With California in Lockdown, Is Tesla Headed For Texas?

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Will Austin be the next landing spot for a Tesla factory?

The rumor mill doesn’t rest or respect social distancing, it seems, as it runs off the rails with whispers that Tesla may be landing its next factory in Texas.

In fact, Austin is being eyed as a possible location for a Tesla factory as founder Elon Musk rages over California’s rather devastating lockdown orders. If the rumor mill is to be believed, Musk is looking at moving a factory Nevada, too.

As Fred Lambert of Electrek noted, whatever location Musk chooses, the time before its churning out electric cars will be short.

We are told that the decision for the site is not set in stone since Tesla was apparently given a few options in the greater Austin area, but Musk is said to want to start construction extremely soon and aims to have Model Y vehicles coming out of the plant by the end of the year.

Irony is, Tesla could likely bring a factory to Texas and get it operational before the Texas legislature allows the brand to actually have a dealership here.

Top Agent Network Sues NAR Over Clear Cooperation Policy

Off-market listings are at the center of the dispute.

The “Clear Cooperation Policy” that went into effect on May 1 essentially puts an end to agents marketing hip-pocket listings outside of their brokerage. That’s a huge problem for organizations whose sole purpose is to market properties off of MLS. In fact, Top Agent Network says that the National Association of Realtors’ new rule would cause “irreparable harm” to the business.

According to a report from Inman News, Top Agent Network has filed for a temporary restraining order …

“[B]ecause TAN offers a recurring subscription service, every lost member represents the loss of a persistent revenue source, not just a one-time transaction. These increased departures can lead to a ‘death spiral’ where the loss of members means that remaining participants have less incentive to remain, accelerating further departures — i.e., TAN’s ‘network effect’ will be lost,” the motion states.

However, NAR says this is too little, too late. Considering that this issue has been debated before the sky was blue and we first reported of this policy last November when it was adopted, NAR says TAN had plenty of time to comply:

“Simply put, TAN sat on its hands — for months — before burdening this Court in the midst of a global pandemic with a request for immediate, injunctive relief,” [NAR counsel Ethan] Glass wrote. He further said TAN would not be able to show that the law and facts would “clearly favor” its position as a mandatory injunction would require and NAR will demonstrate that if the court asks.

New Unemployment Claims Recede Slightly

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Initial jobless claims dipped slightly, but many remain unemployed.

Unemployment claims peaked April 18, but overall joblessness is still breaking records. But the good news is that new jobless claims are actually shrinking, according to the latest Department of Labor statistics.

The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that new unemployment filings for the week ending May 9 were at almost 141,00 claims, bringing the total since shelter-in-place orders to 1.97 million.

In May, economists estimate that as much as 17.8 percent of the Texas workforce could be unemployed, with service-industry professionals hit hardest. Some cities are putting safeguards in place for those who cannot afford rent and mortgage payments, and some federal relief programs are still in the works.

“In the coming weeks, the number of individuals who continue to file unemployment claims each week and the duration of unemployment could become the most important high-frequency indicators of labor market developments,” said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. 

Nationwide, nearly 36.5 million unemployment claims have been filed since March 21. The Center estimates the U.S. employment rate could be 18.7 percent in May. 

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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