National index shows homeowners continue to spend on remodeling
With an unemployment rate of just 3.7 percent and a low debt-to-income ratio, North Dakota ranks as the state with the healthiest housing markets for 2011, according data from LendingTree. Other states to make the list include Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, and Iowa.
The inventory of homes for sale rose slightly in March in many metropolitan areas across the nation. According to data compiled by ZipRealty, the listing inventory rose 1.1 percent in 23 metropolitan areas between February and March, after decreasing in both January and February.
A new Gallup poll shows that about 60 percent of Americans want to keep the mortgage interest deduction as part of the federal tax code. The poll asked respondents if they would favor eliminating certain tax deductions in order to lower the overall income tax rate or to reduce the federal budget deficit.
Despite the housing bubble and subsequent crash, more than 80 percent of Americans still think buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make. That's according to a recent Pew Research Center study, which found that 37 percent strongly agreed with that idea and 44 percent somewhat agreed with it.
Houston-based McGuyer Homebuilders (MHI) has acquired the assets of Austin-based Wilshire Homes, giving MHI a stronger presence in the Austin and San Antonio markets. The new entity, called MHI Central Texas, has plans to build more than 600 homes annually throughout Texas by 2014.
Construction employment saw an uptick in February, as 141 out of 337 metropolitan areas had increases in construction jobs compared to one year earlier, according to an analysis of federal employment data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, had the largest increase in jobs, adding 7,500 (8 percent).
Residential construction spending dropped in February, with home improvement spending leading the decline, after an unexpected increase in January.
A consortium of private investment firms has acquired the U.S. and Canadian operations of U.K. home builder Taylor Wimpey for $955 million in a deal that is expected to close in May. The deal involves the acquisition of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taylor Morrison and Canadian builder Monarch Corp.
M/I Homes, Inc. announced that it has acquired the assets of TriStone Homes, a privately held home builder based in San Antonio, Texas, for an undisclosed purchase price paid in cash. The acquisition marks M/I Homes' entry into the San Antonio market and a continued expansion of M/I Homes' operations in Texas. The company entered the Houston market last year.