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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           June 09, 2015


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Abbott: Texas Legislature made state stronger
Amarillo Globe-News
Gov. Greg Abbott writes: Texas is strong. When we work together, we are even stronger. That is the lesson of these past few weeks as families and businesses across this state faced devastating floods and tornadoes. We mourn deeply the loss of life. We look for lessons learned. And we begin rebuilding for the future. What will that future look like for our children? When I took the oath of office in January as governor of this great state, I promised to improve our public and higher education systems, build new roads, secure our border and chart a course that keeps Texas a beacon of individual liberty and economic opportunity.
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Analysis: Debating Legislature's grades
The Texas Tribune via Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gives it an A-. Dallas Reps. Roberto Alonzo and Jason Villalba, a Democrat and a Republican, give it a B+. Even Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, says the 84th legislative session was a productive one, and that’s coming from a guy who was poked and jabbed by his political opponents for the first five months of the year. But the partisans who were watching this legislative session from outside — particularly those on the conservative end of the Republican Party — are generous with their scorn.
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50-days away from the 2015 Sunbelt Builders Show™
TAB
The 15th annual Sunbelt Builders Show™ is only 50 days away. Hotel rooms are filling up fast so register now and reserve your room before the discounted Sunbelt room block is sold out! Don't procrastinate, secure your spot at the Gaylord Texan® Resort and Convention Center today. For a detailed schedule and speaker descriptions visit SunbeltBuildersShow.com. The two-day event is set for July 29-30 at the Gaylord Texan. Registration is FREE to builders until July 7.
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Good news for home builders: Distressed home sales on the decline
Construction Dive
The fewer distressed sales in any market, the better it is for home builders. Bank-owned properties for sale and short-sales usually sell for artificially low prices, either because the seller is trying to unload them in a hurry or because they are in need of considerable renovations. With that lower-priced inventory on the market, the financially sound sellers of new and existing homes cannot list their property for full price — so some do not list it at all. That prevents those homeowners from being free to enter the market to look for replacement homes.
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Tea Party blames businesses, to challenge Straus again
WFAA-TV
The powerful business lobby in the state is responsible for not repealing the Dream Act and the legislature's failure to end sanctuary cities, according to Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum. "There are so many businesses now that are taking advantage of those who are here illegally. They have a captive audience. They can pay them under the table. There's a lot of corruption in that so I think the business community is very much weighing in — wanting to keep the status quo," said Adams during an appearance on WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics.
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Analysis: Taking stock of the ethics session
The Texas Tribune
Did you really think the Texas Legislature had the guts to pass sweeping ethics reforms? They talked about it. The governor tried to make it a priority. They said all the right stuff. They proposed what would have been some serious changes that would have changed their behavior, at least for a little while. And they even took it through a process that allowed everybody in the House and the Senate to vote in favor of big reforms without really worrying that any of those reforms would become the law of the land. These guys are good.
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Builder predicts boom in housing for baby boomers
Houston Chronicle
When Houston home builder Larry Zomper sees empty nesters moving out of the suburbs into multilevel townhouses inside the Loop, he applauds their desire for a more urban lifestyle. But he shakes his head when he thinks about them getting older and having to climb stairs or maneuver through narrow hallways while possibly using a walker. Recognizing a need for urban housing designed for those who are healthy today but may become sick or disabled down the road, Zomper has launched a home building business targeting 50- and 60-somethings who don't want to make another move as they grow older.
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New Texas law makes going solar easier as homes are being built
The Dallas Morning News
More Texas homeowners will be allowed to install solar panels, under a new law set to go into effect Sept. 1. Residential developments with more than 50 homes cannot ban or restrict homeowners from installing solar panels, even while new homes are still being built, according to the legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
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Home sales surging at The Falls
Houston Chronicle
There's nothing falling at Falls at Imperial Oaks, except maybe Houston's unpredictable rain showers. On the contrary, home sales at the Falls are skyrocketing — up 78 percent this year. Developer Holcomb Properties continues to open new sections, with plans to expand 1,000 acres during the next few years. Last year Houston ranked No. 1 in Texas for highest luxury home sales, topping Dallas and Austin.
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North Texas home prices, sales set new records in May
The Dallas Morning News
North Texas home prices jumped by 14 percent in May — one of the largest year-over-year gains ever for the area. Median home sales prices hit a record $215,000 last month for preowned single-family homes sold by real estate agents. Home sales were up 6 percent from May 2014 with 9,484 properties sold. It was the largest one-month sales total ever for North Texas, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.
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Texas energy bills face very different fates in state legislature
Fierce Energy
Two bills in the Texas legislature this session would have big effects on the energy industry in the state — and the outcomes of the two bills ended up very differently. Senate Bill 931 would have repealed the state's renewable portfolio standard and frozen the state's Competitive Renewable Energy Zones. The bill was a contentious one between policymakers, industry, and renewable advocates. It was passed by the state Senate in April, but the bill was not advanced out of the House.
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Public savvy about money, politics
San Antonio Express-News
That Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court are out of sync with the American public on money's role in politics can be easily assumed. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll makes it a certainty. And, by logical extrapolation, Texas legislators can include themselves in this public revulsion at how campaigns are conducted. The survey found that Americans, identifying with both parties, favor restrictions on wealthy givers and disclosure of those giving secretly to super PACs.
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Surge of new home sales in the US due to demand outpacing supply
PropertyWire
New home sales in the United States surged in April and they are selling quickly as not enough are being built to meet demand. Specifically, new home sales rose 26 percent from one year ago in April to an annualized pace of 517,000 annualized pace, the third highest monthly activity in eight years, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The data also shows that the median price was $297,300, which is 8.3 percent above last year's price and on average it took four months to find a buyer.
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The 9 hottest neighborhoods to buy in Austin right now — real estate experts weigh in
CultureMap Austin
Need help navigating Austin's red-hot real estate market? We've got the inside scoop from local real estate experts on where to buy in Austin right now. If you're in the market for a new home, here are 9 local neighborhoods that should be on your list.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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