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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Oct. 29, 2012

TAB News Briefs
Oct. 29, 2012
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources

Report: Texas remains on gaining end for construction employment
San Antonio Busines Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas has once again been signaled out for its performance in the construction industry. According to the latest analysis by the Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America, over the 12 months ended September 30, 2012, Texas added the most jobs — a total of 32,800. The Lone Star State went from a total of 559,500 construction-sector employees at the end of September last year, to 592,300 in September 2012. More

Texas offering more help to first-time home buyers
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texans now have $600 million in new help from the state to buy their first home. This month, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs began releasing the largest amount ever offered by the state to fund a new mortgage program for first-time home buyers. The program offers several ways to help people finance a purchase, including the option of a second mortgage for up to 5 percent of the house's cost, interest-free, for a down payment or closing costs. More

Housing goes from drag to lift in GDP
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent report on U.S. economic growth confirms two emerging trends about the long-ailing housing sector: It is finally delivering a lift to the economy, but it is not delivering anywhere near the kind of boost that it traditionally has during a period of economic expansion. Housing has now contributed positively to the nation's gross domestic product in six straight quarters, which hasn't happened since the housing bubble burst in 2006. More

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Housing advocates concerned Texas won't use mortgage settlement funds to help homeowners
Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Housing advocates worry that the state will sit on nearly $135 million in penalty money from a national mortgage lending lawsuit settlement, rather than help Texans who have lost their homes or are threatened with foreclosure. (Registration required to view.) More

Construction activity up in September, rates partially to thank
HSH Financial News Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sales of newly built homes showed new signs of life in September, adding to the evidence of an upswing in the housing markets. Sales of new single-family houses rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 389,000 in September, according to data released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That pace, which represents an estimate of total sales if the current rate continued for 12 months, was up 5.7 percent compared with August and up 27.1 percent compared with September 2011. More

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Comptroller's office offers vital resource for business owners looking for answers to their state tax questions
Window on State Government    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the month of November, the Comptroller's office will conduct eight free taxpayer seminars across the state. At these seminars, taxpayers can learn how to properly fill out tax forms, and file and pay taxes electronically. Information about e-services will also be available to help taxpayers manage their accounts online. Comptroller representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance to attendees. More

Stiglitz: Obama, Romney still need to address housing market
Reuters via The Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz chided U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for not seriously addressing the troubled U.S. housing market during the recent series of presidential debates. The Columbia University economics professor said in an interview with Reuters TV that the two men have shied away from discussing the uneven U.S. housing market recovery because neither has concrete solutions. More

Recruitment Opportunities --
Texas State University

Construction and Concrete Industry job fairs for construction employers recruiting for summer jobs, internships or full-time:
October 24, 2012 or February 14, 2013.

Remodeling market index climbs 5 points, returns to 2005 levels
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) climbed to 50 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 45 in the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The RMI is at its highest point since the third quarter of 2005, tracking the positive trends recently seen in the rest of the housing sector. The RMI component measuring current market conditions rose to 52 from 46 in the previous quarter, while the component measuring future indicators increased to 49 from 44. More

Study: New mortgage rules could shrink lending by 20 percent
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pending mortgage regulations could lock today's tight lending standards in place and result in nearly 20 percent fewer mortgages being issued in the coming years, restraining home sales and construction, according to a new study. The report from the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank, provides an estimate of the potential impact of three important mortgage regulations set to take effect next year. More

Pulte posts 3rd quarter profit as new home orders rise
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
PulteGroup Inc., the second largest U.S. homebuilder, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and a sharp rise in new orders as housing demand rebounded. The company's new home orders, a key metric that determines housing demand, rose 27 percent to 4,544 homes while the value of new orders rose 43 percent to $1.3 billion. More

'Green' code under construction
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Green Building Council expects to substantially revise LEED next year, forcing builders beginning in 2015 to take new and more-detailed steps to get buildings certified as environmentally friendly by the private non-profit group. The revision, if approved by the council's 13,000 members in June, will change some of the easier strategies that builders have used to get new commercial projects LEED-certified. More

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Commission: Austin Energy should be run by an independent board
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The commission that advises the Austin City Council on energy matters has a blunt recommendation: Give up oversight of the city-owned electric utility. According to a report unanimously approved by the Electric Utility Commission, the council should turn over management of Austin Energy to an independent board with expertise in the financial, legal, technical and consumer-advocacy aspects of public power. More

Master Brick announces the addition of MB2 BioClay!

This innovative product is quickly becoming the first choice for builders, architects and homeowners across the country. For more information on BioClay or any of the Master Brick products call 855-208-4639. Click here to check out our new website.

Hidalgo County pitches drainage fix as necessity
The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even in a drought, it's hard to find organized opposition against Hidalgo County's $184 million bond referendum for drainage. Hidalgo County officials have gathered more than 50 resolutions in support of the referendum from cities, school districts and economic development organizations. Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia has hosted town hall meetings across the county where he's largely been met with broad support from attendees. And taxpayer advocates have also signed off on the county's message that the drainage fix is an urgent necessity. More

ODL Offers Impact-Rated Doorglass
ODL Severe Weather® Doorglass is certified for use in a range of entrance systems to meet Texas wind-borne requirements and provides safety and security while maximizing natural light. ODL offers a wide variety of impact-rated Doorglass including: Decorative Doorglass, Light-Touch® Enclosed Blinds, Grilles Between Glass, and Privacy and Clear Glass.

Driver license mega centers promise fewer renewal headaches
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Department of Public Safety opens the first of six driver license mega centers Tuesday that officials say should make license renewals less frustrating. Officials previewed the nearly 24,000-square foot facility in Pflugerville, near Austin. It has 22 customer service stations and 36 employees. More

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Texas straight-party voting remains popular
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Few states still allow straight-party ticket voting but Texas is not likely to eliminate this option any time soon, experts say. The Lone Star State is one of 13 to 15 states left with straight-ticket voting, or modified forms of straight-ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Jersey allows it only in primary elections, and Rhode Island only in general elections. More

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Expert: Schools need additional $6 billion a year to meet higher standards
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas school districts need an additional $6 billion a year to get students up to the high academic standards lawmakers have put in place, a school finance expert testified during an ongoing school finance trial. "I don't believe that we're going to close educational gaps and reach…college and career (readiness) without spending additional money," said Lynn Moak, a consultant who has testified at all six school finance trials in Texas. More

Easy tips for green remodeling
BPT via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the hottest trends in home improvement is remodeling with green or sustainability in mind. Going green means using building methods and environmentally friendly building materials that reduce your home's impact on the earth, while enhancing the health of your home for you and your family. More
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