Your Houston News:Zach Haverkamp

 

Developers and members of the Katy Chamber of Commerce turn dirt at the site of the Falls of Green Meadow at the Green Meadow Golf Course. (Photo: Zach Haverkamp/YourHoustonNews.com)

I stumbled across this interesting bit of news that a new development just west of Houston in Katy will put 440 new tract homes on top of a 242-acre golf course.

Sacrilege? Considering the dearth of available land in the tony suburb, perhaps not.

Dubbed the “Falls of Green Meadow” — an ersatz homage to Green Meadow Golf Course — this development will be the latest master-planned community after a bevy of master-planned communities in Katy. The project is headed by Tom Fitzpatrick of Friendswood Development Co.

From the news story:

Home builders Lennar Homes and Meritage Homes will be the homebuilders for the neighborhood, and Village Builders will also begin home construction in the summer of 2014.

Fitzpatrick estimates that the first model homes will be ready for viewing around the beginning of this August, and the community’s final phase of construction should be concluded by 2014 or 2015.

Due to the attractiveness of the Katy area, he predicts the new neighborhood’s homes should be quick sellers.

“In the real estate business, Katy ISD is kind of like gold, that’s where everybody wants to be. As a developer who’s been around since 1962 – this is our 51 year [anniversary] – we’re constantly looking for new opportunities, and some of these hopefully will be in the Katy area.”

Green Meadows Golf Course first opened in 1965, when the property was converted from pastureland to a 36-hole golf course. It closed in 2008.

I wonder if the homes will come with bermuda grass lawns mowed like fairways … What do you think? Are there any golf courses Dallas suburbs should sacrifice in the name of new housing?

Your Houston News:Zach Haverkamp

 

Developers and members of the Katy Chamber of Commerce turn dirt at the site of the Falls of Green Meadow at the Green Meadow Golf Course. (Photo: Zach Haverkamp/YourHoustonNews.com)

I stumbled across this interesting bit of news that a new development just west of Houston in Katy will put 440 new tract homes on top of a 242-acre golf course.

Sacrilege? Considering the dearth of available land in the tony suburb, perhaps not.

Dubbed the “Falls of Green Meadow” — an ersatz homage to Green Meadow Golf Course — this development will be the latest master-planned community after a bevy of master-planned communities in Katy. The project is headed by Tom Fitzpatrick of Friendswood Development Co.

From the news story:

Home builders Lennar Homes and Meritage Homes will be the homebuilders for the neighborhood, and Village Builders will also begin home construction in the summer of 2014.

Fitzpatrick estimates that the first model homes will be ready for viewing around the beginning of this August, and the community’s final phase of construction should be concluded by 2014 or 2015.

Due to the attractiveness of the Katy area, he predicts the new neighborhood’s homes should be quick sellers.

“In the real estate business, Katy ISD is kind of like gold, that’s where everybody wants to be. As a developer who’s been around since 1962 – this is our 51 year [anniversary] – we’re constantly looking for new opportunities, and some of these hopefully will be in the Katy area.”

Green Meadows Golf Course first opened in 1965, when the property was converted from pastureland to a 36-hole golf course. It closed in 2008.

I wonder if the homes will come with bermuda grass lawns mowed like fairways … What do you think? Are there any golf courses Dallas suburbs should sacrifice in the name of new housing?

Chicago's not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn't even make the top 20 list of Forbes' fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

Chicago’s not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn’t even make the top 20 list of Forbes’ fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

As Candy already mentioned, pre-owned inventory is scary low, which is driving prices up for Dallas properties. Sure, demand means a seller’s market, but what about all of the folks that are either being born or moving to Dallas? That’s putting our housing market in a tough spot! Several big corporations have moved to Dallas in recent years — Comerica Bank being one of the largest — which has made move-in ready pre-owned homes sell like hotcakes.

For the study, Forbes measured the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas using six metrics:

Using data from Moody’s Analytics, we assessed the estimated rate of population growth for 2012 and 2013, the rate of job growth in 2012, and the rate of gross metro product growth, or economic growth, for 2012. We also factored in federal unemployment data and median salaries for local college-educated workers, courtesy of Payscale.com. The result is a list of the 20 fastest growing metro areas in America in terms of population and economy.

I find it interesting that the three largest Texas cities — Austin, Dallas, and Houston — topped the national list based on these criteria, with San Antonio coming in ninth. Texas cities grew by 470,000 people in 2012!

Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.

Sure, we ranked high in 2012, but this is a year in which the Texas Legislature convenes, and we’re facing funding shortages across the board. Let’s see if we’re still considered “business-friendly” after the session in Austin.

Still, I wonder if this growth is sustainable for the Dallas housing market. Will we see an uptick in rentals? What will happen if the residential lending environment sours?

0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-1-628x415Yeah, yeah yeah: the Houston Texans were bounced from the playoffs by the New England Patriots, saving their fans a trip to NOLA. Then the Patriots were trounced by Baltimore. All I know is, our Texas real estate market trumps both of them.  You sure won’t find a five bedroom waterfront mansion in Boston or Baltimore for $1.3 million, no sir. Of course, you might find one in Dallas, but that’s another story. Tony Romo is still living in Cottonwood Valley.0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-8-628x415.jpg foyer 0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-9-628x415.jpg LR 0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-15-628x415.jpg kit 0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-23-628x415.jpg theater 0121-brian-cushing-house-houston-texans-2-628x415.jpg pool

Hopefully it has nothing to do with his injury, but Houston Texans star Brian Cushing is selling his pad at 26 Commanders Cove, in Missouri City, southwest of Houston,  asking $1.3 big ones. So far,  I like what I see. The 7,000 square foot home was built in 2007, on a lake in a gated community called Waters Lake. The rookie’s home has five bedrooms and five baths, and is loaded with upgrades starting from the grand foyer lined in marble. There are several living areas, a gorgeous custom kitchen with stainless steel and integrated designer appliances, and oceans of granite, an upstairs game room, media room with full bar and theater seats, and a balcony overlooking the lake. I am loving the patio and pool which looks almost like an infinity edge flowing into the lake, and that spa is great therapy for his ACL tear. Also very private, because NFL players have to be discrete, and are often hounded by fans or real estate reporters: there is a top-tier security system with several surveillance cameras, and of course you are in a secure gated community to begin with. So this is a home with serious security, too. Won’t find that in Boston or Baltimore, either.

I guess what happens at Cushing’s crib, stays at Cushing’s crib.250px-Brian_Cushing

Or it’s HOUSTON, honey, not HARVARD. Wanted you to see this week’s post in Culturemap Dallas. From time to time, I will be giving these brilliant folks — did you know Eric Celeste is over there, now, too? — a wrap of local market conditions and of course, weekly House Porn. I’m so happy we are in Texas, what Joel Kotkin includes in the Rise of the Third Coast. While any good Dallasite hates to defer to Houston as the next mega-anything, I actually think we can benefit from it. As you know, the traffic at Starbucks Highland Park Village carries almost as much economic clout as a Sand Hill Road brokerage firm. And when I mentioned in passing today that a lot of Californians are moving here thanks to what happened a couple of Tuesdays ago I (I know of two fresh ones, one of whom has a child at SMU who intro’ed them to Big D), I was told: you ain’t seen nothing yet, sugar plum. Indeed, Joel says that

“300,000 people with bachelor’s degrees have relocated to Houston. Between 2007 and 2009, as demographer Wendell Cox has chronicled, New Orleans—which had hemorrhaged educated people for the previous few decades—enjoyed the largest-percentage gain of educated people of any metropolitan area with a population of over 1 million. The New York Times reported in 2010 that Tulane University, the city’s premier higher-education establishment, had received nearly 44,000 applications, more than any other private school in the country. The largest group of applicants came not from Louisiana but from California, with New York and Texas not far behind.”

I knew that when my own kids and their peers eschewed New England schools for colleges in warmer climates that are also, BTW, cheaper. It’s the Third Coast, the Gulf coast, already responsible for 28% of the nation’s oil and gas employment.  That increase in smart peeps with bachelor’s degrees over the past decade bested Philadelphia’s, was three times that of San Jose, and was twice that of San Diego, says Kotkin.

“I don’t get the pushback I used to get” from potential recruits, says Chris Schoettelkotte, who founded Manhattan Resources, a Houston-based executive-recruiting firm, 13 years ago. “You try to find a city with a better economy and better job prospects than us!”

Well, OK. I’m not terribly concerned that Houston will beat us when it comes to doing business. Houston is still more hot, humid, congested and has more creepy crawlies. And there’s what Kotkin calls a “bad cultural image.”

In 1946, journalist John Gunther described Houston as a place “where few people think about anything but money.” It was, he added, “the noisiest city” in the nation, “with a residential section mostly ugly and barren, a city without a single good restaurant and of hotels with cockroaches.”

Turn of fate: now New York City has all the bedbugs. Houston energy investor  L. E. Simmons says that bad rap “keeps the stylish opportunists out. It makes us kind of an urban secret.” That is a nice way of saying, I think, phonies. Anyhow, I have no problem with Dallas surpassing Houston in the population and congestion department. Sooner or later, they are going to have to come here to Dallas for business or shopping or something, and see the light.

 

This is one of those “Thank God we live in Texas” days. Yep, ran across this nugget from Forbes.com on the cities with the most construction: if construction starts are a leading economic indicator, then we are in hog heaven. Three Texas metros are leading as far as construction starts and made it on the top twenty: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio. Dallas, no surprise to anyone, is number two right behind New York City with $9.5 billion yes billion with a b in new construction starts. Houston was number four, number five was Washington, D.C. and that dosn’t count because it’s all our tax dollars at work, number six is Chicago which is my home town and pretty perky last time I was there, but it’s also benefitting from the largesse of President Obama right now:

Another state welcoming new building is Texas. The Lone Star state accounts for three cities on our list: Dallas (No. 2), Houston (No. 3), and San Antonio (tied for No. 15). “Texas metro areas are drawing some benefit from the energy sector,” explains Murray. Dallas logged $9.5 billion in new starts last year and McGraw-Hill projects a 9 percent increase in 2012; Houston logged $8.8 billion, with an 8 percent increase expected in 2012. San Antonio welcomed $3.3 billion in new starts in 2011 and the same level of spending is expected this year.

You don’t suppose — naw —this doesn’t include the mess that is LBJ and our crapped-up roadways?

No wonder the home builders all want to come here. No wonder everyone is moving here. A report out today from a major researcher housing indexer says we have one of the lowest home foreclosure rates among major U.S. cities.

At the end of 2011, 3.4 homes were in foreclosure across the nation, but in Dallas, only 1.4 percent were in foreclosure.

CoreLogic says the biggest bad boys now are Orlando with 12.2 percent and  Tampa at  12.1 percent of homes in foreclosure.

Dallas and Seattle tied as the lowest foreclosure rate cities among the 25 major markets CoreLogic detailed. We even beat out Denver, with 1.5 percent, and Houston, with 1.6 percent, though I keep hearing that the Houston housing market is better than our’s.

U.S. home foreclosures in 2011 totaled 830,000 units, which is down from 1.1 million in 2010. Can we say the worst may be behind us? Maybe.

“The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to shrink, and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is slowing,” Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

This is one reason why I like Corelogic over case-Shiller: CoreLogic also said the Dallas area has one of the lowest home loan delinquency rates among the 25 major U.S. markets it tracks. So the lenders should all be opening their pockets here to end, right?

Found this on the fun Houston Real Estate blog called Swamplot, one of my favorites, and to whom I look for inspiration. This gorgeous photo really shows the home, and the owner, at their very best, don’t you think? What’s that saying: you snooze, you loose?

Don’t forget to send in fun, horrific house photos as you jingle merrily from party to party. Candace@CandysDirt.com. Someone’s got to have an ugly house in Dallas — we cannot let Houston have all the fun!