Real Estate News: For Texas, It’s a Brick House, And That’s a Fact

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The Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce announced that Dallas native and Pinnacle Group founder Nina Vaca will be the keynote speaker for its 14th annual economic summit next month (Photo by Jason Kindig).

The Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce announced its slate of speakers for its 14th annual economic summit, the Census Bureau revealed the most common housing materials for new homes in 2017, the Texas Association of Realtors announces a rebranding effort, and we compare Texas housing starts numbers to national statistics in this week’s roundup of real estate news.


Pinnacle Group founder and East Dallas denizen Nina Vaca is the keynote speaker for the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce’s 14th Annual Economic Summit next month, the chamber announced.

Vaca, who founded the company in her 20s, has seen Pinnacle Group grow to become a yearly mention in the Inc. 500/5000 fastest-growing companies over the last decade. In 2015, Pinnacle was named the fastest growing woman-owned/led company in the nation by the Women’s Presidents Organization.  

Vaca also serves as a director of three Fortune 1000 companies with a combined market cap of $23 billion — Kohl’s Corporation, Cinemark Holdings, and Comerica, Inc.

The GEDCC said that its summit will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Doubletree by Hilton Campbell Centre in Dallas.  The theme of the summit is “East Dallas CONNECTS.”

In addition to Vaca’s speech, attendees will hear from east Dallas city council members, as well as speakers familiar with the East Dallas community and its continued economic vitality, including Dallas Morning News real estate editor Steve Brown, North Central Texas Council of Governments director of transportation Michael Morris, and Ashton Strong with the Texas Department of Transportation.

For information or to purchase tickets, visit the chamber’s website.


The Texas Association of REALTORS® announced last week that it would rebrand to become Texas REALTORS®.

The group said the name change was “to better align the state association with those we represent.”

The statement also said that the group conducted extensive research and gathered feedback before settling on the name.

“Multiple surveys collected more than 1,000 responses from consumers and more than 6,600 responses from members about how to best represent the association’s mission and contribute to members’ success,” the statement said.

The association will have a soft launch of the rebranding before the beginning of 2018. Locally, David Alan Cox, Larry Johnson, and Kendra Norwood served on the brand advisory group charged with developing the rebranding plan.


real estateNationally, the most common exterior wall materials on new homes in 2017 were vinyl siding and stucco, but Texas bucked the trend by favoring brick and fiber-cement siding like Hardiplank or Hardiboard, the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction revealed.

The West South Central Division — which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana — used brick in 67 percent of new single-family homes built last year, with fiber-cement coming in at 15 percent. Nationally, vinyl siding was used in 27 percent of homes, followed by stucco at 25 percent and brick at 21 percent.

Rock or wood was used in only five percent of homes, and stone was only used in one percent.

Stucco was used commonly in the Pacific, Mountain and South Atlantic divisions. Brick was the top choice in the East and West South Central divisions.

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(Illustration courtesy the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)


National housing starts increased 9.2 percent in August to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 1.28 million units, while the South region (which includes Texas) saw starts increase 6.5 percent, the National Association of Home Builders said.

The NAHB’s data, which came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department, also revealed that Texas permits fell by 2.9 percent. Nationally, permits fell 5.7 percent to 1.23 million units.

Nationally, single-family starts increased 1.98 percent last month, while multifamily starts rose 29.3 percent. Single-family permits dropped 6. 1 percent, and multifamily permits fell 4.9 percent.

“Although we saw an increase in starts in August, we are likely to see softening in the market in the months ahead,” National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “Affordability is a particular concern because of home price gains, due in part to the high regulatory burden on new home construction.”

Dietz said increasing costs of building materials thanks to recently imposed tariffs will also impact affordability, as will increasing interest rates.

“Builders remain largely confident because the economy is solid and demographics point to continued demand,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “However, affordability continues to be a concern for both builders and buyers.”


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

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