RECON for May 22, 2020RECON for May 22, 20202020-05-22T05:00:00Z2020-05-22T05:00:00Z
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What's happening in today's RECON? Texas unemployment claims exceed two million, Gov. Greg Abbott allows more business to reopen, and Plano named best place for staycations. Keep reading for the details. (Photo from Center files.)
May 22, 2020

Texas unemployment claims hit 2.1 million in nine weeks

​​​​​​​​COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – In the week ending May 16, nearly 130,800 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed in Texas. That brings the total since March 21 to 2.1 million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

Unemployment claims fell for the fourth straight week​ after rebounding on April 18. 

"These are still worrisome unemployment numbers, but there is some hope as the numbers continue to fall," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.​

​The Center estimates the unemployment rate across the state could be as high as 18.7 percent in May.

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to May 9 nearly 439,500 seasonally adjusted claims were filed in Dallas-Fort Worth. That is the highest ​of Texas' major metros. 

In Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, an estimated 425,800, 138,500, and 49,800 claims were filed during that time, respectively. 

At the metro level, the Center estimates May's unemployment rate could be 16.4 percent in Houston, 14.4 percent in San Antonio, 14.3 percent in DFW, and 7.1 percent in Austin.

Accommodation and food services, and administra​​tive/support/waste management/remediation services, and retail trade represented the sectors with the biggest unemployment claims.

Nationwide, over 38.6 million unemployment claims have been filed since March 21. The Center estimates the U.S. employment rate could be 20.1 percent in May. ​
Outlook for the Texas Economy March 2020
Read more in the latest Outlook for the Texas Economy report.

Austin home sales dip in April, but prices keep rising

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – Local home sales saw a double-digit fall in April with COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders slowing transactions. 

Single-family home sales through the Multiple Listing Service decreased 21.6 percent to 2,611, according to the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR). Consequently, sales dollar volume fell 18.3 percent to $1 billion. 

Although sales decreased, homes still spent less time on the market and sold at higher prices than last April. Demand was high enough that the median sales price rose 3.2 year over year to $325,000. Homes also spent nine fewer days on the market for an average of 43 days. 

​ABoR is anticipating May sales to see a decline because of slow listing activity in April. Active listings fell 7.3 percent to 6,349 last month. New listings dropped 21.1 percent to 3,516, and pending sales fell 25 percent to 2,801. 

In Austin proper, home sales fell 33.1 percent to 759, and sales dollar volume dropped 23.9 percent to $387.9 million. ​​
Today's Smart Home infographic
A growing number of homes are using smart devices. While such technology can make a listing more attractive, it also adds steps to the buying/selling process that license holders need to know. Read "Get Smart: Buying, Selling High-Tech Homes" for more.

Staycation, all I ever wanted: Plano best city for at-home holiday

WASHINGTON (WalletHub) – Plano has taken the top spot on WalletHub's list of the best places for a staycation.

The Collin County city ranked second in rest and relaxation and 18th in recreation. Plano also has the highest average home square footage out of all the cities WalletHub analyzed. 

Grand Prairie and Austin also ranked in the top ten, landing eighth and ninth, respectively. Grand Prairie was 11th in rest and relaxation and 57th in recreation. Austin was 96th and eigh​​​th in those metrics, respectively. 

The capital tied for first with several other cities for the most running trails per capita. 

No. 27 Irving had the fifth-highest average home square footage. No. 42 Fort Worth had the fourth-lowest average price of pizza and burgers.

The top five cities behind Plano are Boise, Idaho; Tampa, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; and Lincoln, Neb.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, more would-be vacationers will need to stay home, either due to travel restricts or tight budgets. 
The Center will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. Take some time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Second phase of Texas economy reopening starts this Friday

​​AUSTIN (REBusiness Online) – Gov. Greg Abbott will allow more Texas businesses to reopen Friday, May 22. 

Texas bars, wine-tasting rooms, and craft breweries may reopen at 25 percent occupancy.

Childcare centers, youth clubs, and bowling alleys may also begin reopening.  ​

Restaurants may increase their occupancy levels to 50 percent. Texas public schools now have the option to conduct in-person summer school classes.
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SA luxury apartment rents hit hardest during pandemic

​​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Business Journal) – COVID-19 resulted in an overall drop in the metro’s apartment​ rent prices, with the highest class of properties most severely affected. 

From March to May 13, the average rent dropped $9 to $969. 

Luxury apartments, which account for 23 percent of the market, dropped $14 to $1,229. 

The decreased rents can be attributed to renters avoiding moving during the pandemic. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Texas Children’s Hospital building $450M hospital in north Austin

​​​AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Texas Children’s Hospital is building a new 360,000-sf hospital at N. Lake Creek Pkwy. and SH 45. 

The 48-bed hospital will provide emergency care, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, operating rooms, sleep center, epilepsy monitoring unit, and labor, delivery, and postpartum care.

It will also have 1,200 parking spaces. 

Construction will be complete at the end of 2023. 

McCarthy Building Cos. is the general contractor.
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. 

NAI picks up 16-building Stafford industrial park

​​​​STAFFORD (Realty News Report) – NAI Partners' Investment Fund III has acquired the Avera Commerce Center, a 16-building flex industrial park.

The 245,495-sf single-story property is on 14.6 acres near Greenbriar Dr. Around 60 tenant​s are at the park. 

Houston-based Avera Cos. was the original developer. NAI will rebrand the park.​
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Take three: Patrinely, USAA start on Aspen Lake Three

​​AUSTIN (Connect Media) – A joint venture between Patrinely Group and USAA Real Estate has broken ground on Aspen Lake Three, a 128,990-sf build-to-suit office at 10355 Pecan Park Blvd. 

Q2 Holdings, which occupies part of Aspen Lake One and all of Aspen Lake Two, will occupy the entirety of the new development. 

JLL represented the tenant. 

Ball Corp. leasing 678K-sf warehouse in south Fort Worth

​​​FORT WORTH (Dallas Business Journal) – Ball Corp. will move into a new build-to-suit warehouse off Everman Pkwy.

The 678,000-sf building will be the largest in phase one of Majestic Realty Co.’s Majestic Fort Worth South. 

Completion is set for January 2021. 
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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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