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RECON for April 6, 2021RECON for April 6, 20212021-04-06T05:00:00Z2021-04-06T05:00:00Z
Aerial view of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez
According to a new Texas Real Estate Research Center report, sales of higher-priced homes along the Texas-Mexico border continue to increase as limited inventories at the lower end of the market drive up median prices. The supply of active listings of homes priced below $200,000 fell to unprecedented lows in January. Get the details in today's RECON. (Photo of El Paso from Center files.)
April 6, 2021

Supply of $200,000 homes disappearing along Texas border after record start to year

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – If anyone has a reason to smile about the current state of the Texas border economy, it has to be anyone selling a home priced less than $200,000. 

"The supply of active listings in that price range along the border fell to unprecedented lows in January," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center.

New listings for homes priced less than $200,000 increased slightly in Brownsville and McAllen, but total months of inventory fell to 2.4 and 3.0 months, respectively. At the same time, Laredo’s supply decreased to 1.8 months. El Paso’s slid to 1.4 months.

"El Paso’s inventory of homes priced less than $200,000 would be exhausted in around a month at the current sales pace without any new active listings," said Torres.

The Center considers a six month’s inventory a "balanced market." Unprecedented demand means what few affordable homes are available and are selling faster.

"Homes in Brownsville are selling an average 80 days sooner this year than in 2020. In El Paso, they are selling 49 days quicker," said Torres.

After six straight monthly declines, McAllen days-on-market ticked up in January but remained at 68 days, down from 85 days a year earlier. The average home in Laredo sells after just 42 days.

January border home sales increased for the third consecutive month, accelerating 3 percent to start the year with record activity. El Paso sales for homes priced more than $200,000 accounted for much of the improvement and pulled the metro’s overall metric up 3.8 percent. 

McAllen posted similar sales growth, although most of the gain was due to elevated sales for homes priced less than $200,000. Still, sales for that price range comprised only 60 percent of the total share compared to 70 percent a year ago. Laredo sales decreased 6.4 percent with declines across the price spectrum. Brownsville sales contracted 2.5 percent after double-digit growth the previous month. 

Sales of higher-priced homes continue to increase as limited inventories at the lower end of the market drive up median prices. The median home price rose to record-highs of $197,400 and $191,600 in Brownsville and El Paso, respectively. The Laredo median rose to $195,600. In McAllen, where monthly sales fluctuations favored lower-priced homes, the median price fell $12,000 to $175,200, still 8.8 percent growth over last year.

For more, read the latest Texas Border Report.
Sketchy drawing of commercial buildingsThe Texas Real Estate Research 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. 

Texas unemployment claims continue moving up

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Initial jobless claims in Texas increased for the third straight week to 82,800 the week ending March 27.

"The rise in unemployment claims is surprising, since other economic indicators are improving substantially as vaccination rates increase, and new COVID-19 cases continue to decline," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center.  

​​About 4.8 million unemployment claims have been filed since​ March 21, 2020, according to U.S. Department​ of Labor (DOL) data. 

Continuing unemployment claims increased to​ 328,000 the week ending March 20.

"For the labor market to fully recover going forward, significant downward movement in initial and continuing claims needs to happen, given that claims levels remain high," 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, decreased the week ending March 27.​

​Last week, U.S. initial claims increased to 719,500, bringing the 54-week total to 78.3 million. 

​For the second week in a row, more people in Texas' major and border ​metros filed new unemployment claims the week ending March 20.

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, 2020:
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, 1.1 million claims;
  • ​​Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, 1.06 million claims;
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, 324,200 claims;
  • Austin-Round Rock, 272,600 claims;
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, 131,300​ claims;
  • El Paso, 112,800 claims;
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, 57,900 claims; and
  • ​​Laredo, 32,7​​00​ claims.​​​
"Increasing vaccination rates should lead to a faster recovery in the leisure and hospitality sector, possibly creating a wave of hiring that would allow thousands of laid-off workers to find jobs," said Torres.

Healthcare and social assistance registered the highest number of initial claims the week ending March 20. That sector was followed by educational services, retail trade, and administrative/support/waste management/remediation services.
Registration is now open for the 30th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets conference. The event will be held virtually on April 21-23 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Learn more about the conference and register here.

Texas eighth best state for remote work

WASHINGTON (WalletHub) – Texas has ranked eighth on WalletHub's list of the best states for working from home. 

The Lone Star State was 17th in working environment and second in living environment. 

Last year, Texas was a top work-from-home state in a National Association of Realtors study. Frisco was the second best city for remote work in a SmartAsset study. 

The top five states on WalletHub's list, from first to fifth, are Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. 
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. 

The Woodlands sees largest office lease in 12 months

​​​​THE WOODLANDS (CBRE) – Linde Engineering has leased 120,454 sf in Sierra Pines II. 

The company will occupy the second and third floors in the six-story, Class A office building at 1575 Sawdust Rd. 

The deal, which is the largest local office lease in the past 12 months, follows Linde's merger with Praxair. 

CBRE represented Linde. Stream Realty Partners represented the landlord, VEREIT. 
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1,044-unit self-storage portfolio trades hands

​​​​LAREDO (REBusiness Online) – Berkshire Hathaway Storage Group has brokered the sale of the Laredo Storage Portfolio, a 1,044-unit self-storage portfolio in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The portfolio spans 138,980 net rentable sf across 6.8 acres. 

A locally based seller sold the assets to an institutional private equity firm.
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.

Beacon Real Estate picks up Leander apartment complex

​​​LEANDER (Austin Business Journal) – Beacon Real Estate Group has acquired The Conley, a 259-unit apartment complex at 655 N. Baghdad Rd. 

The property offers one- to three-bedroom units. Rents range from $1,126 to $2,157 per month. 

Amenities include a pool, pet park, gym, clubhouse, business center, and courtyard. 

Cushman & Wakefield Holdings Inc. represented the seller. Constellation Group represented the buyer, Stillwater Capital Investments LLC. 
Helping Texans make the best real estate decisions since 1971

569K-sf Carter Park warehouse delivers

​​​FORT WORTH (Cadence McShane Construction) – Cadence McShane Construction completed construction of Carter Park on behalf of Black Creek Group. 

The 29-acre project is at the I-35W and I-20 at the interchange. It includes three tilt-wall distribution/warehouse buildings measuring 250,000, 231,000, and 88,000 sf. They feature 32-ft ceilings, ESFR sprinklers, and 100 dock doors. 

Callaway Architecture designed the project. 
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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