Morning Briefing: Home prices in Texas hit all-time high

by Steve Randall03 Aug 2015
Home prices in Texas hit all-time high
Home prices in Texas hit their highest-ever level in the second quarter of this year while sales have continued to see high demand. Median prices have increased by 8.1 per cent to $200,000 with average prices up 9 per cent to $258,786 in the second quarter of 2015 compared to a year earlier. Sales have increased by 46 per cent from Q1 2015 and 4.7 per cent year-over-year to 88,906 homes. Inventory has dropped year-over-year by 9.2 per cent to 3.6 months. Scott Kesner, chairman of Texas Association of Realtors commented: “The impact of lower oil prices continues to be delayed, leading to a surprisingly strong second quarter. In fact, Texas home sales are actually stronger than they were this time last year, when oil prices were nearly $100 a barrel.”
New York realtors report dip in confidence over interest rates
Real estate brokers in New York have reported a slight dip in confidence as uncertainty remains over interest rates. The Fed’s latest announcement has analysts still betting on September for the first increase but nothing is confirmed. Despite the slight decline in confidence the perception of the market is positive: “Our survey found that brokers are slightly less confident in the market six months from now, which is largely due to interest rates. This seems to be a more significant concern for the residential brokers whose activity is more directly impacted by changes in rates,” said John Banks, Real Estate Board of New York President. The main concerns of brokers are that higher interest rates will slow foreign investment in the city’s property market although others highlight the tight inventory as likely to keep prices high.
Comic Carolla lists La Canada Flintridge home
Comedian Adam Carolla and his wife Lynnette have listed their La Canada Flintridge home for $3.495 million. The LA Times says that the Spanish hacienda-style home has many period features in its 4,000 of living space and sits in around half an acre. The 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home was bought by the couple in 2013 for $2.965 million. The listing is being handled by Kathy Seuylemezian of Coldwell Banker.
Real estate lawyers in high demand
The now-booming property market in much of the US has created a strong demand for lawyers specialising in the sector, in fact there’s now a shortage. With cities such as Philadelphia having recovered from the real estate bust of the financial crisis, law firms are reporting a struggle to keep up with the workload. Bart Mellits, chair of the real estate practice at law firm Ballard Spahr told "Voracious is the word that I would use to describe what is going on. We cannot hire enough real estate lawyers." Ballard, along with many other US law firms, cut back its real estate practice during the crisis leading to the current shortage.



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