RECON for January 29, 2019RECON for January 29, 2019Bryan PopePope

Real Estate Center Online News
Aerial view of Dallas suburb in fall
According to the Real Estate Center's latest Home Price Indexes, home price appreciation is slowing in many major Texas metros. To get the details on this story and more, keep reading today's RECON. (Photo from Center files.)
January 29, 2019

Austin, Dallas land high on best-performing cities list

​SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Dallas Morning News) – Two Texas cities took top spots in the Milken Institute's annual survey of the best-performing cities in the U.S. 

Austin took third place in the analysis, up six spots from last year. Dallas dropped two spots to fifth. 

According to the report, the Texas capital added nearly 5,000 jobs in its professional, scientific, and tech-services sectors last year. 

The annual analysis of 200 large metros takes into account job growth, wage and salary growth, and high-tech GDP growth, among other factors.

The rest of the top ten rankings are:
  • No. 1 Provo-Orem, Utah;
  • No. 2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.;
  • No. 4 San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif.;
  • No. 6 Raleigh, N.C.;
  • No. 7 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.;
  • No. 8 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.;
  • No. 9 Fort Collins, Colo.; and
  • No. 10 Salt Lake City, Utah​
The report cites higher competition for talent among firms and rising housing costs in coastal regions as a factor in rising prosperity for inland cities but notes that those very same inland cities are beginning to catch a glimpse of the hurdles faced on the coasts.
Helping Texans make better real estate decisions since 1971

Buc-ee's busy as a beaver with Alabama expansion

​​​​​​​ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (Alabama.com) ​– Lake Jackson-based Buc-ee's opened its first travel store outside of Texas last week​​. 

The 5​​2,235-sf location at 20403 CR 68 off I-10 at the Baldwin Beach Express is ​​about half an hour east of downtown Mobile. 

Featuring 120 gas pumps, it is believed to be ​the largest ​travel store in Alabama at more than 21 times the size of an average convenience ​store.​

In addition to wares found in Texas Buc-ee's locations, the store sells merchandise unique to the Alabama Gulf Coast: Mardi Gras-theme t-shirts and wares, crawfish boil items, and beach umbrellas.

The company’s arrival in Alabama comes without sales or property tax incentives. However, Baldwin County will spend close to $400,000 on traffic signals at nearby intersections.
Obtaining a Texas Real Estate License coverObtaining a Texas Real Estate License is the most complete guide found anywhere to obtaining a Texas real estate salesperson's license. Everything from what activities require a license to actual application forms. This report has been reviewed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. 

Home price growth slowing across Texas, according to REC HPI

​COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University) – According to the Real Estate Center's latest Home Price Indexes (HPIs), home price appreciation is slowing in many Texas metros. 

HPI levels in Dallas-Fort Worth reveal continued slowdown in overall single-family home price appreciation. 

"Homes sold in the lower 33rd percentile of prices appeared to hold steady in 2018, while homes in higher-priced brackets experienced diminishing appreciation," said Center Senior Data Analyst Joshua Roberson.

Austin shared similar trends in both overall and price tier growth.

Overall price growth in San Antonio had only a slight decline in growth rate year over year while El Paso capped 2018 with its second consecutive year of positive growth.

Data for several Texas metros are publically available for free on the Center's website. Stay tuned for the Houston Home Price Index set to be released February 10th.
man holding mic
We want to know what you think of our Real Estate Red Zone podcast, so we're passing the mic to you. Regardless of how often you tune in, your opinion matters. Take our short three-minute survey and tell us what you think. 

DFW only major Texas region to see home sales drop

​​​​​DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Dallas-Fort Worth was the only major Texas metropolitan area that saw a decline in home sales in 2018.

While Austin, Houston, and San Antonio all eked out small gains in the numbers of homes purchased, North Texas sales fell 2.4 percent last year from 2017's record levels.

Statewide, home sales were 1.7 percent higher than in 2017, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

The dip in home sales in the DFW area is due in part to a shortage of listings of affordable homes, said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines.

Real estate agents say higher mortgage costs may have caused some buyers to retreat, too.

In 2016 and 2017, many DFW neighborhoods saw double-digit percentage home price hikes.

In 2018, the overall North Texas market had about a 4 percent price increase.

Across Texas, December was a markedly down month for the housing market. 

Along with DFW's 10 percent year-over-year decline in home purchases, sales were off 12.7 percent in Austin and 4.2 percent in Houston.
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. 

Micro apartments: Austin’s next big thing?

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – Transwestern is expected to start construction soon on Block 36, a micro-unit apartment complex along Waller Creek at 710 E. 3rd St.​

The project will have 263 units in one building over a parking garage. It will have mostly studios with a few one- and two-bedroom units averaging 443 sf.

Because of the small unit sizes, Block 36 will have some of the lowest rents for new apartments in downtown Austin, estimated under $1,500 a month.

Construction should take 22 to 24 months with delivery set for first quarter 2021.

Wilder Belshaw Architects is the designer and Martines Palmeiro Construction LLC is the general contractor.​

Construction jumps in December despite YOY drop

​​​​DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Despite a jump in commercial building in December 2018, North Texas construction activity declined overall last year, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.​

About $22.2 billion in building starts were recorded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year—down from the record $24.6 billion in 2017.

A 27 percent decline in new nonresidential building contributed the most to 2018's total 10 percent drop in construction activity.

Commercial building starts jumped 47 percent in December to a total of $576 million.

​Even with the slowdown, DFW's record construction starts in 2018 were behind only New York City for total building. 

Houston was third with almost $20 billion in construction. Out of the top ten cities, five of them had building declines from 2017.
Computer with four email notifications
Did you know you can get notified every time one of our new economic reports is released? Check out our brand-new email notification feature to get the latest economic data sent directly to your email inbox for free. 

Majestic 423K-sf industrial project breaks ground

​​​​​​​​LAREDO (REBusiness Online) – California-based Majestic Realty Co. has broken ground on a 423,280-sf speculative industrial project within the Port Grande logistics park.

The new building will feature 32-ft clear heights, 120 dock-high doors, 242 trailer parking spaces, and 208 automobile parking spaces. 

Completion is scheduled for fourth quarter 2019. 

The development follows a 200,000-sf lease with Source Logistics, a third-party logistics firm, which brought Port Grande's f​irst building to full occupancy. 

Majestic acquired the 2,000-acre logistics park from a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz in 2015.

The Heights Hospital to undergo renovation

HOUSTON (Commercial Property Executive) – A joint venture of two local ​​medical office development firms has received $28 million in financing for a 191,676-sf, Class A medical office building in The Heights.

Madison Realty Capital facilitated the first mortgage loan, which will partly be used to renovate the property. 

In 2017, AMD Global acquired and renovated the six-story asset, allowing for an expanded tenant roster and additional services at the property.  

The asset at 1917 Ashland St. is currently 95 percent leased to a tenant roster that includes CuraHealth and St. Joseph Medical Center. 
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.

400K-sf industrial spec building to Arlington

ARLINGTON (Dallas Business Journal) – Construction is underway on a speculative industrial building in the Cooper I-20 Business Center.

The 400,000-sf building at 1131 West Bardin Rd. is the third and final building in the 1.2 million-sf business park at I-20 and South Cooper St.

Both of the existing industrial buildings on the property were built as speculative properties and are now 100 percent leased.

145K-sf Watercrest expansion gets better with age

​KINGWOOD (REBusiness Online) – Integrated Senior Lifestyles has opened a 101-unit expansion at its Watercrest at Kingwood seniors housing community at 24109 Kingwood Place Dr. 

The 145,000-sf Garden Village project adds 73 independent-living and 28 assisted-living residences to the existing campus. 

The expansion also features amenities like​​ multiple outdoor sitting areas, walking trail, wellness center, libraries, pet park, and two new dining venues. 
Free land data ad
Looking for reliable rural land data for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas? We've got you covered. Get the data exclusively from the Real Estate Center.
Copyright © 2019, 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.

 Search RECON Issues