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On the heels of a summer home-buying season marked by record demand and sky-high prices, the residential real estate market is shaping up for its hottest fall in a decade, according to new monthly data on inventory and demand on®. Homes for sale in September are moving 4 percent more quickly than last year as prices continue to hit new highs.

The median age of listings on®—an indication of market inventory—in September is expected to be 77 days, three days less than one year ago. That is five days more than last month, a change which reflects the housing market’s typical seasonal slowdown as summer ends and schools resume. Total inventory remains considerably lower than a year ago, with less than 450,000 new listings entering the market in September.

The median home was listed for $250,000, 9 percent more than a year ago and unchanged from last month. That continues this year’s record-setting trend and marks a new high for September.

“House hunters who were shut out this summer because of fierce competition could fare better this fall, with more opportunities to buy and mortgage rates still near all-time lows,” says Jonathan Smoke,® chief economist. “But don’t expect bargains—prices haven’t come down from this summer’s record highs. Overall, the fundamental trends we have been seeing all year remain solidly in place as we enter the traditionally slower sales season, and pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low.”

Key Statistics:

  • Median age of inventoryin September is expected to be 77 days, down 4percent from September 2015 and up 7 percent from last month.
  • Median listing pricefor September should reach $250,000, matching last month’s record high and increasing 9 percent over this time last year.
  • Listing inventoryin September should show a 2 percent decrease over August. Additionally, inventory should still show a decrease of 9 percent year-over-year.

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One of the nation’s top economists said Tuesday that oil prices “roughly speaking” have bottomed out, but that doesn’t mean Texas has nothing to worry about.

Oil prices have plunged 50 percent since June but surged 7 percent Tuesday to $53.05 a barrel, a one-month high. Slowing production in the U.S. and elsewhere plus concern about a three-day old refinery strike caused the rally.

Still, Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi is optimistic.

“By end of this year, our expectation is that West Texas Intermediate crude oil will be trading somewhere around $75 a barrel,” he said after giving his annual economic outlook in Dallas. “But we won’t get back to $100 oil until well into the next decade.”

But low oil prices will have an impact. Moody’s managing director Steve Cochrane, who also was in Dallas, estimates the nation could lose about 50,000 energy-related jobs this year, including 25,000 jobs in Texas.

Nationally, “the economy is performing well, and I think our outlook is good at least over the next two to three years,” thanks in large part to job growth, Zandi said. He expects full U.S. employment by 2016.

Last year, the nation added 3 million jobs and began to see some wage and salary growth — especially in states such as Texas with the strongest job growth. As wages pick up even more, Zandi expects to see an increase in the U.S. labor force participation rate in 12 to 18 months.

Texas, which accounts for about half of the nation’s oil economy, faces more risks.

Zandi and Cochrane don’t think Texas will fall into recession this year because of low oil prices, but places like Corpus Christi, Houston, Midland and Odessa will. Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio will see less effect because their economies are more diversified, they said.

Overall, Texas will create 325,000 to 350,000 jobs this year, down from about 400,000 in 2014, Cochrane estimated.

Texas cities, in particular Dallas and Houston, have been growing fast. So far, there’s no indication in the labor market data of a slowdown in the energy employment, Cochrane said. In fact, Texas added jobs in the energy sector in December after losing some in November.

But employment data is a lagging economic indicator because it always looks at the previous month. Since January, many oil-related companies have announced layoffs and reductions in investments. In addition, the Texas drilling rig count has fallen from its peak of 900 last year to about 700. The U.S. rig count is down from 1,900 to about 1,300.

Cochrane and Zandi based their outlooks on oil prices trading around $50 a barrel for the first half of the year and then starting to rise. If that doesn't happen, Texas could see more job losses and see them in other industries, such as professional and business service, banking and construction, they said.

Follow Sheryl Jean on Twitter at @SJeanDallas.

Published by The Dallas Morning News 

The Draw to Housing in Texas

Texas has become one of the most popular places to move to for families and businesses over the past 5 years. Click to find out why folks in the financial sectors and housing markets are standing up and taking notice.

Guardian Mortgage


Following are highlights from today's North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum. Speakers were Dr. Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University and Dr. Ted Jones, Chief Economist & Sr. VP, Stewart Title Guaranty Company. Today's Forum was moderated by Mary Frances Burleson, President & CEO, The Ebby Halliday Companies.

The Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas economy today is far stronger and more diversified than ever before.

The DFW area added 114,600 new jobs in the past 12 months, and is expected to add more than 100,000 additional jobs in 2015.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is experiencing an "incredible recovery" in home sales; restrained only by a shortage of homes on the market. Residential home prices rose 8.8% during 2014, and are expected to increase by another 5% in 2015.

Home mortgage interest rates are expected to remain at very low levels.

The U.S. is expected to generate more than 45 million "new household formations" during 2015, with many of them in Texas.

Lower oil and gas prices are expected to boost both the U.S. and especially the Texas economies.

The overall outlook for the Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas economy in 2015 is exceptionally positive, according to both of today's speakers.

Mary Frances


Having Problems With Your Rose Bushes?  This may help. 


Rose Rosette Disease


Reports of Rose Rosette Disease (or RRD) are increasing across the country, and may eventually threaten the rose industry in North Texas. While scientists are still actively researching this fatal disease, it is important to be aware of common symptoms of the infection in your landscape in order to prevent its spread to other plants.

RRD is believed to be transmitted by the tiny eriophyid mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus). These mites drift in on the wind to feed on rose canes, and hide in difficult to access places on the plant.

Once infected, rose canes will display “witches broom” symptoms; such as abnormal curled reddish-purplish growth in leaves, excessive thorniness and lateral branch development, and death of the plant within a few years. There is currently no known cure for the disease.

Keep an eye on your roses for symptoms as the disease progress slowly. Symptoms originating from herbicide damage, normal reddening of new leaves, or excessive branching caused by heavy pruning, can also be confused with Rose Rosette. While lab testing is the only way to confirm whether your plant has the disease, multiple symptoms suggest that infection is likely.

To prevent spread, make sure clean pruning shears are always used on rosebushes! Miticides have shown only limited promise as they must be applied with complete coverage to be effective. If you see signs of RRD on a plant, unfortunately, the best option is usually to remove and destroy the plant entirely from your landscape.

Researchers are currently working to develop a response to the infection. To foster communication on RRD, American Hort has established a webpage with additional information and resources. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will also be hosting an educational conference tailored towards landscape and nursery professionals, property managers, masters gardeners, and homeowners associations in North Texas.


Fostering Healthy Habits in Young Children

Every parent knows that fostering healthy habits in children is important, but there is no instruction manual for how to go about it. In the middle of a tantrum or a broccoli boycott, it can even seem like giving in to unhealthy habits is the only option. But healthy habits are some of the most crucial behaviors children can learn, and they can be taught successfully with a little preparation and a lot of encouragement.

A habit is, by definition, a “regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” It can be tough to recognize habits forming before they become routine, and, as most parents know firsthand, bad habits are hard to break. That’s why fostering healthy behavior in children must start early on.

Before thinking of your next scheme to turn TV time into book time or to camouflage green beans, keep in mind the following bites of information from Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician, author and member of the Primrose Schools Education Advisory Board:

The numbers add up. Adults tend to dismiss habits like having one sweet after dinner or taking a daily stroll around the block as being too small to matter, but the numbers really do add up. Even the smallest actions can make a difference in a child’s future behaviors.

It’s never too early. The earlier a child forms a healthy habit, the better. Don’t let age discourage you from promoting a healthy routine as long as it can be done in a safe way.

Take a step back. Parents are busy – it’s a fact. Try to take a step back every now and then to evaluate whether your actions with and around your child are promoting healthy habits, and readjust as needed.


Dr. Jana also offers the following advice to encourage two of the most important habits for young children: tooth-brushing and reading.


If you want your child to remember and even enjoy tooth-brushing, don’t wait for teeth. Infants love putting things in their mouths and having their gums rubbed. Establish a fun routine using baby toothbrushes, which are designed specifically for an infant’s mouth, to kick-start a healthy habit before your child reaches the tumultuous stage of toddlerhood.


Make reading fun before it becomes a challenge your child has to overcome. Start reading together even before your child can sit up, hold a book and understand all the words. After all, the goal isn’t just to raise a child who knows how to read but who loves to read. As your child gets older, find ways to expand the routine or to make it more fun.

Encouraging healthy habits in children is no easy task, but getting a head start, taking small steps, and looking at the bigger picture every now and then can make all the difference.


Primrose Schools is a national family of dedicated leaders serving children, families and communities in our premier accredited early education and care schools. To learn about Primrose School of Preston Hollow visit or call 214-369-7774.  For more parenting tips, visit our 360 Parenting blog at

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With the dawning of a new year, a large number of overweight and previously sedentary men and women decide it’s time to lose a few pounds. They attempt to accomplish this worthwhile goal by changing their diets and by committing to a more rigorous exercise regime.

Unfortunately, most of these exercise programs are undertaken without consulting a qualified physical trainer or other expert and inevitably, problems arise. As a result, the waiting rooms at Texas Back Institute start filling with people whose newly-found enthusiasm for physical fitness has led to injuries. While most of these injuries are muscle strains and other temporary conditions, a few are serious and require rehabilitation or more aggressive procedures.

Some of the trends in the types of exercise Americans are pursuing represent cautionary tales for those who are out of shape and are seeking a quick fix. Several spine specialists at Texas Back Institute were asked to comment on some recently published research on the types of exercise Americans are undertaking.

Warning: Some of these exercise trends are painful for physicians who treat back injuries to watch!  


MyFitnessPal Users Weigh in With Their Favorite Exercises

If the recently completed Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indication, fitness, particularly wearable fitness gadgets and smartphone apps, is one of the hottest product categories in the world. One of the most successful fitness websites and smartphone app is MyFitnessPal. The company boasts more than 47 million U.S. users who use the service to track fitness activities, calories and food intake.

Recently, MyFitnessPal compiled the most popular fitness activities of their users and released a report of these exercise options.  Some of these “favorite” exercise options, such as walking and running, are understandable because they require little or no equipment or facilities. Some of these, such as ballet-style, barre classes and CrossFit, are relatively new and benefit from the novelty of the activities. And some, as the spine specialists at Texas Back Institute will caution, aredangerous when improperly supervised.

Walking and Running


To the surprise of no one, walking and running are still the most popular exercise options for most Americans. When wearable technology is added to the mix, simplifying the tracking and compilation of these activities, almost anyone of any age or fitness level can participate.

“Regular walking is one of the most effective and safe exercises anyone can undertake,” noted Dr. Andrew Simpson, a spine specialist at Texas Back Institute. “It offers many physical, physiological and emotional benefits.”

“Walking activates the lumbar paraspinal muscles (multifidus and erector spinae) and changing the pace and incline of your walking activates different muscles throughout the mid and low back,” he said.

“Several studies have demonstrated that walking as part of a structured exercise regimen can effectively decrease low back pain in patients who suffer from chronic low back pain. Also, walking and other weight bearing exercises can increase bone mineral density of the spine and hips, which is important for preventing osteoporotic fractures.”



Millions of men and women climb on either a stationary or traditional bike every day and receive the cardio benefits. This exercise is always one of the most popular among Americans, according to MyFitnesPal users. In 2014, a new biking activity entered the company’s radar. It’s called Soul Cycle and is one of the hottest, new venues for indoor, stationary cycling.

“Whether it’s done inside or outside, biking is an excellent and safe physical activity,” said Dr. Richard Guyer one of the back specialists at Texas Back Institute. “The only caution involves the proper setting of the seat. It should be high enough to allow for the knee to be slightly flexed but not fully extended but not so high where the back is strained over a long ride or workout,” he noted.

Zumba and Barre


The popularity of the group dancing activity Zumba, while declining somewhat in 2014, is still among the top physicial acitivities of MyFitnesPal users. The latin-inspired, highly syncopated music and dance moves are challenging but the activity is so infectious, participants forget they are working out.

The Barre exercises are inspired by ballet. According an article in Fitness Magazine featuring Sadie Lincoln, the founder ofbarre3fitness, “”Most barre-based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements.”

“While I have examined patients for injuries sustained from Zumba, both of these dance exercises are excellent ways to build core strength and cardio capacity,” said Dr. Jessica Shellock, “The only caution is to make sure there is proper stretching before the activity and trained supervison during the exercise.”

CrossFit and Tabata


Two of the most popular exercises, especially among younger (20 – 30 year olds) participants are CrossFit training andTabata. These are also the most dangerous as far as back safety.

CrossFit combines high-intensity running, jumping and weight-lifting. According to the website CrossFitdefined, “The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individuals competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fitness is demanded of military and police personnel, firefighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess.

For exerciser who is in a hurry and doesn’t mind ultra-high intensity workouts, Tabata might be just the ticket. It is high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) workout and it last for four minutes! According to, the Tabata training program, discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabatahas this structure: (1) Work out hard for 20-seconds, (2) Rest for 10 seconds (3) Complete eight rounds!

“While CrossFit and Tabata are extremely popular among younger participants, there have been many accidents, including a spinal cord injury of a participant when a weight was inadvertently dropped on his back while he was involved in CrossFit training,” noted Dr. Michael Hisey.

“Of course, these risks are not unique to CrossFit or Tababta, high intensity workouts such as these, especially when they involve sudden jerking of weights or constant jumping, can wreak havoc on the spine. It is absolutely critical for a participant of these activities to get a professional physical evaluation before undertaking them. Proper supervision by a trained leader is also important,” he cautioned.

Before making good on that New Year’s resolution to get fit, you might want to check with the spine specialists at Texas Back Institute. Just CLICK HERE to arrange for an appointment.

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Ebby Halliday, Realtors offers Dallas-area homebuyers an opportunity to search for their next home based on its proximity to a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail station. The firm's award winning web site - - is the only North Texas real estate website to offer this feature.

If you want to live in East Dallas, but travel often from DFW International Airport on business,'s Rail Station Proximity Home Search can provide instant search results for homes for sale or lease near light-rail stations in the area.

Whether it's frequent trips to the airport, commuting to work, shopping at Mockingbird Station, or enjoying an occasional concert at the Meyerson Symphony Center, with's Rail Station Proximity Search you'll be the first to know about homes for sale or lease near the station of your choice.

At Ebby Halliday, Realtors, we're pleased to witness the growth of mass transit in North Texas, and we are equally happy to offer homebuyers and sellers the benefits of Rail Station Proximity Home Search.

Ebby Halliday has been at the forefront of the smart use of technology in real estate for many years, and we're proud to be the first in Dallas to offer this forward-thinking home search feature on our website.

To learn more about Rail Station Proximity Home Search and to find up-to-the-minute, detailed information about homes for sale in the Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas area, visit today.

Mary Frances



The Dallas/Fort Worth and N. Texas residential real estate market may be returning to a more 'normal' state, according to data published in the latest Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Although DFW area home prices are now at a record level, and are approximately 25% above where they were at the worst of the economic downturn in 2009, the recent local "home price surge" appears to be slowing, and analysts expect a cooling off in the market. While area home prices were up 8.6% in May over the same period last year, it was the slowest rate of increase in over a year.

David Brown, who heads housing analyst Metrostudy, Inc., believes "the higher year-over-year home price gains are behind us." Brown also predicts that the cumulative increase in home prices will be under 10% for 2014.

Jed Kolko, chief economist with Trulia, Inc. has been recently quoted as saying, "Now that prices have risen significantly, there's less room for appreciation before homes start looking overvalued. Expanding inventory and less investor buying both will move the market closer to normal."

A more balanced market, with moderately increasing values and steady sales will benefit both buyers and sellers who opt to enter the market during the remainder of 2014 and in 2015.

For up-to-the minute information on today's Dallas/Fort Worth and N. Texas residential real estate market, and to view homes currently for sale, visit an Ebby Halliday Companies' web site: or

Mary Frances








Contact Information

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The McCrory Team
Ebby Halliday Realtors
1415 Legacy Dr, Suite 100
Frisco TX 75034
Susan: 972-335-5933
Thomas: 972-335-5965
Fax: 972-335-5989


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