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North Texas home starts boom as builders struggle to meet buyer demand

North Texas builders scrambling to meet a flood of buyers have boosted home starts to the highest level in more than a decade.

Dallas-Fort Worth single-family home starts soared by more than 34% in the third quarter from a year earlier, rising in the face of the pandemic and recession. Builders started almost 13,000 local houses during the just-completed quarter, according to just-released data from Residential Strategies Inc.

“Back when the pandemic hit, we were bracing for a pretty tough summer with all the job loss,” said Ted Wilson, principal for the Dallas-based housing consultant. “But everything opened up in May with strong sales and it has continued onward.

“It’s pretty amazing considering the backdrop of COVID.”

Wilson said the third-quarter D-FW home starts were the strongest since mid-2006, before the Great Recession hit the housing markets.

Builders have started 43,246 North Texas homes in the year ending September —

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Texas foreign home buys fall again

Foreign buyers snapped up almost 14,000 Texas homes last year.

During the 12 months ending in March, foreign buyers purchased $6.6 billion in Texas properties, according to the Texas Realtors association’s annual study.

That’s down significantly from the $7.8 billion in Texas housing purchased by foreigners in the 2019 report.

And home purchases in 2019 by international buyers fell 28% in Texas from 2018 levels.

Texas accounted for 9% of total U.S. foreign home purchases in the most recent study.

“Despite the slight drop in foreign buyers compared to the previous reporting period, Texas remained a top state for international buyers, particularly those coming from Latin America,” Cindi Bulla, chairman of Texas Realtors, said in the report. “Texas continues to enjoy strong international real estate sales activity.

“From relocations to commercial or residential, foreign buyers choose Texas because of our resilient economy, job availability, investment opportunities and friendly business climate.”

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September surge in North Texas home sales sets records

North Texas home sales surged in September – up 27% from a year ago.

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It was the largest such annual price gain in more than a decade.

Real estate agents sold 11,408 single-family homes, a record number of purchases for the month of September, when sales typically slow.

But not this year.

Record low mortgage rates have caused a run on home buying even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month’s huge home sales increase is the fourth month in a row of double-digit percentage sales gains from 2019 levels, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

September’s year-over-year gain was the largest yet.

“It’s amazing that sales are up 27% over last years, but not surprising based on what I have been hearing,” said Paige Shipp, a housing analyst with CDCG Asset

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Delta leaves nearly 700,000 homes, businesses without power in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi

Nearly 700,000 homes and businesses in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are in the dark after losing power due to Delta, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane and has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.

According to the data aggregator PowerOutage.us, 685,195 utility customers were without power across the three states as of 2:40 p.m. ET Saturday.

That was down from the nearly 750,000 households and businesses that had power outages earlier Saturday. The highest number of outages is in Louisiana with more than 546,000.

Delta made landfall on Friday evening as a Category 2 near Creole, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Just six weeks earlier, the Louisiana coastal area was battered by Hurricane Laura.

The storm then moved directly over Lake Charles, a waterfront city about 30 miles inland where homes and buildings were already damaged by Laura.

The storm is expected to

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$375,000 Homes in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Texas

This brick house is in the East Passyunk Crossing neighborhood in South Philadelphia, about two miles from Center City and close to restaurants (currently with street dining), vintage stores, cafes, parks and the Singing Fountain at East Passyunk Avenue north of Tasker Street, which belts out Sinatra and other standards from hidden speakers.

Size: 1,100 square feet

Price per square foot: $339

Indoors: The two-story house has an open-plan lower floor with refinished parquet flooring in the living area at the front. Beyond an archway is a dining area and the kitchen. The kitchen was updated several years ago with wood floors, white cabinets, subway tile and stainless steel appliances. Sliding-glass doors at the back open to a walled patio. There is also a half bathroom on this floor.

Upstairs are

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State of Texas: TWC contractor reveals call center problems; Senate candidates prepare for debate

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Imagine showing up to a job where you know that almost 75% of what you do will fail someone. What if a fireman failed to help someone in three out of four fire calls? What if a police officer failed to help clear three out of four 911 calls?

Day, after day.

That’s what a contractor helping field calls for the Texas Workforce Commission told us was going on inside some of the agency’s call centers. The contractor, who asked to not be identified in this report, told KXAN the problem facing nearly every caller is that their call may be answered by people who have no way to help Texans calling for help with their unemployment problems.

This worker said they’re unable to help about three-quarters of the people who call with unemployment problems.

Since the pandemic hit in mid-March, hundreds of unemployed Texans wrote to

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Texas taps federal funds to help nursing homes buy equipment to expand COVID-era visits

AUSTIN — State officials announced Friday they will help nursing homes tap $3.5 million in federal funds to buy equipment that would allow more visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.



a man standing in front of a window: The state announced Friday it will help nursing homes tap $3.5 million in federal funds to buy equipment that would allow more visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. The move is part of a gradual reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak, after Gov. Greg Abbott in March closed them to visits. Shown is a woman visiting her mother at a nursing home in Mansfield in March.


© Vernon Bryant/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS
The state announced Friday it will help nursing homes tap $3.5 million in federal funds to buy equipment that would allow more visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. The move is part of a gradual reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak, after Gov. Greg Abbott in March closed them to visits. Shown is a woman visiting her mother at a nursing home in Mansfield in March.

Starting Monday, certified nursing homes in Texas can apply for up to $3,000 each toward purchasing plexiglass barriers for expanded indoor visits and tents to accommodate more safe gatherings outdoors, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Health and Human Services Commission announced.

Texas has 1,213 such homes, said commission spokeswoman

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