RECON for May 26, 2017RECON for May 26, 2017Bryan PopePope
Real Estate Center Online News
Conroe tops U.S. Census Bureau's list of the fastest-​growing cities. More in today's RECON. (Photo by REC Art Director Bob Beals).
May 26, 2017

All Texas industries except information see year-over-year job gain in April

​​​COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas’ pace of job creation continued to exceed the nation’s in April. The state gained 258,900 nonagricultural jobs from April 2016 to April 2017, an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, higher than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.6 percent.

The nongovernment sector added 224,300 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, higher than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.7 percent in the private sector.

According to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 5 percent, up from 4.6 percent a year ago 2016. The nation’s rate decreased from 5 to 4.4 percent.

All Texas industries except the information industry had more jobs than a year ago. The transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry ranked first in job creation followed by education and health services, professional and business services, other services, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and mining and logging.

All Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls, Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Longview, Victoria, San Angelo, and Texarkana, had more jobs. Dallas-Plano-Irving ranked first in job creation followed by El Paso, Austin-Round Rock, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, San Antonio-New Braunfels, and Laredo.

The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 4.5 percent. Amarillo had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Austin-Round Rock, College Station-Bryan, Lubbock, Midland, and San Antonio-New Braunfels.​​
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DFW commercial building jumps in April

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – More than $1.5 billion in nonresidential building projects were begun in the area last month,​ according to a new report by Dodge Data & ​Analytics. That's almost three times more than a year ago.

The strong April commercial building total pushed commercial construction for the year up 6 percent from the first five months of 2016.

Residential building fell 6 percent last month from a year ago. It's down 7 percent so far this year. 

DFW had $21 billion in construction activity last year, putting it behind only New York City.​​
Real Estate Red Zone logoWith Memorial Day just days away, we pay our respects to the brave men and women who have given their lives serving our country. We also have information on homeownership programs available to veterans, active members of the military, and surviving spouses. All this plus a little El Paso history, funding for Texas storm recovery efforts, the state's top summer spots, and real estate news from Frisco, San Antonio, Pasadena, Lubbock, and Plano. These stories and much more on the latest Red Zone podcast. (15 min. 40 sec.) 

U.S. Census Bureau: Conroe nation's fastest-growing city

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Community Impact Newspaper) – Conroe has topped the U.S. Census Bureau's list of the fastest-​growing large cities in the nation with a 7.8 percent population growth.

Conroe Mayor Toby Powell expects the city of ​nearly 82,300​ to have 100,000 residents by the year ​​2020.

Three more Texas cities landed in the top five,​ and an additional two made​ the top 15.​ They are:
  • ​No. 2, Frisco, 6.2 percent growth;
  • No. 3 McKinney, 5.9 percent growth;
  • No. 5 Georgetown, 5.5 percent growth;
  • No. 9 New Braunfels, 4.7 percent growth; and
  • No. 12 Cedar Park, 4.5 percent growth.

Country's largest tilt-wall structure opens in Waller

​WALLER (Community Impact Newspaper) – Daikin Industries has opened Daikin Texas Technology Park, a $417 million campus on 500 acres at 19001 Kermier Rd.

The 4.23 million-sf facility will ​​serve as the company's headquarters for building and distributing HVAC products. It is the largest tilt-wall structure and the second-largest manufacturing facility in North America.

Around 5,000 will be hired to work at the facility. Four thousand of those​ will have relocated from other Daikin facilities. 

J.B. Goodwin named TDHCA chair

​​AUSTIN (Office of the Governor) – Governor Greg Abbott has named J.B. Goodwin presiding officer of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).

The CEO of JBGoodwin Realtors, Goodwin is a member of the National, Texas, and Austin Associations of Realtors,  a certified relocation professional through the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, and past president of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

TDHCA promotes and preserves homeownership, financing the development of affordable rental housing, and supporting community- and energy-assistance programs. 

How important is the Texas border economy to the state as a whole? Very. Real Estate Center associate editor Bryan Pope sat down with Center research economist Dr. Luis Torres and research assistant Wes Miller to talk about our new Texas Border Economy report. Read more on our Mixed-Use blog.

Land for Collin College Campus sold

​​​WYLIE (REBusiness) – Collin County Community College District has purchased 11 acres at 455 FM 1378 for a three-building college campus.

The 360,000-sf campus will serve 7,500 students when it opens in 2020.​

Younger Partners represented the buyer.​​

Acreage for business park, storage facilities sold

​​MANSFIELD (REBusiness) – ​Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors has brokered the sale of nearly 41 acres at US 287 and Commerce Dr.

All Storage purchased 5.3 acres from LEJJ Realty LLC for the development of two climate-controlled self-storage facilities totaling 216,723 sf.

Premier Funding Group sold the adjacent 35.5 acres, which will be used for the development of an unbranded business park.​

City skylineMarket Research is your gateway to data on all 25 Texas metropolitan statistical areas, from Abilene to Wichita Falls. Whether you're looking for information on an area's demographics, top employers, or housing and commercial markets, chances are you'll find it here.

Texas gets nearly $51 million in flood relief help

​​​​AUSTIN (Texas General Land Office) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $51 million to Texas to assist in long-term recovery efforts following severe flooding that occurred in 2015 and 2016. 

Texas will receive $22.4 million through the General Land Office's Community Development and Revitalization program. San Marcos and Houston will receive direct allocations of $7.7 million and $20.5 million, respectively.

These grants can be used for things such as housing redevelopment, business assistance, and infrastructure repair.

The GLO estimates a combined loss of more than $2 billion in unmet long-term recovery needs from the 2015–16 floods. Affected counties represent 76 percent of the Texas population, or 20.9 million people.​

TALCB gets eight new board members

​​​​​​​​AUSTIN (Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board) – The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board has eight new members. They are:

  • Chair, Jamie Wickliffe of Midlothian;
  • Vice-Chair, James Jefferies of Georgetown;
  • Clayton Black of Stanton;
  • Chance Bolton of Austin;
  • Tony Peña of Lubbock;
  • Martha Gayle Reid Lynch of El Paso;
  • Alejandro Sostre-Odio of San Antonio; and 
  • Joyce Yannuzzi of New Braunfels​
Governor Abbott made the appointments, which were confirmed by the Texas Senate.

TPWC awards $3.46 million in recreational trail grants

​​​​AUSTIN (Texas Parks and Wildlife) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) approved $3.46 million dollars in grants to enhance 22 motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail-related projects across the state.

The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) supports recreational trail construction, renovation, and acquisition. The grants are funded from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases for off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers.

Of the total NRTF grants, 30 percent must be earmarked for motorized recreational trails, and another 30 percent must be spent on nonmotorized trail projects. The remaining 40 percent is discretionary.​​

​Visit the TPWC website to see a complete listing of counties and projects. ​

Home construction siteIn the market for Texas real estate data? Look no further. We're your one-stop shop for housing, rural land, building permit, employment, and population data.

Governor Abbott appoints three new TREC members

​​​AUSTIN (Texas Real Estate Commission) – The Texas Senate confirmed Governor Abbott's most recent appointments to the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Broker members Bob Leonard of San Antonio and Rayito Stephens of Houston and public member TJ Turner were confirmed.

Student housing planned near Sam Houston State

​​HUNTSVILLE (REBusiness) – Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial Group is developing The Armory at Sam Houston, a 502-bed student housing community near Sam Houston State University.

The property, which will also include a seven-story parking garage, is scheduled to open in fall 2018. 

Temple-based MW Builders is the general contractor​, and Denver-based Cardinal Management Group will lease and manage the property.

Texas Association of Realtors quote about Real Estate Center
Copyright © 2017, 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 Bryan Pope. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

RECON for May 23, 2017RECON for May 23, 2017Bryan PopePope
Real Estate Center Online News
Houston shopping center
Colliers International has released its first quarter 2017 Houston retail market report. Details in today's RECON. (Photo from Center files.)
May 23, 2017

Three Texas cities among America's top summer hot spots

NEEDHAM, Mass. (TripAdvisor) – Corpus Christi, South Padre Island, and Galveston are ranked among America's top summer hotspots on TripAdvisor's 2017 Summer Vacation Value Report.​

The report is based on the greatest increase in seasonal hotel booking interest, including the average one-week vacation costs for hotels and airfare.

Corpus Christi ranked 43rd on the list, followed by No. 44 South Padre Island. The cities had average weeklong per person vacation costs of $1,614 and $2,204, respectively. Galveston finished at No. 47 with a one-week vacation costing $1,944 per person.​

The top five destinations nationally are Wildwood Crest, N.J.; Ocean City, N.J.; Lake George, N.Y.; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Ocean City, Md.​

Colliers: Houston retail healthy so far this year

​​​HOUSTON (Colliers International) – The 2017 outlook for the city's retail market looks healthy, reports Colliers International in its first-quarter market update.

The firm said that even though Houston lost about 80,000 high-income jobs between 2014 and 2016, retail market indicators show no signs of a struggling economy.

About 68 percent of the retail space under construction at the close of the first quarter was preleased. Despite the 1.5 million sf of new inventory delivered in the first quarter, Houston’s average retail vacancy rate remains low at 5.6 percent.

Local retail leasing activity, which includes renewals, decreased from 1.6 million sf in fourth quarter 2016 to 1.1 million sf in first quarter 2017.

Most of the Class A space inside the city limits is 90 to 100 percent leased.

Dixon Water Foundation receives statewide award

​​AUSTIN (Texas Parks & Wildlife) – The Dixon Water Foundation has received the Leopold Conservation Award along with $10,000 at the 22nd Annual Lone Star Land Steward Awards dinner.

The state’s top land conservation award typically goes to a private ranch, but this year the North Texas-base​d nonprofit took home the prize. This award is given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold.

Founded in 1994, the Dixon Water Foundation promotes healthy watersheds and sequestration of carbon through regenerative land management. It manages six different ranches devoted to demonstrating how good land management using cattle grazing can lead to more and better water for people and wildlife.
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17-story apartment complex coming to The Star

​​FRISCO (REBusiness) – A joint venture between ​​Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, and Dallas developer​ Robert Shaw is bringing apartments to The Star development.

The 17-story property will have 160 units averaging 1,200 sf per unit. 

Construction begins in January 2018. Move-ins are expected in first quarter 2019. 

Parc 410 community sold

​​SAN ANTONIO (Marcus & Millichap) – ​​​Parc 410​ is under new ownership.

The 344-unit apartment community was built in 1980 on ten acres at 5827 NW​ Loop 410.

Institutional Property Advisors represented the seller and procured the buyer.​

Cross F Ranch bringing 6,000 homes to McKinney

McKINNEY (Dallas Morning News) – Sanchez​ Advisory Group and Creu Capital are developing Cross F Ranch, a $300 million, 2,100-acre residential community west of US 75 near Lake Forest Rd.

Cross F Ranch could have as many as 6,000 homes​. The development will also have apartments, retail, and commercial space. Three lakes and 300 acres of parks, trails, and recreation areas are planned for the development.​​

Developers expect to start on the first 250-acre phase next year.

Cross F Ranch could eventually be home to nearly 29,000 people.
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. 

Partnership buys Northbrook Business Center

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Business Press) – ​​A partnership of Northbrook 820 LLC and Wilson & Stonaker has purchased ​Northbrook​​ Business Center, a ​334​,082-sf industrial park.

Transwestern represented the seller, Fort Worth Northbrook Ltd.

The four-building property at 100 NE Loop 820​​ is 8​5 percent occupied. Transwestern will continue handling leasing.

Avera developing Bayport Logistics Park

PASADENA (RealtyNewsReport) – ​Avera Companies is developing its second industrial park in the Houston area. 

The 143-acre Bayport Logistics Park will be on the east side of Underwood Rd., just south of Fairmont Pkwy. ​It will allow for rail-served buildings between 200,000 and 900,000 sf, and non-rail-served buildings up to one million sf. 

Bayport Logistics Park will be just south of Avera's 738,610-sf Bayport Industrial Park.​

Plano retail center trades hands

PLANO (REBusiness) – Creekwalk Village, a 174,484-sf shopping center at 801 W. 15th St., has been sold.

The property, which sold for $24.5 million, is leased to Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, and Barnes & Noble. 

SRS Investment Properties Group represented both the seller and the buyer. ​​
Veteran and military homeownership program availability
Helping Texans make better real estate decisions since 1971
Copyright © 2017, 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 Bryan Pope. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

RECON for May 19, 2017RECON for May 19, 2017Bryan PopePope
Real Estate Center Online News
A group of state and federal agencies yesterday released a draft plan that would allocate $45.7 million in Deepwater Horizon recovery money to 13 coastal restoration projects in Texas, including in Galveston. Details in today's RECON. (Photo from Center files.)
May 19, 2017

Draft of $45.7 million Texas coastal restoration plan released

GALVESTON (Galveston Daily News) – A group of state and federal agencies yesterday released a draft plan that would allocate $45.7 million in Deepwater Horizon recovery money to 13 coastal restoration projects in Texas.

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group, which includes three state and four federal agencies, reviewed more than 800 proposed restoration projects for funding. The following were included in the draft plan:
  • one oyster restoration engineering project in the Galveston Bay area;
  • three habitat engineering projects in the Galveston Bay area;
  • five habitat construction projects in the Galveston Bay, Sabine Lake, and Corpus Christi Bay areas; and
  • four habitat acquisition projects in the Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Lower Laguna Madre areas.
The draft plan is available for public review and comment through June 19. It will also be discussed at public meetings next month in Corpus Christi and Galveston.

S&S Activewear leases nearly 500,000 sf

Mercantile Distribution CenterFORT WORTH (Hunt Southwest) – ​​S&S Activewear has leased 493,000 sf at 35/820 @ Mercantile Center.

Hunt Southwest is developing the 657,000-sf Class A warehouse and distribution building.

S&S will open the new fulfillment center by the end of 2017, less than one year after Hunt broke ground on the facility.

Cushman & Wakefield​ represented S&S, while Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services represented Hunt Southwest.

A tree grows in Tyler

TYLER (Tyler Morning Telegraph) – For its second consecutive year, the city has received the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA Growth Award.

The 2016 award recognizes “higher levels of tree care” by Tree City USA communities. Winning communities must meet specific criteria that highlight new programs or projects and an increase in commitment to a city’s urban forest.​​

The Rose Capital​ has been a Tree City USA designee for eight years.
It was 46 years ago yesterday that legislation creating the Texas Real Estate Research Center was signed into law. The REC crew celebrated the occasion with some silver streamers.

Medical office building delivers in The Woodlands

​​​THE WOODLANDS (REBusiness) – E.E. Reed Construction LP has completed a six-story, 176,836-sf medical office building on the Memorial Hermann Woodlands campus.

Powers Brown Architecture designed the building. Balfour ​​Concord served as construction manager.

Castle Lanterra enters San Antonio multifamily market

​​​​​​​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – Castle​​ Lanterra Properties has acquired the Agave Apartments, a $78 million upscale apartment complex, from a partnership between Greystar and the Carlyle Group.

The 349-unit ​complex at 633 S. St. Mary's St. suffered extensive damage in a three-alarm fire in December. The original sale agreement was derailed by the fire.

South Carolina-based Greystar will continue making repairs to the property as part of the new sales agreement.

The acquisition is New York-based Castle Lanterra's first foray into the local market.

ARA Newmark brokered the sale.

Work starts on Lewisville industrial project

​​​LEWISVILLE (Dallas Morning News) – ​​Illinois-based ML Realty Partners is developing a 121,000-sf warehouse project on SH 121 north of Midway Rd.

​Construction on the new project, called 121 Riverview Crossing, will start in August. The building will open next spring.

Texas Border Economy"Economic activity along the Texas-Mexico border slowed late last year, particularly in McAllen and Laredo, but has since varied throughout the metros. Poor economic performance in the first quarter dragged down housing demand in both Brownsville and Laredo. In November, McAllen went through the sharpest contraction but rallied recently behind strong employment figures. El Paso remained the most stable border economy, but stagnant wages persisted." Read more in the first edition of our newest monthly report, Texas Border Economy.

Save on water-efficient, Energy Star products

AUSTIN (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts) – Texas families can save on the purchase of certain water- and energy-efficient products during the Water-Efficient Products and Energy Star sales tax holidays, held from Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29.​  

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates shoppers will save an estimated $10.2 million in state and local sales tax during the Memorial Day weekend sales tax holidays.

Products that display a WaterSense or (with some exclusions) Energy Star label can be purchased tax-free ​for personal or business use. For details, visit the Comptroller's website.

Estimated annual energy and water savings for eligible products are listed below:
Energy, water savings chart

Fort Worth getting a Majestic addition

​FORT WORTH (REBusiness) – California-based Majestic Realty Co. is developing a 320-acre, master-planned business park. ​​

Located about 2.5 miles south of the I-20 and I-35 interchange, Majestic Fort Worth South Business Park will feature over six million sf of office, industrial, and administrative space.

Phase I, which will deliver 1.8 million sf of industrial space across 110 acres, is scheduled for a June 2018 completion.​

Courtland Group sells Mountain Creek industrial building

4895 Mountain CreekDALLAS (CBRE) – LBA Realty has purchased 4895 Mountain Creek, a 192,260-sf ​industrial building, from the Courtland Group.​​

The facility​ was built in 2016 by Courtland Development and is leased to Cummins Inc.​ It is at 4895 Mountain Creek Pkwy. in the Mountain Creek Industrial Park off I-20. ​

CBRE arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller.​
Dr. Jerrold Stern has announced his retirement from the Real Estate Center after nearly 40 years. Stern has written 94 articles for us since 1978, focusing mostly on real estate tax issues. In this week's Mixed-Use Blog post, we say goodbye. Click here to read.

Ennis water quality training set for May 24

ENNIS (AgriLife Today) – A workshop on water quality and management related to the Richland-Chambers Reservoir watershed will be held the morning of May 24.

The Texas Watershed Steward (TWS) workshop will be at the Cowboy Church of Ennis at 429 N. Freeway Service Rd. It's presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board in cooperation with the Tarrant Regional Water District.

​Attendees will receive a copy of the Texas Watershed Steward Handbook. The program also offers several continuing education units for multiple professions. 

For more information or to preregister, visit the TWS website.​

Developers break ground on Cowtown multifamily

FORT WORTH (REBusiness) – ​​​San Antonio-based Embrey Partners Ltd. has broken ground on the Kelley at Samuels Ave., a 353-unit Class A multifamily community.​​

The property sits on ten acres near the original 1884 Queen Anne home, a recorded Texas Historic Landmark, which will be restored as part of the development.

The community will offer one- and two-bedroom floor plans averaging 914 sf per unit. Occupancy is scheduled for spring 2018.​​​

Land, water stewardship program June 8 in Gatesville

GATESVILLE (AgriLife Today) – ​​The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop June 8 for residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Leon River watershed.

The morning session will be at the Gatesville Civic Center at 301 Veterans Memorial Dr. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.​

The free workshop is cohosted by the Texas A&M Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Coryell County.

All attendees must RSVP by June 2 to Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist for the institute, at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu. Attendees can also register online​.

Luis Torres and Wes MillerOn this week's Real Estate Red Zone podcast, REC Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres (left) and Research Assistant Wes Miller talk about the new Texas Border Economy report that the Center rolled out this week. We also have Texas history, Real Estate Center history, a Texas housing market update, a shout-out to those serving in the U.S. armed forces, a farewell to a longtime REC associate, tips for selecting a reliable moving company, and stories from Baytown, North Texas, Austin, and Abilene. Tune in. 

Helping Texans make better real estate decisions since 1971
Copyright © 2017, 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 Bryan Pope. 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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Real Estate Center Online News
Hines is developing The Strand, ​​​a 135-acre corporate campus and mixed-use development in Allen. Details in today's RECON. (Rendering courtesy of Hines.)
May 16, 2017

San Antonio home prices rise

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Board of Realtors) ​​–  Increased demand and low inventory gave area home prices a boost in April, with both the average and median sales prices increasing 8 percent over last year's figures, according to the Multiple Listing Service Report from the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR).

“Though home sales experienced a small decrease, we saw 3,783 new listings come on the market last month with 8,845 listings active, the highest all year,” said SABOR Chairman Yvette Allen.

Total home sales dropped 2 percent in April, and inventory inched up to 3.6 months from March's 3.5 months. The price per square foot increased 7 percent to $115. The month ended with 2,538 sales still pending. 

In April, half the homes sold were priced between $200,000 and $500,000, while 44 percent were priced under $200,000. Homes priced over $500,000 made up the remaining 6 percent, with 18 of those priced over $1 million.​

Bexar County reported a total of 1,825 single-family homes sold in April, a 2.5 percent year-over-year decrease. The average price of a home sold in the county was $244,055, a 7.8 percent increase from 2016, while the median was $205,000, a 6.8 percent increase.
For NAI Partners' complete infographic, click here.

Austin third-best city for new college grads

​​​​​​​SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Realtor.com) – ​Austin is the third-best city nationally for recent college grads, according to a study from Realtor.com. Only Fargo, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb., ranked higher.

Texas' capital city has seen its population nearly double in the last quarter century. It now boasts a millennial population of 523,490. Home of the University of Texas' flagship campus, Austin ranks high in the percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree.

The median home price is $392,000, and the median one-bedroom apartment rent is $1,150 per month. 

The city also earned top marks for new business creation. Austin is sixth in the nation when it comes to expanding into fast-growing job sectors popular with millennials, such as financial analysis and graphic design.​

Other cities in the top ten are Madison, Wis.; Charlottesville, Va.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Boulder, Colo.​

Listen up: Last week's poll results,
gift card winner, new poll

Take our pollThis fall, our weekly Real Estate Red Zone podcast celebrates its eighth birthday. In preparation, we thought we'd start gathering some feedback, beginning with last week's poll question.

We asked readers how often they listen to our podcast. Nearly 200 people responded, 31 percent of whom said they knew we had one, but that they had never tuned in. Right behind them were the 29.6 percent of readers who had never even heard of the Red Zone.

Almost 20 percent said they listen only when there's a guest or topic they find interesting. Just over 9 percent said they never miss it (thank you!), and 6.1 percent said they listen at least once a month.

As for the 4.6 percent of you who wondered "What in the world is a podcast?" — click here to listen to ours and find out.

Oh, and congrats to J.W. Fields of Houston. He's the winner of our $90 Pappas gift card. Enjoy!

This week's question (sorry, we're out of gift cards):

If your job is selling homes, what do you primarily use to photograph a listing for your MLS?

"Point and shoot" camera
DSLR (e.g. Canon Rebel, Nikon D3400
Professional photographer
360 cam/VR

Hines developing The Strand

ALLEN ​(REBusiness) – Hines is developing The Strand, ​​​a 135-acre corporate campus and mixed-use development. 

Phase I will deliver around 200,000 sf of office space and 80,000 sf of retail space.​

When complete, The Strand will include 1.5 million sf of office space and 300,000 sf of retail space.

Office tower slated for Willow Bend mall

PLANO (Dallas Morning News) – ​​​​​​​The 16-year-old Shops at Willow ​Bend on the Dallas North Tollway is adding a seven-story, 200,000-sf office building as part of a $125 million makeover.

Encore Commercial will build the multi​​​tenant building, which will house up to 800 people. It will be next to the mall's food ​​​court near the Dillard's department store.

Willow Bend is in the middle of a major redevelopment. Additions include a 30,000-sf health and fitness club and a two-level, 60,000-sf restaurant complex. Plans were just announced for a 60,000-sf Crayola Experience entertainment facility that will open in spring 2018 between the mall's food court and Macy's department store.
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. 

Griffin Partners fund buys boutique office building

HOUSTON (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler) – Griffin Partners Office Fund III has purchased 520 Post Oak Blvd., a 155,147-sf boutique office building in the Galleria submarket.

HFF worked on behalf of the sellers, Balandis Real Estate AG and Griffin Partners​. Balandis AG was advised by EII Realty Corp.

The eight-story building is 90.1 percent occupied.​​​

JV lands loan for CityPlace2

SPRING (REBusiness) – A joint venture between Patrinely Group LLC, USAA Real Estate Co., and CDC Houston has received a construction loan for the development of CityPlace2.

The 327,000-sf, Class A office building will be part of CityPlace, a 60-acre, mixed-use development at the intersection of Hardy Toll Rd. and I-45. 

CityPlace2 is slated for completion in 2018.

HFF arranged the loan. 
Communication Matters video seriesIn a series of four videos, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University explores what it takes to be an effective communicator. The presenter is Mays Business School Executive Professor John Krajicek.

705 North Texas multifamily units sold

DALLAS (REBusiness) – Marcus & Millichap's Fluellen|Hoover Multifamily investment sales team has brokered the sale of five multifamily communities in North Texas for $45.6 million.

The 705-unit portfolio includes:
  • West Wind, 160 units in Irving;
  • La Jolla Terrace, 340 units in Fort Worth;
  • Castle Glen, 48 units in Garland;
  • Northridge Court, 85 units in Cleburne; and
  • Social House, 72 units in Nacogdoches.

338-unit self-storage facility trades hands

​​HOUSTON (Marcus & Millichap) – A local LLC has purchased A Discount Mini Storage, a 338-unit self-storage facility at 3735 Mangum Rd.

Marcus & Millichap marketed the property on behalf of the seller, an individual/personal trust.
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Copyright © 2017, 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 Bryan Pope. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

RECON for May 12, 2017RECON for May 12, 2017Bryan PopePope
Real Estate Center Online News
Doctor's office
San Antonio's medical office market conditions benefited from a slight decrease in the citywide vacancy rate. More on this from REOC San Antonio in today's RECON. (Photo from Center files.)
May 12, 2017

April another positive month for Houston home sales

​​HOUSTON (Houston Association of Realtors) – Local single-family home sales and pricing continued to rise last month, with prices hitting a record high for April.

A total of 6,583 single-family homes sold last month versus 6,387 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors. That represents a 3.1 percent increase.

Median price climbed 4.6 percent to $228,000, marking the highest median price ever for an April. The average price rose 4.7 percent to $291,770, also an April high.

Sales of all property types totaled 8,014, up 4.2 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in April increased 8.1 percent to $2.2 billion.

The strongest sales growth was among homes priced at $750,000 and above (luxury market), followed by homes in the $250,000 to $499,999 range. April marked a sixth consecutive month of rising sales for luxury homes.

Month-end pending sales totaled 8,381, up 15 percent from last year. Total active listings jumped 13.5 percent to 39,567.

New listings buoyed inventory levels from a 3.6-months supply to four months.

New THC web app connects developers to historic downtowns

​​AUSTIN (Texas Historical Commission) – The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has launched DowntownTX.org, a web application designed to connect potential investors to development opportunities in Texas’ historic downtowns.

DowntownTX.org is an online building inventory for Texas downtowns featuring historic property listings.

The website has two map-based user interfaces—one for the public, the other administrative purposes.

The public interface promotes investment opportunities and historic building information, highlights incentives, provides a direct connection to the correct local contacts, and clarifies the local development process.

A user-friendly design makes it easy to scan the entire state and provides the ability to search parameters no other online real estate search tool offers. For example, properties can be filtered by National Register designation to direct interested historic real estate developers to properties eligible for the state and federal historic tax incentive programs.

The administrative interface displays a tailored dashboard, allowing each community to customize their homepage to manage building and business data internally.

About 20 cities are currently online. More nbsp;will be added throughout the year.

The project was made possible by the Still Water Foundation, the THC’s Certified Local Government program, and the Friends of the THC.
Renovated home
"Not all renovations are equal. Before you start knocking down walls, the experts offer some words of advice. Basically, remodeling projects are either ones that pay off when you sell the house and ones that don't. For simplicity, let's just call them renovation winners and losers." More from Senior Editor David Jones in this week's Mixed-Use Blog post.

REOC San Antonio: Alamo City medical office market improves in first quarter

​​SAN ANTONIO (REOC San Antonio) – Local medical office market conditions improved in first quarter 2017, according to REOC San Antonio in its latest market report.

The market had a slight decrease in the citywide vacancy rate within the city’s inventory of more than 7.2 million sf of medical-only office lease space. 

​New leases and expansions generated 17,282 sf of ​positive net absorption in the first quarter. The citywide vacancy dipped to 20 percent compared to 20.5 percent the previous quarter. Vacancy rates between Class A and B medical buildings had relatively wide margins at 18.4 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively.

Following the relatively stable trend of vacancy rates, rental rates saw little change as well. The average quoted rental rate for medical-only office decreased $.04 from last quarter to $24.92 per sf on an annual full-service basis, reflecting an over-the-year increase of nearly 1 percent. Class A properties averaged $28.84  per sf while Class B properties were at $23.07.

“With limited speculative construction underway, the market is not expected to see any significant spike in vacancy through the course of the year,” said Carl Bohn, senior vice president with REOC San Antonio.

Texas real estate licensure exams available at military installations worldwide

AUSTIN (Texas Real Estate Commission) – Texas real estate sales agent, broker, and inspector licensure exams are now available at over 200 Pearson VUE testing centers on military installations across the globe.

The exams can be taken by service members, spouses, dependents, and contractors with authorized base access.

Members of the military community who want to become licensed while stationed either stateside or overseas now have the option to take their exams without having to return to Texas to be tested.​

Vinmar leasing 500,000-sf Baytown build-to-suit

​​​​BAYTOWN (Houston Chronicle) – Houston-based petrochemical distributor Vinmar announced yesterday that it signed a long-term lease for a half-million-sf build-to-suit facility on 40 acres in Cedar Port Industrial Park.

Avera Companies, a Houston-based commercial real estate investment and development firm, owns the land and will build the rail-served industrial building.
Real Estate Red Zone podcast studio
With usual host Bryan Pope under the weather, Edie Craig and Hayley Rieder have taken control of this week's podcast. Join them for updates from both the Real Estate Center and the Texas Real Estate Commission, as well as stories from Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lake Whitney, League City, and Marshall. (13 min. 15 sec.)

Colliers: Austin industrial absorption
takes a hit

AUSTIN (Colliers International) – In its latest market update, Colliers International says the local industrial market took a big hit in the first quarter of the year, posting 622,956 sf of negative net absorption.

This is the largest loss since first quarter 2014, the report says. At that time, negative net absorption hit 771,075 sf.

"The rapid increase in rental rates seen in the past three years has slowed, and vacancy rates are rising," Colliers says.

Most of this negative absorption can be attributed to tenants moving out of large blocks of space, including UTI Worldwide moving out of 140,000 sf at Springbrook Corporate Center Building 7.

Austin's citywide average rental rates decreased over the quarter from $10.57 per sf triple net to $10.37.

Warehouse-distribution rates increased to $7.66 per sf triple net from $7.55, and citywide flex/R&D rental rates increased to $13.93 per sf triple net, just $0.14 higher than the $13.79 average rate in fourth quarter 2016.

Prestige to break ground on Abilene retail center

ABILENE (REBusiness) – Prestige Development Group of New Mexico will break ground this month on the 171,027-sf Shops at Abilene Village.

​Located at 3550 S. Clack St., the property is 85 percent preleased to tenants such as ​Academy Sports + Outdoors, Burli​​ngton, and Petco.

Delivery is scheduled for 2018.​​

Estrada Apartments under new ownership

​CARROLLTON (CBRE) – Estrada EP LP has purchased the 244-unit Estrada Apartments from Irving-based VTP Realty. 

Located at 1919 Walnut Plaza, the plaza was 96 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The property is part of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs' Housing Tax Credit (HTC) program, which provides favorable equity financing for the development of affordable housing. Through the program, 100 percent of the units have income and rental restrictions.

CBRE rep​resented the seller.

Comptroller distributing $787.8 million in local sales tax allocations for May

AUSTIN (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts) – The State Comptroller's Office will send cities, counties, transit systems, and special purpose taxing districts $787.8 million in local sales tax allocations for May.

These allocations, which are up 2.6 percent from a year ago, are based on sales made in March by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in January, February, and March by quarterly filers.

“The cities of Irving, Round Rock, Dallas, San Antonio, and Odessa saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “The cities of McAllen and Sugar Land saw noticeable decreases.”
Texas comptroller May 2017 tax allocations
Helping Texans make better real estate decisions since 1971
Copyright © 2017, 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 Bryan Pope. 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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