What’s The Good News For April 2016?



The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey in March 2016 which found that vacation home sales slowed in 2015 as prices of those homes increased. Sales fell 18.5% to 920,000 purchases in 2015, compared with the previous year’s peak of 1.3 million. The price tags of those second homes shot up a whopping 28%, to $192,000, in 2015, according to the report.  In addition, the median household income of vacation home owners was $103,700 in 2015—up from $94,380 in 2014.  More than half, 58%, picked up single-family getaways instead of condos (25%) or townhouses (13%), according to the report. Vacation home sales made up 16% of the market.  The most popular getaways were in the South—particularly sunny Florida. About 47% of vacation homes were below the Mason-Dixon Line, while 25% were out West, 15% were in the Northeast, and 13% were in the Midwest.


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport comes in at the 10 spot in a ranking of airports globally, based on total passenger traffic last year.  Beijing had been expected to overtake Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport as the world’s busiest, but China’s economic slowdown and the airport’s capacity restraint kept that from occurring.   Atlanta remained on top, according to statistics from Airports Council International. The airport in Atlanta is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the U.S. population.  Dubai was the world’s busiest airport for international passengers and came in third in terms of overall passengers.  Among U.S. airports, D/FW ranks fourth behind Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.



A new analysis by Realtor.com® has identified the 10 fastest-growing neighborhoods in America that are slated to grow even faster—places where job opportunities abound, new households are forming, and new homes are being built to meet the growing demand. Power Ranch, Gilbert, AZ is a suburb of Phoenix that came in as the number one boom town, with projected five-year household growth of 15.9%.  The Historic Cultural Center, of downtown Los Angeles, CA came in second on the list and yes, Downtown Dallas came in at #3 on the boom town list.   Downtown Dallas has projected household growth of 14.9% and they credit those projections to recent redevelopment efforts that have transitioned downtown into a livable neighborhood including the Dallas Farmers Market upgrades and as a next step, a long-vacant 108-year-old high school will be replaced by a new office and retail building, which should bring in employment and visitors. The report is titled:  “Boom Towns, America’s Fastest Growing Neighborhoods” so it is nice to see downtown Dallas ranked highly.


The Outlets at Alliance would total about 330,000 square feet of retail development, not including any hotel or big box retail that may be included, on 115 acres on the east side of Interstate 35W.  The Woodmont Co. of Fort Worth, in partnership with an entity of Hillwood, recently landed a $20 million economic incentives agreement for its proposed retail development, called The Outlets at Alliance, near Cabela’s in north Fort Worth.  They anticipate significant traffic in the area since the Cabela’s in that location is ranked 2nd place nationally within store chain.  Outlets at Alliance mall could open by 2019 and the developer expects to create 350 full time jobs.


The world’s largest retail diamond jeweler — Signet Jewelers — has confirmed that it plans to develop a new Dallas campus at Cypress Waters, which will include a 225,000-square-foot office building and a 31,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The two-building campus will sit lakeside in Cypress Waters and will give the Akron, Ohio-based jewelry company the ability to enhance its manufacturing capabilities in the region.

Last July, after Signet acquired Zale Corp. for $1.4 billion, executives with the company began their search for a larger regional home.  The new manufacturing building will bolster Signet’s manufacturing ability in the region to build diamond bracelets, jeweled rings and other intricate jewelry, with enough space for an additional 150 manufacturing employees to work. The Signet campus construction is slated to begin in June 2016 and by the end of 2017, the move to the new campus should be complete.

5 Low-Maintenance Features Millennial Buyers Will Love

The low-maintenance movement has taken hold across generations of homeowners. For millennials—the leading segment of homebuyers—the lower, the better. So summarized by Jill Waage, editorial director of home content for Better Homes and Gardens:

“They want to use their brains for other things, not for remembering whether they adjusted the heat or closed the garage door.”

Smart home automation has answered that call (admittedly with a few questionable products), all but guaranteeing low-maintenance living. Still, there are other, lesser-known low-maintenance features millennials may want to consider when hunting for the home of their dreams.

A brick home, for instance, doesn’t demand the maintenance required for wood or vinyl siding. It won’t rot, and its color won’t fade, sparing the homeowner the expense to repaint the exterior.

“Brick itself is a relatively low-maintenance building material, thanks to its durability and color retention,” explains Jason Hargraves of Angie’s List.

Similarly low-maintenance is metal roofing, which, according to Paul Kazlov of Global Home Improvement, is “one of the most durable roofing materials available on the market.” Properly installed metal roofs don’t absorb water, reducing risk of damage from the elements and lessening the potential for costly repairs.

Inside the home, low- or no-maintenance features are practical in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Among the “least fussy finishes,” coins Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico, are black stainless steel and quartz.

“Stainless steel has dominated appliances for decades. The only knock against the material is that it can be prone to smudges and fingerprints,” DiClerico says. “That’s creating a lot of interest in black stainless steel.”

Thanks to its matte surface, black stainless steel resists smudges, significantly cutting down cleaning efforts. And quartz, which is non-porous and stain- and scratch-resistant, doesn’t require deep cleaning, either—or sealing, like other countertop materials do.

Wall paint can also be low-maintenance, given the right finish in the right room. Satin paint is a cinch to clean, and can be especially practical in the kitchen or bathrooms; semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboards and moldings.

“No matter what paint you go with, our experts agree: steer clear of the cheapest choices,” says Stacy Giordullo, also of Angie’s List.

The common denominator among all of these features, of course, is the low-maintenance factor—but they’ll also serve millennials well come resale. Now that’s a no-brainer!