July 24, 2012
Oil, Gas Production Fueling Job Growth
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Continued activity in the oil and gas industry made the state’s mining and logging industry first in job creation in June, according to the Real Estate Center's Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.
The leisure and hospitality industry and the other services industry ranked second and third.
Odessa ranked first in job creation followed by Laredo, Texarkana, Corpus Christi and San Angelo.
The Texas economy gained 231,000 nonagricultural jobs from June 2011 to June 2012, an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent compared with 1.3 percent for the United States. The state’s private sector added 281,800 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent compared with 1.8 percent for the nation’s private sector.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7 percent from 8.1 percent. The nation’s rate decreased from 9.1 to 8.2 percent.
All Texas industries except the information industry had more jobs, but the state’s government sector continues to lose jobs.
All Texas metro areas except College Station-Bryan, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Abilene and Wichita Falls had more jobs.
The complete economic review, written by Dr. Ali Anari and Dr. Mark Dotzour, is available on the Center's website.
Rising Tide for Coastal Bend Home Market
In second quarter 2012, 1,172 existing homes were sold, a 19 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the local Realtors association. The median sales price rose 8 percent to $145,367.
Meanwhile, housing inventory is down in the area, with a 5.6-month supply in June compared with ten months one year ago.
Activity among home builders is also high. The city’s development services department issued 449 residential permits through June, up 61 percent from the first half of 2011.
Housing Market Strong in Lubbock
LUBBOCK (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) – Lubbock’s housing market is showing signs of what some area agents are calling “the old days.”
June sales were up 12 percent over the same month in 2011, with 365 single-family sales reported. The median home price for the month was $127,500, up 6.3 percent.
Cade Fowler, executive officer of the Lubbock Association of Realtors, said low interest rates are helping fuel area sales.
“People are actually getting out there and trying to buy homes and sell homes,” Fowler said. “Properties are moving, and it’s taking less time to do so. We’ve had our challenges, and there are still challenges out there, but . . . I’ve heard a few Realtors say it’s a bit like the old days.”
Homes spent an average of 97 days on the market in June, eight days fewer than in May.
Alamo City Office Leases Up
SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – Office activity is picking up in San Antonio, according to CoStar Group.
Overall office vacancy fell one-tenth of a percent in the second quarter, to 10.6 percent.
The biggest changes came for Class-A and -C properties. Vacancy among Class-A office space fell from 16.4 percent at the end of the first quarter to 16 percent. Class-C properties had a 7.1 percent vacancy rate for the second quarter, down from 7.5 percent.
Class-B properties remained unchanged with a 10.3 percent vacancy rate.
Circuit of the Americas Buys Land For Road
AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Circuit of the Americas has purchased more land near its soon-to-open track.
A 205-acre acquisition will allow the circuit to finish construction of Kellam Rd., a northern gateway to the Formula One facility that could cut spectators’ drive time in half. The road is expected to extend north to Pearce Ln. in time for the inaugural race in November.
About 117.2 acres was purchased from the owners of Joseph’s Men’s Shop, 6.4 acres were bought from the state’s General Land Office, and an additional 81.6 acres were acquired from a private seller.
Travis County will reimburse the circuit for the cost of road construction — between $2 million and $4 million — as well as for the cost of land used as right of way for the roads.
No plans have been announced for development of the remaining acreage.
Camden Buys Belmont
DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Camden Property Trust of Houston has purchased the 465-unit Belmont apartments from UDR Inc.
The four-block complex at the corner of Belmont and Bennett is one of the largest in the area just east of North Central Expy.
Camden recently purchased a six-acre development site in the Victory Park project. Last year, the company picked up apartment complexes in Frisco, Grapevine and the Dallas Design District.
Camden's largest property in the Dallas area is the 904-unit Camden Farmers Market apartments on the southeast side of downtown.
Austin Industrial Market's Slow, Steady Recovery
AUSTIN (NAI REOC) – Austin's industrial market is slowly but steadily recovering, according to the second quarter 2012 market update from NAI REOC Austin.
“After achieving an impressive 1.1 million sf of positive net absorption in 2011, this year’s first quarter performance of less than 152,000 sf was somewhat disappointing, but the bright side was that we were given advanced notice of signed leases that would materialize in the second quarter,” said Mark Milstead, NAI's vice president of industrial services.
Those leases and additional new activity generated 595,013 sf of positive net absorption in the second quarter, according to NAI's survey of nearly 37.3 million sf of industrial space.
Year-to-date, the market has realized a total of 746,805 sf of net absorption “putting us squarely on track to meet or exceed last year’s performance,” said Milstead.
At the close of the second quarter, the citywide vacancy rate registered 15.9 percent — the lowest since 2008 and notably improved compared with 17.6 percent last quarter and 18.7 percent recorded at this time last year.
Dallas Office Building to Become Hotel
DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – A downtown Dallas office building is swapping desks for beds.
The building at 1025 Elm St. will be converted to a 130-room Homewood Suites by Hilton. The conversion will make this Hilton’s first hotel in Dallas’ inner loop, according to Hank Wolpert, managing director of Colliers International.
Wolpert also says hotel conversions in major cities are part of a growing trend across the nation.
The Homewood Suites is planned for completion by spring 2013.
News, News and More News
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – If you'd like more Texas real estate news, check out NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. It's updated every weekday, throughout the day.
Here are a few of the stories you'll find there this week: