From Staff Reports

Nearly eight years to the day that Candy Evans began CandysDirt.com, the online real estate publication that became the flagship news provider of the Candy’s Media brand, the organization announced promotions of two staff members.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to announce the promotions of two hard-working journalists in our organization: Bethany Erickson and Shelby Skrhak,” said Executive Editor Joanna England. “While we have grown so much over the past few years, we’re confident that these staffing changes hasten us toward our goal of becoming the primary source of real estate news for the region.”

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James Lee of the Counselors of Real Estate presented on the top 10 issues affecting real estate at the National Association of Real Estate Editors 2016 convention on June 8.

I had the chance to pick the brain of James Lee, 2016 chair of the Counselors of Real Estate, after he presented the Top 10 Issues Affecting Real Estate at the National Association of Real Estate Editors Spring Conference in hot-and-muggy New Orleans. While the full list (available after the jump) was far-reaching in scope, we wanted a closer look at issues affecting our region.

I had some questions for Lee about a few very specific issues and new realities that Dallas and North Texas is facing, highlighted by his list of issues. While densification and urbanization was No. 4 on the list, it’s either close to or at the top of the growing list of hurdles our region is attempting to surmount.

One of Dallas’ long-term goals is creating effective urban infill and adapting the existing landscape to the needs of today’s resident, but it seems that our suburbs got the message long before we did, and have worked with developers to build the kinds of town centers and live/work/play mixed-use developments that attract corporations that bring jobs and long-term stability.

Is it too late for Dallas to adapt? Can we really turn unused and stagnant existing structures into a vibrant, dense city?

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Columnist Jon Anderson, contributor Valerie Jarvie, Publisher Candy Evans, and Executive Editor Joanna England converged on Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in New Orleans for the National Association of Real Estate Editors 50th Annual Convention last week.

As executive editor of the CandysMedia family of websites — CandysDirt.com, SecondShelters.com, and MidlandDirt.com — I could not be more proud to announce that our team earned three distinctions at the National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards in New Orleans last Friday. This year’s convention, the organization’s 50th, had the highest attendance over years past. Hosted at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, the only real gambling we did was on who would bring home awards. Hopefully, you were betting on us!

Not only did CandysDirt.com take home the silver award for “Best Blog” — a category we’ve earned twice before in both gold and silver — but our columnist Jon Anderson won a silver in the “Best International Real Estate Story” category and a bronze in the “Best Column” category. This marks five national awards for a five year old real estate weblog!  

The National Association of Real Estate Editors is an independent organization, founded in 1929, for members of the active media who cover residential and commercial real estate, luxury and green building, mortgage, financing and investment, and home and design for the general public and trade press. Members are reporters, writers, columnists, bloggers, editors and producers for major digital, print and broadcast news outlets. A panel of expert judges from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University selected all award winners. Professor Emeritus Patrick S. Washburn, a former news reporter and editor, chaired the panel. There were hundreds of entries.

All of the winners at the 66th annual National Association of Real Estate Editors Journalism Awards reception!

All of the winners at the 66th annual National Association of Real Estate Editors Journalism Awards reception.

We were in good company, with journalists from the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and even Dallas real estate journalists Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News and Candace Carlisle of the Dallas Business Journal. (Candace won a gold for her report on the Haggard Farm.) Real estate journalism powerhouse Josh Salman took the Platinum Award thanks to his superior collection of ground-breaking stories covering Florida real estate and government corruption.

This is the first year that the CandysDirt.com team has taken home multiple awards, but it certainly won’t be the last. We are proud of our team and can’t wait to see what we do next year! Jump to read what the judges had to say about our entries!

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Candy is in Miami right now, wading through all of the amazing real estate news at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference. While we are a little jealous (OK, we are A LOT jealous) of her temporary location and proximity to so many brilliant minds at #NAREE15, we did score this bit of news from Realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, who was on the “Mortgage Availability for Millennials and Other First-Time Buyers” panel:

“Despite the slow indicators we saw earlier this year, 2015 is on pace to be one of the best years for housing since 2006 due to strong sales and higher than predicted home prices,” said Smoke. “Additionally, we’re observing an uptick in millennial traffic and sentiment that we expect will result in more first-time home buyer sales in the later part of the year.”

This conclusion comes from a survey conducted by Realtor.com, showing a slight increase in Millennials ages 25-34 visiting the website with the goal of buying a home.

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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!

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NAREE BEST BLOG

We are just elated, folks! Candy will have more details when she’s back from the National Association of Real Estate Editors‘ Atlanta conference, but CandysDirt.com was awarded “Best Blog” in the NAREE Journalism Competition yesterday. Cheers!

NAREE BEST BLOG

We are just elated, folks! Candy will have more details when she’s back from the National Association of Real Estate Editors‘ Atlanta conference, but CandysDirt.com was awarded “Best Blog” in the NAREE Journalism Competition yesterday. Cheers!