Pam and Norm Robbins with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam and Norm Robbins, with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam Robbins was the first Realtor in the family, beginning her career 32 years ago. Ashley Robbins Gonzales, her daughter, was 10 at the time. After Ashley married in 2000, she decided to give real estate a try, too. As luck would have it, their talents made them a formidable team. With Pam as the people person and Ashley as the tech whiz, they discovered soon how much of a good match they are.

But there was a piece of the puzzle missing. After a long career at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and later in community relations at Lockheed Martin, Norm Robbins, Pam’s husband and Ashley’s dad, had the vast network that would make this family affair take off.

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casechart5.31
We are still cooking when it comes to rising property values, though the heat is no longer set to boil: Dallas’ March home price increase was only 1.4%, the lowest annual increase in nine months, and below February’s. But Dow Jones’ Case-Shiller March report says oil pries be damned, Texas is still killing it as real estate becomes a more scarce commodity:

“The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates,” S&P’s David Blitzer said in the report. “Another factor behind rising home prices is the limited supply of homes on the market.

“The number of homes currently on the market is less than 2 percent of the number of households in the U.S., the lowest percentage seen since the mid-1980s.”

Here is what I am loving: while nationwide home prices are still 10% below what they were in 2006, when the market was just nuts, Dallas-area home prices are now more than 25 percent higher than they were before the recession.

We can thank the more than 80,000 people a year moving here for making our homes short in supply, our days on market about 3 months or less (less in Plano-Frisco) except, of course, when you are talking the eight digit properties.

Price movements, said the report, vary across the country. “The Pacific Northwest and the west continue to be the strongest regions. Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Denver had the largest year-over-year price increases. These cities also saw some of the largest declines in unemployment rates among the 20 cities included in the S&P/Case-Shiller Indices. The northeast and upper mid-west regions were at the other end of the ranking. The four cities with the smallest year-over-year prices gains were Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and Cleveland. The unemployment rates in Chicago and Cleveland rose from March 2015 to March 2016.” (more…)

Where home prices are surging the most, and see how dwindling inventory affects that:

Metropolitan Area
Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI)
YoY Home Value Change
Percent Inventory Change for All Homes
Bottom-Tier Percent Inventory Change
Middle-Tier Percent Inventory Change
Top-Tier Percent Inventory Change
Condo Percent Inventory Change
Denver, CO $336,600 15.2% 0.1% -2.3% 15.3% -4.8% 6.8%
Portland, OR $325,400 15.1% -31.6% -39.8% -39.0% -21.6% -43.5%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $183,700 12.6% -21.0% -32.1% -35.1% -11.9% -33.6%
San Jose, CA $962,400 12.3% 1.3% -3.8% 3.2% 5.8% 7.1%
Seattle, WA $386,300 11.6% -21.1% -28.5% -20.9% -15.6% -23.9%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL $232,800 10.5% 18.0% 10.3% 16.6% 21.9% 28.7%
San Francisco, CA $806,800 10.0% -2.1% -14.9% 0.1% 6.1% 11.9%
Tampa, FL $165,600 9.7% -16.2% -27.9% -19.3% -8.1% -12.8%
Austin, TX $250,400 8.9% 2.6% n/a n/a n/a 20.6%
Phoenix, AZ $220,600 8.8% -8.0% -20.2% -6.6% -4.1% -15.6%
Source: Zillow

23 Ash Bluff Front

Show of hands: How many of our CandysDirt.com readers enjoyed the beautiful weather at the annual Polo on the Lawn match this past Saturday? It was a wonderful event held at Prestonwood Polo Club in Oak Point, benefiting Children’s Miracle Network. But did you know that 23 Ash Bluff Lane was once the site of the Dallas Polo Club in the 1920s?

Yes, it’s true! This gorgeous Anton Korn-designed estate built in 1935 is the very same place where polo ponies and riders raced while the elegant ladies and gentleman of Dallas society looked on.

It was originally built for oilman Clint Murchison, but was later renovated in a way that holds on to the home’s history while allowing it to easily accommodate today’s buyer. Jump to see the rest of this gorgeous home located inside the exclusive Glen Abbey neighborhood.

23 Ash Bluff Side Front

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Statler Chandelier
This is the chandelier that will soon hang in the main foyer of Deion Sanders’ former home in Prosper. Don’t worry: it’s getting all spiffed up. Technically, one grand chandelier will be created out of three identical Statler Hilton Hotel chandeliers from the downtown Dallas hotel undergoing a dramatic restoration. (Some of the crystals are cracked and broken, so restorers will scavenge from the three to create one perfect fixture.) I found it on a tour of the Statler Hilton earlier this week, stay tuned for that report.

As I told you a couple weeks ago, Deion Sanders’ 29,000-square-foot mansion of mansions built in 1999 with turrets and columns and Taj Mahal architectural features on 109 acres is back on the market and better than ever.  It has been updated, remodeled, staged, painted, carpeted, freshened — you name it.

The Dallas Morning News just published the listing this week. (Print media is a little slow.)

The Statler chandelier is courtesy of Mehrdad Moayedi, who is completing an extensive renovation of the Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas. His company, Farmers Branch-based Centurion American, is also developing a 22-acre neighborhood around Deion’s former pad, encircling it like a queen’s cushion, called Montclair.

Deion’s big house has been re-named Chateau Montclair.

Deions New exterior

Chateau Montclair

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Ron Shumway's body was found months after he was reported missing, encased in concrete in the backyard of his home at 725 N. Winnetka.

Ron Shumway’s body was found months after he was reported missing, encased in concrete in the backyard of his home at 725 N. Winnetka.

Christopher Brian Colbert, the man who allegedly posed as Ron Shumway to sell 725 N. Winnetka, has been arrested in Los Angeles.

Christopher Brian Colbert

Christopher Brian Colbert

Colbert, who sold the Oak Cliff home to an investor for $130,000 while Shumway was murdered an encased in concrete in his own backyard, will be charged with money laundering, tampering with a governmental record, and securing/executing a document by deception, according to Dallas police Maj. Max Geron. Each felony carries a $100,000 bond, according to NBC 5’s report.

Colbert used Shumway’s debit card to make almost $40,000 in purchases, which is especially galling considering how he was able to actually sell the home despite notary and ID requirements to which title companies must adhere.

While identification is not always required at closing — a notary can represent a seller or buyer, but a certified copy of the party’s identification must be on file at closing — the title company allowed Colbert to sign documents and then fax a doctored copy of Shumway’s commercial driver’s license afterward.

Some have raised questions about the notary involved in the transaction.

725 N. Winnetka (Google Maps)

725 N. Winnetka (Google Maps)

Image: Fox 4

Image: Fox 4

Crews were inside Lakewood Elementary over the weekend, monitoring the air quality inside the school after reports of children being nauseated, dizzy, and lethargic during the school day. One child even vomited in between classes.

This is the second time parents have voiced concern over air quality inside the school. Just last year a dead owl stuck in a vent forced carbon monoxide from the school’s boiler into several classrooms, sickening children and staff in the circa 1951 building.

According to the Advocate, a meeting to discuss the building’s classroom and cafeteria expansion is slated for tomorrow (Feb. 23) evening, though a discussion about air quality is to be expected.

Despite the reports of sick kids, classes continued today, though parents said they would be keeping close watch on Dallas ISD to make sure this didn’t happen again.

“Obviously I personally don’t feel like my son is in danger today or tomorrow,” parent Paula Goldberg said to NBC 5. “But something needs to be addressed in the school, because something is not right. It’s an odd coincidence that we’ve had two things like this.”

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marcus-mc-cue

By Marcus McCue
Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer
Guardian Mortgage Company

The national housing market remains strong, and Texas, in many respects, is leading the way with record existing-home sales in Dallas and robust price growth.

Some housing experts were surprised at just how vigorous the Texas housing market was last year. Sales and prices set records in Dallas, and new home construction in the state was the most robust it’s been in several years.

The global oil price slump presents some headwinds, however, and will challenge housing markets in some Texas regions this year. Houston, South Texas and Midland-Odessa already have felt the pinch from low oil prices, and layoffs in the energy sector have begun to ripple through other business sectors.

James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, noted in a recent report that job losses in the energy industry haven’t stopped and likely will pick up this year. But growth in other industries such as healthcare, technology, business services, construction, and hospitality should help buoy the state’s economy.

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