awardsOur Bethany Erickson won at the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s 69th Annual Journalism Awards last night with a report on how affordable healthcare impacts housing security.

The judges said: “This in-depth piece on how basic to catastrophic illnesses affect someone’s ability to pay their mortgage is based on a study that was the first to look at this issue. The story is a must-read for anyone, healthy or not, who has a mortgage.” (more…)

After a busy three days of panel discussions, networking and writing, the National Association of Real Estate Editors — or NAREE — announced Friday night that writers Jon Anderson and Bethany Erickson both took home awards for their reporting last year.

Anderson took home a Bronze Award for his breaking news story on the Friday night blaze that destroyed the Pink Wall’s Preston Place condos. His reporting was continuously updated through the night and next day as more than 100 firefighters battled the fire that left many displaced. (more…)

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 and Jim Boyd of Toll Brothers were also in the panel. (more…)

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado. All those heights helped us set a new record for our seven-year-old blog website: took home FOUR (that’s 1-2-3-4!) glittering prizes for excellence in real estate reporting at last week’s 51st annual National Association of Real Estate Editor’s  SpringConference.

Our Jon Anderson is beaming!

We first won at NAREE in 2013, when the blog was just three years old. We have picked up a prize or two each consecutive year. Last year, in New Orleans, our Jon Anderson picked up a couple awards, first time for a CD staffer. With four this year, we now have racked up a total of 21 awards for our North Texas real estate blog which, by the way, NAREE has now christened a website: (more…)



The Jills: Killing it in Miami Luxury RE

Just returned from NAREE15, that is, the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s annual conference in beautiful Miami, Florida. Steve Brown was there. And Candace Carlisle. We picked up another award — yeah! — but we also picked up the latest in the state of real estate.

(Gave you the economic outlook last week.)

This is how we keep working for our readers, staying on top of the pulse not just of the market, but the industry. Because if you are in the market for a Realtor, or selling your home, don’t you want a professional who doesn’t sell “accidentally”? Just because your agent has their pretty Botoxed face on a billboard or in a $7,000 ad doesn’t mean they are the best for you. Did you know that that 35 to 40% of Real Estate agents in the D.C./Maryland area haven’t sold one home in an entire year? The industry is taking a hard, long look at the “accidental” or part-time agent. In fact, maybe that’s a good question for your agent — how many homes have you sold this year?

Couple take-aways: smart agents (those who are selling) have caught on to where the action is — the web. Print is becoming less relevant, this evident even at a conference of predominantly print journalists! (More than one reporter told me his paper is pushing online over the print product.)

90% of home buyers are searching online six months before contacting a real estate agent, so technology is SUPER driving the industry. Buyers literally come to the agent armed with more information than they can handle. And it’s all from mobile devices. About two-thirds of visitors on Zillow now come to the site through some sort of mobile device. 117 million people visited real estate websites in May with Zillow and getting the largest share. You’ve got to update content constantly in a hot market like our’s — 15 minutes may even be too long! (more…)

The annual conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors kicks off today with some really fabulous panels. Candy landed in Miami this morning and is already covering the Luxury Real Estate panel, featuring “The Apprentice” alum Katrina Campins.

Don’t miss the reports! Follow @DallasDirtCandy to get Candy’s perspective on hot-ticket panels on luxury real estate and second homes. You can tag along virtually, too, through the #NAREE15 hashtag.


Brad Hunter MetrostudyThe big takeaway from this morning’s homebuilding panel at the National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference is that land — more specifically, the lack thereof — is responsible for our lagging new home inventory and the dearth of new home starts in the nation. And while the pool of potential homebuyers is relatively large and stable, low inventory is driving prices up, making starter homes out of reach for many first-time homebuyers.

“Housing starts are down because land is not available where builders want to build,” said Metrostudy’s chief economist, Brad Hunter. “Builders are plowing golf courses under and building houses.”

According to Hunter, the new home market is no longer suffering from distressed properties and demand is improving, but tight inventory is a huge problem. According to his figures, the Dallas/Fort Worth region has just less than 3,000 units of available housing inventory, which is approximately seven weeks of supply. Yikes!


I’m off to Denver to NAREE to discuss vacation homes with the folks in the know. And it looks like we’re not the only market with shrinking inventory...