Are You Using Twitter?

Since January 2, 2014, I have been Tweeting under the DrTCJ account. To view my homepage click:

While many of you do not have Twitter accounts, or perhaps you do not follow me, please take a look at the Tweets from the first half of April 2014 in the bullets below.

DrTCJ April 2014 Tweets (as of April 16)

  • Hotel unit level net operating income forecast to rise 12.7% in 2014: limited new supply, rising demand and RevPAR per PKF Hospitality Res.
  • Gold, which peaked at $1,771.88 on 9-11-11, dropped 2% yesterday to $1,300, a peak to now decline of 26.6%.
  • “In the past decade, a little more than one-half of all new renter households were Baby Boomers ages 45 to 64,” per Multifamily Executive.
  • The first mortgage loan default rate of 1.13% in March 2014 was the lowest since September 2006 per S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.
  • California home sales hit a six year low in March as median sales price hit a six year high, exasperated by minimal inventory per DataQuick.
  • Cash-out residential refinances, which peaked at $320 billion in 2006, totaled a minuscule $32 billion in 2013 per Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction would reduce home prices an estimated 6.9 to 15% per study by Brookings & Urban Institutes.
  • 38 million homeowners benefit from the mortgage interest deduction (MID). 91% earn < $200K & 67% < $100K. Costs $70 billion in lost taxes.
  • Wall Street, private equity and Institutional firms have acquired 200,000 rental houses for $20+ billion in past three years per RealtyTrac.
  • Cash purchases of residential properties made up 43% of all sales in Feb 2014 versus 20% a year ago per RealtyTrac. Most in FL, NY and NV.
  • Increased credit standards — 25% of borrowers in 2001 had FICO scores above 760 versus 40% + in 2013 per Goldman Group Inc analysts.
  • Total residential lending for purchase and Refis in Q1 2013 was the least since Q1 1997 according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • Retail property returns (cash flow and change in property value) annual average since 2000 was 10.12% per NCREIF, hitting 12.29% in 2013.
  • New home office deduction rules, effective 2013, allows a deduction of $5 per sq ft up to 300 sq ft. No depreciation allowed nor recapture
  • Home office deductions for taxes (insurance, repairs, rent and utilities) totaled $9.8 billion in latest available data per IRS.
  • Hispanics made up almost one-half (47%) of all new homeowner households in the US from 2000 to 2013 according to the NAHREP.
  • Hotels, since 2000, have delivered an annual average 6.44% return, with 7.48% in 2013, per NCREIF.
  • Las Vegas housing continues to recover, with a median price of $195,000, up 21.1% YOY, but short of $315,000 June 2006 peak per GLVAR.
  • Limited inventory of homes for sale and readily available loans has pushed London home prices to highest ever, up 7.3% in past 12 months.
  • NAR forecasts an almost 6% increase in home values in 2014, Zillow is estimating 3%, while my expectation is +5 to 7%. 2013 was +11.4%.
  • Average US residential property tax in 2012 was $2,823 per Zillow. Highest was Westchester County NY at $14,829.
  • 3.1 million workers (not self employed nor volunteers) consider home to be their primary work place, up 73% since 2005 per Telework Network.
  • While average annual office performance return was 7.92% since 2009, NCREIF reported 2013 was 9.52%, up from 9.17% in 2012.
  • Average total office performance since 2000 was 7.92% annually according to National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries – NCREIF.
  • Minneapolis MN forecast by Marcus & Millichap to have best senior living community occupancy rate in US by end of 2014 at 95.1%, up 150 bp.
  • Occupancy rate for independent Senior living communities projected by Marcus & Millichap to increase 80 basis points in 2014 to 91.5%.
  • Lowest median home value in the US was $75,700 in Brownsville-Harlingen Texas with a 64.3 homeownership rate per NAHB.
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA had the greatest median household income in owner-occupied housing at $115,297 vs $65,514 in US per NAHB.
  • New home inventory peaked at 13.3 months in Jan 2009, fell to 3.9 months in Jun 2013, and has risen in Feb 2014 to 5.2 months per US Census.
  • Prom spending forecast to be down 14% to $978 according to nationwide survey by Visa versus $1,139 in 2013. Prior three years saw increases
  • Stock dividends are expected to increase 22.9% in 2014 due to record profits and cash according to S&P Dow Jones Index.
  • Public pensions have just $3 trillion to cover $10 trillion of future payments and requires a 9% annual return per Bridgewater Associates.
  • 1 in 3 In US have zero emergency savings while another 1 in 4 have savings that will cover just 30 days of living expenses per NeighborWorks
  • 51% of bank-owned foreclosures were still occupied by the former owner or tenant according to RealtyTrac.
  • Foreclosures in March were down 23% from a year ago according to RealtyTrac. That makes 42 consecutive months of decline on a YOY basis.
  • Hotel committed occupancy for the coming 12 months is up 4.3% vs prior 12 months according to TravelClick. Average daily rate is up 3.5%.
  • 29% of mothers with children in 2012 stayed home, up from 23% in 1999 according to the Pew Research. In 1967 almost one-half stayed home.
  • 1% of physicians received 14% of Medicare payments n 2012 according to the WSJ. 344 docs pocketed more than $3 million each.
  • Number of new businesses started each month in 2013 was 476,000 – down 7% from 2012 and 12% from 2011 per Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation.
  • The percent of uninsured Americans in Q1 2014 dropped to the lowest level since 2008 according to the Gallup Poll.
  • Orlando commercial market had the greatest increase in real estate sales in 2013, up 137% at $4.5 billion per Real Capital Analytics.
  • The NYC metro area topped U.S. Commercial Real Estate sales in 2013 at $47.2 billion per Real Capital Analytics. LA metro second at $27.4 B.
  • Commercial real estate returns pretax have averaged 8.58% per year and ended 2013 at 10.56% according to NCREIF data returns series.
  • NYC taxi medallions increased 336% from 2004 to March 2014 while the S&P500 went up 64.5%. That is now changing given new taxi competition.
  • Zillow reported record homebuyer traffic in March 2014 at 77 million unique users, up from 66 million in February and 50 million a year ago.
  • Home lending in Q1 2014 was the least since Q1 2000, off 26% from Q4 2013 and down 60% from Q1 2013 per Inside Mortgage Finance
  • There are 12 buyers pursuing each home for sale in England and 25 buyers per property in London according to a study by Countrywide.
  • Just 11% of Californians have earthquake insurance today, down from 29% since Northridge quake in 1994 per the CA Department of Insurance
  • Houston ranks 5th best place to start a small business in 101 markets according to Business Journals’ rankings. Last year ranked 8th best.
  • Houston office rents for the 12-months ending Q1 2014 at $26.06 per sf were up 6.1 percent according to Colliers International In Houston.
  • Houston’s hot economy saw the best net absorption in office space since Q2 2007, at 2.3 million square feet per Colliers International.
  • Although the Federal government cut 9,000 jobs in March 2014 and States 2,000, local govts added 11,000 making a zero change in that sector.
  • TripAdvisor reports a survey indicating that 92% of the respondents plan to travel with family in 2014 up from 85% in 2013. 78% in summer.
  • In room dining of the typical full-service hotel accounts for 5% of total food and beverage sales according to STR Analytics.
  • Residential construction industry added 9,100 jobs in March: 3,100 employed by builders and 6,000 by residential specialty trade per NAHB.
  • U.S. added 192,000 net new jobs in March. The preliminary February job estimate of 175,000 jobs was increased to 197,000 jobs.
  • Survey of more than 2,700 finds that 7 of 10 uninsureds had no intention of enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. Assumed it cost too much.
  • The IRS ruling that Bitcoin is property rather than currency exposes users to potential capital gains taxes using the virtual currency.
  • Compliance costs and low interest rates have seen the number of US banks shrink 20% since 2007 via closings, sales and mergers per the WSJ.
  • The inventor of Bluetooth technology named it after the Viking King Harald Bluetooth that loved blueberries according to Popular Mechanics.
  • One half of US homes bought by the Chinese in the last 12 months were in California per NAR. Most were all cash sales with no loan.
  • Homebuyers from China bought more than $11 billion of US homes in the 12 months ending March 2014 per NAR. Median priced purchase was $425K.
  • Vacation home sales in 2013 made up 13% of all home sales versus 11% in 2012 according to NAR. Median price of $168,700 was up 12.5%.
  • Vacation home sales in 2013 were the second best since the National Association of Realtors started tracking in 2003. Up 30% from 2012.
  • TransUnion reports that consumers now place a higher priority on making their home payment than their credit cards. Autos are #1 priority

Reply back if you have any questions.


Ted C. Jones, PhD
Chief Economist – Senior Vice President
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
1980 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 800
Houston, Texas 77056
O 713.625.8014 M 713.206.3442
Twitter DrTCJ



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