Abilene economy poised for continued growthAbilene economy poised for continued growthhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=63352013-09-16T15:13:00Z2013-09-16T00:00:00Z

ABILENE - The Abilene Economic Index rose again in July 2013, the sixth straight month-to-month increase, according to Karr Ingham, Amarillo economist. The index improved to 120.4 in July, up from 120.1 in June 2013, and up 3.4 percent from July 2012. The index base is 100, set in January 2000.

Employment continued to expand, with payroll employment up by over 2 percent and the addition of an estimated 1,400 jobs over the last year.

Nearly 81,000 people out of a labor force of 85,441 in the Abilene MSA — made up of Taylor, Jones and Callahan counties — had jobs in July 2013. The area had a 5.5 unemployment rate, down from 5.7 in June 2013.

Abilene’s jobless rate decreased to 5.6 percent in July 2013 from 5.9 percent in June 2013, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The state July unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.

Housing construction (the number of new single-family residence building permits issued) was down for July 2013, but remained solidly higher for the year-to-date, up by about 30 percent compared with the January-July 2012 total.

The number of home sales was up by more than 16 percent year-over-year in July 2013, and by more than 9 percent for the year-to-date. The average price was up sharply in July 2013 by 9.5 percent compared with July 2012.

Year to date, the average home sale price is up by 4.7 percent compared with the first half 2012. Nearly half of the homes that sold in July 2013 sold in 30 days or less, according to the Abilene Association of Realtors.

The average sales price of $163,216 went up $15,576 compared to July 2012, and the median home price went from $138,000 in July 2012 to $148,500 in July 2013. In July 2013, 187 homes were sold, and most were priced between $140,000 and $159,000.

Ten homes were sold for between $300,000 and $399,000 and three were priced at $500,000 or more. Home sales totaled $30,521,363 in July 2013, nearly $7.1 million more than July 2012, which saw 159 homes sell.

Abilene Reporter-News
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