TAB News Briefs
Nov. 5, 2013

Texas voters will decide on water election
Dallas Business Journal
Texas voters will decide on nine constitutional amendments today, including a billion-dollar plan to fund the state's water projects for the next 50 years. Arguably the biggest item on the Nov. 5 ballot, Proposition 6 would create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas. The initial $2 billion drawn from the state's Rainy Day Fund would become part of a revolving fund making low-interest loans for water infrastructure, conservation and reservoir projects.More

Election officials prepare for voter ID's next big test
KVUE-TV
As election workers make final preparations for the big day, administrators across the state are watching for any hiccups in the first election where Texas voters are required to show photo identification before casting a vote. "That means a DPS-issued driver license or personal ID card, concealed handgun license, U.S.-issued passport, citizenship certificate or military ID," says a new video released by Texas Secretary of State John Steen. More

If Proposition 6 passes, what comes next for water in Texas?
StateImpact
When voters go to the polls this year, many of them will have only as much information about the constitutional amendments they're voting on as is provided on the ballot. That is to say, not much at all, especially when it comes to the major item on the list, Proposition 6.More

Report: Homes for sale in Texas reach historical lows
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The inventory of homes for sale in Texas has reached an all-time low and is down to a four-month supply, says the Texas Association of Realtors in a quarterly market report. At the same time, home prices and sales reached their highest level ever in the third quarter, the report said. Home sales in the third quarter surged 18.9 percent from a year ago and the median price increased by 10 percent, the association said. According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, 80,105 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the third quarter. More

MHN interview: Taking on Texas
Multi-Housing News
Cortland Partners, an Atlanta-based multifamily acquisition and development firm, announced that it is opening a Dallas office. MHN talks to Nick Wilhelmson, director of investments in Texas, about why Cortland is pursuing the Texas market.More

Texas rising: More jobs, more business, more housing
Investors' Business Daily
While many parts of the country have not fully emerged from the housing crisis and recession, Texas continues on a tear with new building and thriving residential and commercial real estate markets. And that shows no sign of letting up.More

Forecast calls for sharp decline in Dallas-area home price growth
The Dallas Morning News (Subscription may be required)
North Texas will see much lower home price appreciation in the year ahead, according to researchers at CoreLogic. The respected housing and mortgage research firm is forecasting Dallas-area home prices will rise 3.3 percent through the second quarter of 2014. That's quite a bit less than the 9 percent to 11 percent home price gains the Dallas area is seeing this year.More

San Antonio's housing future outshines other Texas markets
San Antonio Business Journal
Home prices in San Antonio are expected to rise 7.6 percent between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, according to a new report by Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic. The report is based on the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes. The indexes track the pricing history of individual homes in more than 380 markets. At 7.6 percent, San Antonio's forecasted rate of price appreciation is better than the national average. Home prices in the U.S. are expected to rise 5.4 percent between second quarter 2013 and second quarter 2014, CoreLogic reports.More

Rebounding housing market lands Dallas on US real estate hot list
CultureMap
It's a good time to sell a home in Dallas. According to new reports, prices are on the rise, and inventory is dropping. In a third-quarter report from Realtor.com, Dallas ranked sixth in the nation in the site's "Turnaround Towns," an evaluator of acceleration in real estate markets. Citing a 10.6 percent increase in median listing price as well as a 15.7 percent drop in inventory in the city, Realtor.com found Dallas to be among the nation's best in market acceleration. The median listing price for Dallas homes is now $210,000.More

Home builders have marginal concern for 2014
The Wall Street Journal
As if there isn't enough to fret about in the new-home market, home builders have provided investors with another concern: the potential for declining profit margins. Roughly half way through earnings season for home builders, margins have become the new focal point of investor angst. The concern is that builders' profit margins might start to dwindle as early as next year if, as many expect, price appreciation for new homes loses more momentum than the rising cost of building homes.More

Dutch gamble on US housing debt after patience wins
Bloomberg
The Dutch government's decision to hold onto U.S. mortgage debt acquired during the 2009 bailout of ING Groep NV has paid off so far as prices of the securities soared, more than doubling in some cases from lows that year. The nation now is planning to sell all $12 billion of the bonds, many of which are tied to borrowers who were deemed more risky after failing to document their incomes or taking on mortgages with growing balances. More

Home builders to merge in $2.7 billion deal
The New York Times
Tri Pointe Homes, the West Coast builder controlled by Barry S. Sternlicht's Starwood Capital, is merging with the home-building subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser, a large owner of timberlands, in a deal valued at $2.7 billion. The merger will create one of the 10 biggest home builders in the country, a combined company that will own or control some 27,000 lots in fast-growing markets, the companies said.More

Millennials' failure to launch is a function of poor US housing policy
Forbes
Millennials face scarce job prospects, low wages, astronomical student debt and exploding health insurance costs. But they also face extremely expensive housing. And it's the result of U.S housing programs and policies aimed at getting more Americans to buy homes and keeping home prices high. The entirety of U.S. housing policy has been aimed at extending the possibility of homeownership to more Americans. It' theoretically a laudable goal, as homeownership has been linked to a solid middle-class existence, and remains in many people's minds a cornerstone of "the American dream." Still, should the federal government be subsidizing economy-suffocating consumption?More

8 tips for delivering difficult employee feedback
By Liz Murphy
Being in a leadership position can be rewarding, but it does require a lot of time and dedication to your people. In fact, one of the biggest responsibilities of a leader is identifying and correcting performance issues. Because an employee's performance can be a sensitive matter, here are eight tips to help you deliver difficult feedback in a way that produces positive results. More

Ways to maximize North Texas' small, vintage housing stock
The Dallas Morning News (Subscription may be required)
Stephan Sardone believes good things come in small packages. As owner of Sardone Construction, the Dallas remodeler has seen it all: cramped kitchens, snug home offices and stifling bathrooms. Close quarters leave Sardone undeterred. In fact, he welcomes tight floor plans and undersized rooms, believing they offer the opportunity to create efficient, functional space without sacrificing design and quality.More