Solar Preparatory School for Girls is like a new “Super School”

The MetroTex Association of Realtors Public Education Committee keeps track of issues and trends in public education.  Meetings often feature speakers from various public education institutions, Recently, the MetroTex Public Education Committee heard from Solar Preparatory.

A year and a half in the making, the Dallas ISD has opened its first “transformation” school under the current public school choice application process.  The district repurposed the old Bonham Elementary school on Henderson in East Dallas into a single gender concept.  It is an all-girl campus focusing on STEAM instruction-science, technology, engineering, math and the arts.

Focused on socioeconomic diversity, half of the students qualify for free and reduced priced lunch and half do not.  It is the FIRST school of its kind in DISD.  It is also racially diverse. The school draws from the area; of the 360 lottery applications 29 students came from charters, 53 from private.  There were 198 seats available. The district will measure the school’s success by how well it closes achievement gaps between the different types of students. Research shows that low income children when paired with more affluent peers significantly close the achievement gaps.

The school has students from kindergarten through second grade and will eventually go through eighth grade. The campus is focused on performance based learning as well as blended learning so the students set the pace.  Teaching is done with a combination of online and classroom learning.  Social and emotional learning is a part of the teaching process as well as a dual language pilot with students getting instruction in both English and Spanish. 

Nancy Bernardino is the principal and Jennifer Turner is the assistant principal.  The hope of the teaching team is to get girls ready to move into the work force confidently in fields where they are underrepresented. 

Paula Scofield is a member of the MetroTex Public Education committee.

http://www.dallasisd.org/solarprep

*source Dallas Morning News, Corbett Smith

New Agent Web Pages & IDX Links in Matrix

You now have access to Agent Web pages and IDX Search Links through Matrix.

Both are free to our MLS Subscribers.

Agent Web Pages will now be available offering a professional webpage integrated with IDX search functionality and hosted on the Matrix web server with the same look and feel as the updated private client portals.

• Like the new Portal, the Agent Web Pages now provide:

o Fluid layouts which fit content to the user’s screen

o Deprecation of the “Mobile” version of the Agent Web Page

o A standard set of multiple layouts for browsing listings

o Support for geographic fields on the search form

• The agent may enrich their Home page to include any of the same content sections as their Portal’s profile page, supplementing the primary content they already have configured.

(Agent Webpage)

IDX search is also now available as a frameable link to incorporate into an existing web site.

• For all types of IDX searches – map-based, form-based, and My Listings links:

o The style of text and buttons has been updated to reflect the fresher look of the new Portal.

• IDX Map Searches, like the new Portal, have been updated to support:

o A standard set of multiple layouts for browsing listings

o Support for geographic fields on the search form

o Pin clustering on the map when the number of results is between 500 and 5000

To setup your IDX link in Matrix to go My Matrix>My Information>IDX Configuration. Simply answer the questions and copy and paste the IDX link into your own website and or forward the link to your webmaster for integration.

Check them both out and let us know what you think by contacting MLS@DFWRE.com or by phone 214-540-2755.

 

Matrix 7.0 Update!

Matrix 7.0 was installed last week which included improvements to the client portals and Google Maps has now been deployed for MLS Mapping. However; there are still a few outstanding issues you should be aware of:

We still have a few outstanding issues:

•    Mapping does not show owner name on parcel. However this information is available in the map overlay.
•    The tab for Google Street View generates a blank page for properties that have had a manual pin placement; however, since we now have Google maps,  the “walking man” icon at the bottom right corner of the map is dragged to the street to convert to street view, just as the consumer google map functions.
•    Header -  display of header on the Quick CMA is blurred
•    Photos -  the thumbnail display of photos is not uniform
•    Print to pdf; the full reports in Matrix are cut off on the right margin when printing to pdf.   This is NOT related to the Matrix 7 update.   A fix is scheduled in the next update;  however,  users can “Preview” the report and use their browser print functions to print or print/save to pdf.
•    Drawing tools -  the drawing tool behaves differently for touch screens;  we have a report that it may have trouble recognizing on "hybrids" whether keyboard or touch is enabled.
•    IDX links are enabled.  These are to be used in an embedded i-frame for existing web sites.  Note, that some sites do not utilize i-frames.
•    Agent web pages -  will be enabled by end of day Friday.
Help documents have been added to the Matrix Help tab:  Setting up Agent web pages,  a Matrix 7 guide and portal setup guide.  These are also available on the portal login notification.

Call the MLS Department with any questions at 214-540-2755 or at mls@dfwre.com.
 

2017 MetroTex Charitable Trust Public Education Grant

Metrotex Association of Realtors is committed to supporting its members and the communities they serve.  To that end the Metrotex‘s Public Education Committee receives and reviews applications for grants from public schools in North Texas and awards several grants up to $3,000 to fund tangible student-driven projects that benefit the entire student body.

This year the grants MetroTex awarded are schools are as diverse as the communities we serve.  Here is a brief overview of the grant awards for Spring 2017. 

W. O. Gray Elementary School    (Mesquite ISD)
Gray Elementary of Mesquite I.S.D. received a grant to help their library work as an information, collaboration and technology hub by establishing a program using the “Dash & Dot” Robot Wonder Pack System.  The system includes real robots that teaches kids to code as they play.  Using free apps kids learn to code as they make their robots sing, dance and navigate.  The grant money will be used to purchase four iPads and “Dash & Dot” Robot Wonder Packs.  
Amount Awarded:  $2,836

Woodridge Fine Arts Magnet Academy School    (DeSoto ISD)
Woodridge Fine Arts Magnet Academy School of DeSoto I.S.D. received a grant to benefit students that struggle to read and write.  The students use technology to work through a step-by-step process to develop subjects to write about using pictures, works and symbols (emoijis).  The grant will be used to purchase 12-15 chrome books to be housed in the school library.  
Amount Awarded:  $2,585

Lamar Middle School     (Irving ISD)
Lamar Middle School of Irving I.S.D was awarded a grant to revamp their deteriorating courtyard.  The entire campus will benefit from having a beautiful courtyard for all students to enjoy.  The science students plan to explore and maintain a garden in what will also be used as an alternative classroom.
Awarded Amount:  $2,364

Dan D. Rogers Elementary School            (Dallas ISD)
Dan D. Rogers Elementary School of Dallas I.S.D. received a grant to enhance their English skills.  Because their campus diversity many students speak English as a second language.  An English language listening library will allow student to build language and reading fluency.  This grant will provide three listening stations allowing several students to listen to a book at the same time.  A varied selection of audio books for grades K-5 will also be purchased.  
Amount Awarded:  $2,000

A.E. Butler Intermediate School                (Quinlin ISD)
A.E. Butler Intermediate School of Quinlin I.S.D. received a grant will go to drastically improve the school library.  Many of the students live in extreme poverty some with no running water or electricity.  The school library is most students only exposure to books.  The library being seriously outdated has been forced to shred books due to age and overuse.  Many of the old books were taped together, torn, tattered and moldy.  With the help of the MetroTex grant monies the library can purchase new books.  
Amount Awarded:  $3,000

Math Science Technology Magnet School             (Richardson ISD)
The Math Science Technology Magnet School of Richardson I.S.D.  is received a grant to help fund a hydroponic tower system.  The campus has recently installed an outdoor learning garden and wants to add a hydroponic tower, allowing students the experience of growing plants year-round.  This system will provide students the opportunity to start the growing process indoors before moving the seeding outdoors for spring planting.  Students will also be using the grant to build a “student-powered” pump to manually pump water to an existing rain barrel and ultimately to the garden beds.  
Amount Awarded: $1,800

Annette Rivera – MetroTex Association of Realtors Public Education Committee Member

 

 

Leadership Deadline Extended!

We have received numerous requests to extend the application deadline for the MetroTex Leadership Academy.  We have listened to your pleas. In response to your requests, we have made an historic decision to extend the deadline.  This has never been done before and it isn’t likely to ever happen again. We will continue to accept applications until Friday, May 5, 2017.  

We hope you will take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to complete your application after the original deadline date.  

A complete application must include: A completed application form, 2 business recommendations, and a recommendation from your broker or manager.

Here is a link to the Leadership Page were you can find the forms needed to apply.  Please send all completed forms to leiannr@dfwre.com.
 

Our Final Centennial Tree Planting

As spring rolls into summer, we’re wrapping up our Centennial Tree Planting series in Bedford and we’d love for you to join us. Throughout the spring, we’ve planted 100 trees in area parks across the Metroplex. We’ve also given away hundreds of trees to friends, clients, colleagues and the community to spread the celebration. Community leaders, city council members, mayors and REALTORS from across North Texas have joined us in these fun events.

Our next event will be at Boys Ranch Park in Bedford on May 13. We’ll have trees for your clients and food trucks on hand giving away some truly great eats.

Planting native trees adds to property values, increases clean air, and reduces energy consumption for homeowners. If you’re not sure which tree is best for your yard, arborists from Texas Trees will be on hand to help you select the best species for your growing conditions.

After all, home is where your roots are.

Register

Details
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Where: Boys Ranch Park
2801 Forest Ridge Dr
Bedford, Texas 76021

The White Party 2017

If bigger is better, then we’ve just had the best real estate party in Texas! Our annual White Party always packs a punch, and this year was no exception. Our annual fundraising gala benefiting TREPAC (Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee) is our biggest event of the year. As always, proceeds of the auction will educate and encourage REALTORS and others interested in protecting the free rights of property ownership in the United States and Texas. We’re proud to say we raised over $130,000 this year.

An amazing event like this is made even more special by the venue. 7 for Parties were the hosts with the most again this year. Kudos to their staff for making this all look easy!

Can you spot your mug in this sea of white? Check out our photo gallery. Tag and share with your friends.

Special thanks to our donors and sponsors for making this night as raucous and glorious as can be! See you all next April!

Three Diamond Advertisers:
The Addison – Baldwin Team (Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.)
The Tuttle Group (Fairway Mortgage)
Texas Premier Title
Central Living by David Weekley Homes

Platinum Advertisers:
North American Title
PrimeLending
Republic Title

Gold Advertisers:
First American Title Insurance Company
Rani Alfers Agency (Farmers Insurance)
Independence Title Company
Lathram Pou & Associates (Lawyers Title)
SecurityNational Mortgage Company
ZOCCAM

Silver Advertisers:
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
Allegiance Title
Callbox Storage
Chicago Title
Brady Z Hill Agency (Farmers Insurance)
First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation
Flux Media Productions
Goosehead Insurance
Great Western Home Loans
iDeal Floors
Landmark Home Warranty
Tiago Title

REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol Legislative Priorities, Part III

Our time at the Capitol earlier this month focused on three main areas: social goods like transportation, and protection of property rights; taxes; and protections for our industry. (For more information, read Legislative Priorities Parts I and II). Today we look at issues impacting our livelihood, like title insurance, TREC and regulation of short term rentals.

Title Insurance

Texas property owners benefit greatly from having a stable and reliable title insurance industry with competitive rates. Texas offers one of the most transparent and complete sets of coverage in the nation, with consistent rates applied evenly to all purchasers, residential and commercial alike. Title insurance rates in Texas have actually dropped 15% over the past 25 years. TAR supports the current title insurance consumer protections, which ensure competitive rates and comprehensive coverage.

We Oppose
HB 4239 (Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview)
SB 372 (Sen. Bob Hall, R-Canton)

What the bills do

  •  Increase the price of title insurance for homeowners
  • Result in riskier real estate transactions
  • Decrease transparency
  • Lead to more title insurance claims

Texas Real Estate Commission

TAR works with the Texas Real Estate Commission every session to identify inefficient and outdated real estate law. This year, TAR worked with the Texas Real Estate Commission on a bill that addresses real estate wholesalers and advertising rules for real estate license holders. TAR supports the Texas Real Estate Commission’s efforts to enhance ethics, consumer protection, and transparency in the real estate process.

HB 2534 (Chair John Kuempel, R-Seguin)
SB 2212 (Chair Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)

HB 2534 and SB 2212 protect consumers from misleading real estate advertisements and require disclosure from real estate wholesalers.

Short Term Rental Regulation

Many Texas cities have adopted or are seeking to adopt ordinances regulating or even banning short-term rental properties (as in Airbnb-style agreements). However, cities already have code-enforcement divisions responsible for identifying, deterring, and remedying code violations, as well as public safety and nuisance laws that can be applied equally to short-term rental occupants. TAR supports clear statewide standards for short-term rental regulations.

Support
HB 2551 (Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound)
SB 451 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)

HB 2551 and SB 451 create a statewide framework of consistent regulations and ensure the health and safety of property owners, while protecting their private-property rights.

REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol Legislative Priorities, Part II

In our continuing series about this year’s key issues for REALTORS, we take a closer look at what is happening in the world of taxes, tax reform, and responsible access to home equity.

Tax rates

Property taxes in Texas are among the highest in the nation. Many factors put pressure on local revenues and spending, such as school funding, state mandates, and infrastructure development and maintenance. While school property taxes are the largest portion of a property owner’s tax liability, local taxing entities too easily capitalize on upswings in the housing market by allowing rising property values to passively inflate their budgets. Unfortunately, this results in continual jumps in individual property tax bills, regardless of tax rate. TAR supports legislation that promotes honesty and transparency in the property tax rate setting process and facilitates property owner engagement in the process. TAR opposes any attempts to politicize the appraisal process by requiring voter election for members of the appraisal review board or central appraisal district board of directors. TAR supports more of a separation of the appraisal and tax rate setting process. TAR believes higher appraisal values should not be vilified. TAR believes local governments and voters should determine how much revenue is necessary. Here are bills under consideration:

HB 15 (Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton)

  • Primarily reforms the property tax rate setting process, by focusing on taxing entity procedures and access to tax information for property owners.
  • Requires an automatic tax ratification (rollback) election for all taxing entities
  • Creates a statewide standardized database of property tax rate and collection information

SB 2 (Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston)

  • Creates a new division under the Texas Comptroller’s office, the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board, to oversee appraisal districts and local tax offices
  • Lowers the rollback rate from 8% to 5%
  • Requires an automatic tax ratification (rollback) election for all taxing entities

Access to Home Equity

For more than 140 years, Texas didn’t allow home-equity lending because of the possible repercussions from defaulting on the loan. Strong home-equity protections in the Texas Constitution allowed Texas to avoid much of the negative impact of the recession. In 1997, TAR was heavily involved in passing a constitutional amendment allowing Texans access to the equity in their properties, while providing important provisions to ensure those homes are protected. However, the lending market has changed over the past 20 years, and some homeowners may not be able to fully access the equity in their properties because of rising costs. TAR supports a few select updates to the Texas Constitution to modernize the home-equity lending process.

HJR 99 (Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound)

SJR 60 (Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)

What the joint resolutions do:

The joint resolutions propose a constitutional amendment to revise the home-equity provisions in the Texas Constitution.

  • Lowers the fee cap to 2%
  • Removes three of the top fee generators from the fee cap:

1.      appraisal fee,

2.      survey, and

3.      state base premium for title insurance policy/title examination report.

  • Maintains the 80% loan-to-value ratio
  • Provides a choice on “seasoned refinances” between maintaining the home equity loan and all constitutional protections, and transitioning to a standard rate-and-term. If the loan is modified from a home-equity loan to a standard loan, a disclosure will be required notifying borrowers they are giving up those constitutional protections guaranteed for home-equity loans
  • Allows for an 80% loan-to-value ratio for Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
  • The amendment resulting from the joint resolutions would take effect Jan. 1, 2018 and would apply to a home-equity loan made on or after the effective date and to an existing home-equity loan that is refinanced on or after the effective date.

ICYMI REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol Legislative Priorities, Part I

What a gorgeous day it was to be at the Capitol on April 4! If you weren’t able to join us, let’s recap some of our most important legislative priorities that were discussed with our representatives in Austin. Please call your representatives today to voice your opinion.

Eminent Domain

TAR believes property owners should be treated fairly and protected from abusive eminent domain practices. The exercise of eminent domain authority, while considered a necessary tool of government, can be easily abused and expanded. Since 2005, Texas has continually worked to strengthen property owner protections in eminent domain proceedings, including the passage of Proposition 11 in 2009. However, some issues remain unresolved, and without further reform, property owners are still at risk. To this end, we support a variety of House and Senate bills currently proposed in this legislative season:

HB 528 (Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy)
HB 2076 (Rep. Leighton Schubert, R-Caldwell)
HB 2556 (Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall)
HB 2684 (Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne)
HB 2694 (Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan)
HB 3687 (Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin)
SB 555 (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)
SB 626 & 627 (Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown)
SB 740, 741, & 742  (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)

What the bills do

  • Delineate future uses and restrictions for the condemned property (HB 2684, 2694, 3687 and SB 740 and 742)
  • Clarify and expand the definition of a true bona fide offer in condemnation proceedings (HB 2556, 2694 and SB 741)
  • Require timely disclosure of new appraisals to property owners during the condemnation process (HB 2684, 2694 and SB 740)
  • Award property owners damages and reasonable expenses and fees in certain cases (HB 2684, 3687 and SB 740)
  • Restrict and penalize unauthorized or unwanted access to the property by a condemning entity or representative (SB 755 and627)
  • Allow for Special Commissioners Courts to consider additional information when determining actual damages (HB 2684 and SB 741)
  • Expand the definition of whether “actual progress” has been made on a project when determining rights to repurchase property from a condemning authority (HB 528 and 2076)
  • Require a condemning authority to make a separate offer for any property not reasonably necessary to complete the project (SB 626)

Election Transparency

Ballot measures establish an additional means of direct democracy by enabling citizens to vote directly on proposed statewide constitutional amendments and local policy. However, because the layout of ballots is determined at the county level in Texas, there are no clear ordering requirements. This means local propositions may appear before statewide amendments or even candidate races. Voters are also commonly presented with multiple ballot measures with the same or substantially similar names. For example, “Proposition 1” appeared as many as five times on a single ballot in Travis County in 2015. TAR supports creating clear statewide standards for ballot ordering and naming of state and local propositions to ensure voter transparency.

Support

HB 270 & 273 (Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock)
SB 1149, 1150, & 1766  (Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway)

What the bills do

  • Require that all statewide propositions must appear on the ballot before local propositions
  • Require all propositions include the name of the authoring entity (e.g., “City of Lakeway,” or “Arlington ISD”)
  • Assign each statewide proposition a number (e.g., “State of Texas Proposition 1”) and each local proposition an alpha character (e.g., “City of Dallas Proposition A”)

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)Our position

Transportation network companies provide a safe, efficient solution to many of the transportation challenges Texans are facing. Currently, TNCs in Texas are regulated at the municipal level, resulting in a patchwork of inconsistent rules that can change by the street, especially in denser urban and suburban areas. TAR supports creating clear statewide standards for transportation network companies. These bills create a statewide framework for transportation network companies. TNCs play an integral role in a multimodal approach to resolving the state’s transportation challenges.

Support
HB 100 (Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall)
HB 3931 (Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler)
SB 113 (Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas)
SB 176 (Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown)
SB 361 (Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville)

 

Luxury home market exploding in North Texas

MetroTex Association of REALTORS releases monthly real estate statistics for March sales

Well-heeled buyers seem to be trading in their Louboutins for cowboy boots this spring. An unexpectedly massive spike in luxury home sales led the housing market in the first quarter for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the market report released today by the MetroTex Association of REALTORS.

“Our biggest growth category in March was in homes priced at a million or more,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex. “There’s a healthy amount of inventory in the luxury home category, and the buyers are certainly out there. It’s a market segment that we are watching closely these days. We’ve certainly seen prices trending upward over the past several years, but the first quarter was remarkable. We’re talking about a 70 percent increase compared to March of last year.”

While luxury sales are growing, Martin also acknowledged that the bulk of sales in North Texas remains in the range of $200,000 - $500,000. According to the report, 9,573 homes were sold in the DFW area in March, a 12 percent increase from 2016. The dollar volume of sales in the area increased 25 percent year-over-year to $2.86 billion. The average sales price increased 11 percent to $298,356.

DFW’s monthly housing inventory was 2.5 months in March. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University remarks that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Single family homes spent an average of 47 days on the market in March. There were 17,818 active single family listings for the DFW housing market.

March 2017

  • 9,573    Homes sold, 12 percent higher than March 2016.
  • $240,000    Median sales price for homes, 12 percent higher than March 2016.
  • $293,356  Average sales price for homes, an 11 percent increase over March 2016.
  • 2.5   Monthly housing inventory in March 2017.
  • 47    Average number of days homes spent on the market in March 2017.
  • 17,818   Active listings on the market in March 2017.
  • $128    Average price per square foot for a single family home, up 10 percent year-over-year.

New records set in March 2017

  • Homes sold in March. Sales for single family homes sold in March beat the previous record set last year by more than 1,000 units, an increase of 13.3 percent.
  • Median sales price for single family homes. The previous record of $237,000 was set in July 2016.
  • Average sales price for homes. The previous record of $289,204 was set in June 2016.
  • Number of active listings in March. Last year’s record was bested by more than 1,000 homes.
  • Average price per square foot for a single family home. The previous record was $124 per square foot, in February 2017.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association. We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

New construction increases can’t Slow Price Increases in Dallas County

A booming new construction market is making an impact in Dallas County, but inventory remains low and rapid price increases continue to be a factor. New construction added nearly 129 new homes in February to the Dallas County supply of homes. However, median prices increased nearly 17 percent, according to the market report released today by the MetroTex Association of REALTORS.

“Across the region, we’re still seeing a severe lack of inventory in homes priced below $500,000,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex. “That pressure is driving sales prices higher and higher. Fortunately, new construction rates are up significantly over last year. We’re lucky enough to have a robust and dynamic economy right now. It keeps our region at the top of the Texas market and it’s bringing a lot of people into the area.”

According to the report, 1,634 homes were sold in Dallas County in February, a 6.5 percent decrease from 2016. The dollar volume of sales in the region increased 13.2 percent year-over-year to nearly $538 million. The average price in February was $328,979 up 21.1 percent from last year.

North Texas’ monthly housing inventory was 2.0 months in February. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University remarks that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Homes spent an average of 39 days on the market in February. There were 4,159 active listings for the Dallas County housing market.

February 2017

1,634     Homes sold, 6.5 percent lower than February 2016.

$220,000    Median sales price for homes, 16.6 percent more than February 2016.

$328,979     Average sales price for homes, a 21.1 percent increase over February 2016.

2.0       Monthly housing inventory in February 2017.

39        Average number of days homes spent on the market in February 2017.

·4,159    Active home listings on the market in February 2017.

·$144     Average price per square foot for a single family home, up 12.5 percent year-over-year.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association.  We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

New construction increases can’t Slow Price Increases in Collin County

A booming new construction market is making an impact in Collin County, but inventory remains low and rapid price increases continue to be a factor. New construction added nearly 175 new homes in February to the Collin County supply of homes. However, median prices increased 13 percent, according to the market report released today by the MetroTex Association of REALTORS.

“Across the region, we’re still seeing a severe lack of inventory in homes priced below $500,000,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex. “That pressure is driving sales prices higher and higher. Fortunately, new construction rates are up significantly over last year. We’re lucky enough to have a robust and dynamic economy right now. It keeps our region at the top of the Texas market and it’s bringing a lot of people into the area.”

According to the report, 1,021 homes were sold in Collin County in February, a 3 percent increase from 2016. The dollar volume of sales in the region increased 14.4 percent year-over-year to $364 million. The average price in February was $356,722 up 11 percent from last year.

North Texas’ monthly housing inventory was 2.0 months in February. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University remarks that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Homes spent an average of 46 days on the market in February. There were 2,608 active listings for the Collin County housing market.

February 2017

  • 1,021                    Homes sold, 3.0 percent higher than February 2016.
  • $320,000               Median sales price for homes, 13.1 percent more than February 2016.
  • $356,722               Average sales price for homes, an 11 percent increase over February 2016.
  • 2.0                          Monthly housing inventory in February 2017.
  • 46                           Average number of days homes spent on the market in February 2017.
  • 2,608                      Active home listings on the market in February 2017.
  • $133                       Average price per square foot for a single family home, up 9.9 percent year-over-year.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association.  We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

New construction declines, Prices Increase in Tarrant County

Inventory remains low and rapid price increases continue to be a factor in the Tarrant County housing market. New construction added 155 new homes in February to the Tarrant County supply of homes, a drop of 8.8 percent. Meanwhile, median prices increased nearly 15.4 percent, according to the market report released today by the MetroTex Association of REALTORS.

“Across the region, we’re still seeing a severe lack of inventory in homes priced below $500,000,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex. “That pressure is driving sales prices higher and higher. Fortunately, new construction rates are up significantly over last year. We’re lucky enough to have a robust and dynamic economy right now. It keeps our region at the top of the Texas market and it’s bringing a lot of people into the area.”

According to the report, 1,801 homes were sold in Tarrant County in February, a 1.2 percent increase from 2016. The dollar volume of sales in the county increased 14.4 percent year-over-year to over $463 million. The average price in February was $257,233 up 13.0 percent from last year.

North Texas’ monthly housing inventory was 1.6 months in February. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University remarks that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Homes spent an average of 41 days on the market in February. There were 3,640 active listings for the Tarrant County housing market.

February 2017

  • 1,801                Homes sold, 1.2 percent higher than February 2016.
  • $210,000        Median sales price for homes, 15.4 percent more than February 2016.
  • $257,233         Average sales price for homes, a 13.0 percent increase over February 2016.
  • 2.0                    Monthly housing inventory in February 2017.
  • 41                      Average number of days homes spent on the market in February 2017.
  • 3,640                Active home listings on the market in February 2017.
  • $111     Average price per square foot for a single family home, up 12.2 percent year-over-year.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association.  We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

A Third of the Texas Housing Sales are in DFW Area

North Texas housing sales are a major driving force behind the entire Texas market. Fully one third of all houses sold last month were in the region. In terms of dollar volume, the region accounted for more than 35 percent of Texas’ sales. Records set only last year are being shattered as the market heats up for spring, according to the market report released today by the MetroTex Association of REALTORS.

“We’re still seeing a severe lack of inventory in homes priced below $500,000,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex. “That pressure is driving sales prices higher and higher. Fortunately, new construction rates are up significantly over last year. We’re lucky enough to have a robust and dynamic economy right now. It keeps our region at the top of the Texas market and it’s bringing a lot of people into the area.”

According to the report, 6,909 homes were sold in North Texas in February, a 5 percent increase from 2016. The dollar volume of sales in the region increased 19 percent year-over-year to $1.98 billion. The average price in February was $285,940 up 13 percent from last year.

North Texas’ monthly housing inventory remained at 2.7 months in February, with a sharp divide in inventory in homes priced below $500,000. There was 2.2 months of inventory of homes priced below that mark, and 9.6 months of inventory in more expensive homes. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University remarks that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Homes spent an average of 48 days on the market in February. There were 16,690 active listings for the North Texas housing market during the same time frame, a 1 percent drop.

February 2017

  • 6,909    Homes sold, 5 percent higher than February 2016.
  • $235,000  Median sales price for homes, 13 percent more than February 2016.
  • $285,940  Average sales price for homes, a 13 percent increase over February 2016.
  • 2.7   Monthly housing inventory in February 2017, up from 2.0 months in the previous year.
  •  48  Average number of days homes spent on the market in February 2017.
  • 16,690  Active home listings on the market in February 2017, a 1 percent drop.
  • $124  Average price per square foot for a single family home, up 12 percent year-over-year.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association.  We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

A Snapshot of the Texas Real Estate Market

Our market is on the move and growing. We know that just by the sheer intensity multiple offers and the extremely low volume we’re experiencing. Recently, the Texas Association of Realtors compiled research from a variety of sources to give us a more complete picture of exactly how the market is performing.

In case you were wondering, the research does indeed indicate that 2016 held a strongly diverse market in terms of who our homebuyers are. Nearly 30 percent of Texas homebuyers last year bought their first homes. Interestingly, twice as many single women purchased a home than single men in Texas. International demand for Texas real estate contributed more than $10 billion to the Texas economy. According to the Texas International Homebuyers Report, international buyers from Asia are as large of a portion of the market as those from Latin America. In fact, one in five international homebuyers from India purchased a home in Texas in 2016.

The type of homes buyers are seeking is changing as well. Urban millennials and Baby Boomers are looking for lower-maintenance alternatives to traditional single-family homes. The 2016 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report showed double-digit growth in both condo sales volume and prices in four of Texas’ five major metropolitan areas for the first half of 2016.

Home remodeling and renovation projects continue to yield strong returns for Texas homeowners. The Texas Remodel Valuation Report showed that projects that increase a home’s sustainability, energy efficiency and curb appeal often yield higher recoup costs than project costs.

Both Texas home sales and home prices continued to rise throughout 2016 as a result of continued population growth and strong housing demand throughout the state. Despite slowing job growth and continued economic effects from the recent downturn in the energy sector, 2016 surpassed 2015 with the highest annual home sales volume in Texas history. In the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, total sales volume passed $28 Billion, breaking the 2015 record by more than 13 percent.

2016 North Texas Market Overall – New records set

  • 101,529  Homes sold, beating a 10-year-old record of 95,509 sales. This year’s result is 8 percent higher than 2015.
  • $28,050,996,211   Total dollar volume of sales, up 13 percent from 2015 and sets a new record in dollar volume.
  •  $225,000 Median sales price for homes, 10 percent more than 2015, a record high.
  • $276,286  Average sales price for homes, a 7 percent increase over 2015, a record high.
  • 42  Average number of days homes spent on the market in 2016.
  • 18,355  Average active home listings on the market in 2016, a 1 percent drop.
  • $119   Average price per square foot, up 7 percent year-over-year.

Money saving tips to save energy

Celebrating spring in North Texas is a wonderful thing. We’ve got parades and jamborees, storytelling, auto shows, sporting events and more. We can celebrate things greening up at home, too. Let’s start with some low and no-cost ways to add more green in our wallets.

Start by cleaning up your act. It needs to be done anyway, and spring cleaning can actually save you money. For instance, when you change your air filters and clean the duct covers of your HVAC system, it will not have to work as hard to circulate the air through the house, and so it will use less electricity. Your refrigerator will also run more efficiently if you clean its condenser coils, defrost it, and wipe down the interior. Believe it or not, you can also save money by washing your windows. Sunlight is free lighting for your home, and it’s more effective if grime isn’t in the way!

There are lots of small changes you can make at home that add up to big savings in your utility bills over time. Take lighting, for instance. If you focus on using less energy to light your home, you can cut down a whole lot on electricity usage. You can also wait to turn on lights during the day for as long as you can, instead open your curtains and blinds to enjoy natural light. Consider installing solar tube or skylights in your home. Often, they eliminate the need for daytime use of electric lighting entirely. To reduce your consumption even further, install dimmer switches and energy-efficient bulbs. Finally, remember to turn off lights when you leave a room.

If you’ve got rooms that are difficult to heat or cool evenly, or rooms that are always stuffy, you might have some problems with your air ducts. Inspect your air ducts to see if they need to be sealed properly. Often ducts in attics and garages can get tangled or kinked, or the original seals can break over time, especially if the installer used duct tape. If you can access your ducts, seal leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulate all the ducts that you can reach. Check the connections at vents and registers where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are often places where ductwork becomes disconnected. Change your filters and vacuum your duct covers and

Speaking of drafts, it’s a good time of year to replace the caulk and weather-stripping around your windows and doors – before the spring storms hit and leaks happen. While you’re at it, install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. Those drafty plates can really drive up your summer cooling bills.

Unplug electronics when they’re not being used. Many electronics draw power when they’re plugged in, even if they’re switched off. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of plugging your into a power strip and switching the whole strip off when not in use to prevent this.

If you plan on doing energy efficient improvements to your home this year, including having professionals identify and fix drafts and leaks, adding insulation, upgrading appliances, thermostats, water heater, or HVAC system this year, you may be able to get some of the cost covered by your electricity delivery provider. Check takealoadofftexas.com before you spend to see if you and your project qualify.

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS is the largest professional real estate association in North Texas. Comprised of more than 18,000 real estate professionals, MetroTex is celebrating 100 years of service to the community in 2017. To connect with a MetroTex Realtor, or to find information about buying, leasing, or selling a home in North Texas, visit dfwrealestate.com.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

The coming of March brings to mind spring, college hoops, and the annual St. Paddy’s Day festivities on Greenville Avenue. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when severe weather can rage across North Texas. We’ve all seen what kind of damage high winds, tornados, lightning, large hail and flooding can do. As Realtors, we know how long it can take to recover when disaster strikes. Want our advice? Take some time this weekend to prepare before severe weather season kicks into high gear.

First, create an emergency preparedness kit and evacuation plan for your household. At the very least, make sure you know where your flashlights are and that the batteries in them are fresh. Have a supply of emergency candles and waterproof matches ready, too. Better yet, go online and find a list of all of the supplies you should have ready in case of emergency. One of the best resources around is the list available on the Department of Homeland Security’s ready.gov/kit.

Make sure you understand how your insurance claims process works, so you can quickly get your life and home back to normal. Call your agent before there is an issue to get an understanding of what to do if disaster strikes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your agent wants you to know the process so if something does happen, you can be prepared.

Aside from the immediate emergencies like food, medicine and shelter, probably the most heartbreaking part of recovering from a disaster is the financial crisis that so often follows. It’s the problems of losing immediate access to money and identity that linger longest and cause the most stress. Having a disaster plan to handle finances and identity recovery is absolutely critical. Start by making a copy of everything in your wallet, as well as birth certificates, passports, social security cards and other vital documents. Make a list of all of your bills, such as health, car and home owners insurance, mortgage, and auto loans. Include account numbers, customer service number and address on your list. Take pictures of your property before a disaster. Include valuables. Store all of this information on a pair of memory sticks. Keep one in a waterproof, fire safe box you can grab and take with you in an emergency. Put the other in a bank vault or give to a trusted family member in another location. Make sure someone else knows that it exists. Ensure you have online access available to banking and investment accounts, and make sure someone else knows about them as well.

There’s a very good chance that the most you’ll ever need is a pair of flashlights and a safe place to shelter from a strong hail storm. Let’s hope so. Experience has shown, however, that it’s far better to be prepared to get through a disaster than be caught in one only to get stuck in the nightmare.

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS is the largest professional real estate association in North Texas. Comprised of more than 18,000 real estate professionals, MetroTex is celebrating 100 years of service to the community in 2017. To connect with a MetroTex Realtor, or to find information about buying, leasing, or selling a home in North Texas, visit dfwrealestate.com.

Your advocates at the Texas Capitol

Do you want lower property taxes? Would you like to avoid paying a tax when you buy or sell real estate?

If you’re in favor of those ideas, I’ve got good news: The MetroTex Association of Realtors worked hard during the legislative session in 2015 to pass a bill ultimately approved by 86% of voters that increased the homestead exemption by $10,000 and constitutionally banned real estate transfer taxes.

Those measures are already saving you real money, and MetroTex isn’t done.

This legislative session, the association and its members will work on eliminating the hidden property tax in Texas. This includes reforming the property appraisal and tax rate setting process to ensure a more transparent and honest conversation at the local level as well as advocating for additional state aid in the school finance system.

MetroTex will also closely monitor any proposals to change our state’s home equity laws. Why? Realtors were the driving force behind strong consumer protections in home equity legislation passed a few decades ago. Those safeguards are a big reason Texas was not hit as hard during the last real estate downturn as states like California, Nevada and Florida. We want to ensure that any changes designed to improve home equity lending don’t come with unintended consequences that put homeowners and the Texas economy in jeopardy.

MetroTex will be supporting proposals to decrease traffic congestion and looking for other ways to keep the state’s economy healthy. It’s a tall order. But Realtors have been working for years on behalf of the citizens of Texas to make our great state a better place to work and live.

We do this by staying up to date on legislative news affecting Texas—and sharing that information with friends, colleagues and clients. Realtors volunteer on committees that examine issues affecting the real estate industry and property ownership. We contact our elected officials—thousands of us will visit the Texas Capitol in April.

Yes, the 110,000-plus Realtors in Texas help you buy, sell and lease property. But we also protect private-property rights, advocate for property owners and work to keep homeownership affordable.

Learn more about how MetroTex and the Texas Association of Realtors work to protect the interests of homebuyers at texasrealestate.com.

You can always get great referrals for interior designers from your MetroTex Realtor. Or, for information about buying, leasing, or selling a home, visit dfwrealestate.com.

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest Realtor association. We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.

MetroTex Association of Realtors receives statewide honor at Texas Realtors meeting

Local association commended for multifaceted real estate education

The MetroTex Association of Realtors is proud to announce its “Professionalism” series was awarded the Real Estate Series or Short Education Program of the Year. The honor was bestowed at the Texas Association of Realtors Winter Meeting on Feb. 13.

“We’re so pleased that our joint program with CCAR has been such a success,” said James Martin, President of MetroTex. “Collaborating with our neighbor associations elevates our profession across the region.”

Consisting of four classes that cover how to be respectful and professional, this series was co-developed with the Collin County Association of REALTORS, in a nod to CCAR’s its population and new agent growth. The two associations wanted to provide an avenue to help the Realtors in their area understand that being professional is part of their ethical obligation.

The Real Estate Short Education Program of the Year award is given annually to a local association that has made a significant contribution to real estate education in Texas and helped keep Realtors updated on the latest trends.

Additionally, the MetroTex Association of Realtors was honored with the innovation award for “Leadership Bootcamp.” This program was developed to help enhance participants' leadership skills and prepare them for future leadership roles in their professions and communities.”

Furthermore, the MetroTex Association of Realtors is proud to announce that Russell Berry was inducted into to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Omega Tau Rho fraternity. Recognizing Realtors who have made outstanding contributions to the real estate industry, this honorary fraternity exemplifies the Realtor’s pledge of performance and excellence to clients and each other.

About the MetroTex Association of Realtors

Celebrating 100 years of service in North Texas, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association.  We are an advocate for homeowners, private property rights, the real estate industry, and real estate professionals. MetroTex is comprised of more than 18,000 members.