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Moves by Jeb Bush add to talk of 2016 candidacy

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush's decision to release a policy-laden e-book and all his emails from his time as governor of Florida has further stoked expectations among his allies that he will launch a presidential bid.

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Ebby Halliday acquires Fort Worth’s Williams Trew

Williams Trew Real Estate of Fort Worth has been acquired by Dallas-based residential real estate brokerage Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

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Taking the Cake: Sundance had pursued Cheesecake Factory for many years

The Cheesecake Factory had been on the white board over at Sundance Square management for some time

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Fort Worth businessman to lead Abbott, Patrick inauguration efforts

Fort Worth businessman Ardon Moore will chair the committee running inauguration festivities for Gov.-elect Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick in January, it was announced on Friday.   Moore, president of Lee M. Bass Inc. in Fort Worth, is a vice chairman of the University of Texas Investment

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Meridian Bank Texas parent acquired by UMB Financial for $182.5M

Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Financial Corp., the parent company of UMB Bank, said Dec. 15 it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marquette Financial Companies in an all-stock transaction.

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Home building up in November

 

Home construction increases in November. Photo courtesy of CNN. 

Chris Isidore

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Builders rushed to start homes in November, with that key measure of the housing recovery enjoying a huge one-month jump.

Housing starts grew at an annual pace of 1.09 million, up nearly 30% from a year ago. The issuance of building permits was also strong, up 7%.

Still the pace of housing starts was less than half of the peak levels during the housing boom in the middle of last decade, and was even 25% below the monthly average over the course of the last 50 years.

"Because of this, the impressive acceleration in residential investment which has occurred in 2013 should extend through 2014," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, in a note Wednesday.

A survey by the National Association of Home Builders released Tuesday showed builders reporting the best sales conditions for single family homes in eight years.

The recovery in the housing market has been one of the key areas of strength in the U.S. economy. Years of low levels of home building since the bursting of the housing bubble have left the nation with a tight supply of new homes for sale.

A strong improvement in home prices and a drop in unemployment and home foreclosures have combined to drive a rebound in demand for homes.

Mortgage rates have been rising steadily for months since hitting a record low in the spring. That has also increased demand as potential buyers look to make a purchase before rates go higher.

"Collectively, the starts and permits figures suggest that the housing sector is not being impinged by higher mortgage rates," said LaVorgna. "While affordability has declined somewhat due to rising rates and increasing home prices, it is still extremely high relative to history. In fact, housing affordability is higher now than at any point from 1971 to 2007."

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