RECON for July 24, 2020RECON for July 24, 20202020-07-24T05:00:00Z2020-07-24T05:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
condo construction at the corner of wilshire way and cityline dr. in richardson, tx on a sunny day
Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed construction in the first half of the year, Dallas-Fort Worth was still third nationally for commercial and apartment building starts. Keep reading today's RECON for details on this story and more. (Photo of multifamily construction in Richardson from Center files.)
July 24, 2020

Initial unemployment claims fall for second week in a row

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Initial unemployment claims in Texas decreased last week to almost 86,900, marking the second consecutive week of declines. ​

From March 21 to July 18, an estimated three million claims were filed in Texas, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

Continuing unemployment claims decreased the week of July 11 to just under 1.2 million.

Despite the decrease in claims, employment concerns still persist.

"The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Texas is affecting the re-opening of the state’s economy, generating concerns that some people may be furloughed again, and postponing companies' plans to re-open and bring people back to work," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.

The number of initial unemployment claims in Texas' major and border metros fell the week of July 11 compared with the previous week.

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center estimates that from March 21 to July 11 nearly 665,426 seasonally adjusted claims were filed in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land. 

Houston has the largest accumulated number of initial unemployment claims in Texas.

Here are Center estimates for the other three major and the four border metros during that time:
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 644,200 claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 204,400 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 178,700 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 76,300 claims;
  • El Paso, 67,300 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 33,800 claims; and 
  • Laredo, 20,600 claims.
In Texas, accommodation and food services, administrative/support/waste management/remediation services, and retail trade were the sectors with the greatest number of new unemployment claims.

Almost 52.7 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims in the past 18 weeks. Last week's new claims have increased for the first time since the end of March. However, seasonal factors may have distorted those numbers. 
TREC Legal Update 1 & 2 insturctor training
Registration is open for our Texas Real Estate Commission Legal Update 1 & 2 Instructor Training. The course will be held online on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 8:30 AM. Click here to register and to learn more about the course. 

Texas housing sales remain strong despite pandemic

​AUSTIN (Texas Realtors) – The mandatory shelter-in-place orders related to COVID-19 caused Texas home sales to decline in 2Q2020, while median price increased, according to Texas Realtors' Texas Quarterly Housing Report.

​Home sales declined 9.9 percent to 91,970 homes sold. Statewide, the median price increased 2.9 percent to $252,000. 

Of all the homes sold last quarter, 34.6 percent were priced from $200,000 to $299,999, the highest share of sales among all price-class distributions.

"With COVID-19 and the mandatory shut down, the Texas housing market performed as expected in Q2," said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. "We have a tighter market compared with last year, causing prices to remain high. However, in June we saw demand pick up with buyers becoming more active and taking advantage of the low interest rates."

Active listings declined 22 percent to 88,337 listings. Texas homes spent an average of 57 days on the market during the same time frame, five days more than second quarter 2019.

Housing inventory in Texas declined 0.9 months to three months of inventory. The Real Estate Center considers six to 6.5 months of inventory a balanced market.

"The housing market is one of the few segments of the economy that has held strong," Dr. Gaines concluded. "Barring another shutdown, we anticipate it to perform reasonably well in Q3."

The Real Estate Center has posted housing reports for June and 2Q2020.
Texas Weekly Leading IndicatorThe Texas weekly leading index increased during the second week of July after declining the previous two consecutive weeks. However, the rebound in economic activity could be hindered going forward by possible upsurges in COVID-19 cases in Texas. Further waves of infections can reverse increased mobility and spending, affecting the path to recovery. Read our latest weekly indicator for more, and subscribe to email updates.

DFW third nationally in commercial, apartment buildings starts

​​​​BEDFORD, Mass. (Dallas Morning News) – With the pandemic slowing construction across the country, Dallas-Fort ​​Worth was still third nationally for commercial and apartment building starts in the first half of the year.

According to Dodge Data & Analytics, nearly $3.81 billion of commercial and multifamily construction starts were recorded in the metro so far this year. That's compared with the over $3.87 billion recorded in the first half of 2019.

Starts in North Texas fell 2 percent over the year, the smallest construction decline among the 20 largest markets surveyed. 

Austin-Round Rock ranked ninth with nearly $2.45 billion of construction starts in the first half of 2020. That's down 12 percent from this time last year.

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land followed the Texas capital, ranking tenth. In the first half of 2020, over $2.42 billion of starts were recorded, down 38 percent from 1H2019. 

Only New York City and Washington, D.C., had more building than DFW, recording $11.52 and $4.2 billion of construction starts so far this year, respectively. 

Los Angeles ($3.32 billion) and Chicago ($3 billion) rounded out the top five. 
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Austin industrial fundamentals fall in 2Q2020

​AUSTIN (CBRE) – The metro saw its 24th consecutive quarter of positive demand with net absorption registering at 21,412 sf in ​2Q2020, according to CBRE.

Average asking rates rose $0.08 to $9.64 per sf in last quarter.

Vacancy decreased 70 basis points to 10.1 percent. 

The development pipeline remained robust with 17 projects totaling 1.2 million sf under construction. Five buildings totaling 614,814 sf came online. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Work starts on McKinney Corporate Center II

​​​McKINNEY (REBusiness Online) – ​VanTrust Real Estate has broken ground on the 115,000-sf McKinney Corporate Center II.

The building will be within the 2,200-acre Craig Ranch master-planned development, just across the street fr​om Collin College Tech.

Amenities will include a tenant lounge, conference center, tenant patio, and grab-and-go food service. 

Holt Lunsford is handling leasing. 

McKinney Corporate Center I was completed in 2015 and is fully leased. 
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. 

Amazon signs 307K-sf industrial lease at Kyle Crossing 

​​KYLE (REBusiness Online) – Amazon has leased a 307,840-sf facility in the Kyle Crossing Business Park at 1980 Kohlers Crossing. 

The company will operate a sortation center that will employ over 200 people. 

The 40-acre business park is one block west of I-35 in the mixed-use master planned community of Plum Creek. ​
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Humble apartment complex trades hands

​​HUMBLE (Realty News Report) – A joint venture of Avid Realty Partners and Electra Capital has acquired The Pines at Woodcreek Apartments.

The 330-unit gated community at 21021 Aldine Westfield Rd. has a one-acre dog park, fitness center, and pocket parks.

Newmark Knight Frank brokered the deal.​
Texas Realtors quote about Real Estate Center
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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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