There was a lot of downward trending for the stock market last week, but overall, that’s positive for the bond market and interest rates, says Bob Johnson (AKA Bob Mortgage) the senior mortgage adviser at the nation’s oldest private lender, Wallick & Volk

Our most-trusted mortgage adviser explains that, as people react to the plummeting stock market trends and fear-inducing rhetoric from the Federal Reserve, they look for a safe haven for that money. Hence, the overarching growth in relatively safe bond market investments. Plus, less-than-stellar economic reports in the housing industry have made for some negative reactions, too. So, how does that influence whether you should lock or float? Find out today in the Mortgage Report:

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$1 million and up gets you a lot of house in Odessa, Texas

$1 million and up gets you a lot of house in Odessa, Texas

Take a peek inside the luxury real estate market in Odessa with these five houses for sale now. For $1 million and up, you get a broad range of options in style and amenities, from double master suites and pool with a swim-up bar, to an oversized four-car garage and a heated and air-conditioned dog house. There’s no skimping in these houses!

Jump over to MidlandDirt.com to read the whole post!

Photo courtesy of Ray Bodden

Photo courtesy of Ray Bodden through a Creative Commons license

Texas is the place to be for economic prosperity and job growth, which in turn has made our real estate market one of the best in the nation, according to the 2014 Texas Annual Housing Report, released this week by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Nearly every area of real estate in the Lone Star State continues to get bigger and better, some of it astoundingly so, the report shows. Most notably, growth has happened in luxury home sales, international home buying, relocation activity, condominium sales, and remodeling trends.

“It’s a great time to live in Texas. The high demand for Texas real estate is not being fueled by speculation and investment activity—it’s driven by the thousands of people who move to the Lone Star State daily,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “People are moving to Texas from across America and around the world to take part in our state’s booming economy, business-friendly environment, and quality of life.” (more…)

New House under Construction

Recent reports show that new home sales are at their highest since 2008, while prices of existing homes are up year-over-year.

New home sales are up 17 percent from the same time last year, according to Residential Strategies, and new home starts are up 11.4 percent, too, at 6,511. Builders are trying to keep up with demand while also trying to keep new homes affordable for buyers, according to a story from Steve Brown:

“Start activity remains strong as builders maintain healthy sales backlogs and are working to reestablish depleted speculative inventory,” Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson said in the report. “Robust job formation, in combination with tight housing inventories, has kept builders optimistic about sustained new housing demand.”

Rising new home prices have caused a slowdown in sales for some buyers.

Since 2007 the median price of a new home in North Texas has increased $69,000 – 33 percent – to $275,000.

“Affordability continues to be a primary concern for new home builders,” Wilson said.

“Many are anticipating that at some point down the road, interest rates will increase, and they want to ensure that their housing prices are still within reach of the consumer.”

Additionally, a new report from CoreLogic shows that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area is posting an 8.5 percent increase in home price appreciation according to the firm’s most recent HPI.

“Home prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly, across most of the U.S., ” said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Major Metropolitan Areas such as Riverside and Los Angeles, California, and Houston continue to lead the way with strong price gains buoyed by tight supplies and a gradual rebound in economic activity.”

In Texas, that means we’re holding steady at our return-to-peak price levels, with no major increases. With new home construction up, a positive outlook for investors in several niche markets, and with prices still on the rise, are you optimistic about the Dallas/Fort Worth real estate market going into Q4 2014?