The Fed slashes interest rates in response to coronavirus, Texas ranks high in 2020 property tax bills, and the local housing market continued its record-breaking streak last year, all in this week’s roundup of real estate news.
Federal Reserve Slashes Rates To Bolster Economy
In an emergency decision, the Federal Reserve made a rare emergency decision to cut its benchmark lending rate in response to the spreading coronavirus.
“The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percentage point following an unscheduled meeting [March 3], an emergency move designed to bolster the U.S. economy against the rapidly spreading coronavirus that’s roiled financial markets,” states a Bankrate article by Sarah Foster.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the virus – already identified in several Texas residents – will impact market activity “for some time.”
Texas Ranks Seventh In Highest Property Taxes
A tax return may be on the way from the Internal Revenue Service, but for some that doesn’t come close to softening the blow of their annual property tax bill.
A study from personal finance website WalletHub revealed that Texas came in seventh of U.S. states with the highest real estate property taxes.
Leading the pack was New Jersey, followed by Illinois, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Vermont.
“Each year, the average American household spends $2,375 on real-estate property taxes plus another $441 for residents of the 27 states with vehicle property taxes,” said WalletHub Communications Manager Diana Polk in a press release. “With such high costs, it’s no surprise that more than $14 billion in property taxes go unpaid each year, according to the National Tax Association.”
Texas Housing Market Shattered Records In 2019
Home sales increased 3 percent last year in the Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington MSA, bringing the total up to more than 103,000 single-family home sales. The median price in the local MSA increased 3 percent to $273,000 during the same time frame.
A 78-page report issued by Texas Realtors breaks down the 2019 year in real estate.
“There is no doubt that the Texas housing market continues to shine, as detailed in this report boasting sustained demand and price appreciation,” said Cindi Bulla, 2020 chairman of Texas Realtors, in a press release. “However, two out of every three homes being sold are now more than $200,000, which puts homeownership out of reach for many Texans. The continued challenge is a top priority of Texas Realtors, as affordability needs to be addressed before it becomes a crisis.”
Source: 2019 Texas Real Estate Year in Review report by Texas Realtors