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RECON for March 30, 2021RECON for March 30, 20212021-03-30T05:00:00Z2021-03-30T05:00:00Z
Eviction notice on door
What's happening in today's RECON? CDC extends eviction moratorium through end of June, Texas rural land sales up 28.9 percent in 4Q2020, and February winter storm ends nine months of Texas job gains. Keep reading for the details on this story and more. (Photo from Center files.)
March 30, 2021

Urban buyers stampede to rural Texas

​​​COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Spooked by pandemic fears and urban unrest, herds of Texas city-dwelling buyers descended on rural locations in latter 2020. When the dust settled, 552,707 acres had been purchased for a record $1.69 billion.

“Fourth quarter 2020 produced a remarkable increase in rural property transactions across most of Texas,” said Dr. Charles Gilliland, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. “Statewide, the 7,684 sales were up 28.9 percent from last year.”

The increased demand sent statewide land prices up 3.1 percent to $3,064 per acre. The typical sale was 1,139 acres.

“Taken together, the third and fourth quarter results signal an active and rising market with strong demand for land in most areas of Texas,” said Gilliland, who has studied state land markets for 40 years. “Currently, market professionals report a flood of interest in land purchases.”

“Austin-Waco-Hill Country rural markets exploded in the third and fourth quarters of 2020,” said Gilliland. “The 1,103 sales marked the first time the region recorded more than 1,000 in a quarter. Sales in the region were up 85.1 percent from the same time in 2019.”

Prices increased in all regions except for the Panhandle and South Plains. The West Texas and Austin-Waco-Hill Country Regions recorded small price increases. However, they did post large increases in the number of sales. 

Only Far West Texas, hit by falling oil prices, reported a sales decline. Transaction size fell everywhere except for South Texas. Total dollar volume fell in Far West Texas, grew modestly in the Gulf Coast and Brazos Bottom Regions, but expanded everywhere else.

A new report from the Texas Real Estate Research Center breaks down Texas land markets region by region. Read Texas Land Market Latest Developments here. The report also includes limited rural land data for Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 

An article by Gilliland, “See Ya Later, Next-Door Neighbor,” will be published in the forthcoming issue of TG magazine.

The Texas Real Estate Research Center is hosting a virtual “30th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets” conference April 21-23. Registration opens soon.
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February winter storm ends nine months of Texas job gains

AUSTIN (Texas Workforce Commission) – ​Texas lost 27,500 jobs in February, ending nine straight months of gains, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. 

The seasonally adju​​sted unemployment rate increased to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent the previous month. 

"As expected, the winter storm impacted the state's labor market in February," said Texas Real Estate Research Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres. "March employment numbers should rebound." 

"Due to the jobs lost last month, the Texas economy now needs to gain almost 593,000 jobs in the coming months to return to pre-pandemic levels," said Torres. 

Texas' nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in February, while the nation's was 6.6 percent.

Amarillo had the lowest nonse​asonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state​ at 5.1 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest at 12 percent. 

All employment sectors had seasonally adjusted job losses since February 2020 except for trade, transportation, and utilities, which grew 0.1 percent. Mining and logging had the largest job loss with employment falling 23.7 percent.
The Texas Weekly Leading Index decreased for a second straight week. The index's overall trend indicates the state's economic recovery has lost some momentum. The index should gain momentum in the coming weeks as economic data point toward higher economic activity in March. The recovery's pace continues to be hindered by the incomplete reopening of the economy and future uncertainty regarding the pandemic. For more information, read our latest COVID-19 Impact Projections on Texas' Economy report. Subscribe to email updates here.

CDC extends national eviction moratorium through June 30

​​​WASHINGTON (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended the national eviction ban through June 30, 2021. 

The moratorium was​ set to expire this week before it was extended. 

To be eligible, a renter must meet five requirements. 
  1. The individual must have made best effort to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.
  2. ​The individual either (1) earned no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), or expects to earn no more than $99,000 ($198,000 jointly) in calendar year 2021, (2) was not required to report any income in 2020 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (3) received an Economic Impact Payment.
  3. They are unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  4. The individual is making best effort to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses.
  5. ​Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into close quarters in a new congregate or shared-living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.
Last month, the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed loans was extended through June 30. 
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. 

Texas economy declines in 2020

WASHINGTON (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis) – Texas' real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 3.5 percent in 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

​Professional, scientific, and technical services and finance and insurance were the only two secto​rs to register positive growth during 2020. Both industries are characterized for their ability to socially distance while continuing to operate.

The state's real GDP increased 7.5 percent at an annualized rate in 4Q2020.

During 4Q2020, finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP.

Nationally, real GDP fell 3.5 percent over the year. All states and the District of Columbia saw declines in GDP in 2020. ​
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Did you know you can get notified every time one of our new economic reports is released? Check out our email notification feature to get the latest economic data sent directly to your email inbox for free. 

Envases breaking ground on first U.S. factory

WACO (Waco Tribune-Herald) – Mexico-based Envases Group is breaking ground on a 450,000-sf aluminum can factory at 1901 Wycon Dr. 

The $100 million facility will​ employ 120.

It is the company's first factory in the U.S.
Communication Matters video seriesThe Texas Real Estate Research 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.

300-unit apartment complex slated for New Braunfels 

​​​​NEW BRAUNFELS (San Antonio Business Journal) – Herman & Kittle Properties Inc. is developing River’s Edge Apartments, a 300-unit multifamily community at the corner of Klein Rd. and FM 725. 

About 150 units will be reserved for working-cl​​​ass individuals, such as teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police officers. 
Looking for reliable rural land data for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas? We've got you covered. Get the data exclusively from the Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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 Texas Real Estate Research 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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