Abilene economy 2014 keeping growthAbilene economy 2014 keeping growthhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=49072014-02-18T10:19:00Z2014-02-18T00:00:00Z

ABILENE - The Abilene Economic Index fell to 120.5 in December 2013, down from 120.9 in October and November, but up 2.4 percent from the December 2012 index of 117.7, according to economist Karr Ingham. The index base is 100, set in January 2000.

“The Abilene economy enjoyed continued modest but steady employment growth in 2013, along with moderate decline in the unemployment rate,” said Ingham. “The housing indicators put up strong numbers in 2013, while construction was flat for the year relative to a solid year in 2012.”

“At this point, though, there is little reason to believe that 2014 will not be a year of moderate general economic growth as well,” said Ingham.

Home sales marked their second year of improvement in 2013, with the number of homes sold up some 8.8 percent compared with the total sales in 2012. “And in fact, the number of closed sales in 2013 was the highest since 2008,” said Ingham.

In December 2013, 119 homes were sold, seven less than in December 2012.

However, the average sales price of $137,325 in December 2013 was nearly $8,000 more than in 2012. The median price also went up in December 2013, to $115,500 from $113,250 in 2012.

Overall, 1,840 homes — which includes town houses, condominiums and mobile homes— were sold in 2013, 179 more than in 2012, according to the Abilene Association of Realtors.

The average home sales price for 2013 was $142,281, which is $2,629 more than the average price in 2012. Homes sold in 2013 amounted to $261,797,763, nearly $30 million more than 2012 results.

New home construction recovered strong in 2013 “with the highest number of single family residence building permits issued since 2006,” said Ingham. There were 20 percent more permits issued in 2013 than in 2012.

Abilene’s unemployment rate decreased in December 2013 to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in November, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The state unemployment rate in December was 6.0 percent, and the national average was 6.7 percent.

An estimated 56,690 Abilene residents have jobs out of a labor force of 59,322. None of the data is seasonally adjusted.

The annual average unemployment rate in Abilene for 2013 was 5 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in 2012.

Abilene Reporter-News
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