jobsNeed a job? North Texas is a hot spot for jobs, and especially tech jobs. We have the details, as well as a list of finalists for the MetroTex Association of Realtors annual awards, in this week’s roundup of real estate news.

METROTEX TO HONOR BEST OF THE BEST IN DECEMBER

Twelve North Texas Realtors have been named finalists for four different industry awards the MetroTex Association of Realtors will dole out in December, the association said last week.

The association will have its annual officer installation and awards ceremony Dec. 11 at the Statler Hotel.

Finalists are:
Easterwood Cup Award (Realtor of the Year): Belinda Epps, Epps Realty; Cathy Mitchell, Keller Williams; Teresa Rutherford, Rutherford Realty. (more…)

Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Brian Dooley via Creative Commons

Strong economic factors, job gains, and population increases have experts predicting strong growth in North Texas home prices in 2015, and a 35 percent increase in home prices over the next three years in the Dallas-Plano-Irving areas.

Local Market Monitor, Inc. released its December 2014 local market reports for North Texas, looking at factors like jobs, migration, housing permits, local market risk premium, and average home prices. Based on those analytics, they say home prices will likely grow 11 percent in the eastern counties of North Texas and 8 percent in the western counties over the next 12 months. Nationally, prices are forecast to increase by 6.3 percent.

They’ve extended their forecast two and three years, as well. In the eastern DFW counties, home values are predicted to increase 11 percent in 2016 and 10 percent in 2017.

In the western counties, home values are expected to increase 8 percent in both 2016 and 2017. The report predicts home prices to increase 25 percent over the next three years, noting that market is currently underpriced 17 percent relative to income.

County level forecast for Home Values

These reports echo the sentiments of local realtors and real estate experts, who have been crowing about strong North Texas job growth, more buyer and seller confidence, continued low interest rates, and investor demand. Jump to read more!

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I hope not, because I just calculated that we have had a 32% increase in the physician population of our state since 2000. And that’s good news for Texas real estate.

Now a commenter offered a different look at Texas Real Estate. Can’t say I totally disagree with him, he’s spot on about property taxes:

Candy, keep on spreading propaganda about Texas’ economy. Keep believing that you will be able to pay the bills as a real estate agent. Texas has the nation’s highest property taxes (not to mention the nation’s highest homeowner’s insurance and highest closing costs), making Texas one of the worst states to buy real estate.

Stop cherry-picking inaccurate cheerleading pieces on the economy and real estate and start getting patched into reality. It’s a depression; a depression in real estate and a depression in the economy. And it isn’t going to end anytime soon.

So no cherry-picking. There is a real possibility that our government won’t be able to meet payroll in August. Social Security checks, military veterans, Medicaid payments to physicians and hospitals — the president has warned that without a budget deal by the August 2 deadline,  “there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Obama told CBS TV. I have a tenant who depends on her social security check to pay rent. if she cannot pay it, then how will I pay my mortgage payments on the property? If this happens, truly the dominoes will line up.

Experts say such a default could cause a spike in interest rates, which we do not need right now, of course. That’s a gloomy national outlook, of course, and the current upward blip in home sales could very well be wiped out. That’s also national. If all of this happens, all states will suffer.

But do you agree with this comment? Glenn Beck may be loving Texas because we have created 4 out of every ten jobs in America and pay no state income tax, but our corporations pay taxes and our property taxes are among the highest in the nation. And many analysts say those jobs we are creating are not exactly for rocket scientists — many are low level clerical. Or the hamburger flippers at In N’ Out. Over at The Business Insider, Beverly Mann picks on that recent cheerleading story in the LA Times on Texas job growth written by Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University. Other states cannot duplicate our oil and commodities industries, but they can learn from our limits on taxes, regulations and lawsuits:

“At the same time — and this, of course, is the tough part for those on the left to swallow — it is clear that the state’s limits on taxes, regulations and lawsuits are contributing to the job machine. “The most important thing I think that’s happened to us is tort reform,” Fisher, the Dallas Fed president, has said. He added that when John Deere and other companies have decided to hire in Texas, they’ve been largely driven by steps the state has taken to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits and to make it harder to bring product liability and class-action cases.”

She goes onto say that Texas is a “lowest-common-denominator state”  for pro-business laws, which is why it is attracting businesses from other states, grabbing the hiring  that would have gone elsewhere. Yet she says the numbers don’t prove that tort reform helped, because companies can get sued from other states, and doctors are not flooding in to work in Texas.

Wrong. Doctors are actually coming here in droves because of tort reform. Checking with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, there were 33,622 licensed physicians in Texas in 2000, prior to tort reform. By 2005, there were 41,316 physicians, by January of this year there were 50,595 and 51,058 by May, 2011. That’s a 32% increase, some of which comes with our general population growth.

If we had NATIONAL tort reform, that would solve her other beef. We did some very good things in Texas which is why we created 43% of the new jobs in America from 2009 to 2011, a brutal period.  Things may be bad out there, and they may get worse, but I’d still rather be buckling my seat belt in Texas