You may recall that on February 4 we talked about the Third Annual Housing Forecast co-sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and Austin Board of REALTORS. Boiling it down to the most simplistic explanation, "they said" -- slow and steady for 2011, picking up strength at the beginning of 2012.

Truth be told? I really hate to try to "report" on things like that because the fine points and nuances are always lost in the telling. That's why I was so pleased to find this YouTube video that literally puts the words back in the horses' mouths.

It's 5:32 minutes that are well worth your time to understand what we're looking at in 2011 and where we're going at 2012. Just click the play button below and you can watch the video right here on the…

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I don't like "negative" numbers of any kind. Not the ones that show I'm losing my money or that my clients are losing their money. And I really don't like reporting something negative like a 22 percent jump in foreclosure filings in Texas in January 2011 over the 2010 numbers.

But wait, you say, aren't we in this to buy property and make money? Of course we are, and foreclosures mean more properties that will be attractive to investors. But we certainly don't have to enjoy buying up and re-packaging someone else's dream.

In the statement announcing the numbers RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio said, "We've now seen three straight months with fewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total…

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This week we have an interesting set of factors to discuss that interact to really show the rising rental activity in the Austin Market.

As predicted, existing home sales are contracting a bit, with prices in the Austin -Round Rock - San Marcos region down about 2.5 percent for December. I don't see that as a cause for any particular concern. We've already discussed that the market for existing homes isn't really going to pick up until the opening months of 2012, so homeowners who can wait to put their property on the market are doing just that.

Condo prices, on the other hand, are inching up. Real estate investors can leverage this in a couple of ways. As an example, the W Austin Hotel & Residences downtown opened in December of last year. Units…

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On Thursday, January 13, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and the Austin Board of REALTORS® held their Third Annual Housing Forecast. The event didn't forecast smooth sailing for the area's housing market, but it did support everything we've been reading and discussing in terms of a recovery.

This is the only comprehensive housing forecast for Austin and the surrounding region, so it bears looking at closely. Metrostudy, which is the country's leading provider for primary and secondary housing market information, is telling us to look for a new surge in home building starting in 2012.

Now, let's think about that as real estate investors for just a second. We're ten months away from the time period to which they're pointing.…

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