Housing-Insight-March-2021

Texas Housing Insight – March 2021 Summary

Total Texas housing sales fell 6.4 percent during the first quarter amid rising mortgage rates and weather-related disruptions that dampened business activity in February. Most of the quarterly decline was attributable to decreased resale transactions priced less than $400,000, offsetting elevated luxury home sales in the existing-home market and overall new-home sales. Texas’ homeownership rate improved, although the proportion of owner-occupied units in the major metros persisted below the national and state average. Overall housing demand remained healthy but was constrained by depleted inventories, pushing median home-price growth into double-digit territory. Supply-side indicators corrected downward from record activity in the fourth quarter of 2020 but remained generally positive compared with year-ago levels. The unprecedented low level of inventory available for sale is the greatest challenge to Texas’ housing market, assuming the pandemic remains contained.

Supply*

The Texas Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index, which measures current construction levels, increased to its highest level in a year due to improved industry employment, wages, and construction values. Construction activity is expected to remain strong in the coming months as indicated by the Residential Construction Leading Index, which rose to an all-time high in March amid elevated weighted building permits and housing starts, offsetting growth in the ten-year real Treasury bill. Similarly, the leading indexes in North and Central Texas trended upward, but Houston’s metric continued to decline, suggesting an impending slowdown in construction.

According to Zonda, the number of new vacant developed lots (VDLs) fell 12.2 percent during first quarter 2021, normalizing around its two-year average after record activity to end the year and the winter storm disruption in February. Austin accounted for most of the quarterly decline as VDLs intended for homes priced less than $300,000 plummeted. The metric in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and San Antonio also decreased but remained above year-ago levels. Conversely, Houston VDLs still fell short of 1Q2020 numbers despite increasing for the second straight quarter following depressed activity last year, mainly at the bottom of the price spectrum.    

Quarterly fluctuations in single-family construction permits reflected movements in VDLs, although the metric increased 9.8 percent on a monthly basis. Houston and DFW topped the national list and accounted for most of the state’s improvement, issuing 5,142 and 4,875 nonseasonally adjusted permits, respectively. Similar to VDLs, San Antonio was the only major metro to maintain an upward trend as permits rose to 1,474. Austin’s metric posted a record-breaking 2,428 permits but ticked up modestly after adjusting for seasonality. On the other hand, a strong start to the year pushed Texas’ multifamily permits up 28.2 percent quarter over quarter (QOQ), offsetting monthly declines in February and March.

As lumber prices doubled compared with year-ago levels and Winter Storm Uri caused utility outages across the state, total Texas housing starts flattened on a quarterly basis. Zonda data revealed that single-family housing starts also inched down from its post-Great Recession high of 34,600 groundbreakings in 4Q2020 but remained elevated 25.1 percent year over year (YOY). Single-family starts in North Texas and San Antonio declined QOQ, but activity increased in Austin and Houston for homes priced more than $300,000.

Single-family private construction values decreased every month this year to date, dropping 4.7 percent QOQ in real terms. Only Houston construction values improved in March, although the metric still fell on a quarterly basis. Values in DFW and San Antonio sank for the second straight month, normalizing from record levels at the start of the year. Austin also registered a monthly contraction, but the metric posted the smallest quarterly decline out of the major metros, just 2.7 percent.

The number of homes added to the Multiple Listings Service rebounded in March after plunging during the winter storm. Sales also picked up and even outpaced the influx of new listings, pulling Texas’ months of inventory(MOI) down to an all-time low of 1.4 months. A total MOI around six months is considered a balanced housing market. Inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 was even more constrained, dropping to just one month. Even the MOI for luxury homes (homes priced more than $500,000), the price range at which inventory was at its most expansive, slid to 2.4 months.

The supply situation in the major metros was even more critical than the statewide metric. Austin’s MOI fell below 0.4 months, while the metric ticked down to one month in both Dallas and Fort Worth and 1.3 months in San Antonio. Although Houston’s overall MOI was greater than the state average at 1.6 months, inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 slipped below 0.9 months. Depleted inventory is a major headwind to the continued health of Texas’ housing market.

Demand

Sales picked up in March after the weather-related decline the previous month, but total housing sales fell 6.4 percent QOQ amid rising mortgage rates. Activity for homes priced less than $400,000 offset quarterly growth of 12.2 percent in the luxury-home sector. The overall decrease was concentrated in the resale market where DFW and Austin posted double-digit quarterly contractions. The latter, however, along with San Antonio and Houston, maintained substantial growth relative to 1Q2020 sales.

In contrast to decreased quarterly sales in the existing-home market, Zonda data revealed positive sales growth in all four of the major metros’ new-home sectors. New-home sales in Austin rose for the third consecutive quarter to a record 5,900 sales despite reduced transactions for homes priced less than $300,000. Similar decreases at the bottom price range in North Texas, at least partially due to climbing construction costs, resulted in just 1.1 percent overall YOY growth, matching the existing-home sales annual increase. Houston and San Antonio new-home sales, however, jumped 10.8 and 5.9 percent QOQ, respectively.

Amid recovering economic conditions and overall robust sales activity, Texas’ homeownership rate rose to 65.8 percent, about even with the U.S. rate, per the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey. Nationally, homeownership decreased for white households but improved for Black households, households of other races, and householders of ages 35 to 44 years. Although homeownership in Texas’ major metros increased, rates persisted below the state and national average. Once the state leader with nearly three-quarters of total housing units owner-occupied in 3Q2020, Austin posted a homeownership rate of just 64.9 percent in 1Q2021. The metric ticked up to 64.8 percent in DFW, while climbing to 65.2 and 65.4 percent in San Antonio and Houston, respectively, after two quarterly declines. Homeownership rates, however, could decline in 2021 as COVID-19 foreclosure-protection policies expire.

Texas’ average days on market (DOM) continued to trend downward after a brief two-month increase around the economic shutdown last spring, falling below 42 days. Austin registered the most drastic decline from year-ago levels as robust demand cut the DOM in half to 25 days. The metric in North Texas sank to an unprecedented 32 and 28 days in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. Meanwhile, the average home in Houston and San Antonio sold at a rate closer to the state measure, staying on the market for 41 days.

Climbing oil prices, accelerating vaccination rates, and optimistic national economic data during the first quarter resulted in higher growth and inflation expectations for 2021. The ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield increased to 1.6 percent** in March, recovering to pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate rose for the third straight month from a record low at year-end to 3.1 percent (series starting in 1971). Further increases in mortgage rates this year may soften housing demand and slow home-price appreciation.

Within Texas, the median mortgage interest rate inched up to 2.68 and 2.83 percent for GSE and non-GSE loans, respectively, in February***. Meanwhile, home-purchase applications remained down 12.4 percent year to date (YTD) after just a slight increase in March from reduced activity the month prior during the winter storm. The YOY comparison, however, was still in double-digit growth territory. Refinance applications fell more than 20 percent on both a YTD and YOY basis, being more sensitive to mortgage rate fluctuations. Two factors are likely impacting refinance activity: lenders adding more requisites and the shrinking pool of households able to refinance. (For more information, see Finding a Representative Interest Rate for the Typical Texas Mortgagee.)

In February, the median loan-to-value ratio (LTV) and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) constituting the “typical” Texas conventional-loan mortgage decreased from 86.5 to 83.9 and 35.7 to 35.0, respectively. Moreover, the median credit score jumped from 748 to 755. This improved credit profile may reflect the fact that only the most qualified housing applicants are able to outbid their competition for their desired homes amid exceptionally tight inventories and robust demand. Conversely, the median LTV and DTI of the GSE borrower ticked up to 85.9 and 36.3, respectively, as Fannie Mae’s 1Q2021 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey reported purchase mortgage demand over the past three months fell for GSE-eligible and government loans. The metrics, however, flattened around their two-year averages.

Prices

A shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes due to constrained inventories at the lower end of the market contributed to home-price appreciation. The Texas median home price accelerated 14.1 percent YOY to a record-breaking $283,200 in March. Homes priced more than $300,000 comprised more than four-fifths of total sales in Austin, resulting in the median price ($424,100) skyrocketing 28.8 percent. The metric also posted annual growth above the state average in Dallas ($341,300) and Houston ($288,200), elevating 15 percent in the former and 16 percent in the latter. The Fort Worth ($285,300) and San Antonio ($266,100) median price inched down from all-time highs the previous month but still increased 14.4 and 11.5 percent YOY, respectively.  

The Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index accounts for compositional price effects and provides a better measure of changes in single-family home values. Texas’ index corroborated substantial and unsustainable home-price appreciation, averaging annual growth of 10.4 percent in 1Q2021. The metric surged 22.6 percent in Austin, followed by North Texas with 11.5 and 10.8 percent home-price appreciation in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. In San Antonio, the index increased 9.9 percent. Houston’s metric rose by a relatively moderate 7.8 percent, less than the average price appreciation in 2014 but still exceeding income growth and affecting affordability.

Declining mortgage rates offset accelerating home-price appreciation in 2020. Increasing interest rates during 1Q2021, however, combined with double-digit home-price growth, chipped away at housing affordability. Austin registered the most drastic drop as the index sank from 1.69 in 1Q2020 to 1.57, indicating that a family earning the median income could afford a home 57 percent more than the median sale price. The Fort Worth and Houston indexes decreased for three straight quarters to 1.81 and 1.79, respectively, hovering around their year-ago readings. On the bright side, the metric inched up to 1.66 in Dallas and 1.78 in San Antonio. Continued improvement is important to Texas’ demographic advantages that have supported the state’s economic prosperity over the past decade.

Single-Family Forecast

The Texas Real Estate Research Center projected single-family housing sales using monthly pending listings from the preceding period (Table 1). Only one month in advance was projected due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the availability of reliable and timely data. Texas sales are expected to decrease 2.6 percent in April from March. Of the major metros, Houston and San Antonio are predicted to bear the brunt of the decline with the metric falling 3.3 and 1.9 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, single-family sales in Austin and North Texas will likely flatten around March levels. Still, activity through the first four months of 2021 should surpass sales during the same period in 2020.

Household Pulse Survey

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, only 5 percent of Texas homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments in March, the smallest proportion since July (Table 2). The metric within Texas’ largest metropolitan areas, however, hovered higher at 6 and 7 percent in DFW and Houston, respectively. The share of Texas respondents who were not current and expected foreclosure to be either very likely or somewhat likely in the next two months fell to 10 percent, lower than the national rate of 15 percent (Table 3).

The proportion of delinquent individuals who were at risk of foreclosure decreased in North Texas to 5 percent but ticked up to 9 percent in Houston, although the metric remained improved from its one-third reading from the Week 26 survey. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums for properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are currently extended through June 30, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention renewed its federal eviction moratorium through the second quarter. Continued stability in the housing market is essential to Texas’ economic recovery.

________________

* All measurements are calculated using seasonally adjusted data, and percentage changes are calculated month over month, unless stated otherwise.

** Bond and mortgage interest rates are nonseasonally adjusted. Loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income ratios, and the credit score component are also nonseasonally adjusted.

*** The release of Texas mortgage rate data typically lag the Texas Housing Insight by one month.

 

Source – James P. Gaines, Luis B. Torres, Wesley Miller, Paige Silva, and Griffin Carter (May 13, 2021)

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Housing-Insight

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What-you-need-to-know-about-muds-blog

What You Need to Know About MUDS

What is a MUD?

In real estate, the acronym MUD stands for a Municipal Utility District. These districts are set up to help finance infrastructure of your water, your water supply, your sewer, and your drainage in an area. A MUD is a taxing entity for the state that allows property owners to pay for the infrastructure over a longer period of time.

Listen in as Blake Bennett with Texas Agrilife Extension Service explains what a MUD is, what a MUD does, and how it benefits you as a homeowner.

The NEw World of eclosings

The New World of eClosing

Welcome to the world of eClosing!  There are many new terms to become familiar with when discussing digital settlement and eClosings. The transition to eClosing has created a plethora of new terms including In-Person eClosing, Remote Online Notarization, RON, Hybrid eClosing, etc. and we want to help you get familiar with the language and how it all works.

A few questions that will come up when discussing eClosings are:

1.     When are we signing?

2.     Where are we signing?

3.     How are we signing?

What is eVolve?

eVolve is Republic Title’s Digital Settlement and Signing Services Division and provides a new, convenient, and alternative experience in buying/selling real estate. Republic Title is leading this transformation and developing innovative and secure ways to evolve this process for our customers. Technology and added convenience are constantly changing the way people conduct business. When our customers have scheduling conflicts — whether it’s a busy day in the office or traveling on vacation — Republic Title is able to facilitate the transaction through one of our premium closing services, either at a place of business through our Mobile First experience or through our Remote Online Notary eClosing experience. Our dedicated team of professionals will provide our customers with a clear understanding of what is being signed and why it’s needed, ensuring a worry-free closing from anywhere in the world. For more information about eVolve or eClosings, visit our website at: https://www.republictitle.com/evolve

Get-to-know-our-calculators-blog

Get To Know Our Calculators

Republic Title is proud to offer a host of new buyer and seller estimate tools on our Republic Title Mobile app and website. Calculators include:

  • Title Quote – calculates title rates and fees
  • Loan Estimate Quote – shows the costs associated with closing on your mortgage as well as over the lifetime of the loan
  • Seller Net Sheet – itemizes the fees and expenses in your transaction, to give you a pretty accurate estimate of what you’ll net in the sale
  • Sell to Net – shows a seller the sales price needed to meet a specific net proceed goal when they sell their house
  • Seller’s Multiple Offers – allows a seller to compare multiple offers from different buyers side by side
  • Buyer Estimate – shows the buyer their all in amount due at closing plus their all in monthly payment
  • Monthly Affordability – shows buyer what their total purchasing power is based on their budget
  • Rent vs Buy – shows buyer the difference in monthly costs when comparing renting vs buying

Our new calculators can be found by downloading our new app, Republic Title Mobile, in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store. For a website version of the new calculators, visit republictitle.titlecapture.com  

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March 2021 DFW Area Real Estate Stats

The March 2021 DFW area real estate statistics are in and we’ve got the numbers! Our stats infographics include a year over year comparison and area highlights for single family homes and condos broken down by MLS area. We encourage you to share these infographics and video with your sphere.

To see past month’s reports, please visit our resources section here.

For the full report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, click here. For NTREIS County reports click here.

What is an eclosing

What is an eClosing?

An eClosing involves using some combination of electronic documents, electronic signatures, electronic notarization, or electronic recording. An eDocument, or electronic document, is a digital document as opposed to a scanned image of a paper document. An eSignature is a process used to apply a signature to an electronic document in place of a wet ink signature. An eNotarization is a process of applying the notary’s electronic signature and notarial seal to an electronic document. eRecording is the process of recording the electronic document in the county records in its original form.

What is eVolve?

eVolve is Republic Title’s Digital Settlement and Signing Services Division and provides a new, convenient, and alternative experience in buying/selling real estate. Republic Title is leading this transformation and developing innovative and secure ways to evolve this process for our customers. Technology and added convenience are constantly changing the way people conduct business. When our customers have scheduling conflicts — whether it’s a busy day in the office or traveling on vacation — Republic Title is able to facilitate the transaction through one of our premium closing services, either at a place of business through our Mobile First experience or through our Remote Online Notary eClosing experience. Our dedicated team of professionals will provide our customers with a clear understanding of what is being signed and why it’s needed, ensuring a worry-free closing from anywhere in the world. For more information about eVolve or eClosings, visit our website at: https://www.republictitle.com/evolve

Housing-Insight-Feb-2021

Texas Housing Insight – February 2021 Summary

Total Texas housing sales plummeted 16.1 percent in February as Winter Storm Uri swept across the state, causing widespread power and water outages. Before the freeze, however, sales were at record levels and should rebound in March as indicated by the Texas Real Estate Research Center’s single-family sales forecast. The number of new homes added to the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) was also negatively affected by the wintery weather, exacerbating the limited supply issue. Building permits and housing starts decreased on a monthly basis but remained elevated overall, which bodes well for construction activity this year. Additionally, improved economic growth and inflation expectations contributed to rising mortgage interest rates, the continuation of which may slow the current breakneck pace of sales. Depleted inventory is the greatest challenge to Texas’ housing market, assuming the pandemic remains contained.     

Supply1

The Texas Residential Construction Cycle (Coincident) Index, which measures current construction levels, ticked up as industry employment and wages improved. The Residential Construction Leading Index also continued its upward trajectory due to overall elevated building permits and housing starts despite monthly contractions, pointing toward increased construction in the coming months. Similarly, the metropolitan leading indexes suggested future activity to be favorable. Only in Houston, where permits and starts fell significantly, did the metric indicate an impending slowdown in building.

Single-family construction permits declined for the second straight month in February, dropping 12.4 percent. Nevertheless, issuance exceeded its 2006 average and elevated 20.8 percent compared with last year on a year-to-date (YTD) basis. Dallas-Fort Worth continued to lead the nation with 3,796 nonseasonally adjusted permits, followed by Houston at 3,395 permits. Issuance in Austin decreased to 1,862 permits but still remained well above pre-Great Recession levels. Although San Antonio’s metric ticked down to 1,000 permits, the overall trend persisted upward. Similarly, Texas’ multifamily permits sank 11.5 percent; year-over-year comparisons, however, were largely positive.

Amid rising lumber prices and utility outages across the state, total Texas housing starts fell 6.2 percent. Single-family private construction values decreased 13.3 percent in real terms after flattening the previous month. Monthly fluctuations in Houston construction values reflected broader movements in the statewide metric, while Austin and Dallas values normalized from record activity. San Antonio values also corrected downward in February after increasing by a third of December levels, flattening at its year-long average.

Although sales declined, the number of new MLS listings plunged to its lowest measure since the economic shutdown last spring, pushing Texas’ months of inventory (MOI) down to an all-time low of 1.5 months. A total MOI around six months is considered a balanced housing market. Inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 was even more constrained, dropping below 1.2 months. Even the MOI for luxury homes (homes priced more than $500,000) slid to 2.7 months compared with 5.8 months a year ago.

The supply situation in Austin and North Texas was even more critical than the statewide metric. Inventory expanded minimally in Austin’s mid-range price cohorts, but the overall MOI flattened at 0.5 months. Meanwhile, Dallas and Fort Worth’s metric fell to 1.1 and 1.0 months, respectively. On the other hand, the Houston MOI remained highest out of the major metros despite ticking down to 1.9 months. Fluctuations in San Antonio inventory matched the state average.

Demand

After a solid start to the year, total housing sales decreased 16.1 percent in February during severe disruptions to the state’s power grid due to the winter storm. Activity declined across the price spectrum from record transactions the month prior for all but the bottom price cohort (less than $200,000). Still, luxury home sales remained in positive YTD growth territory. The sales composition continued with shift toward homes priced more than $300,000 due to depleted inventory and rising building costs.

Luxury home transactions remained positive YTD in the major Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Nevertheless, total sales fell 18.3 and 19.7 percent in San Antonio and Houston, respectively, and trended downward in Austin and North Texas. Austin sales plummeted 23.6 percent, but the list-to-sale-price ratio climbed above 1.0 for the fourth consecutive month, indicating especially robust demand. Dallas sales sank 13.1 percent on top of revisions to January data that revealed only modest improvement at the start the year after a sluggish fourth quarter. Fort Worth was the exception, with activity down from year-end levels across the price spectrum. Moreover, total sales declined for the second straight month, registering a 15.3 percent drop in February.

Although Texas’ average days on market (DOM) flattened at 42 days, it still hovered at an all-time low and shed more than two weeks off its year-ago reading, corroborating strong demand as low mortgage rates remained favorable to homebuyers. The metric also stabilized across the major metros, albeit at lower levels in markets of exceptionally low inventory where available listings were snapped up after just 26 days in Austin and 33 and 30 days in Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively. The average home in Houston and San Antonio sold at a rate closer to the state measure, staying on the market for 41 days in Houston and 44 days in San Antonio.

Progress on the vaccine front and an approved third fiscal stimulus package resulted in higher growth and inflation expectations for 2021. The ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield rose to an annual high of 1.3 percent2 in February. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate ticked up for the second straight month to 2.8 percent, although the metric still hovered around historically low rates (series starting in 1971). Further increases in mortgage rates this year may soften housing demand and slow home-price appreciation. Mortgage rates remained low within Texas during January3, sinking to 2.66 percent for non-GSE loans, while the median interest rate for GSE loans was 2.80 percent. February home-purchase applications were affected by the winter storm, falling 14.8 percent YTD but remaining positive relative to year-ago levels. Similar fluctuations were observed in refinance activity as lenders added more requisites and the pool of households able to refinance shrank. (For more information, see Finding a Representative Interest Rate for the Typical Texas Mortgagee.)

Prices

Although sales activity slowed during the winter storm, the Texas median home price continued to post strong growth, accelerating 13.2 percent year over year (YOY) to $280,400. A shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes due to constrained inventories at the lower end of the price spectrum contributed to the rise in prices. In Austin and Dallas, where the luxury home market share increased by more than 10 percentage points from last February, the median home price skyrocketed by a record 22.4 and 16.9 percent annually to $398,700 and $344,500, respectively. The Fort Worth metric ($287,900) also rose by an unprecedented 15.7 percent YOY, while San Antonio’s ($268,200) and Houston’s ($281,700) median home prices elevated 11.0 and 12.2 percent, respectively.

The Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index accounts for compositional price effects and provides a better measure of changes in single-family home values. The index corroborated increased home-price appreciation, climbing 10.4 percent YOY, but the rate was less than the surge in the median home price suggested. Houston’s metric rose by a relatively moderate 7.5 percent, less than the average price appreciation in 2014. The Dallas and Fort Worth indexes jumped 11.4 and 11.7 percent, respectively. On the other hand, the index in Central Texas was more or less in line with median price growth, soaring 23.3 percent in Austin and 10.4 percent in San Antonio. Home-price appreciation unmatched by income improvement will continue to chip away at housing affordability in 2021, especially as mortgage rates rise.

Single-Family Forecast

The Texas Real Estate Research Center projected single-family housing sales using monthly pending listings from the preceding period (Table 1). Only one month in advance was projected due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of reliable and timely data. Texas sales are expected to rebound 12.1 percent in March from the impacts of the winter storm that swept across the state in February. The recovery in Houston and San Antonio is predicted to surpass the state average as single-family sales improve about 17.0 and 13.2 percent, respectively. Austin and DFW sales activity will likely be more subdued, but first quarter transactions should still exceed 1Q2020 levels.

Household Pulse Survey

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 8 percent of Texas homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments during February, greater than the national share of 7 percent and an uptick from the previous month (Table 2). The metric also inched up within Texas’ largest metropolitan areas to 6 and 11 percent in DFW and Houston, respectively. The share of Texas respondents who were not current and expected foreclosure to be either very likely or somewhat likely in the next two months, however, rose only incrementally to 13 percent (Table 3). The proportion of delinquent individuals who were at risk of foreclosure decreased to just 9 percent in North Texas but jumped to one-third in Houston. The increase may be associated with negative economic impacts from the winter storm during February. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums for properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are currently extended through June 30, 2021. After the survey was taken, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also renewed its federal eviction moratorium through the end of June. Continued stability in the housing market is essential to Texas’ economic recovery.

________________

1 All measurements are calculated using seasonally adjusted data, and percentage changes are calculated month over month, unless stated otherwise.

2 Bond and mortgage interest rates are nonseasonally adjusted. Loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income ratios, and the credit score component are also nonseasonally adjusted.

3 The release of Texas mortgage rate data typically lag the Texas Housing Insight by one month.

Source – James P. Gaines, Luis B. Torres, Wesley Miller, Paige Silva, and Griffin Carter (April 12, 2021)

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/technical-report/Texas-Housing-Insight

Introducting-Republic-Title-Mobile-App

Introducing Republic Title Mobile

We are excited to introduce our new app, Republic Title Mobile!

Republic Title Mobile is a mobile app that provides easy access for real estate professionals, buyers, and sellers to closing cost calculators, educational videos and articles on title insurance and the real estate industry, and more information on our services to serve your real estate needs.
Our convenient calculator allows users to quickly calculate closing fees associated with your transaction. Calculators include:

  • Title Quote
  • Seller Net Sheet
  • Buyer Estimate
  • And more!

Other Helpful Real Estate Resources Include:
• Contact Information for Republic Title’s 13 North Texas Locations
• Insightful News on the Title Insurance and Real Estate Industries
• Educational Videos and Monthly Real Estate Stats

Republic Title Mobile can be found in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store.

Our online estimated closing cost calculator is also getting an update. For a preview of the website version of the new calculator, visit republictitle.titlecapture.com  

If you have any questions, please reach out to one of our Business Development Representatives.

Terminations-and-Defaults

Key Points About Terminations and Defaults

A default occurs when a party to the contract doesn’t do something that they have agreed to do under the contract.  Examples can include not providing an existing survey, not depositing the earnest money or option fee, or not coming to closing on the closing date.  A termination occurs when one party notifies the other party that they are terminating the contract due to a default or some other reason. This video with Republic Title’s Janet Allen and Scott Rooker covers the following key points to know about Terminations and Defaults:

  • What is the difference between a default and a termination?
  • Once the title company has receive a termination from one side, can they release the earnest money?
  • What happens after a party makes a demand for the earnest money?
  • What happens if there is a dispute?
Contract Forms Update

Notice of Important TREC Contract Updates

New TREC contract changes become mandatory April 1st.

We sat down with Charles Kramer, Co-Chair of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Broker-Lawyer Committee, to discuss the changes and what you need to know for your business.

Contract changes include:

  • Residential Lease and Addendum
  • Fixture Leases and Addendum
  • New Option Fee Procedures
  • New Smart Home Provisions
  • HOA Addendum Changes

Key changes to the new option fee procedures include:

  • Buyer can now write one combined earnest money and option feed check or two separate checks.
  • Checks must be made payable to the title company.
  • There is a 3 day deadline for option fee and earnest fee.
  • The option fee will be automatically credited at closing. If the seller would like the option fee right away, they must let the title company know.

To learn more about the changes and see the updated forms, visit the TREC website.

For the redlined version of the contract changes, where you can see what has been changed, click here.