RECON for January 10, 2020RECON for January 10, 2020Bryan PopePope

RECON Real Estate Center
Glass and concrete exterior wall of TAMU's new dentistry building in Dallas
What's happening around the state? Renting more affordable than buying in most Texas markets, two downtown office towers among several El Paso properties sold, and Texas A&M opens Dallas dental clinic and education building. Keep reading today's RECON for the details. (Photo from Texas A&M University College of Dentistry.)
January 10, 2020

Renting more affordable than buying in most Texas markets

​​​​​​​IRVINE, Calif. (ATTOM Data Solutions) – Buying a three-bedroom property is affordable in 455 of the 855 U.S. counties analyzed in ATTOM Data Solution's 2020 Rental Affordability Report. 

However, that is contrary to the trend in Texas, where it is more affordable to rent than buy in more than half of the 57 Texas counties that were analyzed. Those counties are (in alphabetical order):
  • Bexar
  • Brazoria
  • Brazos
  • Burnet
  • Collin
  • Comal
  • Dallas
  • Denton
  • Fort Bend
  • Galveston
  • Guadalupe
  • Harris
  • Hays
  • Henderson
  • Hidalgo
  • Hood
  • Kendall
  • Kerr
  • McLennan
  • Midland
  • Montgomery
  • Parker
  • Randall
  • Rockwall
  • Smith
  • Tarrant
  • Travis
  • Walker
  • Williamson
  • Wise
  • Wood
  • Van Zandt​
The counties in which it is more affordable to buy are:
  • ​Angelina
  • Bell
  • Cameron
  • Coryell
  • Ector
  • El Paso
  • Ellis
  • Gregg
  • Hunt
  • Jefferson
  • Johnson
  • Kaufman
  • Lamar
  • Liberty
  • Lubbock
  • Navarro
  • Nueces
  • Orange
  • Potter
  • San Patricio
  • Taylor
  • Tom Green
  • Victoria
  • Webb
  • Wichita​

The analysis used 2020 rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and public record sales deed data from ATTOM. 

Read last year's list of Texas counties for renting and buying​.

For more analysis, check out "Purchasing a Home versus Renting and Investing" by Center Research Economist Dr. Harold Hunt and Research Intern Clare Losey. 


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TAMU opens Dallas dental school building

DALLAS (Texas A&M Today) – Texas A&M University's College of Dentistry has opened its 160,000-sf, nine-story Clinic and Education building.

Featuring nearly 300 advanced dental-chair stations, specialized clinics, clinical support areas, classrooms, and study spaces, the facility is the first stand-alone building constructed for the dental school since 1950. 

Dental-school-specific patient parking will be available on the first three levels of the new structure.

Construction of the $127 million facility was completed at the end of 2019. Approximately $72 million of the building’s estimated cost came from approval for bond authority that the A&M Health Science Center received from the Texas Legislature during the 2015 legislative session.
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LP buying two downtown El Paso office towers

​​​​​​​EL PASO (KTSM) – Franklin Mountain Investments Limited Partnership is purchasing several downtown properties from Borderplex Realty Trust. Among them are two of downtown's largest office towers.

​The 20-story One San Jacinto Plaza, formerly the Chase Tower, is at 201 E. Main. Built in the early '60s, the over 350,000-sf Class A building has been owned by Borderplex Realty Trust since 2007. 

Built in 1971, the 22-story Wells Fargo Plaza at 221 N. Kansas St. has just over 325,000 sf. It was formerly known as the Norwest Bank Plaza.

According to a press release from the buyer, the purchase also includes the parking garages at the two towers as well as other nearby properties and land parcels.
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Northwest Austin office campus sells for $258M

AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – KKR has purchased Riata Corporate Park, an eight-building office campus at 12331 Riata Trace Pkwy.

Built between 1998 and 2000, the 688,100-sf complex is on 51 acres between US 183 and W. Parmer Ln.

The deal includes an adjacent 5.6 acres slated for a 64,550-sf office building.

Tenants at Riata include Apple, Allergen, Accenture, UnitedHealth Group, Conduent, Abrigo, and Sonic Health​care.

KKR purchased the property for $285 million from Partners Group and Accesso Partners. The new owner is planning an $11 million capital improvement program.​​
market viewer screen shotTexas Realtors' MarketViewer tool helps members and their clients quickly understand the market statistics in their area. This powerful tool is a member benefit available exclusively to Texas Realtors and local Realtor associations in Texas. Data are compiled and analyzed through a research agreement between Texas Realtors, the Real Estate Center, and all MLSs across the state. 

Houston industrial construction at record high

HOUSTON (REBusiness Online) – At the end of the year, a record-high 19.1 million sf of industrial space across 112 buildings was under construction in the metro, according to Avison Young. 

Year-end vacancy stood at 6 percent, and two​​ million sf was absorbed in the fourth quarter.

Four of the five largest projects are build-to-suit developments totaling almost 3.9 million sf.

The largest of those, Medline's 1.3 million-sf project off I-10 in Katy, broke ground during the fourth quarter.​

Two Legacy West office tower underway

PLANO (Dallas Morning News) – Gaedeke Group is building Two Legacy West, an office high-rise within the $3 billion Legacy West development.

Plans call for as much as 600,000 sf of office space.

The new building will join the 14-story One Legacy West tower at Legacy Dr. and SH 121.

Gensler is designing the building, which is set to open in 2022. 
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$1B Gulf Coast Ammonia plant underway in Texas City

TEXAS CITY (San Antonio Express-News) – Work will start this year on the $1 billion Gulf Coast Ammonia plant. 

The plant will produce 1.3 million tons of ammonia per year. It will create 40 permanent jobs and 1,000 temporary construction positions.

Completion is set for 2023. 

The project was developed by Agrifos but has been acquired and jointly funded by Starwood Energy Group and Mabanaft.

$67M North Dallas apartment community sold

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – A unit of Alliance Residential has purchased The Verandas at Timberglen, a 500-unit apartment community near the Dallas North Tollway.

Built in 1999 by JPI, the property at 4607 Timberglen Rd. is valued at $67 million.

The community was sold by a partnership of Berkshire Residential Investments.
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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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