the future of Formula 1 in Austin appeared to be back on track. There was a photo opportunity of construction equipment returning for work at the F1 track site. Some nearby residents were optimistic. "They say it's going to go forward," said Cathy Olive of the Elroy Neighborhood Association. "I have to take them at their word." Olive has seen construction halted twice at the track. It happened most recently three weeks ago, when crews removed most of the heavy equipment. More

Austin uses new financial technique to spur private development
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Construction will begin early next year on two long-delayed developments along Texas 130, thanks to the novel use of $40 million in public financing from the City of Austin. Taurus of Texas Holdings LP has announced plans to move ahead with development of Whisper Valley and Indian Hills — two large, dense, mixed-use developments that eventually would add 3.75 million square feet of commercial space and about 8,600 housing units east of Austin. More

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Republican proposes new corporation to replace Fannie, Freddie
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Georgia Republican is set to introduce a bill that would replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a government-owned corporation that could one day be sold off to the private sector. The proposal from Sen. Johnny Isakson, a former realtor, is the latest in a series of competing measures to address the fate of the mortgage-finance giants whose government takeover has cost taxpayers $151 billion. Subscription required to view. More

Rain boosts DFW lakes, but they're far from full
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's been a while since rainfall helped raise area lake levels, but last weekend's downpours did the trick. The Tarrant Regional Water District's six supply lakes received an influx of about 9.8 billion gallons, roughly 1 percent of its water supply. The district supplies water to 98 percent of Tarrant County. "At least we're seeing some water coming into the streambeds," said David Marshall, engineering services director. "We're hoping things are headed in a positive direction." More

White River Hardwoods-Woodworks Inc.

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Unemployment aid applications drop to 9-month low
The Associated Press via The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nine months, that latest evidence that the job market is improving. The Labor Department said that weekly applications dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000. That's the lowest number of applications since late February. More
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