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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jan. 31, 2013

TAB News Briefs
Jan. 31, 2013
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Come to Rally Day on Feb. 20
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Rally Day
Please make plans to join us in Austin on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Rally Day will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. on the South Steps of the Capitol.

We need YOU to personally deliver the message to your legislators that housing is important to Texas. Working together, we can create a powerful advocacy force for home building in our state.

Contact your local HBA for details on transportation and registration. For more information and to link to the agenda, click here.

Get recognized for your outstanding work — enter the Star Awards
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Act now because the deadlines for the Texas Association of Builders' 2013 Star Awards are quickly approaching! Save money by submitting your entries by the Early Bird deadline of 5 p.m. on Feb. 15. The final deadline to receive entries is 5 p.m. on Feb. 28. The 2013 Star Awards showcases the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers, sales professionals, marketing professionals, construction professionals and industry leaders in the Southwest. For a complete list of categories, judging criteria, and materials for submission, view the 2013 Star Awards call for entries on the TAB website.
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Housing to drive economic growth (finally!)
CNNMoney    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The bursting of the housing bubble plunged the economy into a recession from which it has yet to fully recover. But economists say this could finally be the year that housing lifts us out of the doldrums. Just over half of economists surveyed by CNNMoney identified a housing recovery as the primary driver of economic growth this year. The rest were split fairly evenly between consumer spending, increased domestic energy production and stimulus from the Federal Reserve as major growth drivers. More

Texas bills aim to douse HOAs' limits on xeriscaping
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two bills, Senate Bill 198 and House Bill 449, by Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Dawnna Dukes, both Austin Democrats, would prevent HOAs from restricting xeriscaping. It's an issue that has received rising attention as the drought continues. HB 449 "gives the average individual the opportunity to be conscious of water conservation through xeriscaping, and it allows them to do their part," Dukes said. More

Water demand for energy to double by 2035
National Geographic Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The amount of fresh water consumed for world energy production is on track to double within the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects. If today's policies remain in place, the IEA calculates that water consumed for energy production would increase from 66 billion cubic meters (bcm) today to 135 bcm annually by 2035. That's an amount equal to the residential water use of every person in the United States over three years, or 90 days' discharge of the Mississippi River. More

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Dr. Gary Winek 512.245.2137

Houston, Dallas led the nation in construction job growth in December
The Dallas Morning News Biz Beat Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Houston and Dallas led the nation in the most new construction jobs in December, according to a new report from the Associated General Contractors of America. The Houston metropolitan area added the most jobs nationally — 17,600 jobs or a 10 percent increase from a year earlier. The Dallas area was second, adding 8,300 jobs or 8 percent. Across Texas, the construction industry added 35,600 jobs last month for a gain of 6 percent. More

Waco home foreclosures, late mortgage payments on decline
Waco Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Waco received more good news on the housing front, with foreclosures in November down from the same month the previous year and 90-day mortgage delinquencies the lowest they have been since March 2011. CoreLogic, which tracks real estate trends nationwide, released a report showing that Waco's foreclosure rate is lower than state and national figures. It said 1.04 percent of outstanding mortgage loans had entered some stage of foreclosure, down from 1.23 percent in November 2011. More

Report: Employee misclassification costs state millions
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even during the depths of the national financial crisis, Texas led the country in home construction, and the industry employed more than 950,000 people in Texas. But many in the industry say it is also a breeding ground for payroll and tax fraud, and rife with employers who knowingly misclassify their employees, a practice that perpetuates the hiring of illegal workers. More

Perry talks water, tax relief in State of the State
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twelve years after first becoming governor and one year after a failed bid for president, Rick Perry delivered a State of the State speech that was long on large-scale spending proposals and short on red meat for his conservative base. "Our bank balance is healthy. Our economy is growing. Our future is limitless," Perry told a joint session of the Legislature from the floor of the Texas House. More

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Texas victory helps keep the lights on
Balanced Energy for Texas    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
EPA's attempt to overcome the invalidation of the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) were rejected on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This decision is a major victory for several states, including Texas, who led the fight against CSAPR based on concerns with the rule's questionable scientific basis and disproportionate impact on states like Texas. More

Gov. Perry: Technical skills expand opportunities for Texas' workforce
Office of the Governor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry visited the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed the State of the State and his priorities for the 83rd Legislative Session, particularly his proposals for ensuring Texas has a skilled and capable workforce. "The initiatives I have proposed will help remove the roadblocks between candidates who are already qualified and jobs that need to be filled, targeting the needs of specific groups, such as veterans, displaced workers and career-focused high school graduates, to maximize their job preparedness training," Gov. Perry said. More

D.R. Horton climbs after reporting that earnings doubled
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. home builder by volume, rose to its highest level in almost six years after reporting that earnings more than doubled in the fiscal first quarter. Net income was $66.3 million, or 20 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $27.7 million, or 9 cents, a year earlier, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said in a statement. The average estimate of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for earnings of 14 cents a share. More

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US home vacancies fell in 4th quarter from prior year
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. residential vacancy rates declined in the fourth quarter as housing demand improved amid job gains, the Census Bureau reported. The rate for rented homes dropped to 8.7 percent from 9.4 percent a year earlier, while vacancies for owner-occupied houses fell to 1.9 percent from 2.3 percent. The share of Americans who own their homes was 65.4 percent, matching the lowest level since 1997. More

Tax relief, infrastructure and education: Priorities to keep Texas strong
Office of the Governor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry delivered his State of the State address to the 83rd Texas Legislature, highlighting our state's strong economic outlook, and outlining his priorities to keep Texas on an upward trajectory. He called on the Legislature to provide at least $1.8 billion in tax relief, invest in the state's water and transportation infrastructure and improve access and choice in both public and higher education, including providing South Texas access to the Permanent University Fund. More

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Obama administration takes steps to implement individual mandate
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration took new steps Wednesday toward implementing the individual mandate in its signature healthcare law, downplaying the scope of the unpopular provision by stressing rules that allow exemptions from the requirement to purchase insurance. The Internal Revenue Service and the Health and Human Services Department emphasized exceptions to the mandate, which were detailed in new regulations that also laid out the process by which the IRS will calculate penalties for going uninsured. More

How a new housing bubble could develop
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prior to the Winter of 2011/2012, weakness in the housing market was creating conditions which fostered further weakness in the housing market. During that winter we crossed a point where conditions in the housing market were fostering increased strength in the housing market. The housing market and the larger economy were still subject external shocks including the debt ceiling debate, the European Crisis and unexpectedly strong austerity by State and Local governments. However, the underlying conditions were still building on themselves. More
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