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RECON for November 24, 2020RECON for November 24, 20202020-11-24T06:00:00Z2020-11-24T06:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
El Paso named most affordable city for renters, Texas mortgage delinquencies high while foreclosures low, and work starts on Lubbock industrial building. Keep reading today's RECON for all this and more. (Photo from Center files.)
November 24, 2020

Texas mortgage delinquencies high, foreclosures low

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The economy took a big step forward in 3Q2020 with GDP increasing 33 percent at an annualized rate. How did Texas homeowners fare last quarter?

The percentage of Te​xas mortgages in delinquency dropped slightly from 9.35 percent in the second quarter to 9.1 percent in the third. Current levels are high compared with recent years but still haven’t exceeded the high watermark of 10 percent reached in 2009 following the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Texas All Mortgages Past Due
While delinquencies are high, foreclosure rates remain exceptionally low thanks in large part to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) ongoing foreclosure moratorium. The foreclosure rate continued to linger below 1 percent of the entire Texas mortgage pool, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

Some exceptions do apply, such as private-label mortgages, which are not protected by moratorium restrictions. 

The foreclosure moratorium is set to expire Dec. 31, 2020. So far, there has been no word as to whether the FHFA will extend the moratorium or let it expire this year. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department recently announced its intention to let a variety of emergency lending facilities under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expire. 
The Real Estate Center will close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and reopen on Monday, Nov. 30.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Move.org: El Paso most affordable city for renters

​​​​​SALT LAKE CITY ​​(Move.org) – El Paso has taken the top spot on Move.org's list of U.S. cities with the lowest cost of living for renters. 

According to the report, the Far West Texas city has a total monthly cost of living of $1,324 per person. This includes $710 for renting a one-bedroo​m apartment. 

Corpus Christi was the next Texas city on the list, ranking seventh. The average one-bedroom apartment rent is $957, and the total cost of living is just under $1,538 per person. 

Plano rounded out the top 15 rankings. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,160, bringing the total cost of living to just under $1,753.

At $2,303, Austin had the highest average monthly cost of living of all Texas cities evaluated. However, the Texas Capital is still more affordable than coastal cities. 

The rest of the top five most affordable renter cities are Wichita, Kan.; Lincoln, Neb.; Tucson​, Ariz.; and Lexington, Ky. ​

To determine the rankings, Move.org analyzed the 75 most populous cities according to the U.S. Census Bureau using data from Numbeo.com, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and the U.S. Department​ of Transportation.
apartment complex wheelchair ramp
Both the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect people with disabilities against housing discrimination. However, there are differences between the laws, including what is covered and who pays for changes. Learn more in "Keeping It Fair: Understanding ADA, FHA Accommodations and Modifications."

Developers team up on Houston mixed-use project

HOUSTON (Connect Media) – Lionstone Investments and Hanover Co. are partnering on Autry Park, a 14-acre mixed-use project at the western edge of Buffalo Bayou​ Park.

The five-tower develo​pment will include 1,450 residential units, 350,000 sf of Class A office space, and 100,000 sf of retail. The buildings will surround greenspace. 

The project will be built in three phases. 

Rebees is the development partner for retail. ​
NewsTalk Texas logoHungry for more Texas real estate news? Then feast your eyes on NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. Here are a few of the stories you'll find there this week: NewsTalk Texas is updated each weekday, throughout the day. 

Metro Fort Worth apartments sold

​​​HALTOM CITY (REBusiness Online) – Bellrock Real Estate Partners has purchased Grand on Beach, a 304-unit apartment community at ​​4100 Northern Cross Blvd. 

Built on 15 acres in 2019, the asset has units averaging 818 sf. 

Amenities include a pool, fitness center, business center, outdoor dining lounge, and dog park. 

Institutional Property Advisors represented the seller, CLX Ventures, and procured the buyer. 
weekly indicatorThe Texas Weekly Leading Index decreased the week of Nov. 14 after increasing the previous week. The index's overall trend indicates the state's economy is still on a path to recovery, but it seems to have lost some momentum. Our latest economic report has more. If you want to get notified when this report is updated, subscribe to email notifications.

Jefferson Bank breaks ground on 12-story office tower

​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – Jefferson Bank has broken ground on a 230,000-sf office tower​ at 1900 Broadway. 

The project will have ground-floor retail, five levels of parking, and eight levels of office spa​ce, four of which will be occupied by Jefferson. 

Amenities will include a lounge, fitness center, bar, and outdoor patios. ​

Construction will be complete by ​​third quarter 2022. 

Joeris General Contractors is building the project. Don McDonald Associates and HKS are the designers. ​
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Bandera starts on 202K-sf industrial building

​LUBBOCK (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) – Bandera Ventures has broken ground on Lubbock Logistics Center Build​ing 2, a 201,913-sf industrial building in the Lubbock Business Park. 

The cross-dock facility will have 56 dock doors, 36-ft clear heights​​, and ​100 trailer parking positions.​​
Communication Matters video seriesThe Real Estate Center's Texas Home Price Index measures price appreciation changes for residential single-family homes. It provides data for eight different Texas metros across three different price ranges.

Cadence McShane opens 238-unit multifamily complex

​​LEANDER (Connect Media) – Cadence McShane Construction has completed Hermosa Village,​ a 329,418-sf apartment complex at 11680 Hero Way W.

The property offers 238 one- to three-bedroom units. Rents range from $1,140 to $2,224 per month. 

Amenities include a fitness center, pool, dog park, and community farm.​
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.


https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/recon/?Item=429
RECON for November 20, 2020RECON for November 20, 20202020-11-20T06:00:00Z2020-11-20T06:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
Houston skyline at sunset
What's happening around the state? Houston named a top city for first-time homebuyers, Texas jobless claims rise as COVID-19 cases increase, Texas Realtors releases insights on homebuyers and sellers, and more. Today's RECON has the details. (Photo from Center files.)
November 20, 2020 

Texas jobless claims rise alongside COVID-19 cases

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – ​​Texas' initial unemployment claims increased to 37,500 the week ending Nov. 14 ​after decreasing to their lowest number the previous week.​

This brings the total since March 21 to 3.84 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).​

A key driver of the increase was the growth​ in ​initial claims filed under the Pandemic Unemplo​yment Assistance program, which accounted for 6,400 of the new claims.​

The claims increase was accompanied by a current rise in COVID-19 cases across Texas and the nation.

The number of Texans who continue to claim unemployment insurance decreased f​or the tenth straight week to 517,100 the week ending Nov. 7, the lowest level since the pandemic hit the economy. 

"This trend can be reverted if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, impeding the reopening of the economy and causing government mandated rollbacks or closures," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis ​​​Torres. "The rise in cases also causes household mobility to decline, as households prefer to stay home to not get infected."

Last week, new national unemployment claims increased to 742,400 after declining for four straight weeks. This brings the 35-week total to 68.2​ million.

Fewer people in all of Texas' major metros filed new unemployment claims during the week ending Nov. 7. New claims also decreased along the Texas-Mexico border, including in El Paso, which had a surge in COVID-19 cases the last few weeks. 

"Even though new claims fell in El Paso, they still remain around 5.3 times higher than pre-pandemic levels, but still below the historic high numbers reached at the end of March and the start of April," said Torres. 

​Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the ​Center has estimated unemployment claims for Texas' major and border metros since March 21:​
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 881,700 claims;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 836,500 claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 264,300 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 223,800 claims;
  • McAllen-​Edinburg-Mission, 104,100 claims;​
  • El Paso, 91,000 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 46,300 claims; and
  • Laredo, 26,900​ claims.
The rise in COVID-19 cases could affect consumer behavior, holding back business activity and maintaining layoffs, which continue in the industries that can't socially distance as well as in construction.

Administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, construction, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, and​ accommodation and food services represented the sectors with the most unemployment claims through Nov. 7. 
man in factoryBoosted by both a recovering national economy and recovering oil prices, Texas has recouped almost half of the jobs it lost in March and April 2020. For an in-depth analysis, read "Back to Work: How Texas Jobs are Returning."

Who is today's seller, buyer? Texas Realtors shares insights

AUSTIN (Texas Realtors) – Texas Realtors has released its 2020 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report, which examines details about real estate consumers' income, ethnicity, age,​ and perceptions of the homebuying and selling processes.

More than half of Texas homebuyers said finding the right property was the most difficult part of the homebuying process. One-fifth of Texas homebuyers stated their primary reason for purchasing was the desire to own a home of their own.

For those who bought newly built homes (24 percent), the top reason for doing so was to avoid renovations or plumbing and electrical problems. 

Buyers who purchased previously owned homes mentioned value and charm as their primary motivating factors.

The median age of Texas homebuyers was 52, five years older than last year. Nearly one-third of all buyers were first-time buyers. The typical homebuyer spent eight weeks searching for a home, viewing nine houses in the process. 

Texas buyers had a median household income of $95,500. The majority of them (92 percent) purchased single-family homes. 

The majority of Texas homebuyers (67 percent) were married couples, followed by single females at 17 percent, single males at 10 percent, and unmarried couples at 5 percent.

White buyers made up the largest share of Texas homebuyers. About 14 percent of homebuyers identified as Hispanic, with 5 percent black. 

The most popular reason for putting a home on the market was to move closer to friends or family, followed by job relocations and proximity to work.

Sellers spent a median of 12 years in their homes. The median sales price was $64,050 higher than what they paid for their homes. Homes stayed on the market for a median of four weeks.​​​​​

Data from the 2020 report are derived from the 2019 Texas Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers by the National Association of Realtors.

texas homebuyers vs homesellers

Lone Star labor market continues to recover

​​​AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – The Texas unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October from 8.3 percent in September, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The Texas rate matched​ the national unemployment rate.

​Texas added 118,100 nonfarm positions over the month. The private sector added 136,300 jobs during that same period.​

Amarillo had the lowest nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state at 4.4​​ percent. Odessa had the highest at 11.4 percent. 

Most sectors had seasonally adjusted job losses since October 2019. Financial activities and professional and business services were the exceptions, each growing 1 percent. Mining and logging had the largest job loss with employment falling 20.5 percent. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Houston tenth-best metro to be a first-time homebuyer

​​​​​​​WASHINGTON (American Enterprise Institute) – Houston has ranked tenth on the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center's list of the best metro areas for first-time homebuyers (FTB) in 2019. 

AEI ranked the 50 largest metros using the ratio of home prices to income for each individual FTB.

Last year, Houston had a median FTB home price of $238,000. Its FTB​​ gross annual income was $78,000. This gives the metro a 3.0 affordability ratio.

No. 13 San Antonio, No. 19 Dallas, and No. 25 Austin had FTB affordability ratios of 3.1, 3.3, and 3.4​, respectively.

Pittsburgh ranked first with an FTB affordability ratio of 2.5. 
market viewer screen shotTexas Realtors' MarketViewer tool helps members and their clients quickly understand the market statistics in their area. This powerful tool is a member benefit available exclusively to Texas Realtors and local Realtor associations in Texas. Data are compiled and analyzed through a research agreement between Texas Realtors, the Real Estate Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

Texas AirHogs redevelopment gets green light

​​GRAND PRAIRIE (Dallas Morning News) – The city council has approved plans to redevelop the former Texas AirHogs baseball stadium into a Major League Cricket facility.

The stadium will be re​named and host a Dallas franchise team for Major League Cricket, which will launch by 2022. The league will take on two ten-year leases and pay $20,000 a month to use the stadium.

The city proposal contributes $1.3 million cash grant, $200,000 for maintenance, and a full rebate on taxes for construction materials. 

Major League Cricket plans to make a seven-figure investment, including the addition of two fields adjacent to the stadium.

Redevelopment will take place through 2021. 
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Work starts on Texarkana spec building

​​​​​TEXARKANA (REBusiness Online) – TexAmericas Center has broken ground on a 150,000-sf speculative building within its 12,000-acre industrial park.​

The multitenant building will be on 24 acres. It will have 32-ft clear heights, one dock door per 5,000 sf, and two drive-in doors.

Completion is set for sum​mer 2021. 

JPI sells 1,174-unit apartment portfolio in DFW

​​​​IRVING (REBusiness Online) – Locally based JPI has sold three apartment communities totaling 1,174 units to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds. 

The properties include:
  • ​Jefferson Promenade, 55 Promenade Pkwy. in Irving;
  • Jefferson 1900, 1900 Knightsbridge Rd. in Farmers Branch; and
  • Jefferson Silverlake, 1775 SH 26 in Grapevine. 
All of the communities have pools, fitness centers, resident lounges, and high-end interior finishes. 
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RGH Real Estate buys 412K-sf industrial building

​​​COMFORT (REBusiness Online) – RGH Rea​l Estate Holdings LLC has purchased a 412,000-sf industrial bui​​lding at 1206 5th St. 

Built in 20​15, the single-tenant property has clear heights between 20 and 37 ft. 

Stream Realty Partners represented the buyer. Transwestern represented the seller, WINRE LLC. 

CIM Group redeveloping East Austin site

​​​AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – CIM Group is redeveloping a site at 1300 E. 5th St.

​The developer is constructing a 246,774-sf building with a parking garage on the site, which ​formerly housed a warehouse. 

Work begins in February 2021 and will wrap up in a little more than a year​.
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.
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https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/recon/?Item=428
RECON for November 17, 2020RECON for November 17, 20202020-11-17T06:00:00Z2020-11-17T06:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
What's happening in today's RECON? Texas homeownership rate hits all-time high, Texas A&M approves San Antonio campus expansion, Amarillo medical offices sold, and more. Keep reading for the details. (Photo via San Antonio Report.)
November 17, 2020

Despite pandemic, Texas homeownership hits all-time high

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas’ homeownership rate is at an all-time high of 70 percent, according to the latest Texas Housing Insight report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The state rate exceeds the nation’s 67.4 percent for the first time since 2012.

"Strong sales activity during the third quarter pushed the Texas homeownership rate to the unprecedented high," said Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. "Nationally, homeownership fell across all races and every age group, except those 65 and older."​

Austin registered the greatest homeownership rate in the Texas Urban Triangle for the first time in 12 years, rising almost 9 percentage points to 74.7 percent. Dallas-Fort Worth’s rate hit 69 percent. San Antonio was relatively unchanged at 66.3 percent.

Houston recorded a drop in the proportion of owner-occupied units, falling from 67.9 to 65.5 percent.

"Homeownership could suffer in 2021," cautions Gaines, "as COVID-19 foreclosure-protection policies expire. Texas has a higher proportion of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans."

Among other major Real Estate Center findings in this month’s housing report:

Total Texas housing sales rebounded 6.3 percent in September, pushing third-quarter activity up more than one-third above depressed second quarter levels. New-home transactions increased more than 8 percent quarter over quarter.

Lot development slowed in the third quarter, but single-family building permits and construction values trended upward.

Texas’ median home price increased 9.9 percent annually in September, threatening recent improvements in affordability. The Real Estate Center’s Repeat Sales Home Price Index also accelerated, albeit at a more moderate pace.

The pandemic remains the greatest headwind to the Texas housing market as the Center projected a slowdown in October single-family sales amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

 Read the full report here.
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is pleased to announce the updated CE Posting System. Now available to allow providers of inspector CE (ICE) courses to post course credit directly into the agency’s system of record. Providers are required to post course credit within 10 days of course completion.  If credit is not posted within 10 days of course completion, the license holders should contact their education provider.

Downtown SA high rise in the works

​​​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – Weston Urban is developing a 32-story mixed-use apartment tower at 305 Soledad St. 

The $107 million tower will include 251 units above 7,250 sf of ground-floor retail. 

The developer is requesting the city alter the property lines on Main and Soledad Streets to allow for a six-level, 456-space parking garage. ​​​

Construction begins in mid-2021 and will wrap up by 2023.​​
Texas Weekly Leading IndicatorThe Texas Weekly Leading Index rebounded after declining the previous week. The index's overall trend indicates the state's economy is on the path to recovery. The recovery's pace is hindered by the incomplete reopening of the economy and future uncertainty regarding the pandemic. The increase was mainly due to a decrease in the number of people filing for unemployment insurance and was offset by a decline in the number of new business applications. Even though the number of new business applications decreased, the overall numbers still remain historically high suggesting business activity remains firm.

Amarillo medical offices trade hands

​​​AMARILLO (Connect Media) – Equity Velocity Fund has purchased 3501 MedCenter, a 145,096-sf multitenant office property at 3501 S. Soncy Rd. 

The asset was built as a retail mall in 1986 and renovated for medical use in 1995.

Marcus & Millichap marketed the property  on behalf of the seller, a locally based private partnership, and secured the buyer. ​​
NewsTalk Texas logoHungry for more Texas real estate news? Then feast your eyes on NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. Here are a few of the stories you'll find there this week: NewsTalk Texas is updated each weekday, throughout the day. 

Cawley Partners building 1.5M sf of office space in The Colony

​​THE COLONY (REBusiness Online) – Cawley Partners will develop three office buildings totaling 1.5 million sf at Grandscape, a 433-acre mixed-use project. 

Hoefer Wysocki is designing the buildings, all of which will be 17 stories and have 500,000 sf of Class A space. 

Nebraska Furniture Mart is the lead developer and will anchor​ the retail component along with Scheels.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Real Estate Center's Texas Quarterly Commercial Report looks at past, present, and future commercial real estate activity in the state's four major metropolitan areas. It covers the office, retail, and warehouse sectors. Read and download the report for free, and subscribe to know when the next issue is published. 

Work starts on NorthPark 35

​​​​GEORGETOWN (REBusiness Online) – ​​Titan Development has broken ground on Phase I of NorthPark 35, a two-building, 330,000-sf industrial project. 

One of the buildings will be​ partially occupied by locally based Texas Speed & Performance.

The 146-acre project includes the extension of Aviation Dr. that will intersect with SH 130 and I-35. 

Phase I delivery is set for spring 2021. 
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Hunt building 3.7M-sf mixed-use project in Uptown Dallas

​​​DALLAS (REBusiness Online) – Hunt Realty Investments has unveiled plans for a 3.7 million-sf mixed-use development in Uptown. 

The project will be on 11 acres  between N. Field and N. Houston Streets. The plot currently houses Hunt Realty’s Northend Apartments. 

The project will include commercial and residential uses, as well as a 1.5-acre park and ​urban arboretum.
Communication Matters video seriesThe Real Estate Center's Texas Home Price Index measures price appreciation changes for residential single-family homes. It provides data for eight different Texas metros across three different price ranges.

Texas A&M approves SA campus expansion

​​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – The Texas A&M System Board of Regents has approved a 100,000-sf b​uilding on the university’s San Antonio campus. 

The $53 million building will house the school’s College of Business and a library. 

Construction will be complete by July 2022. 
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Lexington sells stake in Lake Jackson office

​​LAKE JACKSON (REBusiness Online) – ​​Lexington Realty Trust has sold its interest in an office building for $192 million. 

Built on 34.1 acres in 2016, the 664,100-sf building is fully leased to Dow Chemical.
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/recon/?Item=427
RECON for November 13, 2020RECON for November 13, 20202020-11-13T06:00:00Z2020-11-13T06:00:00Z

RECON Real Estate Center
Center communications staff
The Real Estate Center has received two Silver Quill awards from the International Association of Business Communicators Southern Region for its quarterly magazine and annual report. Read more in today's RECON. (Photo from Center Photographer JP Beato III. Please note that social distancing precautions were taken during shooting.)
November 13, 2020 

Real Estate Center wins two Silver Quill Awards

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The magazine and annual report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University have taken top honors at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Southern Region’s 2020 Sil​ver Quill Awards.

TG magazine and "Telling Our Story: 2018-19 Real Estate Center Annual Report + 2020 Calendar" received Awards of Excellence. The Silver Quill Awards recognize the best communications efforts entered from 13 U.S. states, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Rather than being judged against one another, entries are evaluated on their own merits using IABC’s Global Scale of Excellence seven-point criteria. Awards were presented during the Southern Region’s virtual awards ceremony Thursday.

TG is a quarterly magazine covering Real Estate Center research findings. It is distributed to more than 185,000 Texas real estate agents. The annual report is popular because it includes a calendar featuring Texas scenery.

Earlier in 2020, the Real Estate Center took home an IABC Houston Bronze Quill Award of Excellence and IABC’s top international recognition, the Gold Quill Award of Excellence. Both were for the Center’s annual report.

Since 1978, the Real Estate Center has received some 250 communications awards.​
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The recent economic downturn spurred by COVID-19 has decreased incomes for many households. This could diminish their ability to purchase homes they could have afforded before the pandemic. Read "Downsized: Pandemic Diminishes Homebuying Ability" for more. 

Texas jobless claims fall to lowest level of pandemic

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to their lowest le​vel since the pandemic hit the economy. 

New clai​ms fell to around ​30,500 the week ending Nov. 7 after increasing the previous week. ​Th​is brings the total number of initial claims to 3.8 million, according to d​ata from the U.​S. Department of Labor (DOL).​​

"While weekly claims—​a proxy for layoffs—have fallen from a peak of around 300,000 at the start of April, they remain above the 17,000 levels observed prior to the pand​emic," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.

Continuing unemployment claims decreased for the ninth consecutive week, falling to 546,700 the week ending Oct. 31, the lowest level since the pandemic hit the economy. 

"This downward trend can be reversed if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, impeding the reopening of the economy, causing government mandated rollbacks or closures, similar to the two-week mandated closure by El Paso County," Torres said.

New national unemployment claims also decreased to a new pandemic low. U.S. claims fell for the fourth straight week to 708,800 the week of Nov. 7, bringing the 34-week total to almost 67.4 million. ​

More people in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio filed new unemployment claims during the week ending Oct. 31. In contrast, Austin claims decreased that week.

The oil industry's struggles have translated into layoffs,​ negatively affecting Houston’s labor market.  ​

New claims increased along the Texas border, rising in El Paso, McAllen, and Laredo, while decreasing in Brownsville.

El Paso's coronavirus case surge has pushed up initial claims for three straight weeks to thresholds 5.6 times higher than pre-pandemic levels but still below the historic high numbers reached at the end of March and the start of April.​​​

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center has estimate​d unemployment claims for Texas' major and border metros since March 21:
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 873,100 claims;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 829,100 claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 262,100 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 222,200 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 102,800 claims;
  • El Paso, 88,900 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 45,800 claims; and
  • Laredo, 26,700 claims.​
Layoffs continue in construction as well as in industries that can't socially distance.

Administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, construction, ​​health and social assistance, retail trade, and accommodation and food services had the most unemployment claims through Oct. 31.​​

"Going forward, the current rise in COVID-19 cases could affect consumer behavior, holding back business activity and maintaining layoffs at a high level," said Torres. ​
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Dallas, Austin shine bright in tech town ranking

​​DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.​ (PR Newswire) – Austin and Dallas have claimed top spots in CompTIA's 2020 Tech Town Index rankings. 

For the second year in a row, the Texas Capital ranked first nationally. Dallas was second. 

According to the report, more than 100 tech companies​ have related to Austin during the past two years, adding over 4,600 jobs. IT job postings grew by 19,000 year over year.

Austin's cost of living remains about 4 percent below the national average. It is the fourth most affordable market among the 20 cities on the index. 

Dallas' jump from seventh place in 2019 is in large part due to the sheer number of IT job posts, about 178,600. Those postings are projected to grow 3 percent from 2020 to 2021 and 11 percent in the next five years.

Raleigh, N.C.; San Jose Calif.; and Charlotte, N.C., rounded out the top five.
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Medical manufacturer breaks ground on Conroe HQ

CONROE (Houston Business Journal) – The Woodlands-based medical manufacturer VGKI Inc. has started on ​​its 240,000-sf​​ manufacturing facility and headquarters at Deison Technology Park.

The project's first phase will quintuple VGKI's current production capacity. 

Phase one will be complete by fourth quarter 2021. The facility will come​ online in first quarter 2022. 

Birmingham, Ala.-based BE&K Building Group LLC is the design builder. Norfolk, Va.-based Hanbury is an architectural partner, and Raleigh, N.C.-based Hipp Engineering & Consulting Inc. was an engineering partner.

VGKI will be the first occupant in the 248-acre Deison Technology Park. The company purchased the 21-acre site earlier this year.
market viewer screen shotTexas Realtors' MarketViewer tool helps members and their clients quickly understand the market statistics in their area. This powerful tool is a member benefit available exclusively to Texas Realtors and local Realtor associations in Texas. Data are compiled and analyzed through a research agreement between Texas Realtors, the Real Estate Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

1.1M-sf DFW cold storage facility sold

​​​GARLAND (REBusiness Online) – Westmount Realty Capital LLC and a fund managed by DRA Advisors ​​has sold the Dall​as Food Center. 

The 1.1 million-sf cold storage facility is at 2600 McCree Rd. 

Westmount recently raised the ceiling heights by 15 ft and added 90,000 sf of freezer space. 

The property was 92 percent leased at the time of sale to a mix of tenants that includes Kraft Heinz. 

CBRE represented the seller.​

Titan Development breaks ground on first phase of NorthPark35

​​​GEORGETOWN (Austin Business Journal) – Titan Development Real Estate has broken ground on NorthPark35, a 146-acre master-planned industrial park at I-35 and SH 130. 

Phase one includes two build​ings totaling more than 330,000 sf. 

Locally based Texas Speed and Performance will occupy one of the buildings. 

The first phase will be complete in spring 2021.
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160-MW Rattlesnake Wind Project trades hands

​​​​McCULLOCH COUNTY (Connect Media) – Goldwind Americas has sold the 160-megawatt (MW) Rattlesnake Wind Project.​​​

The project consists of 64 2.5-MW wind turbines.

Goldwind purchased the $250 million project, which​ was built by RES, in 2016. ​

Conlon & Co. acquires 690K-sf industrial space in Midlothian

​MIDLOTHIAN (Connect Media) – Conlon & Co. has acquired 690,000 sf of newly constructed industrial and logistics space in the Midlothian Business Park. 

Sunrider Manufacturing has signed on as the anchor tenant. It will relocate from its Torrance, Calif., headquarters in 2022. 
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/recon/?Item=426
RECON for November 10, 2020RECON for November 10, 20202020-11-10T06:00:00Z2020-11-10T06:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
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Looking for the biggest headlines in Texas real estate? We've got you covered. In today's RECON, we look at the top cities for veterans, an October manufactured housing update, a new Laredo industrial project, and more. (Photo of Texas State Capitol in Austin from Center files.)
November 10, 2020

Texas manufactured housing sales, orders dip as summer growth wanes

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – New orders and sales for Texas’ manufactured housing industry declined in October, according to the latest Texas Manufactured Housing Survey (TMHS). The lower volume follows a robust growth stretch during the second and third quarters.

"Retail sales of manufactured homes typically slow down through the winter and then come on strong as spring hits in March," according to Rob Ripperda, vice president of operations for the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA). "Manufacturers will have holidays to work around for the next month and a half but are expecting to increase their daily production rates in preparation for the spring selling season."

Production levels remained elevated in October as manufacturers scrambled to chip away at a backlog built up over the summer. The oversupply pushed sale prices higher, partially offsetting rising input costs.

"Significant upstream supply disruptions are causing real headaches for the manufacturers," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Harold Hunt. "A lack of almost everything, from appliances to basic building materials, is currently hampering their operations."

The manufactured housing outlook, however, remains favorable as supply-chain disruptions are expected to subside in coming months, allowing manufacturers to catch up on outstanding orders. The industry is preparing for a wave of new hiring and capital expenditures in early 2021. This optimism outweighed uncertainty associated with COVID-19 and possible regulatory changes in the next Texas Legislature, but these factors continue to be closely monitored across the industry.

The Real Estate Center and TMHA have partnered to produce a monthly survey of business conditions and expectations surrounding the manufactured housing industry.​
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Austin fifth-best city for veterans

​​​​WASHINGTON (WalletHub) – ​​Austin has ranked fifth on WalletHub's list of the best cities for veterans to live in. 

The Texas Capital ranked 11th in quality of life, 22nd in health, 24th in economy, and 31st in ​employment. 

Fort Worth and San Antonio were the only other Texas cities to land in the top 25, ranking 23rd and 24th, respectively.​

Irving, which ranked 52nd overall, was recognized as the city with the lowest percent of veterans in poverty. 

The rest of the top five cities were Orlando, Fla.; Irvine, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Raleigh, N.C. 

To determine the rankings, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across four key dimensions. 
Texas Weekly Leading IndicatorThe Texas Weekly Leading Index decreased the last week of October after increasing the previous week. The index's overall trend indicates the state's economy is on the path to recovery but lost momentum last month. The rebound in Texas' economic activity could be hindered by possible upsurges in COVID-19 cases as economic and social activity increases. Further waves of infections can reverse increased mobility and spending, affecting the path to recovery. Read our latest report for the details. 

Construction underway on 300K-sf Laredo industrial project

​​​LAREDO (REBusiness Online) – A partnership between Tailwind Real Estate Equities and Dallas-based Gulf Corp. has started construction on Tailwind II Logistics Center.

The 300,000-sf speculative industrial facility will have 36-ft clear heights, 112 dock-high doors, 140 parking spaces for cars​, and 199 parking spaces for trailers. 

CBRE is handling leasing.

Completion is set​ for fall 2021.
NewsTalk Texas logoHungry for more Texas real estate news? Then feast your eyes on NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. Here are a few of the stories you'll find there this week: NewsTalk Texas is updated each weekday, throughout the day. 

Packaging firm inks 190K-sf industrial lease in Fort Worth

​​​​FORT WORTH (REBusiness Online) – Global Co Pak LLC has signed a 190,000-sf industrial lease at 260​1 Sylvania Cross Dr. ​​ 

The property was built in 2003. 

Holt Lunsford Commercial represented the tenant. Mercantile Partners represented the landlord.
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Somerset ISD draws back curtain on performing arts center

​SOMERSET (San Antonio Business Journal) – The Somerset Independent School District is breaking ground on ​a 1,000-seat performing arts center.

The $16.5 million facility will provide new entertainment and event space for students and surrounding​ communities.

Construction will begin in early 2021 and be complete by spring 2022. 

LPA Architects is designing the project.
Communication Matters video seriesThe Real Estate Center's Texas Home Price Index measures price appreciation changes for residential single-family homes. It provides data for eight different Texas metros across three different price ranges.

Willow Ridge Apartments sold

​​​​HOUSTON (REBusiness Online) – Alfa TX Investment Group has purchased Willow Ridge Apartments.

The 262-unit multifamily community was built in 1977 at ​​12800 Dunlap St. It has one​- to three-bedroom floor plans and amenities such as a pool, business center, and clubhouse. It had an average occupancy rate of 93 percent over the past five years.

JLL represented the seller, Sentinel Capital LLC. The firm also arranged a ten-year, fixed-rate Fannie Mae acquisition loan on behalf of the buyer.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Real Estate Center's Texas Quarterly Commercial Report looks at past, present, and future commercial real estate activity in the state's four major metropolitan areas. It covers the office, retail, and warehouse sectors. Read and download the report for free, and subscribe to know when the next issue is published. 

Two-building industrial portfolio sold in DFW

​​IRVING, ALLEN (REBusiness Online) – The 176,645-sf Royal Cornerstone Portfolio has been sold to a private investor.

Built in 1997 and 2000, the two buildings are on a combined 11.3 acres.

Marcus & Millichap represented the seller and procured the buyer.
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Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.
Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

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