What’s The Good News? June 2014

Good News

An unexpected thing has happened to mortgage rates this year. They’ve gone down. Every expert in late 2013 said mortgage rates had nowhere to go but up in 2014. There were no economic indicators that led to a forecast of falling mortgage rates. The year started with the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage — the most popular way to finance a home — costing 4.69%. The consensus among economists and industry analysts was that it would rise to 5.5% by the end of the year. So what’s happened? The average price of a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan dipped as low as 4.2% last month and is just 4.32% in the most recent weekly survey of major lenders. Summer has arrived and we’re enjoying the cheapest home loans of the year!

In the last 5 years, DFW Airport has added almost two dozen international destinations, including Rio de Janeiro, Dubai & Sydney. International airlines such as Qantas, Emirates and Qatar Airways, which will launch flights to Doha in July, have added operations at DFW. And in the fall, the world’s largest passenger jet, the A380, will be used on routes to Australia and the Middle East. On June 11, 2014 American Airlines launched its first nonstop service to Shanghai and Hong Kong from North Texas. Since 2011, the Fort Worth-based carrier has added flights to Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; Seoul, South Korea; Rio de Janeiro; Roatan, Honduras; and Edmonton, Canada. DFW has 56 international destinations and serves 147 domestic markets. In anticipation of the expiration of the Wright amendment, DFW has been expanding their operations as a “connection hub” rather than relying upon destination travelers.

The growing West Plano area will be getting a new $17 million indoor and outdoor tennis facility. Lifetime Fitness will be building the first new indoor tennis court that’s been built in Dallas-Fort Worth in the past 40 years. The project will feature 10 indoor climate-controlled courts and 5 outdoor hard courts, as well as other amenities, such as a private bar and video analysis room.

Unreliable cell phone service at home or at an office need no longer be a problem. Qualcomm announced a new line of small cell chips that work with the high-speed 4G-LTE networks that wireless carriers have been building out in the past few years. Companies like Cisco and Texas Instruments produce similar technology. And all the major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile sell small cells, branding them as “signal enhancers” or “network extenders.” The small cells are only about the size of a wireless router and can fill holes in coverage and ease network congestion.

U.S. companies advertised more jobs in April than in any month in 6.5 years, a possible harbinger of strong hiring in the months ahead. Employers posted nearly 4.5 million jobs, up strongly from 4.2 million in March, the Labor Department said on 06/10/14. It’s the largest number of job listings since September 2007.

The biggest warehouse under construction in North Texas is hard to miss. The more than 1.5 million square foot industrial building stretches along the west side of Interstate 45 at Mars Road in Wilmer, south of Dallas. California-based Panattoni Development Co. has been building the project since last fall and the structure is now substantially completed. The entire building is leased to consumer products giant Procter & Gamble.

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