RECON for February 5, 2019RECON for February 5, 2019Bryan PopePope

Real Estate Center Online News
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Texas A&M University student workers (from L to R) Kyle Brann ('20), Lauren Adams ('19), and Stephen Magee ('19) are hard at work researching and writing stories for RECON and NewsTalk Texas. Stories are published on the Real Estate Center's news feed every weekday. (Photo by Center Photographer JP Beato III.)
February 5, 2019

Texas fifth in LEED Green buildings

​​​WASHINGTON (U.S. Green Building Council​) – For the first time since 2016, Texas has landed on the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) annual list of the top ten states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings. 

The Lone Star State ranked fifth, certifying 277 buildings total over 88.4 million gross sf (GSF) in 2018. That is 3.52 GSF of LEED-certified space per resident. 

Although Texas ranked fifth in GSF per capita, it was behind only California in total square footage (112.4 million gsf).

USGBC ranked states by gsf per capita. Other states in the top ten are:
  • No. 1 Illinois, 5.31 GSF per capita;
  • No. 2 Massachusetts, 5.3 GSF;
  • No. 3 Washington, 4.25 GSF;
  • No. 4 New York, 3.76 GSF;
  • No. 6 Colorado, 3.39 GSF;
  • No. 7 Hawaii, 3.31 GSF;
  • No. 8 Virginia, 3.17 GSF;
  • No. 9 California, 3.02 GSF; and 
  • No. 10 Maryland, 2.92 GSF.
Washington D.C. had the highest GSF per capita at 61.74. However, it was not included in the rankings as it is a federal district rather than a state. 

Nationally, 2,886 commercial projects were LEED-certified in 2018.
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Houston first in 2018 construction employment growth

​​​​​​ARLINGTON, Va. (Associated General Contractors of America) – Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land added ​19,400 construction jobs in 2018, more than any other metro, according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). ​That's a growth rate of 9 percent.

Dallas-Plano-Irving ​followed closely behind, growing by 12 percent, or 17,700 construction jobs, from December 2017 to December 2018.

Abilene (-300 jobs) and Wichita Falls (-200 jobs) were among the metros with the largest losses, both seeing a 7 percent decrease in construction employment.

Construction employment grew in 273 out of 358 metro areas between December 2017 and December 2018, declined in 37, and was unchanged in 48.

The largest percentage job gain occurred in Weirton-Steubenville, W. Va.-Ohio (28 percent, 500 jobs).

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (-2,800 jobs, -3 percent) had the largest job loss. Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H. (-9 percent, -300 jobs) had the largest job loss by percentage.
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Three's not a crowd for new EPISD megaschool

EL PASO (KFOX TV)– Construction kicked off on the city’s newest public school, which will combine three El Paso Independent School District schools into one.

Lincoln Middle School at 500 Mulberry Ave. will be the new home for the roughly 2,000 students currently attending Roberts Elementary, Bond Elementary, and Lincoln Middle School, hosting students from pre-K to eighth grade.

It will be renamed after the late University of Texas – El Paso basketball coach Don Haskins.

Existing classrooms will be renovated to use for elementary school grades. New middle school classrooms, gym, library, fine arts classrooms, and administrative offices will also be constructed.

The $44.2 million project is expected to open in fall 2021.
According to 2017 Census data, Texas ranks 18th among all U.S. states in average annual homeowner costs. How do those costs differ across metros? Read "Contrasting Costs: Location-Based Differences in Homeowner Expenses," a Tierra Grande digital first.

DFW home prices growing slower than national average

​​​​​​DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – North Texas home prices were up 4 percent over the year in November but continue to lag nationwide increases.

The Dallas-Fort Worth price gain was slightly below the nation's 5.2 percent rise in the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Home prices in North Texas are now growing at about half the rate they were a year or two ago.

However, with the latest increases, DFW home prices are now almost 50 percent higher than they were during the Great Recession.

North Texas home sales slowed significantly in the final months of 2018, and the region was the only major Texas metro area with a drop in total home sales last year. Sales were down 2.4 percent from 2017's record level.

In the last year, the housing inventory has grown almost 25 percent, and the average days on market has risen more than 20 percent.
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. 

Austin office absorption ends year at nearly 900K sf

​​​​​AUSTIN (Transwestern) – The city ended the year with over 70.2 million sf of office space across 997 buildings in its inventory, according to ​Transwestern's​ January 2019 Office Marke​tWatch report​.​

Citywide net absorption was at 897,481 sf, and lease activity was over 5.2 million sf. 

The vacancy rate remained below 15 percent throughout 2018. Direct occupancy and total occupancy ended the year at 93.4 percent and 92.5 percent, respectively.​

According to the report, 59 office properties totaling nearly seven million sf sold ​for $1.9 billion.​​ That's an average price per sf of $331.

The average net rent was $26.43 per sf. Class A, B, and C rents were at $31.41, $22.72, and $17.79, respectively.​
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.

'Quad' pro quo—'60s era development changes hands

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – Stream Realty Partners has purchased The Quadrangle, a mixed-use project in the heart of Uptown, from American Realty Advisors.

The new owner plans to renovate the 194,322-sf property, which is on four acres at the corner of Routh and Laclede Streets.

The development was built as a series of shops in 1966 when the Uptown area was a stretch of single-family homes. It was redeveloped in the 1980s to include the eight-story office tower that stands there today.

American Realty Advisors purchased the property in 2006 and put it on the market in 2017.
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Rice Management has its 'Ion' historic Sears building 

HOUSTON (CultureMap Houston) – Rice University announced the construction details of the historic Sears building's transformation into The Ion.

Construction on the 270,000-sf building will begin in May and conclude by the end of 2020. 

The building will serve as a coworking space, provide resources for entrepreneurs and startups, host events, and offer retail space for restaurants and entertainment amenities.

Rice Management Company is leading the project. Station Houston has been named as the programming partner and will have a major presence in the hub.​
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Holdin' on for Hope Tower

LUBBOCK (EverythingLubbock.com) – Covenant Medical Center will start construction on its new Hope Tower mid-February.

The 220,000-sf building will sit on the site of the old hospital at 3615 19th St. It will have 89 beds with room for 60 more.

Construction on the $125 million project is expected to last two years.
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Material herein is published according to the fair-use doctrine of U.S. copyright laws related to non-profit, educational institutions. Items attributed to sources other than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University should not be reprinted without permission of the original source. To send news items for consideration, e-mail Hayley Rieder. The Real Estate Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station - the heart of the Research Valley.

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