Renters: What’s holding you back?

Three myths may be preventing some renters from buying homes. Here are the percentages of renters who believe the following statements:

I have to make a 20% downpayment: 49%

I must get private mortgage insurance if I don’t put 20% down: 43%

I need perfect credit: 24%

Source: Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer Insights Report

Want a shorter work commute? Move to Lubbock, Corpus Christi, or Tyler

These three cities have the shortest average travel times in Texas, according to the website, which creates housing data reports using census data.

Lubbock’s average commute is about 16 minutes long, while Corpus Christi’s is 19 minutes, and Tyler’s is about 20 minutes.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the website analyzed information for all the cities in Texas with a population of 60,000 or more to estimate the travel time to work.

The worst average commute is in Grand Prairie, at 30 minutes. But Garland, Dallas, Houston, Plano, Arlington, and Fort Worth all take 27 minutes or more.

It takes between 20 and 25 minutes for commutes in Laredo, Brownsville, El Paso, Irving, and San Antonio. (Austin’s commute comes in at 24.9 minutes.)

Most REALTORS® aren’t on a team

Twenty-six percent of respondents to NAR’s 2018 Teams Survey are members of a team. Fifty-eight percent of respondents have not considered joining or starting a real estate team. Here are a few other stats about teams from the report.

    • Median number of people on a team: 4
    • 86% reported their primary function within the team is acting as an agent.

Most common compensation arrangements for a real estate team

        • Fixed commission split: 38%
        • 100% commission split: 13%
        • Graduated commission split: 22%

Texas employment growing

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Texas Employment Forecast suggests jobs will grow 2.7% this year. Based on the October 19 forecast, 336,300 jobs will be added in the state this year, and employment in December 2018 will be 12.7 million.

The Texas Employment Forecast estimates job growth for the calendar year and is calculated as the 12-month change in payroll employment from December to December.

“Monthly job growth has been volatile over the past few months with a weakening in July, a sharp bounceback in August, and then a slowing in September,” says Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Looking at the past three months, job growth was 2.4%—moderately slower than the 3.1% in the first half of the year. Job growth has been broad-based across metro areas with particular strength in Houston, which has grown at an annual rate of 3.9% over the past three months and 3.6% so far this year.”

72% of millennials consider owning a home a top priority

More millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center) consider homeownership a priority than other major life goals such as getting married (50%), having children (44%), or traveling the world (61%), according to a recent survey by Bank of America. About half of survey respondents said that the idea of buying a home made them feel like an adult. The only priority on the survey to receive a higher percentage of responses was the ability to retire (80%).

What do first-time buyers want in a home? According to the same survey, they are equally split over buying a starter home vs. a forever home. Likewise, equal shares of first-timers prefer more square footage or a larger yard. Given a choice between a home with a garage and one with an extra bedroom, about two-thirds would go for the garage. And two-thirds also think a home with a modern layout is more desirable than a home with “good bones.” Nine of 10 respondents said they would like to buy a home in their preferred neighborhood rather than pay less for a home in a less-desirable spot.

When first-time homebuyers plan to purchase

Within the next 2 years: 38%

In 3 to 5 years: 36%