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Photo courtesy Joint Base San Antonio

From staff reports

Not quite 20 percent of Americans surveyed by LendEDU said their goal was to save enough to retire one day, but almost 40 percent of them felt that goal was unattainable.

The survey was released earlier this month, and polled 1,000 Americans to understand their financial goals and their confidence that they could meet them. The data was then sorted further by generation.

Also on many minds was paying off credit card debt — 14 percent said it was a goal, but seven percent weren’t confident they would. Twenty percent said they wanted to buy their own home, but 17 percent didn’t believe they would be able to do so. 

Four percent of the post-millennial age bracket said they’d like to invest in real estate — more than the stock market or creating a retirement account. (more…)

homesIt was a Tweet that had us sitting up and paying attention, as the National Association of Home Builders pointed out last week that although homes got slightly larger from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, sizes are still declining.

Size, you see, matters. NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz explained in a research note that the post-recession increase in home size was expected — homes generally get bigger as the economy emerges from a recession. (more…)

From staff reports

It takes more than two years to sock away enough money to address a six-month emergency fund in the Dallas metro area, a new Bankrate.com report revealed.

The area ranks 15th hardest of the top 50 metros when it comes to building a six-month emergency savings fund. That fund would be able to pay for housing costs (mortgage or rent, insurance, property taxes) as well as living expenses like groceries, transportation, utilities, etc.

Factoring all that in, Dallas-area household can theoretically save up to $9,704 of its $56,671 annual take-home pay, Bankrate said, which means it would take 29 months to achieve the area’s average recommended emergency fund of $23,484, enough to cover these expenses for six months. (more…)

By Phil Crone
Executive Officer
Dallas Builders Association

In the midst of a nationwide, 10-year low in affordability, the housing industry is bracing for additional tariffs. From tile to countertops, laminates, lighting, and furnishing, about 450 products commonly found in new homes and remodeling projects are seeing tariffs rise from 10 percent to 25 percent due to the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), homeowners and homebuilders nationwide will be paying an additional $2.5 billion. Existing tariffs on Chinese imports and Chinese retaliatory tariffs already reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 0.15 of a point. These additional tariffs will lower GDP by another half a point. While painful, they should not, in and of themselves, induce a recession.

(more…)

economyAs the state economy grows and employment continues to rise, how are new home sales in North Texas faring? We have the answers in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

Texas Economy Still Growing Faster Than Nation

The Texas economy is still going like gangbusters, adding 271,000 nonagricultural jobs year-over-year in March, the Texas Real Estate Center’s Monthly Review of the Texas Economy revealed.

That’s an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, which is better than the national rate of 1.7 percent. (more…)

mortgageIt’s not unusual to see GoFundMe or other crowdfunding efforts for someone who, facing a catastrophic health crisis, can’t afford to pay their rent or mortgage. But until now, those incidents remained anecdotal.

But a study released this year by Emily A. Gallagher, Radhakrishnan Gopalan, and Michal Grinstein-Weis, professors and researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Washington University’s Olin Business School and Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work (Grinstein-Wise is also the Associate Dean for Policy Initiatives at Washington University), respectively, reveals that data clearly indicates a relationship between having health insurance and being able to make your rent or mortgage payment.

But the data doesn’t just tell the story of people with catastrophic illnesses, but also the cascading issues that can occur from just being sick and missing work a few days, when an insured person might be able to see a doctor for more immediate relief.

“When people think of health insurance, they often think of its effect on health. They may even they go a step further and think about its effects on a person’s medical expenses and their medical debt,” the three explained in a synopsis of the study. “Our study says that health insurance has significant downstream benefits to a person’s finances that show up in their home payments.”

“These indirect benefits may not be so salient to health policymakers, but they are extremely important to the overall financial stability of the person,” they continued. “On top of this, they carry broader economic implications.” (more…)

Freelance

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

From staff reports

The gig economy means that more and more people are taking the plunge and working for themselves — often in a freelance capacity. The freedom of choosing projects, being your own boss, and working from home can be attractive to many.

But how much do you need to work to be able to afford to live in your city? A recent COMMERCIALCafe study compared average monthly housing expenses and a variety of coworking options that freelancers might choose in different metro areas. The results were enlightening.

Census data shows states like Texas, Florida, Nevada, Utah and Colorado’s population growing by double-digits since 2010,” the company said. “In Texas, six counties―Harris, Tarrant, Bexar, Dallas, Denton and Collin — are among the top 10 net gainers in terms of numbers.”

The south had the most freelance workers — 37 percent of those responding said they worked in the region. Plano and Houston were among the best picks, in fact, for those who wanted access to a private office at an affordable price. (more…)

Dallas

Photo courtesy skitterphoto.com

Want to provide the city of Dallas with input regarding a comprehensive strategic economic development plan? Now is your chance.

The city rolled out two separate surveys — one for businesses, and one for residents — that will help determine how the city approaches its economy in the future, including how it can improve Dallas’ business climate and improve capital investment in communities. (more…)