Recently, the New York Times wrote about the rapid growth of the green financing initiative called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) and the infusion of cash available to lend. Many NYT stories are national or international in focus, so some digging was required to discover what Texas and Dallas were doing with the program.
Created in 2008, PACE enables a type of financing for new and existing commercial and multi-family buildings whereby owners can update their energy efficiency standards – e.g. water, electricity, or natural gas. This isn’t a bank, but rather a program that can be used by banks (or anyone with money to lend) and property owners. States and municipalities have independent nonprofit PACE operations that act as clearinghouses between the parties and administer the outcomes (the bank isn’t going to check an electric bill).
What makes this different from straight funding are the low interest rates (perhaps half the prevailing rates) and the longevity of the loans – up to 30 years at a fixed interest rate (Texas says it averages 10-20 years). But PACE isn’t typically the primary lienholder. They only support up to 20 percent of a project’s costs. Repayments are lumped in with other bills like property taxes – and because of the way they’re structured, when an owner sells, the obligation is transferred to the new owner. This is particularly interesting for energy efficiency.
From Staff Reports
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, many states have barely recovered from the housing crash in 2007 when the real estate bubble burst, a data visualization HowMuch.net revealed.
“In fact, the housing market is still below its 2007 figures in several locations around the country,” the cost information website said of a comparison of 2007 data and 2017 data.
The website’s analysts looked created a way to see before-and-after snapshots of the housing market before and after the Great Recession.
“Before the housing bubble burst, the most affordable housing market was sandwiched in the middle of the country between the expensive West and East Coasts,” the article explained. “Stretching from North Dakota ($106,800) down to Texas ($120,900), housing prices were relatively cheap. California was the most expensive state on the mainland where the typical house cost an eye-popping $532,300.” (more…)
For the most part, Texas is doing OK during U.S. government shut down, but it still is hitting the state’s most vulnerable citizens the hardest, according to a recent report on the states most and least affected by the 2019 shut down.
The report, compiled by analysts at WalletHub, compared all 50 states plus the District of Columbia across five metrics, including each state’s share of federal jobs to the share of families receiving food stamps.
“When the government shuts down, certain federal employees work without pay or receive a furlough,” the report explained. “This includes over 41,000 law enforcement officers, 52,000 IRS workers and 96 percent of NASA employees. ‘Non-essential’ government services also remain inactive and certain benefits are liable to run out of funding.” (more…)
Mike Collier knows that there are people that care deeply about whether Texas stays red, turns blue, or goes purple — but it’s not his chief goal.
“My aspiration is political competition,” he said on a drive from Houston to Dallas last week. “I just want to see the end of this one-party system.”
Collier filed today to run as a Democrat against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and said he knows that running for a statewide seat as anything other than a Republican can be seen to some as a bit quixotic.
But is it really? The Houston businessman may have seemed like a long shot when he first announced he was considering a run several months ago, but recent successes this month in other GOP stronghold areas has made the whole prospect less far-fetched.
Collier said his platform’s foundation is in two intersecting areas — public education and property taxes. For an hour, CandysDirt.com engaged in a question and answer session with the candidate. Below are some of his responses. (more…)
From Staff Reports
Texas home sales declined slightly in the third quarter of 2017, according to the 2017-Q3 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors. This is the first time that Texas home sales have declined on a quarterly basis since the second quarter of 2012.
“As anticipated, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has had a significant impact on our state’s housing market this fall, as many Texans were forced to postpone their goals of buying or selling a home in order to deal with devastation in their homes and communities,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Declines in local market home sales across the state in the third quarter were largely concentrated in regions impacted by Harvey, including the Houston area and local markets along the Texas coast.”
As the floodwaters recede and Hurricane Harvey survivors assess the damage to their homes, the inevitable question arises: What will this do to the housing market in the Houston area?
With a flood of this magnitude, it’s hard to predict, experts say. History tells us that it can take a lot longer for housing stock to recover — but how long? And how will a possible widespread lack of flood insurance affect the market?
Todd Tomalak is a building products spending forecaster and expert with John Burns Real Estate Consulting. While he and his teammates are just beginning to assess and compare historical data to current data, he did have a few insights.
“Major storms have a very long effect on the housing stock – following Hurricane Katrina, it took eight years for the number of total housing units to recover back to pre-storm levels,” he said. (more…)
From Staff Reports
Texas home sales from international buyers added $18.66 billion to the Texas economy from April 2016 to March 2017, according to the Texas International Homebuyers Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors. Attracting buyers from across the globe, Texas ranked second among U.S. states for international home sales volume.
“This surge in international home sales activity underscores the growing reputation Texas has as a global destination for owning a home or investment property,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “The state’s low unemployment, diverse industry base and world class higher education institutions are just some of the reasons why international residents seek to attend college, raise a family or do business in Texas.”