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RECON for June 23, 2020RECON for June 23, 20202020-06-23T05:00:00Z2020-06-23T05:00:00Z
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June 23, 2020

Texas existing home sales fall to lowest level since 2012

​​​​COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – After accounting for seasonal factors, existing homes sold through Texas Multiple Listing Services fell to their lowest level since 2012 amid public health precautions and social distancing measures. 

"The month of May marked the housing market’s deepest decline thus far during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

"Texas’ existing-home sales plummeted 32 percent year over year on top of a 22 percent slide in April," he said.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales across the country fell for the third consecutive month in May, slumping 27 percent year over year. Single-family home sales fared better than that for condominiums and townhomes, suggesting a shift in preferences from urban areas to the suburbs. Similar movements have been observed in Texas’ major metropolitan areas. 

Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres said May was likely the trough of housing activity, but the coronavirus’ impact on location preferences could be long lasting.

"On the supply side, the number of existing homes rebounded in Texas but remained down 16 percent compared with last May, potentially worsening housing shortages as the market normalizes," said Torres. The median price for an existing home sold in Texas was $235,000 compared with the national median of $284,600.

"We expect June data to reflect the initial relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions implemented in mid-March," said Torres, "but a resurgence in contracted coronavirus cases and hospitalizations could reverse the recovery."

Read the weekly Real Estate Center staff projections on the economic impact of COVID-19.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsEconomic activity was hit hard in April during a statewide stay-at-home mandate implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Employment registered its steepest decline in series history, while joblessness skyrocketed to 12.8 percent. Continued unemployment insurance claims and weekly initial claims, however, suggest overall hiring resumed in May. Business activity worsened, but survey data revealed three-fourths of the pandemic-related layoffs are believed to be temporary. Read the Center's latest Outlook for the Texas Economy report. Subscribe to know when the next issue is published. 

Lone Star unemployment rate drops in May

​​​​AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – The Texas economy added 237,800 nonfarm jobs in May as the state began to reopen, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. 

In the private sector, 291,000 jobs were created. 

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 13 percent in May, the first time Texas' rate fell since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic​​​​. 

The national unemployment average is 13.3 percent. 

​Amarillo had the lowest nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state at 8.5 percent. Beaumont-Port Arthur had the highest at 17.8 percent.

All employment sectors had seasonally adjusted job losses since May 2019 except for the financial services industry, which grew 0.1 percent. Leisure and hospitality had the largest job loss with employment falling 26.9 percent. 

The Real Estate Center has been tracking initial unemployment claims across the state each week.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Real Estate 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. 

755-home community under construction in Royse City

​​​​ROYSE CITY (Dallas Morning News) – Wynne/Jackson has acquired 182 acres on the south side of I-30 to build a 755-home community called Creekshaw.

The first phase will include 276 home sites, a lagoon pool with a playground, event pavilion, and several miles of hiking trails.

David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes, and K. ​Hovnanian Homes will develop in the community. Homes will start around $250,000.

The first homes will be ready late next year.

Tucker David Investments is providing investment capital. First United Bank and Trust is providing construction financing.

HC Brokerage and Remax Heritage brokered the land sale.
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. 

Tesla charging up for new factory outside of Austin

​​AUSTIN (Electrek) – Tesla is buying 2,100 acres outside in Austin Green at the intersection of Harold Green Rd. and SH 130. 

The $5 million tract is currently occupied by a sand and gravel mining site. 

The land will be home to ​​a factory for Tesla Model Y cars and Cybertrucks.​

Pending approvals from local officials, Tesla will start construction in third quarter 2020.

Tesla is seeking nearly $70 million in local incentives. 
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West Coast University moving Texas campus to Richardson

​​RICHARDSON (Dallas Morning News) – West Coast University is moving its Texas nursing and health care school to a three-story office building at 2323 North Central Expy.

The 136,000-sf building will ​accommodate​ 1,000 students. Improvements are valued at $6.5 million.​​​​

The long-vacant building was constructed in 1985. KDC sold it to a California-based investor in September after owning it since 2011.

Gensler is designing the new campus. Construction will start in August and be complete in January 2021.
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.

New Jersey developer to build Dallas apartment tower

​​​DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Urby, a unit of Hoboken, N.J.-based Ironstate Development Co., is planning a high-rise residential building in the Design District.​

The $93 million apartment tower at 1930 Hi-Line Dr. will have 383 units across 27 towers.​

This will be the first of two towers planned for the almost four-acre block the developer purchased last year.

5G Studio Collaborative is the architect. 

Construction will begin in October and wrap up ​in late 2022.
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Healthpeak building medical office building in Houston

​​HOUSTON (REBusiness Online) – ​Healthpeak Properties is building a 116,500-sf medical office property in the Women's Hospital of Texas campus.

The five-story building at 7500 Fannin St. will be about one mile south of the Texas Medical Center. A new parking garage will also be built on site. 

Transwestern is marketing the property, which is 36 percent preleased. 

Delivery is set for December 2021. 

103K-sf office building underway at Mercer Crossing

​​FARMERS BRANCH (Dallas Morning News) – Centurion American is building the 103,000-sf Three Hickory Centre in the Mercer Crossing development.

The four-story office building will be just north of I-635 at 1801 Whittington Pl.

Three Hickory Centre will join two existing office buildings in the 290-acre mixed-use development.

Younger Partners is marketing the project, which will be ready by the end of 2020.
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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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