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RECON for December 18, 2020RECON for December 18, 20202020-12-18T06:00:00Z2020-12-18T06:00:00Z
RECON Real Estate Center
What's happening in today's RECON? Texas initial unemployment claims decrease in December, Hereford ethanol plant trades hands, and San Antonio home sales and prices rise. Keep reading for the details. (Photo from Synergen Consulting.)
December 18, 2020 

Texas new unemployment claims headed in the right direction

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – ​Initial unemployment insurance claims in Texas decreased to 35,300 the week ending Dec. 12, bringing the total since March 21 to almost four million, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

"Even though the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in Texas, the increase hasn't been accompanied by renewed government restrictions like the ones observed in other parts of the country," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres.

Continuing unemployment claims increased for the second straight week, hitting 397,800 the week ending Dec. 5. 

"This rise in continuing claims is a bad sign for the labor market's recovery, indicating that people are having difficulties in finding new job opportunities," said Torres.

The number of workers receiving benefits through the pandemic unemployment assistance program, which is open to gig workers and others who don’t typically receive benefits, fell the week ending Dec. 12.​

​U.S. initial claims increased for the second consecutive week to 885,200 the week ending Dec. 12. This brings the 39-week total to 69.7 million. ​

"Renewed restrictions and individual efforts to contain the recent upswing in COVID-19 cases in states like California and New York contributed to the national increase in weekly unemployment claims," said Torres.

Additionally​, this increase in U.S. unemployment claims is occurring during the labor department’s payroll survey week, raising the probability for a negative payroll number for December.

More people in all of Texas' major and border metros filed initial unemployment claims the week ending Dec. 5, matching the state's upward trend that same week. 

Using data from the DOL and the Employment and Training Administration, the Center has estimate​d unemployment claims for Texas' major and border metros since March 21:
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 916,900 claims;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 871,300 claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 273,200 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 230,700 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 109,100 claims;
  • El Paso, 96,900 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 48,100 claims; and
  • Laredo, 27,800 claims.​
For the fourth straight week, the construction industry registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending Dec. 5. Based on the data, layoffs are concentrated in the nonresidential construction sector. 

Construction was followed by administrative​/support/waste management/remediation services, accommodation and food services, ​​healthcare and social assistance, and retail trade.​
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SA home sales, prices rise as supply tightens

​SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – Home sales in the metro rose for the sixth consecutive month, acc​​ording to the San Antoni​o Board of Realtors. 

Last month, 3,125 homes were sold, a 26.7 percent year-over-year increase. 

The median price rose 13.1 percent to $260,900. 

Houses spent an average of 49 days on the market, down 11 days from last year. Active listings also fell 39 percent. 

Inventory dropped to two months. The Real Estate Center considers six to 6.5 months of inventory a balanced market. 
weekly indicatorThe Texas Weekly Leading Index increased after decreasing the previous week. The weekly leading index overall trend indicates that economic activity continues to improve and that the state's economy is on the path to recovery in a socially distant world. However, prospects for the state economy's reopening and recovery took a hit the week ending Dec. 12 as the number of new cases continued to rise. This could affect consumer behavior, holding back business activity and maintaining layoffs at a high level. In addition, there is the prospect of government-mandated rollbacks or closures. The uncertainty of events alone may cause some slowdown. Our latest weekly report has more.

State unemployment rate up in November

AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – The Texas unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in November 2020, up from 6.9 percent in October.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the state added 61,00​0 nonfarm jobs last month. Texas' private sector added 65,800 positions.

The national unemployment rate is 6.4 percent.

Amarillo had the lowest nonse​asonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state​ at 5.4 percent. Odessa had the highest at 13.1 percent. 

All employment sectors had seasonally adjusted job losses since November 2019 except for financial activities and professional and business services, which grew 2.4 and 1.1 percent, respectively. Mining and logging had the largest job loss with employment falling 20.5 percent.
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Panhandle ethanol plant sold

​​​HEREFORD (REBusiness Online) – A subsidiary of Green Plains Inc. is selling an ethanol plant to Hereford Ethanol Partners LP for $39 million.​​​​

The plant is at 4300 CR 8 within Deaf Smith County, southwest of Amarillo.

Green Plains will acquire the storage and transportation assets and the assignment of railcar leases associated with the plant for $10 million. 
Looking for more real estate news? Our NewsTalk Texas feed has all the latest headlines. Here's a sample:

Cold Summit Development starts on 343K-sf facility

​​​DALLAS (Connect Media) – Cold Summit Development has launched its first project, a 343,000-sf multitenant cold-storage facility.

The $60 mill​ion project will be on 29 acres at 2800 Cedardale Rd.

Space is available for lease in suite sizes or for full-building occupancy. 

Completion is set for September 2021.
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. 

Generational Commercial Properties developing high-rise office building

​​​AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – Generational Commercial Properties is developing Zilker Point, a seven-story office tower at 218 S. Lamar Blvd. 

The development will have 195,000 sf of office space and 14,000 sf of ground-floor retail space. 

Amenities will include a fitness center, art gallery, public plaza, underground parking, and rooftop decks. 

Construction begins next summer and will be complete in 2023.
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1.3M-sf Amazon fulfillment center trades hands

​​​​SCHERTZ (Commercial Property Executive) – Hines Global Income Trust has acquired a 1.3 million-sf Amazon fulfillme​nt center at 6000 Schertz Pkwy. for $129.2 million.

The Class A warehouse was built in 2013 and last sold in 2016. 

S.I. Warehousing signs lease near Houston

​​​​​​DEER PARK (REBusiness Online) – S.I. Warehousing Co. Inc. has signed a 252,203-sf industrial lease in Monument Business Park.

The park consists ​of a 414,900-sf cross-dock and a 194,610-sf front-load building that were completed in fourth quarter 2019. The buildings feature 32- to 36-ft clear heights and ample trailer parking. 

Boyd Commercial represented the owner and developer, Molto Properties, in the lease negotiations. Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.
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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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