Category Archives: Real Estate

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RealPage, a provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, is growing its operation and seeking to create an apartment data giant with a pair of deals.

RealPage announced Wednesday that it agreed to acquire “substantially all of the assets” of Axiometrics, a provider of apartment market data, for approximately $75 million.

RealPage said that upon completion of the deal, Axiometrics will be folded into MPF Research, a division of RealPage.

Additionally, RealPage announced that it entered into a “long-term” deal with Real Capital Analytics, a provider of multifamily sales transaction data and analytics.

The company said it expects the deals to create the “most-referenced apartment data analytics solution” in the country.

“Combining data from Axiometrics, MPF Research and RCA with the data analytics power of RealPage, which is based on tens of millions of real time lease transactions, will create a unique market intelligence platform,” RealPage said.

RealPage also said that the deals will “significantly increase transparency of transactions in the $150 billion market for multifamily property sales transactions by providing the most accurate market fundamentals, forecasts and asset-level granularity.”

The Axiometrics deal is not yet completed. According to RealPage, the deal is still subject to “certain standard conditions,” and is expected to close in February of this year.

Per data provided by RealPage, Axiometrics’ 2016 revenue is forecasted to be approximately $13.8 million, which would show growth of 27% compared to 2015.

RealPage said that it expects the acquisition of Axiometrics to represent a valuation of approximately 8 times EBITDA once the company is fully integrated by early 2018.

“The acquisition of Axiometrics furthers our goal to become the definitive source for accurate data intelligence regarding the acquisition, operation and disposition of every market-rate apartment in the U.S.,” said Steve Winn, chairman and CEO of RealPage.

Ron Johnsey, the CEO of Axiometrics, called the deal a “big win” for the company’s clients and for the multifamily rental housing industry.

Top hottest housing markets

January, typically the slowest month of the year for real estate, is anything but at the start of 2017.

With inventory at record lows, the median age of property listings on is expected to decrease four days from last year to 96 days.

The median home price increased 10% from last January to $250,000. Normally, median home prices hit their lowest level in January.

“We saw evidence of a stronger than normal off-season starting last September and October due to pent-up demand and surging interest from first-time buyers,” Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. “Since the election demand seems to have intensified – potentially as a reaction to mortgage rates rapidly moving higher.”

“The threat of rates approaching multi-year highs in the months ahead is creating a sense of urgency,” Smoke said. “The downside to this strong off-season is that we have started 2017 with a new low volume of available homes for sale and a new high for prices.”

In fact, put together a list of what Realtors say are the hottest markets for January. The listings receive 1.5 to 2.6 times the number of views per listing compared to the national average. The hottest markets are also seeing inventory movement stay constant instead of slowing down that you would typically see in January.

Note that the median age of inventory is only one measure being accounted for, based on Realtor impressions of what makes their market hot.

1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

3. Vallejo-Fairfield, California

Division of Black Knight Financial Services

The Black Knight HPI reports five price levels, along with REO discount rates, for 18,000+ U.S. ZIP codes.

According to the index, home prices hit new peaks in six of the nation’s 20 largest states and eight of the 40 largest metros.

New York led all states in monthly home price appreciation, seeing 1.1% growth from October 2016.

Florida and Tennessee dominated the rest of the Top 10 list, together accounting for eight of the 10 best-performing metros.

The RHPI measures price changes of single-family homes, but adjusts it for the impact of income and interest rate changes on consumer home-buying power. By these standards, real home prices are 37.1% lower than their housing-boom peak in July 2006, while unadjusted home prices remain 0.6% above the peak.

Real home prices are up 1.7% from November 2015, according to the index. This is compared to the unadjusted increase of 5.4% from 2015.

Fleming explained how wages and the rising interest rates played into November’s increase in real home prices.

“Meaningful gains in wages help offset some of the decrease in affordability,” he said. “Even as rates rise above 4%, housing, on a purchasing-power adjusted basis, continues to be as affordable as it was almost 18 years ago in April 1999.”

However, the fourth quarter GDP report showed a slow-down in wages, leading some experts to question its impact on home affordability.

The latest hotbed for housing

Housing is heating up all around the country as affordability decreases and inventory of homes for sale sink to their lowest level ever.

This year, Dallas appeared consistently in top-10 lists talking about high home prices and hottest markets such as this, this, and this. In fact, home prices in Texas are projected to increase 31% by 2020, according to an article by Samantha Sarf for Forbes.

“Texas in general is a hotbed for business,” Movement Mortgage Market Leader Dana Allen said in an interview with HousingWire. “Many mortgage companies are trying to come in and capture some of that.”

Allen, who leads the Dallas and East Texas market, said that Movement Mortgage saw a solid year in 2016, and looks to expand even further in the years to come. Coming from a company whose goal is to hold 10% of all purchases by 2025 and is expanding significantly, perhaps more expansion isn’t shocking, however it isn’t the only company that sees a boom coming in Texas.

This Dallas private equity firm even bet on a home building boom. In fact, the economy in Texas is so great that the U.S. Department of Transportation even chose Texas as its testing ground for autos.

“With five of the nation’s 15 fastest-growing cities in Texas and our population expected to potentially double by the year 2050, Texas must be a leader in new technology that addresses transportation challenges,” said Marc Williams, Texas Department of Transportation deputy executive director.

Allen agreed that builders could bring a building boom to Dallas, adding that the soaring prices are causing first-time homebuyers to struggle.

“I think that the good part is we have plenty of room for expansion and the builders notice that, so they’ll adjust accordingly,” he said. “First time homebuyers I think do struggle a bit to find a property.”

The market is so hot, in fact, that some even starting throwing around the dreaded B-word (bubble, that is) when referencing the city’s market.

Earlier this year, a study from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company ranked Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas in its bottom 10 unhealthy markets, in terms of housing affordability.

However one of HousingWire’s readers, Matt Maison, Arbor Commercial Mortgage director of research and analysis, insisted that there was a significant difference between Dallas, and the city used for comparison, San Francisco.

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The original version of this article stated the execution date was January 25th. This was the prior execution date, which was changed to July 19th]

Death-row inmate Kosoul Chanthakoummane [pictured below] faces his final months the year of his execution, which will take place on Wednesday, July 19 at 6 p.m. CST.

Back in 2006, Chanthakoummane was sentenced to death after stabbing a Dallas real estate agent to death. He stabbed the agent, Sarah Anne Walker, in the face and neck in a model home in what his defense attorney called a robbery gone-wrong.

But went wrong is an understatement. A medical examiner testified at Chanthakoummane’s trial that Walker was beaten, bitten and stabbed, according to an article by Tom Steele for The Dallas Morning News. Of her 33 stab wounds, 10 were deemed fatal wounds. The jewelry she had been wearing was stolen.

The murder occurred on July 8, 2006, and Chanthakoummane was received on death row on October 18, 2007.

Now, 10 years later, he will face lethal injection. But what has he done with his life the past decade? Alex Hannaford wrote an article titled Letters from Death Row: Books Behind Bars for the Texas Observer. In it, he questions death-row inmates about their taste in books.

Chanthakoummane wrote a letter to Hannaford answering his questions and stating that most of the books he wanted to read have been censored by the TDCJ Director’s Review Committee—the body tasked with hearing appeals related to rejected correspondence and publications.

From the article:

Chanthakoummane wrote that he “will likely receive 60 – 70% of my magazine subscriptions,” and said that among the titles periodically censored were GQ, Vogue and Popular Mechanics. He wrote that censorship was “limited to a handful of reasons, which are conservative in their nature.”

Chanthakoummane also claimed that publications and periodicals “targeting African Americans are more closely and often censored [including] King, Jet [and] Diva magazines … it’s blatant racism / sexism at the root of censorship.”

However, TDCJ Spokesman Jason Clark clarified that publications are rejected because of sexually explicit images, the break-down or manufacture of weapons, depictions of drugs, alcohol and information deemed a security threat.