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RECON for April 13, 2021RECON for April 13, 20212021-04-13T05:00:00Z2021-04-13T05:00:00Z
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April 13, 2021

Texas jobless claims drop after three consecutive increases

​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Initial jobless claims in Texas decreased to 79,900 the week ending April 3 after three straight weeks of increases.

​​About 4.9 million unemployment claims h​ave been filed since​ March 21, 2020, according to U.S. Department​ of Labor (DOL) data. 

Continuing unemployment claims decreased to​ 314,900 the week ending March 27.

"The U.S. labor market seems equipped to hire currently unemployed people as the number of job openings continues to rise back to pre-pandemic levels," said Dr. Luis Torres, a research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center. "The most current numbers for February 2021 have job openings at 7.4 million."

According to Torres, there were 9.7 million unemployed people through March 21. After subtracting the average number of people unemployed before the pandemic (six million), there are 7.4 million job openings versus 3.7 million unemployed, a ratio of two to one. This ​exercise does not consider issues like skill mismatches. 

"For the labor market to fully recover going forward, significant downward movement in initial and continuing claims needs to happen, given that claims levels remain high," said Torres.

The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, increased considerably the week ending April 3.​

​Last week, U.S. initial claims increased to 743,600, bringing the 55-week total to 79 million. 

Fewer people in most of Texas' major and border ​metros filed new unemployment claims the week ending March 27. The exception was Laredo, which registered its third weekly increase in a row.

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, 2020:
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 1.12 million claims;
  • ​​Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 1.08 million claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 330,900 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 278,300 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 133,000​ claims;
  • El Paso, 114,500 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 58,700 claims; and
  • ​​Laredo, 33,2​​00​ claims.​​​
"Increasing vaccination rates should lead to a faster recovery in the leisure and hospitality sector, possibly creating a wave of hiring that would allow thousands of laid-off workers to find jobs," said Torres.

Healthcare and social assistance registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending March 27. That sector was followed by educational services, retail trade, and administrative/support/waste management/remediation services.
Helping Texans make the best real estate decisions since 1971

Former chief economist rejoins Center on limited basis

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – After retiring in 2020, Economist Dr. James Gaines has rejoined the Texas Real Estate Research Center staff. 

His new role is a slimmed-down version of his position as chief economist, which he held for five years. Gaines continues making presentations, reviewing manuscripts, and giving media interviews.

Hired as an economist in 2005, Gaines was named chief economist in 2015. 

During his 15 years at the Center, Gaines has specialized in housing and land development issues. He is author of more than 50 Center reports and articles and is the organization’s principal speaker.

His decades of experience included a broad array of professional activities, primarily in real estate research and education, urban economics, land-use analysis and development, and project risk assessment.

In 2019, Gaines was part of the Texas Realtors delegation representing the United States at the MIPIM 30th Engaging the Future conference in Cannes, France.
Total Texas housing sales plummeted 16.1 percent in February as Winter Storm Uri swept across the state, causing widespread power and water outages. Before the freeze, however, sales were at record levels and should rebound in March as indicated by the Texas Real Estate Research Center's single-family sales forecast. Depleted inventory is the greatest challenge to Texas' housing market, assuming the pandemic remains contained. Read our latest Texas Housing Insight report for more. 

That's a wrap for Lake Highlands HS renovation

​​​RICHARDSON (Cadence McShane Construction) – Cadence McShane Construction has completed an addition and renovation project on Lake Highlands High School for Richardson Independent School District. 

Designed by HKS, the project included:
  • a multipurpose activity center with a​ 78,000-sf indoor practice facility (including an 80-yard practice field) and a 24,000-sf Class A structure with offices, locker rooms, and sport support areas;
  • 144,000-sf “HUB” addition with expanded cafeteria and kitchen, common spaces, learning stairs, and library; and
  • two-story ICF storm shelter addition.
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. 

160K-sf mixed-use development slated near Apple campus 

​​​LEANDER (Austin Business Journal) – Ronald Reagan Crossing LLC is breaking ground on Ronald Reagan Crossing, a 160,000-sf mixed-use development at 15101 Ronald E. Reagan Blvd. north of Apple's new campus.

The first phase will include:
  • 38,235 sf of office space across two buildings,
  • 43,125 sf of retail space across two buildings, 
  • a daycare, and 
  • drive-through restaurant. 
An additional 60,000 sf will be added in a separate phase. Zoning is in place to allow a hotel.

Construction begins this month and will be complete by the end of 2022. 
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Stonemont takes 29 acres for 500K-sf warehouse 

​​​FORT WORTH (Lee & Associates) – Stonemont Financial Group has purchased 29.2 acres for a two-building speculative warehouse project totaling 500,000 sf.

The project at 12901 Harmon Rd. will deliver in first quarter 2022.

Lee & Associates DFW represented the seller, LCT Properties. The buyer was represented internally. 
Communication Matters video seriesThe Texas Real Estate Research 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.

Dalfen Industrial planning 1M-sf Mesquite Airport Logistics Center

​​​MESQUITE (Dallas Business Journal) – Dalfen Industrial plans to construct two distribution buildings totaling one million sf on E. Scyene Rd.

Work will start on the $33 million Mesquite Airport Logistics Center in May.

Completion is set for the first half of 2022.

GSR Andrade Architects designed the project.
Looking for reliable rural land data for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas? We've got you covered. Get the data exclusively from the Texas Real Estate Research Center.
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Copyright © 2021, 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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=460
RECON for April 6, 2021RECON for April 6, 20212021-04-06T05:00:00Z2021-04-06T05:00:00Z
Aerial view of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez
According to a new Texas Real Estate Research Center report, sales of higher-priced homes along the Texas-Mexico border continue to increase as limited inventories at the lower end of the market drive up median prices. The supply of active listings of homes priced below $200,000 fell to unprecedented lows in January. Get the details in today's RECON. (Photo of El Paso from Center files.)
April 6, 2021

Supply of $200,000 homes disappearing along Texas border after record start to year

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – If anyone has a reason to smile about the current state of the Texas border economy, it has to be anyone selling a home priced less than $200,000. 

"The supply of active listings in that price range along the border fell to unprecedented lows in January," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center.

New listings for homes priced less than $200,000 increased slightly in Brownsville and McAllen, but total months of inventory fell to 2.4 and 3.0 months, respectively. At the same time, Laredo’s supply decreased to 1.8 months. El Paso’s slid to 1.4 months.

"El Paso’s inventory of homes priced less than $200,000 would be exhausted in around a month at the current sales pace without any new active listings," said Torres.

The Center considers a six month’s inventory a "balanced market." Unprecedented demand means what few affordable homes are available and are selling faster.

"Homes in Brownsville are selling an average 80 days sooner this year than in 2020. In El Paso, they are selling 49 days quicker," said Torres.

After six straight monthly declines, McAllen days-on-market ticked up in January but remained at 68 days, down from 85 days a year earlier. The average home in Laredo sells after just 42 days.

January border home sales increased for the third consecutive month, accelerating 3 percent to start the year with record activity. El Paso sales for homes priced more than $200,000 accounted for much of the improvement and pulled the metro’s overall metric up 3.8 percent. 

McAllen posted similar sales growth, although most of the gain was due to elevated sales for homes priced less than $200,000. Still, sales for that price range comprised only 60 percent of the total share compared to 70 percent a year ago. Laredo sales decreased 6.4 percent with declines across the price spectrum. Brownsville sales contracted 2.5 percent after double-digit growth the previous month. 

Sales of higher-priced homes continue to increase as limited inventories at the lower end of the market drive up median prices. The median home price rose to record-highs of $197,400 and $191,600 in Brownsville and El Paso, respectively. The Laredo median rose to $195,600. In McAllen, where monthly sales fluctuations favored lower-priced homes, the median price fell $12,000 to $175,200, still 8.8 percent growth over last year.

For more, read the latest Texas Border Report.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Texas Real Estate Research 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. 

Texas unemployment claims continue moving up

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Initial jobless claims in Texas increased for the third straight week to 82,800 the week ending March 27.

"The rise in unemployment claims is surprising, since other economic indicators are improving substantially as vaccination rates increase, and new COVID-19 cases continue to decline," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center.  

​​About 4.8 million unemployment claims have been filed since​ March 21, 2020, according to U.S. Department​ of Labor (DOL) data. 

Continuing unemployment claims increased to​ 328,000 the week ending March 20.

"For the labor market to fully recover going forward, significant downward movement in initial and continuing claims needs to happen, given that claims levels remain high," said Torres.

The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, decreased the week ending March 27.​

​Last week, U.S. initial claims increased to 719,500, bringing the 54-week total to 78.3 million. 

​For the second week in a row, more people in Texas' major and border ​metros filed new unemployment claims the week ending March 20.

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, 2020:
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 1.1 million claims;
  • ​​Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 1.06 million claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 324,200 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 272,600 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 131,300​ claims;
  • El Paso, 112,800 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 57,900 claims; and
  • ​​Laredo, 32,7​​00​ claims.​​​
"Increasing vaccination rates should lead to a faster recovery in the leisure and hospitality sector, possibly creating a wave of hiring that would allow thousands of laid-off workers to find jobs," said Torres.

Healthcare and social assistance registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending March 20. That sector was followed by educational services, retail trade, and administrative/support/waste management/remediation services.
Registration is now open for the 30th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets conference. The event will be held virtually on April 21-23 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Learn more about the conference and register here.

Texas eighth best state for remote work

WASHINGTON (WalletHub) – Texas has ranked eighth on WalletHub's list of the best states for working from home. 

The Lone Star State was 17th in working environment and second in living environment. 

Last year, Texas was a top work-from-home state in a National Association of Realtors study. Frisco was the second best city for remote work in a SmartAsset study. 

The top five states on WalletHub's list, from first to fifth, are Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. 
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. 

The Woodlands sees largest office lease in 12 months

​​​​THE WOODLANDS (CBRE) – Linde Engineering has leased 120,454 sf in Sierra Pines II. 

The company will occupy the second and third floors in the six-story, Class A office building at 1575 Sawdust Rd. 

The deal, which is the largest local office lease in the past 12 months, follows Linde's merger with Praxair. 

CBRE represented Linde. Stream Realty Partners represented the landlord, VEREIT. 
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1,044-unit self-storage portfolio trades hands

​​​​LAREDO (REBusiness Online) – Berkshire Hathaway Storage Group has brokered the sale of the Laredo Storage Portfolio, a 1,044-unit self-storage portfolio in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The portfolio spans 138,980 net rentable sf across 6.8 acres. 

A locally based seller sold the assets to an institutional private equity firm.
Communication Matters video seriesThe Texas Real Estate Research 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.

Beacon Real Estate picks up Leander apartment complex

​​​LEANDER (Austin Business Journal) – Beacon Real Estate Group has acquired The Conley, a 259-unit apartment complex at 655 N. Baghdad Rd. 

The property offers one- to three-bedroom units. Rents range from $1,126 to $2,157 per month. 

Amenities include a pool, pet park, gym, clubhouse, business center, and courtyard. 

Cushman & Wakefield Holdings Inc. represented the seller. Constellation Group represented the buyer, Stillwater Capital Investments LLC. 
Helping Texans make the best real estate decisions since 1971

569K-sf Carter Park warehouse delivers

​​​FORT WORTH (Cadence McShane Construction) – Cadence McShane Construction completed construction of Carter Park on behalf of Black Creek Group. 

The 29-acre project is at the I-35W and I-20 at the interchange. It includes three tilt-wall distribution/warehouse buildings measuring 250,000, 231,000, and 88,000 sf. They feature 32-ft ceilings, ESFR sprinklers, and 100 dock doors. 

Callaway Architecture designed the project. 
Looking for reliable rural land data for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas? We've got you covered. Get the data exclusively from the Texas Real Estate Research Center.
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Copyright © 2021, 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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=459
RECON for March 30, 2021RECON for March 30, 20212021-03-30T05:00:00Z2021-03-30T05:00:00Z
Eviction notice on door
What's happening in today's RECON? CDC extends eviction moratorium through end of June, Texas rural land sales up 28.9 percent in 4Q2020, and February winter storm ends nine months of Texas job gains. Keep reading for the details on this story and more. (Photo from Center files.)
March 30, 2021

Urban buyers stampede to rural Texas

​​​COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Spooked by pandemic fears and urban unrest, herds of Texas city-dwelling buyers descended on rural locations in latter 2020. When the dust settled, 552,707 acres had been purchased for a record $1.69 billion.

“Fourth quarter 2020 produced a remarkable increase in rural property transactions across most of Texas,” said Dr. Charles Gilliland, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. “Statewide, the 7,684 sales were up 28.9 percent from last year.”

The increased demand sent statewide land prices up 3.1 percent to $3,064 per acre. The typical sale was 1,139 acres.

“Taken together, the third and fourth quarter results signal an active and rising market with strong demand for land in most areas of Texas,” said Gilliland, who has studied state land markets for 40 years. “Currently, market professionals report a flood of interest in land purchases.”

“Austin-Waco-Hill Country rural markets exploded in the third and fourth quarters of 2020,” said Gilliland. “The 1,103 sales marked the first time the region recorded more than 1,000 in a quarter. Sales in the region were up 85.1 percent from the same time in 2019.”

Prices increased in all regions except for the Panhandle and South Plains. The West Texas and Austin-Waco-Hill Country Regions recorded small price increases. However, they did post large increases in the number of sales. 

Only Far West Texas, hit by falling oil prices, reported a sales decline. Transaction size fell everywhere except for South Texas. Total dollar volume fell in Far West Texas, grew modestly in the Gulf Coast and Brazos Bottom Regions, but expanded everywhere else.

A new report from the Texas Real Estate Research Center breaks down Texas land markets region by region. Read Texas Land Market Latest Developments here. The report also includes limited rural land data for Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 

An article by Gilliland, “See Ya Later, Next-Door Neighbor,” will be published in the forthcoming issue of TG magazine.

The Texas Real Estate Research Center is hosting a virtual “30th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets” conference April 21-23. Registration opens soon.
Helping Texans make the best real estate decisions since 1971

February winter storm ends nine months of Texas job gains

AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – ​Texas lost 27,500 jobs in February, ending nine straight months of gains, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. 

The seasonally adju​​sted unemployment rate increased to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent the previous month. 

"As expected, the winter storm impacted the state's labor market in February," said Texas Real Estate Research Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. "March employment numbers should rebound." 

"Due to the jobs lost last month, the Texas economy now needs to gain almost 593,000 jobs in the coming months to return to pre-pandemic levels," said Torres. 

Texas' nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in February, while the nation's was 6.6 percent.

Amarillo had the lowest nonse​asonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state​ at 5.1 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest at 12 percent. 

All employment sectors had seasonally adjusted job losses since February 2020 except for trade, transportation, and utilities, which grew 0.1 percent. Mining and logging had the largest job loss with employment falling 23.7 percent.
The Texas Weekly Leading Index decreased for a second straight week. The index's overall trend indicates the state's economic recovery has lost some momentum. The index should gain momentum in the coming weeks as economic data point toward higher economic activity in March. The recovery's pace continues to be hindered by the incomplete reopening of the economy and future uncertainty regarding the pandemic. For more information, read our latest COVID-19 Impact Projections on Texas' Economy report. Subscribe to email updates here.

CDC extends national eviction moratorium through June 30

​​​WASHINGTON (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended the national eviction ban through June 30, 2021. 

The moratorium was​ set to expire this week before it was extended. 

To be eligible, a renter must meet five requirements. 
  1. The individual must have made best effort to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.
  2. ​The individual either (1) earned no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), or expects to earn no more than $99,000 ($198,000 jointly) in calendar year 2021, (2) was not required to report any income in 2020 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (3) received an Economic Impact Payment.
  3. They are unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  4. The individual is making best effort to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses.
  5. ​Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into close quarters in a new congregate or shared-living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.
Last month, the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed loans was extended through June 30. 
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. 

Texas economy declines in 2020

WASHINGTON (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) – Texas' real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 3.5 percent in 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

​Professional, scientific, and technical services and finance and insurance were the only two secto​rs to register positive growth during 2020. Both industries are characterized for their ability to socially distance while continuing to operate.

The state's real GDP increased 7.5 percent at an annualized rate in 4Q2020.

During 4Q2020, finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP.

Nationally, real GDP fell 3.5 percent over the year. All states and the District of Columbia saw declines in GDP in 2020. ​
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Envases breaking ground on first U.S. factory

WACO (Waco Tribune-Herald) – Mexico-based Envases Group is breaking ground on a 450,000-sf aluminum can factory at 1901 Wycon Dr. 

The $100 million facility will​ employ 120.

It is the company's first factory in the U.S.
Communication Matters video seriesThe Texas Real Estate Research 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.

300-unit apartment complex slated for New Braunfels 

​​​​NEW BRAUNFELS (San Antonio Business Journal) – Herman & Kittle Properties Inc. is developing River’s Edge Apartments, a 300-unit multifamily community at the corner of Klein Rd. and FM 725. 

About 150 units will be reserved for working-cl​​​ass individuals, such as teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police officers. 
Looking for reliable rural land data for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas? We've got you covered. Get the data exclusively from the Texas Real Estate Research Center.
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Copyright © 2021, 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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=458
RECON for March 23, 2021RECON for March 23, 20212021-03-23T05:00:00Z2021-03-23T05:00:00Z
Employment article cover
Beginning this month, the Monthly Review of the Texas Economy will be replaced by our new Texas Employment Report. This report will contain the same Texas Workforce Commission data you've come to expect, but it will also include analysis by Texas Real Estate Research Center experts. Click here to read the January 2021 report. Subscribe to email notifications so you always know when this report is published. (Graphic by Center Creative Manager Bob Beals.)
March 23, 2021

Texas existing-home sales drop 16 percent in February as inventory falls to less than 1.5 months

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Texas’ housing market slowed in February after persistently low mortgage interest rates contributed to record sales in the existing-home sector the previous month. 

"Sales activity was greatly hindered by February’s unseasonably wintery weather that caused power outages and water disruptions across the state," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. 

Existing-homes sold through the Texas Multiple Listing Services declined 16 percent from January, drawing even with year-ago levels. Despite slower sales, the state’s existing-home inventory fell below 1.5 months in February. The number of new listings that hit the market declined for the second straight month to their lowest reading since April 2020, when the state was under a stay-at-home mandate. 

"New listings rebounded during the summer amid strong housing demand, but they have trended down since fourth quarter 2020, contributing to the lack of homes for sale," Torres said. "Supply is expected to remain tight in 2021, affecting home sales."

Many analysts point to older homeowners holding onto their houses longer, resulting in a reduced supply of active listings available to the increasing number of millennials becoming first-time homebuyers. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, first-time homebuyers accounted for 31 percent of February sales, which overall decreased 4.5 percent relative to January. Compared with year-ago levels, however, activity elevated 8.2 percent. The share of homes sold to first-time buyers was even higher in the new-home market. The February National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index survey indicated 43 percent of new single-family homes sold were to first-time buyers in the last 12 months.  

Foreclosure moratoriums are causing fewer homes to be put on the market than otherwise would be expected at the elevated levels of joblessness experienced in the past year.     

"During times of economic hardship, foreclosures typically increase, providing additional listings for sale," said Torres. "However, forbearance and the federal foreclosure moratorium have provided help to households during the pandemic. Continued stability in the housing market is essential to Texas’ economic recovery."

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has extended the foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums for properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through June 30, 2021. Eligible borrowers were also granted an additional three-month extension of forbearance for a total of up to 18 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of March.   

Rising mortgage rates are another headwind to the Texas home market. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate ticked up for the second straight month in February to 2.8 percent. Continued increases may soften housing demand.  

"The 30-year mortgage rate is closely linked to the ten-year U.S. Treasury bond yield, which looks to increase in the coming months as vaccination rates improve, and the third fiscal stimulus package supports economic recovery," Torres said.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbot lifted the mask mandate and increased capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent starting March 10.

"Prospects for Texas’ full economic recovery continue to depend on dwindling COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and progress on the vaccine front," Torres said, "but optimistic consumer behavior could boost business activity, reduce the number of layoffs going forward, and allow Texans to return to the labor force."

Read more about the Texas Real Estate Research Center's predictions of economic activity of COVID-19.
Helping Texans make the best real estate decisions since 1971

Texas initial claims rise unexpectedly, trend still points downward

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Initial jobless claims in Texas increased unexpectedly to 71,500 the week ending March 13. Despite the increase, claims continue to trend downward. 

Texas' increase accounted for 48 percent of last week's national rise in jobless claims. 

​About 4.6 million unemployment claims have been filed since​ March 21, 2020, according to U.S. Department​ of Labor (DOL) data. 

Continuing unemployment claims increased to​ 360,100 the week ending March 6.

The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, increased considerably the week ending March 13.​

​Last week, U.S. initial claims increased to 770,300, bringing the 52-week total to 81.9 million. 

Fewer people in all of Texas' major and border metros filed new unemployment claims the week ending March 6.

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, 1.06 million claims;
  • ​​Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 1.01 million claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 311,800 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 261,800 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 128,000​ claims;
  • El Paso, 109,300 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 56,300 claims; and
  • ​​Laredo, 31,900​ claims.​​
Increasing vaccination rates should lead to a faster recovery in the leisure and hospitality sector, possibly creating a wave of hiring that would allow thousands of laid-off workers to find jobs.

Healthcare and social assistance registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending March 6. That sector was followed by administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, retail trade, ​construction, manufacturing, and ​accommodation and food services.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Texas Real Estate Research 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. 

Tax Day extended to May 17, June 15 for winter storm victims

​​WASHINGTON (Internal Revenue Service) – ​The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

​Earlier this year, the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Affected individuals in these states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.​

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year until May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including those who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest, and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17.

Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional or tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. This does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. 

​This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due April 15, 2021. These payments are still due April 15. 

The federal tax filing deadline postponement does not apply to state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. 
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. 

Chicago developer building 1M-sf warehouse in Denton

​​DENTON (Dallas Business Journal) – Logistics Property Co. has submitted plans for 114 Logistics Park west of the Texas Motor Speedway along SH 114. 

Phase one will include a $32.5 million, one million-sf speculative warehouse.

Designed by Ware Malcomb, the project breaks ground in fall 2021.
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Work starts on San Antonio rental community

​​SAN ANTONIO (REBusiness Online) – ​California-based AHV Communities has begun work on Farm Haus, a 142-unit single-family rental community.

Residences will have two-, three- and four-bedroom layouts. Monthly rents will range from $1,775 to $2,200. 

Amenities will include a pool, fitness center, communal kitchen, conference room, great room, bocce court, and dog park.

Construction will be carried out in five phases, with preleasing beginning in April. Full completion is slated for second quarter 2022. 
Communication Matters video seriesThe Texas Real Estate Research 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.

Universal Technical Institute planning North Austin campus

​​​​​AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – ​Universal Technical Institute Inc. has leased 100,000 sf for a campus offering automotive, diesel, and welding technology courses. 

The campus will open in CM Tec​hridge in early 2022. 

HPI Real Estate Services and Investments handles leasing for the space. 

Florida investor acquires two DFW apartment communities

​DALLAS-FORT WORTH (Dallas Morning News) – Miami-based Eagle Property Capital has acquired two Dalla​s-area rental communities.

The 320-unit Residences at Northgate is at 4310 W. Northgate Dr. in Irving. 

Arbor Creek is a 280-unit apartment property at 396 E. Southwest Pkwy. in Lewisville.

Both properties were built in the mid-1980s.

The purchases were financed with $55.1 million in loans arranged by Berkadia and Freddie Mac.
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Copyright © 2021, 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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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RECON for March 19, 2021RECON for March 19, 20212021-03-19T05:00:00Z2021-03-19T05:00:00Z

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Saturday, March 20, is the first day of spring. Don't forget to stop and smell the bluebonnets. (Photo from Center files.)
March 19, 2021

Laredo industrial park fully leased to two foreign tenants

​​​​​LAREDO (Forum CRE) – Two international companies have moved into Sophia Industrial Park, a 230,900-sf building on 20.6 acres at 13819 Humphrey Rd. 

Winnipeg, Canada-based Palliser Furniture took possession of their 117,191-sf space at the beginning of March.

Saltillo, Mexico-based Vitromex U​SA moved in fourth quarter 2020.​

Humphrey Development, a branch of GONTOR Group, ​​developed the building.

Forum CRE brokered the leases. 

Provident to start phase I of 700K-sf Plano industrial park

​​​PLANO (Dallas Morning News) – Provident Realty Advisors is constructing three industrial buildings totaling 300,000 sf in the ​Plano Commerce Center.​

The $35 million project is the first of two phases totaling 700,000 sf at Shiloh and N. Star Roads.​

Merriman Anderson Architects designed the park, and Mark V Commercial is the leasing agent.

Construction begins in March and will take ten months to complete.​​
4Q2020 Texas Quarterly Commercial Report
For more, read our latest Texas Quarterly Commercial Report.

Work starts on Potter County court project

​​AMARILLO (REBusiness Online) – Adolfson & Peterson Construction, in partnership with Potter County, has broken ground on the District Courts Building, a 158,250-sf civic project. 

Designed by HOK Group, the five-story project will house courtrooms, a jury assembly room, county offices, holding areas, and records storage space. 

Completion is slated for late 2022.
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86-acre industrial park slated for Georgetown

​​​​GEORGETOWN (Austin Business Journal) – Titan Development Ltd. is developing Gateway35 Commerce Center, an 86-acre industrial park near the intersection of the 130 toll road and I-35. 

Phase one will include a 293,000-sf speculative industrial building. Construction will begin in May and be complete in the fourth quarter. 

The second phase will include two additional buildings. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Billingsley adding 600K-sf to its International Business Park 

​​​PLANO (Dallas Morning News) – Billingsley Co. is building three more office buildings totaling 600,000 sf in its 300-acre International Business Park.

The four- and five-story buildings will be off Plano Pkwy.

When completed, the office campus will have 35 buildings housing up to 21,000 workers.

GFF designed the three office buildings. 
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 Texas Real Estate Research Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

1M-sf Amazon fulfillment center slated for Amarillo

​​​AMARILLO (REBusiness Online) – Amazon is developing a one million-sf fulfillment center at the corner of NE 24th Ave. and Loop 335. 

The center will create 500 full-time jobs and generate $35 million in economic impact. 

Construction will be complete in early 2022. ​

McLane Foodservice inks 249K-sf industrial lease

​​​​​​SAN ANTONIO (REBusiness Online) – McLane Foodservice Distribution Inc. has signed a 248,500-sf industrial lease at Foster Ridge Industrial Park. 

Newmark represented the tenant. Cavender & Hill represented the landlord, Foster Ridge M Owner LLC. 
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Copyright © 2021, 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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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