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  1. River Oaks Market Report: June Update

    By Cameron Ansari 

    As we prepare to release our River Oaks Market Report for the first half of 2017, clients and colleagues are bombarded by mixed signals.

    Real estate agents inside The Loop, especially those working at the higher price points, complain of the eerie quiet since mid-April. And, given the sudden spike of LinkedIn requests landing in our inbox from realtors and related professionals, it seems to be a widespread problem.

    Meanwhile, sellers in our River Oaks market have been calling to confirm what they are hearing in the local news: “HAR announces home sales heat up in May.”

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  2. Nosy Questions with John Sebastian

    By Teresa Byrne-Dodge
    Images courtesy of sebastiancg.com

    The eponymous founder of the Sebastian Construction Group was George Sebastian, a Dallas native and self-trained architect. Returning home from service in the Pacific during World War II, he founded his building company in 1948 in response to Dallas’ rapidly expanding population. Gradually the company transitioned from middle-market construction to high-end construction, focusing on the grand homes of Highland Park.

    about_history_03George and John Sebastian, 1988

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  3. We’ve Weathered the Worst

    By Cameron Ansari

    Earlier this month we attended the spring edition of Dr. Robert Gilmer’s twice-a-year regional forecasting luncheon sponsored by the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. The past two years have not been kind to Houston, as the city has slowed to no-growth for two years. Other details gleaned from Dr. Gilmer’s talk:

    • We have probably put behind us the worst downturn ever for American oil.
    • The American economy continues to grow at a healthy rate.
    •  The East Side petrochemical building boom along the Houston Ship Channel is over.
    • All forward momentum from the fracking boom is now lost, and it can only be rebuilt slowly.

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  4. New Discoveries In An Old Favorite

    By Teresa Byrne-Dodge
    Click images for source

    One of the many satisfactions of revisiting a city where you used to live is discovering all the new restaurants, music venues, shops and museum exhibits that have opened since you moved away. But sometimes it’s a great pleasure to revisit your old hometown and discover something old that you never knew about.

    That was the case recently when we went to NYC for a class reunion and used all of our free Friday to visit several new-to-us spots. One was the Society of Illustrators at 128 East 63rd where we took in an exhibit celebrating the centennial of cartoonist/graphic novelist Will Eisner (photo below).

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  5. What’s Happening In This Market

    By Cameron Ansari

    There has been a clear sense that market activity in River Oaks in the first quarter of 2017 has been the expression of pent-up energy from the second half of 2016. Buyers and sellers had held back since the summer of 2016. There was then a tangible change of mood in December, followed by a strong flow of new contracts and closed sales (15) through the end of March. April has been quiet so far, with market participants distracted by tax deadlines, school breaks, and Easter and Passover.

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