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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           June 02, 2015


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Texas Legislature ends 2015 session
The Associated Press via KHOU-TV
The final gavel has fallen on the Texas Legislature's 2015 session. House Speaker Joe Straus excused his chamber just before 1 p.m., shortly after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the Senate, adjourned the upper chamber. Cheers, handshakes and hugs followed, as members took congratulatory photos on the floor. The Legislature meets every two years in 140-day sessions. Unless Gov. Greg Abbott calls lawmakers into a special session to tackle specific issues, it won't return until January 2017.
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A closer look at the final 2016-17 state budget
The Texas Tribune
The Texas Legislature passed more than 1,000 bills this session, but only one was required by law to make it to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. After weeks of negotiations over how much to spend on tax cuts, border security, Medicaid payments, higher education and other areas, the two chambers approved a $209.4 billion budget. Here's a look at how the two budget proposals compared and what the two chambers ultimately settled on, using information from the Legislative Budget Board.
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Apply for Texas Builders Foundation scholarships now!
TAB
Thousands of dollars in scholarships have been awarded by the Texas Builders Foundation to students who are working toward earning building trade certifications or construction industry degrees. The application for fall 2015 scholarships is now available under "what we do" at www.TexasBuildersFoundation.org. Read the news release.
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Texas lawmakers tout successes, disappointments as session ends
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
In the end, after months of fighting and arguing, Texas lawmakers ended their 140 day Legislative Session with handshakes, hugs and smiles. And a few tears. Many were proud of what was accomplished this session. Many walked away with regrets. But after five months of working on often controversial issues that tended to sharply divide the them, it likely was the happiest day since lawmakers began this session on Jan. 13.
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New lift for new-home prices
The Wall Street Journal
Prices of newly built homes are on the rise again, illustrating that home builders are grappling with the same supply-and-demand problems bedeviling the existing home market. Two reports indicate that new-home prices, which appeared to lose momentum over the past year, actually have caught a second wind of late.
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Patrick: I'm not running against Abbott in 2018
The Texas Tribune
Immediately after a session in which rumors of a rift were prevalent, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made a strong proclamation about his relationship with Gov. Greg Abbott. They work well together, he said, and they aren't future political opponents. "I will never be running against Greg Abbott for governor," he said. "And anyone who spreads that rumor is just spreading a rumor that is false." After that, Patrick went one step further. He said he doesn't plan to ever run for governor — against Abbott or anyone else.
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Millennials in Texas and in California reject home ownership for vastly different reasons
MarketWatch
The fact that "Generation Rent" — 25- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. — isn't getting off the fence when it comes to buying homes has been well documented. Even with near record-low interest rates, just 38 percent of this cohort — also known as millennials — owned homes in 2012, according to CoreLogic, compared with nearly 52 percent of the same age group in 1980, when mortgage rates were in the double digits. So, what's one more survey, right? Except this one is a little different.
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Editorial: Legislature brings long-overdue progress on transportation
The Dallas Morning News
Texas lawmakers have made a long overdue, multibillion-dollar statement on the importance of transportation. After years of scrimping and borrowing to try to keep pace with road-building needs, the Legislature prepared an infusion of new money that needs one last step — voter approval this fall. If there’s any question that the money is needed, consider the bottom line on our state’s mushrooming population: 1,000 new Texans a day. The growth is great for the economy and props up the "Texas miracle" narrative. But all those people need safe roads and bridges to drive on, and the cost is staggering.
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The mansions that are swallowing suburban homes
Bloomberg
Home teardowns are becoming common in U.S. suburbs. Builders, lured to locations where land is more valuable than the aging housing stock, are transforming communities outside of major employment hubs to take advantage of demand for real estate where schools are decent and commutes are short. Knockdowns across the country are increasing, said Robert Dietz, an economist with the National Association of Home Builders. The trade group estimates that builders tore down and reconstructed about 32,000 homes last year, representing 5 percent of all single-family housing starts.
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Here are the 20 hottest housing markets in America right now
HousingWire
California housing markets lead the nation, and nationally prices were up 7 percent year-over-year, with the median price hitting $288,000 for a home. Median days on market, now at 66 days, continued a sharp decline, down 11 percent year over year and 10 percent month over month, according to the latest report from realtor.com. Helping create more opportunities for buyers, the listings inventory is now growing faster, at 4 percent over April but still down over last year.
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McMansion builder sees surging prices
MarketWatch
McMansion giant Toll Brothers expects to see home prices race higher after skidding, as the value of its contracts in cities and other areas grows, according to financial reports. Notably, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company the fourth largest U.S. home builder by market capitalization, is ramping up contract prices for its urban division, a change that will reshape its revenue stream.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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