Coastal Bend economy growing slowerCoastal Bend economy growing slowerhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=78262013-04-01T13:51:00Z2013-04-01T00:00:00Z

COASTAL BEND - The latest issue of Economic Pulse, published by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been released. In the issue, Jim Lee, an economist with the university, describes how the Coastal Bend has entered into an economic bottleneck.

Since 2009, when regional sales tanked 30 percent across all industries, the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas boom has driven a resurgence.

But that recovery slowed dramatically in 2012, sales expanding 8 percent compared with 30 percent in 2011. Hotels and restaurants were the only businesses that posted more growth in 2012.

Apartment occupancy in Corpus Christi has shot up to more than 95 percent. Apartments are renting for $100 more than a year ago, starting around $650 for a one-bedroom unit, said Xochi Besinaiz, a real estate agent at 361 Apartment Locators.

Higher rents, higher deposits and fewer perks mean less money in renters’ pockets for other expenditures.

The cost of living index in the Corpus Christi metro area is more than 92. It hovered around 89 for the last ten years. The national average is 100.

Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend still have a lower unemployment rate than Texas, but employment growth is tapering off and the unemployment rate seems to have dug in at just under 6 percent, the lowest level since early 2009.

After declining for the fifth year in a row, home sales in the Corpus Christi metro area leapt nearly 20 percent, to more than 4,000.

The tight housing market resulted in rapid home price appreciation; the median home price rose more than 4 percent to $143,000 in 2012 after staying mostly flat for five years, according to Lee.

Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Corpus Christi
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