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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Feb. 28, 2012


Texas Association of Builders bestows Texas Housing Champion Awards
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The Texas Association of Builders presented the Texas Housing Champion Awards during their winter board of directors meetings on Feb. 23 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. Recipients of the 2011 awards were Representative Drew Darby of San Angelo, Representative Harold Dutton of Houston, and Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville. The awards were presented in recognition of outstanding efforts during the 82nd Legislative Session. The Texas Housing Champion Awards celebrate leaders who have a commendable voting record on issues of importance to the home building industry. Recipients have demonstrated their understanding of the issues facing home builders and have shown their commitment to keeping housing affordable in Texas. More



Perry appoints McWatters to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Cypress Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed John "Mark" McWatters of Dallas to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for a term to expire Jan. 31, 2015. TDHCA addresses a broad spectrum of housing and community development issues, and oversees titling, licensing, inspection and enforcement of manufactured housing. More

January pending home sales rise, market on uptrend
National Association of Realtors    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pending home sales are on an upward trend, which has been uneven but meaningful since reaching a cyclical low last April, and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December and is 8.0 percent higher than January 2011 when it was 89.8. The data reflects contracts but not closings. More

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Home prices in 20 US cities decline 4 percent, more than forecast
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped more than forecast in December to the lowest level since the housing crisis began in mid-2006, indicating foreclosures are hampering the industry's recovery. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4 percent from a year earlier, after decreasing 3.9 percent in November, a report from the group showed in New York. More

HUD: Bank of America violated Fair Housing Act
CBS MoneyWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The trouble continues for Bank of America. According to a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) alleges the bank is guilty of discriminating against borrowers with disabilities. This is just one in a string of allegations against Bank of America, one of the nation's largest banks. More

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Texas Association of Builders
Construction Digital    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year, the Texas Association of Builders celebrated 65 years as an advocate for the home building industry in our state. Although the last year has been another challenging one for the residential construction industry nationwide, our state has proved relatively resilient and the housing market appears to be on the rebound. More

Camp Tyler cabin updated
TylerPaper.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A favorite facility at the Camp Tyler Outdoor School is getting an upgrade. The Tyler Area Builders Association has donated time, supplies and money to provide for the renovation of Lindsey Cabin, a longtime favorite dorm on the campus. The more than 60-year-old facility has served three generations of students who have visited the outdoor school in Whitehouse. More



Pressure grows on Fannie and Freddie to cut principal on loans
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California's attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, has ratcheted up the pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to allow debt reduction on their home loans by asking the mortgage finance giants to halt foreclosures in the state. In a letter to Edward J. DeMarco, the regulator who controls Fannie and Freddie, Harris asked that foreclosures be suspended until his agency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, completes a promised review of its policy forbidding debt reduction for delinquent homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. More

State Supreme Court: Landowners own water beneath land
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a ruling likely to have an enormous effect on how Texas regulates water use, the state Supreme Court declared that landowners also own the water beneath their land and may seek compensation if government regulations limit their access to it. Water experts predicted the decision will lead to a surge in lawsuits from property owners who are denied pumping rights or are issued permits limiting the amount of water they may draw from wells. More

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Primary delays give Dewhurst's rivals time to work
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Craig James said it out loud last week. Ted Cruz has laid it out in conversation. Tom Leppert's version is in his emails to supporters. They are running for second place in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Each assumes that David Dewhurst, the state's lieutenant governor, will finish first. And they share a strategy: Finish second and hope the race goes to a runoff in the dog days of summer. More

Bank of America mortgage move not likely to have big consumer impact
Reuters via The Economic Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bank of America Corp appears to be going it alone in not selling mortgage loans to Fannie Mae, a move that, while sending an angry signal to the nation's largest mortgage-buyer, could force the bank to charge less attractive mortgage rates. Some major competitors indicated they are not following Bank of America's decision to stop selling most of its new loans to the government-controlled buyer of home loans. More

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Texas drought sparked water worries for industry
Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last summer, near the height of the most intense drought in recorded Texas history, ConocoPhillips officials grew concerned. The company operates an oil refinery near the southeastern town of Sweeny, and its major water source, the San Bernard River, was getting drier. So ConocoPhillips applied for a permit to tap a well on company land and pipe the water three miles to the plant. More

Survey: Top-performing real estate markets in 2012
Inman News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent survey study of 1,800 real estate agents by Seattle-based ActiveRain, a real estate social network, revealed that agents expect that in 2012 the housing market will reach bottom and begin to rebound. The survey also shows that the real estate agents polled expect Austin and San Antonio to be among the top-performing 2012 real estate markets. More



Federal Housing Finance Agency sends Congress strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conservatorships
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Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco has sent to Congress a strategic plan for the next phase of the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The plan builds on the Acting Director's February 2010 letter to Congress on the conservatorships and sets forth objectives and steps FHFA is taking or will take to meet FHFA's obligations as conservator. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorships Sept. 6, 2008 and have since received more than $180 billion in taxpayer support. More

A key to revitalization, downtown Lubbock utility project under way
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Power lines aren't pretty, and city officials believe the absence of them will attract potential investors. "Visually, downtown, all of the power poles and the utilities are a definite eyesore," said Marsha Reed, city chief operating officer. "And so as Delbert (McDougal) sees it — and a lot of the folks he's working with — if there's commitment there to actually put those utilities underground, it will spur a lot more interest to the fact that the city is behind downtown redevelopment." More


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2012 Star Awards.



New residential sales in January 2012
Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sales of new single-family houses in January 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.9 percent below the revised December rate of 324,000, but is 3.5 percent above the January 2011 estimate of 310,000. More

January home sales in Abilene jump substantially over 2011
Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home sales last month in Abilene increased by more than 25 percent over January 2011 despite a continuing trend of higher prices. In January, residents purchased 79 homes compared with 63 for the same month last year, according to data from the Abilene Association of Realtors. The total monetary volume for those homes, more than $10 million, was nearly 26 percent above the volume for January 2011. More
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