Goodbye 2016 v2

[Editor’s note: The following column is the opinion of Jon Anderson and not the editorial opinion of]

Many heralded the end of 2016 with grinding glee. There seemed to be way more bad news on the local, federal, international and celebrity death stages than felt typical.  I wouldn’t try to wade into the national political scene, but Texas had more than enough of its own blistering recklessness littering our real estate domain this past year.


John Stephens AT&T

John Stephens CFO AT&T

Let’s face it: this week was kind of an emotional mess.

If you were supporting Hillary Clinton and expecting her to win, like most of the media did, nearly all the pollsters, and of course the pundits, you were devastated, cried, and probably feel a bit wrung out by now.

If you were a Trump supporter, you had to have been a LITTLE worried that he could pull this off. But pull it off he did, making unprecedented history, and you are now one happy, albeit maybe hungover, camper.

If you were undecided or didn’t like either candidate, you probably just watched the events unfold in disbelief but are now wondering, what does this all mean? We need business to thrive so people can buy and build homes. At first the markets tanked (because the expected did not happen), but then they soared. Most business tycoons are overjoyed at the prospect of fewer federal regulations and maybe we can let Dodd-Frank take a hike (don’t let the door hit you in the fanny). Could a lower corporate income tax be on the horizon? Middle class tax relief? Rebuilding our country?  Here’s what two Dallas-based CEOs told Bloomberg News:

John Stephens, chief financial officer, AT&T Inc.:
“From a company perspective, we really look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his transition team. His policies, his discussions about infrastructure investment, economic development and American innovation, all fit right in with AT&T’s goals.” (Nov. 9)

Kelcy Warren, billionaire founder, chairman and CEO, Energy Transfer Partners LP:
“Having a government that actually backs up what they say, that actually says, ‘we’re going to support infrastructure, we’re going to support job creation, we’re going to support growth in America,’ — and then actually does it. My God, this is going to be refreshing. So, I think, overall, I’m very, very enthusiastic about what’s going to happen with our country, very enthusiastic and as it supports our industry.” (Nov. 10)



1077 Honeysuckle - Exterior 1

Were Tuesday’s results a gut punch? Does the impending transfer of power fill you with dread at the prospect of the world ending in an orange haze over a Twitter spat?  Perhaps this home is for you.  It’s located about 140 miles outside Dallas … twice the distance the Nevada Test Site was from Las Vegas during their 1950s nuclear bomb testing program. Why does this matter?  Because underneath this unassuming lake house is a 1,000-square-foot bunker to wait out the apocalypse.

1950s Las Vegas Postcard

1950s Las Vegas Postcard



We’re all still reeling from last night, but Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke had some words to offer Americans. While we have had a pretty stellar seller’s market with home values soaring at unprecedented prices for so long, we were kind of due for a correction anyway.

“The lead-up to the election had no impact on home sales or demand; pent-up demand, historically low mortgage rates, relatively strong job creation, and significant demographic tailwinds created the best real estate market in a decade,” Smoke said. “Because our November elections come at one of the slowest time of the year for sales, it’s unlikely we will see much disruption to the normal seasonal pattern. However, if the outcome has a big impact on financial markets that lasts more than a few days, we could see some disruption beyond the usual seasonal decline. Unfortunately we don’t have a comparable period in history with good data to draw any sharper conclusions.”

Well, there was that little freakout last night in which the Dow futures fell by around 800 points … but by Hillary’s concession speech, things were leveling out.

(Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)


However, there are many other variables at play in the market, Smoke notes, particularly interest rates.

“It looks as though rates will fall, but the market moves today are already indicating that financial markets are pondering that the Trump effect could be positive for the economy,” he said. “We have almost five weeks before the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which will give the market plenty of time to digest the potential outcomes.  While the market is now indicating a reduced probability of a short-term rate hike at that meeting, the Fed has repeatedly indicated that they would be data-driven in their decision.  So, if markets calm down and November employment data look solid on December 2, a rate hike could still happen.”

What are your thoughts? Do you think the election results will influence the real estate market?

Only in LA would someone create art out of the presidential election AND mix it in with real estate. These images are popping up all over bus-stop benches in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Beverly Hills, and sprinkled in the yards of various homes for sale. The artist, an ultra conservative (I guess) named Sabo, is using them as satirical content (the celebs all said they will move out of the country if Trump wins the election) to drive people to a website, or so The Hollywood Reporter reports:

There’s also a phone number and a website,, which prolific street artist Sabo told The Hollywood Reporter stands for: “Get the f–k out of here today.” (The plan is for satirical content at the website while the phone number is actually to a Beverly Hills art gallery that is temporarily closed).

The logos are fake, but look pretty real. One wonders just how long it will take Sotheby’s to issue a cease and desist.

But then again, after tomorrow, they could become valuable pieces of historical art. (Jump for more) (more…)


Call it another “sign of the times”. WFAA-TV ran a great report last week on how obsolete political yards signs have become. The reason? They are not as valuable as they once were. They are, as one political consultant put it, old school. Social media far outperforms them. What good does a yard sign on a side street do anyhow when only the neighbors see it?

I am sure the obsolescence is making many a Realtor breathe a sigh of relief, right?

1018 yard signs 3_1476846870547_6539044_ver1.0

Photo courtesy of WFAA-TV

I have noticed far fewer political signs propped up in North Texas yards this election, particularly in Republican strongholds like Park Cities and Preston Hollow, and zero political signs on homes that have a for sale sign in front.

(If I do see a Trump-Pence sign, I sort of hold my breath for the household.)

Political consultants say that is because the two presidential candidates are so unpopular:

“No. This is the fewest I’ve seen,” said Harold Clarke, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

He theorizes that since the two presidential candidates are so unpopular in 2016, fewer people want signs to express support.


Kristin Smith, left, and Leslie Smith.

Kristin Smith, left, and Leslie Smith.

Guest post by Leslie Rouda Smith, Chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors

Thanks to strong support and a lot of hard work from the Texas Association of REALTORS®, statewide Proposition 1 passed with 86% of the vote.

This resounding victory will save the state’s current and future homeowners money in two ways:

  • The homestead exemption will increase from $15,000 to $25,000, reducing homeowners’ property-tax burden.
  • Passage of this proposition also means real estate transfer taxes are constitutionally prohibited, which saves consumers money when they buy or sell property.

Thanks to all REALTORS® for spreading the word about the importance of this ballot item.

In addition, statewide Proposition 7, which the Texas Association of REALTORS® also supported, passed with 83% of the vote. Proposition 7 will help provide long-term transportation solutions by allocating a portion of sales and use tax revenue to the state highway fund through 2032.


Pete Session at MetroTex

Note: I tried to live blog for you this morning, then lost my connection – good ole AT&T!

Good morning! I’m sitting here at MetroTex’s Forecast 2016 and Britt Fair is the emcee. Seems like every Realtor is Dallas is here. Pete Sessions is about to take the stage, followed by Jim Gaines, of course, Chief Economist and Everything at the Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University… a panel about relocation (who the heck are all these peeps moving here and where do they come from?) with Karen Greene, Director of Corporate Relocation Services at Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Frank Obringer, President of Dallas-Fort Worth Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (and a recent transplant from Florida) , and Ginny Taylor, Senior Vice President of Relocation Services at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

Oh yes: we heard from Steven Garza first, from the Texas Association of Realtors on proposition 1, which we will talk more about.

OK, Pete Sessions is up. Starts by telling us how excited he is that we are getting rain next week, nice to know!

Dallas, he says is at the epicenter of world events… but we have fewer people actually employed today than we did in 1980. We need to get back to where we have been in those 80’s: job creation. Realtors get this because people need jobs to buy houses.

“We learned years ago that Realtors understood how important it is to create jobs to sustain our schools and cities,” he says. “This is the way we were.” (more…)