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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Dec. 20, 2012

TAB News Briefs
Dec. 20, 2012
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources

Texas homeowners still paying nation's highest insurance premiums
Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas homeowners are still paying the highest insurance premiums in the nation, although residents of two other Gulf Coast states are paying almost as much, new figures from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners show. The average annual cost of the most commonly sold policy in Texas in 2010 was listed at $1,560, which is well above the national average of $909 and about 3.2 percent more than the group's figures showed last year. Eleven states had average premiums higher than $1,000 a year — including Louisiana at $1,546 and Florida at $1,544. (Registration may be required to view article.) More

$2 billion Economic Stabilization Fund investment would finance our State Water Plan, breathe certainty into the water planning process
The H2O4TEXAS Coalition    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 83rd Texas Legislature will soon convene, and the devastating impact of Texas' ongoing drought has garnered broad-based, legislative support for implementation of our State Water Plan. The H2O4TEXAS Coalition, a diverse partnership of water users and water providers committed to full implementation of our State Water Plan, endorses financing the State Water Plan through a $2 Billion investment from the Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund. More

Construction spending jumps in October, led by more home building
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fueled by more home building, construction spending increased 1.4 percent in October from the previous month and rose to its highest annual rate in more than three years, the Commerce Department said recently. Builders spent at a seasonally adjusted rate of $872.1 billion in October, up from a revised $860.4 billion in September. Year-over-year, spending in October increased 9.6 percent. More

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Legislature eye windstorm insurance plan
Valley Morning Star via The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Legislators have unveiled a plan to increase the Texas windstorm insurance war chest and help lift the financial burden from the shoulders of Texas's coastal homeowners. Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, and state Rep. Todd Hunter, D-Corpus Christi, told area insurance agents at a luncheon that a Texas Windstorm Insurance Association task force developed a plan that coastal lawmakers will push during the upcoming legislative session. More

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US home building permits approach 4-1/2 year high
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. home building permits touched their highest level in nearly 4-1/2 years in November, pointing to strength in the housing market, even though groundbreaking activity dropped. The Commerce Department recently said building permits increased 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 899,000 units, the highest since July 2008. That was well above economists' expectations for an 875,000-unit pace. More

US housing values rose 6 percent for 1st gain in 6 years
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Homes values gained an estimated 6 percent in the U.S. this year, the first increase since 2006, as the housing market began to recover from its worst slump since the 1930s, Zillow Inc. said. Values have climbed more than $1.3 trillion to $23.7 trillion since the end of last year and probably will continue to rise in 2013, the Seattle-based home-listing service said in a statement. Residential values had declined each year since 2007, with the biggest drop in 2008, when homes lost more than $3.2 trillion in value, Zillow said. More

NAHB sues US Dept. of Fish and Wildlife over endangered species listing rules
Law360    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Association of Home Builders and other development groups have filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in District of Colombia federal court, alleging it failed to follow mandatory procedures during the process to list species as endangered or threatened. (Registration may be required to view article.) More

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Home sales on the rebound
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Happy days are here again — almost — in the San Antonio area's resale housing market. Home sales and prices are on the rebound, according to data released Monday by the San Antonio Board of Realtors, and it appears that the housing market will easily eclipse 2011's ho-hum pace. More

Tyler area home sales hold steady with 2011 figures
Tyler Morning Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
November home sales in the Tyler area remained steady compared to the same time last year. There were 210 homes sold last month, a 0.962 percent increase from the 208 units sold in November 2011, according to figures released by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors. Last month's home sales were a 27.34 percent decline from the 289 units sold here in October. More

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OSHA schedules stakeholder meetings to discuss preventing injuries and fatalities from vehicle backovers
U.S. Department of Labor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled five informal stakeholder meetings to solicit comments on preventing injuries and fatalities from vehicle backovers. The purpose of the meetings is to gather information and evaluate backover risks across various industries, determine whether or how backovers may be prevented by new technology or other methods, and discuss the effectiveness of those measures. The meetings will be held Jan. 8-9, 2013, in Washington, D.C. and Feb. 5, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. More

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Bastrop County officials asking state for fire recovery funds
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fifteen months after wildfires cut a black swath through Bastrop County, the money for the recovery is almost gone. Now county leaders are pleading for help from the state, which to this point hasn't sent a dollar to Bastrop for recovery efforts. "The job's not done and we're just about out of money, and that is the truth," Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said during a news conference that served as both an update on the recovery and a hat-in-hand request for state aid. "We have got to have some more help." More

Builder confidence continues improving in December
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose for an eighth consecutive month in December to a level of 47 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This marked a two-point gain from a slightly revised November reading, and the highest level the index has attained since April of 2006. "Builders across the country are reporting some of the best sales conditions they've seen in more than five years, with more serious buyers coming forward and a shrinking number of vacant and foreclosed properties on the market," observed NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. More

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Rise in Texas personal income beats US average
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Personal income grew faster in Texas than the national average during the third quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported. The state's total personal income grew 0.8 percent from the second to the third quarter compared to 0.5 percent nationally. Personal income includes wages, property and payments such as Social Security, food stamps and unemployment benefits. More

Auditor: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Libor loss tops $3 billion
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have lost more than $3 billion tied to the rigging of a key interest rate, according to internal memos by the auditor of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Inspector General Steve A. Linick urged FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco in a Nov. 3 memo that has not been made public to investigate the potential losses tied to manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate. More

Dewhurst, Patrick discuss plans for school reform
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Speaking in a Catholic school classroom in Austin, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick gave the first details of what they promised would be a wide-ranging set of proposals for public education policy during the upcoming legislative session. More
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