Manufacturing jobs posted higher numbers, and wages increases provided high points in the June 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When it comes to buying a home in hot North Texas markets, what’s holding a lot of buyers back — besides inventory — is income. With so much of a recent graduate’s paycheck going toward exorbitant student loans, and with many families making the tough choice of forgoing homeownership so one parent can stay home with young children, income stagnation is a huge issue. 

So it was heartening to hear that after months of slow-to-zero wage growth in the US, now nine years removed from the Great Recession, that non-farm payroll got a significant boost. Tempering the good news was a contraction in the retail industry, driving up employment to 4 percent.

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There’s been a pretty steady drumbeat from leading economists — a recession is coming. In fact, at this month’s National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism convention, all three economists on a dais one Friday found themselves agreeing on two things: a recession is coming, and real estate won’t be the impetus this time.

Frank Nothaft (Corelogic chief economist), Danielle Hale (economist with Realtor.com), George Ratiu (research director with the National Association of Realtors), and Aaron Terrazas (senior economist with Zillow) all agreed that other factors — like tariffs, rising mortgage rates, and even a correction in the stock market — will likely be the cause or causes for a recession. (more…)

The only hope many younger generations have to accumulate wealth is to stay cozy with grandma. Since 1995 (over a decade before the Recession), the median wealth of 25-34 year olds declined 39 percent, while 35-44 year olds declined 27 percent, and 45-54 year olds’ wealth declined 15 percent. There have been potent gains reported from 2013 to 2016, but obviously not nearly enough to offset long-term losses. The main culprits are excessive student loan debt and the decline in homeownership rates. You might say the growth of student loan debt has heavily contributed to lowered homeownership rates. To me, the chart below demonstrates why down payments are harder for younger buyers to save up for.

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constructionThe good news? In the past year, 909,000 new single-family homes have been started, and it’s projected that by 2020 starts on new home construction will hit the one million mark. The bad news? The need will be for 1.2 million, a leading economist said Thursday.

“The forecast is that home prices will continue to outpace income growth,” Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy for the National Association of Home Builders said.

Dietz was part of a panel discussion about home building at the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference held this week in Las Vegas. Ben Caballero of HomesUSA.com and Jim Boyd of Toll Brothers were also in the panel. (more…)

A slowdown isn't a bad thing for real estate

The slowdown in the real estate market is more like a shift toward balance for sellers and buyers.

WOW–tremendous responses and feedback on Part I of this real estate slowdown blog topic from last week.  Thanks so much!  Nice to know people are reading, following and giving thought to #tarrantcountytuesday.

Last week we established (with data) that there indeed is a slowdown or market shift in the housing market.  One Dirty Reader asked about this “recession” and I would strongly caution the use of that word.  There’s a big difference from a slowdown to a recession.

Is This Slowdown a Good Thing?

Many have indicated that this shift from a sellers’ market to a buyer-friendly market might actually be a good thing.  I would agree.

As the data indicated, when prices are increasing so quickly, interest rates are going up and individual incomes not keeping pace buyers aren’t buying.  That’s not good for anyone in the real estate business. (more…)

Dallas does everything big — including commutes.

According to a new Apartment List study, examining commuter data from 2005 and 2016, one in 45 commuters in the Dallas metro are “super commuters,” traveling 90 or more minutes to work each day, and the prevalence of super commuting is on the rise. The share of Dallas commuters who are making super commutes increased from 1.8 percent in 2005 to 2.2 percent in 2016, a 22.3 percent increase.

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Bitcoin is growing in popularity, and gaining ground in mainstream markets, says Ashley Stanley.

By Ashley Stanley
Special Contributor

The intersection of digital money and traditional finance occurred over the weekend in Chicago, as the first major U.S. exchange offered a product targeted toward Bitcoin: Bitcoin futures. If you’re new to the market, there’s a lot to learn. Bitcoin users are doubling every 12 months. That might seem wild and crazy, but it’s supported by data. If this trend continues, we are less than a decade away from half the world using Bitcoin.

I’ve been trading Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) since April of this year. Now joining the list of “altcoins,” or alternative cryptocurrencies, is Cardano (ADA) and Litecoin (LTC). I quickly realized the need to assist my cryptocurrency friends since there is typically a two- to three-day delay in exchanging digital money, and everyone knows in the apartment industry that hot units go fast!

Should this be a mainstream “ah-ha” moment?

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Sources tell me that the California-based mega high end appliance and “try before you buy” plumbing showroom Pirch at NorthPark Center will be shutting its doors at the end of this month. Due to a massive corporate re-structuring, all six Pirch locations outside of California will close. The four California locations will remain open for business as usual with the full support of L. Catterton, their private equity firm, who seeded the company’s rapid expansion into ten other locations, four outside of the Golden state. 

Pirch has been named on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies twice, dipping down to number 32 the year they opened in Dallas. The company has also cleaned house on awards for visual presentation and in-store communications from the Association of Retail Environments.

Their homilies — “Live joyfully,” “Your first decision of the day is the most important,” “Choose happiness” — have been the “the soul of Pirch,” as Connie Dufner reported when the Dallas store first opened: 

A washer-dryer isn’t just a washer-dryer,” says (CEO Jeffery) Sears. “It’s the caretaker of a child’s first blanket. That tub represents 45 minutes of sanity for a working mom. That oven baked the chocolate chip cookie with a gooey smear on a baby’s face.” (Oh stop, Mr. Sears! You had us at “Hello, may we get you a beverage?”) Have a great experience, try before you buy and eventually you will buy…

Well, maybe not.

In a meeting this morning, Dallas PIRCH employees were informed that the company is closing its Dallas showroom. The company’s warehouse north of LBJ will close in November. And the newly opened Austin store at the Domain, unveiled in May, is also closing.

It will be interesting to know what NorthPark Mall will do to fill the huge 35,000 square foot space the high end appliance showroom has occupied since August of 2014.

There is no word, however, on whether the company will be changing any of those perky slogans, as they exit six markets.

PIRCH Dallas Opening
Dallas, TX
©2014 Darin Fong Photography