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Real Estate Center chief economist: Fed interest rate increase could mean good news for some marketsReal Estate Center chief economist: Fed interest rate increase could mean good news for some markets2016-12-15T06:00:00Z​​​COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. James Gaines said the Federal Reserve’s increase in its key interest rate could have different — in some cases positive — impacts on different markets.

The increase, which was announced yesterday, raised the key interest rate by 0.25 percent to a range of 0.50 and 0.75 percent. Yesterday’s increase marks only the second in a decade, and the Fed said it expects three more rate increases in 2017.

“We could see some fallout in the housing market, but the immediate short-term impact on the housing market could be an increase in demand,” Gaines said. “People who are on the fence about buying a home might anticipate rates, as well as prices, going up in the next six to 12 months. This might give them the push they need to buy now.”

Gaines said mortgage interest rates have already gone up at least 40 basis points in just the last 30 or 40 days. The current reported 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is about 4.3 percent. During the course of the past year, it had bottomed out at about 3.3 percent, so on a total basis it’s up about 100 basis points from its low point during the past year.

“We expect to see more,” he said. “The expectations in the market for the coming year are that interest rates will trend upward. At what rate, though, we’re not sure.”

Gaines said the rate increase could be “somewhat good news” for investors.

“People who count on interest return on investments and retirement savings and so forth have been getting virtually no interest at all on their savings for the past six or seven years,” he said. “In the coming year, they might see some slight increases in interest rates on things like bank savings rates and certificates, and deposits.”

On the other hand, Gaines said the increases may not be enough yet to make a big difference.

He said the other thing to consider is what the rate increase means in the global capital market.

“Our ten-year treasury is now bordering at 2.6 percent, which is a very appealing rate to other countries that might have invested funds or might have investible funds and capital to place somewhere,” he said. “It’s ironic that raising the rates could actually create demand for our bonds that should, theoretically, react to lowering the rates.”

The Fed last raised rates in December 2015.

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Real Estate Center was created by the state legislature in 1971 to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers and the general public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
http://eepurl.com/cucAaj06-1216
Boerne attorney, Andrews Realtor appointed to Center advisory committeeBoerne attorney, Andrews Realtor appointed to Center advisory committee2016-12-09T06:00:00Z

​COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Elizabeth “Besa” Robison Martin of Boerne and Carliss A. “Alvin” Collins of Andrews to the advisory committee for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Warren D. "Doug" Jennings of Fort Worth was reappointed.

Martin, an attorney and owner of ER Martin LLC, specializes in estate planning, property management, and transactional operations. She succeeds Dallas attorney Kimberly Shambley as the advisory committee’s public representative.

Collins is a Realtor and president of Legacy Real Estate Brokerage in Midland. He succeeds Ronald Charles Wakefield as the committee's real estate finance representative.

Jennings has been a member of the advisory committee since February 2015. He represents commercial real estate and currently serves as vice chairman. He is a vice president and principal for William C. Jennings Company.

Terms for all three expire Jan. 31, 2021.

The advisory committee was created by a 1971 law establishing the Real Estate Center. It consists of ten members appointed by the governor. Six are real estate brokers licensed for at least five years. The brokers represent finance, improvements, residential properties, commercial properties, and industrial properties. Three members represent the public, and one is the ex-officio representing the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Real Estate Center was created by the state legislature to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers and the general public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.​

http://eepurl.com/csMrTL05-1216
Bryan-College Station attorney joins Real Estate Center staffBryan-College Station attorney joins Real Estate Center staff2016-10-27T05:00:00Z​COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Local attorney E.V. “Rusty” Adams III is the new legal expert for the Real Estate Center.

Adams received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 1996 and a Master of Science in marketing in 1998, both from Texas A&M University. He graduated from Baylor Law School in 2004.

Since then, he’s practiced law in the Bryan-College Station area, most recently with the Peterson Law Group. He practiced general civil law, including real estate law.

Before coming to work for the Center, Adams wrote an article for Tierra Grande, the organization’s flagship magazine. “Sizing Up Surveys” was published in the July 2016 issue.

His research agenda with the Center includes an article on the general warranty deed, the most common deed used in real estate transactions. Other topics he’ll tackle are water rights, eminent domain, and commercial real estate law.

Adams’ predecessor, Judon Fambrough, retired last month after 39 years with the Center.

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Real Estate Center was created by the state legislature in 1971 to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers and the general public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
http://eepurl.com/clUq8504-1016
Real Estate Center earns three Silver Quill AwardsReal Estate Center earns three Silver Quill Awards2016-10-21T05:00:00Z


COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University has received three Silver Quill awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Southern Region.

IABC Southern Region announced the winners at its annual Silver Quill luncheon in Atlanta. The Center had three entries.

In the audiovisual category, the Red Zone podcast won an Award of Excellence.

The Center’s flagship magazine, Tierra Grande, and the Center’s Annual Report + Calendar earned Awards of Merit.

“The Southern Region Silver Quill Awards are evaluated by a blue ribbon panel of judges based upon IABC’s standard of excellence,” said Julie Ludwig, IABC Southern Region chair.

Considered one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry, Silver Quill recognizes business communicators from throughout the IABC Southern Region, which has 25 active chapters and nearly 2,200 members spread across 13 U.S. states, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the broadest global geographic region.

Earlier this year, the Center won three Bronze Quills from Houston/IABC, and a Gold Quill in the IABC global competition.

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Real Estate Center was created by the state legislature in 1971 to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers and the general public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
http://eepurl.com/clbnUn03-1016
Texas home starts drop sharply despite continued demandTexas home starts drop sharply despite continued demand2016-10-18T05:00:00Z
​COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Single-family home starts fell dramatically in August despite continued demand throughout most of Texas, according to the Real Estate Center’s latest Texas Housing Insight report.

The report showed residential building permits for August were up statewide over the year and over the month, but housing starts were down 21.6 percent seasonally adjusted year-over-year.

Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres, who wrote the report with Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines and Research Associate Wayne Day, said low housing inventories and rising prices in many areas of the state signal a high demand for housing, but construction markets are being affected by a shortage of workers and developed lots.

“For this to change, there has to be either an increase in the number of residential construction workers or a slowdown in the demand for new housing,” Torres said.

The numbers suggest demand isn’t showing signs of slowing.

Total Texas home sales for August increased 7.4 percent year-over-year seasonally adjusted (7.2 percent on a nonseasonally adjusted basis) compared with a positive 8.8 percent nationally (8.4 percent on a nonseasonally adjusted basis).

Austin (7.4 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth (5.2 percent), Houston (8.3 percent), and San Antonio (12.1 percent) all increased year-over-year. The metros gained on a monthly basis as well. On a year-to-date basis, Houston is ahead of last year by 1.1 percent while Dallas-Fort Worth is up by 4.8 percent (nonseasonally adjusted).

Average and median sales prices have risen dramatically in Texas since 2011, especially for new homes. During that time, according to the Center’s housing report, new home prices have exceeded existing home prices by 48 percent and 37 percent based on median and average sales prices, respectively.

“This price differential is primarily a result of increases in home size for newer homes and the significant increases in construction and land costs for new homes,” Torres said.

The average price per square foot for a new home in Texas is about 19 percent more than for an existing home, the report said.

A new map from the Center shows which of Texas’ 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are exhibiting “explosive” (or exuberant) behavior in home prices. Torres said such behavior can occur when high home prices are not based on housing market fundamentals such as demand and supply.

The map (below) shows price behavior from second quarter 2015 through second quarter 2016, the College Station-Bryan MSA had a period of explosive behavior in 2Q2016, while the DFW (Dallas, in particular), Austin and Victoria MSAs posted some unusual price movements.



The complete report is available online.

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University was created by the state legislature in 1971 to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers and the general public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

http://eepurl.com/ckI7JL02-1016