Houston Ranks No. 2 for Job Growth• Houston remains a leading metropolitan area for job growth, according to a new “On Numbers” report by The Business Journals, which analyzed fresh data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.• Of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, Houston ranks No. 2 for the number of jobs added between March 2011 and March 2012.• The Houston area added 82,300 jobs during the year, which is second only to New York City, which added 112,500 jobs.• Last week, the Texas Workforce Commission reported that Houston’s unemployment rate declined to 6.5 percent in April, below Texas’ 6.9 percent rate and well below the national rate of 8 percent.
Another Record Low for Mortgage Rates• Average rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages fell to record lows for a third straight week.• The steady decline has made home-buying and refinancing more affordable than ever for consumers who can qualify.• Last Thursday, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30- year loans dipped to 3.79 percent. Thats down from 3.83 percent the week before and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.• Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05 percent for the week ending May 10, down from 3.07 percent the previous week and 3.82 percent a year ago, according to the Freddie Mac survey.• The 15-year mortgage, a popular option for refinancing, declined to 3.04 percent. Thats down from the previous week’s record of 3.05 percent.• Rates on 30-year loans have been below 4 percent since early December.
Weekly HAR Market StatLast week, more than 13,000 REALTORS® rallied at the Washington Monument onbehalf of the American Dream of homeownership. Some components of the dream arebeing threatened by budget pressures and market realities. But homeownership is verymuch alive and well, as more than three out of five residencies in the U.S. are owner-occupied. Moreover, buyer demand has been impressive throughout the year. AsPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated: “A nation of homeowners isunconquerable.” In the Houston region, for the week ending May 13: • New Listings decreased 10.4% to 2,272 • Pending Sales increased 46.3% to 1,893 • Closed Sales increased 6.9% to 1,106
Zip Your Way Through ZipForms ZipForms 6 Elite This three-hour course is designed to prepare you with the right tools and strategies to effectively utilize the online version of ZipForms. Students will learn how to create contract templates, email contracts, use the financial calculator and more. This version of ZipForms automatically updates the forms. Come and learn more about this online version of ZipForms. NOTE: Please establish your free account at www.TexasRealtors.com before class. Date: Wednesday, May 23 Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Location: HAR Bay Area Investment: $25Register at www.har.com/edu Questions? 713-629-1900 ext. 6