RECON for July 27, 2021RECON for July 27, 20212021-07-27T05:00:00Z2021-07-27T05:00:00Z
Aerial view of houses in North Austin
According to Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres, the persistent low level of inventory is easing as more homes hit the market. "However, the limited inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 is particularly distressing and is putting pressure on home affordability," said Torres. Keep reading today's RECON for the details. (Photo from Center files.)
July 27, 2021

Texas existing-home sales slow in June, inventory improves slightly

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Texas’ existing-home sales were almost flat in June increasing just 1.6 percent over May to 27,000 transactions. Experts say the sales trend is slowing amid constrained inventories. 

"Mortgage rates are still hovering around 3 percent, and ongoing demographic trends continue to support housing demand," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University.  

The average Texas home stayed on the market for just 26 days, the shortest time since the Center began keeping records in 1997.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), national existing-home sales rose moderately in June, rebounding slightly from a four-month slide. Along with the 1.4 percent monthly increase, national sales were up 22.9 percent from last year.

"Standard year-over-year (YOY) calculations should be viewed cautiously due to the effects of the pandemic in June of last year," said Torres.

Along with a June increase in sales, a 9.2 percent increase in new listings pulled Texas’ months of inventory of existing homes to 1.3 months.

"It appears the persistent low level of inventory is easing as more homes hit the market," said Torres. "However, the limited inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 is particularly distressing and is putting pressure on home affordability."

While reaching an all-time high, Texas’ median existing home sales price fell 19.3 percent YOY to $298,000. NAR reported an annual national increase of 23.4 percent to $363,300.

Torres said a shift in the composition of sales toward higher-priced homes due to limited inventory at the bottom price cohorts explains some of the increase in the median sales price.

"Our Texas Repeat Sales Home Price Index accounts for this compositional bias and indicates annual home-price appreciation was closer to 15 percent in June. Although less extreme than the median price metric suggests, the rise in home prices is still impairing Texas housing affordability."
Read the latest Outlook for the Texas Economy report for the details.

U.S. News: Austin fifth best place to live nationally 

NEW YORK (U.S. News & World Report) – Austin has ranked fifth on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best places to live in the nation. 

Ranking first in state, the Texas Capital had an overall score of 7.3. Its quality of life and value scores were 7 and 6.5, respectively. 

The report praised the city's laid​-back attitude, vibrant live music scene, and technology sector as major drivers. 

Austin recently ranked 29th on U.S. News' list of best places to retire and 13th on its list of fastest-growing places. 

Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston were also in the top 50, ranking 37th and 39th, respectively. 

The rest of the top five cities were Boulder, Colo.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Fayetteville, Ark.
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First phase of master-planned community moving forward

PEARLAND (Dala Communications) – Massey Oaks Development LP is working on 372 single-family lots for the first phase of Massey Oaks.​

The master-planned community wil​​l be on 356 acres at the intersection of Harkey and McKeever Roads. 

The detached homes will start in the high $300,000s and are zoned for the Alvin Independent School District. The homebuilders are Meritage Homes and Castle Rock.

The community will have mature tree preservation, large open spaces, numerous recreational features, a lakefront open-air pavilion, playgrounds, splash pad, and walking and biking trails.

Phase one lots will deliver in first quarter 2022. The four-phase development will have 950 homesites when complete. 

Trez Capital closed on a $44 million loan for the developer. CBA Land Capital LP provided investment equity. ​
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Work starts on Texas Children's Hospital in Austin

AUSTIN (Dala Communications) – McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has begun construction on a 365,000-sf Texas Children’s Hospital for women and children across Central Texas.

The 52-bed, free-standing hospital will provide neonatal and pediatric intensive care, operating rooms, epilepsy monitoring, sleep center, emergency center, a fetal center for surgery and advanced interventions, postpartum care, diagnostic imaging, acute care, and an on-site Texas Children's Urgent Care location.

It will have an adjacent 170,000-sf outpatient building offering pediatric subspecialties. It will have 1,200 parking spaces. 

McCarthy is the general contractor. Page is the project architect. 

​Completion is scheduled for first quarter ​2024. ​​
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Ashton Woods buys 344 acres in Forney for 1,030 homes

​​​​​​​​​FORNEY (Dallas Morning News) – Ashton Woods has purchased 344 acres in the Gateway Parks community near US 80 for a residential development. 

The purchase included​ land for 1,030 single-family homes plus 88 completed home sites.

Vanguard Real Estate Advisors brokered the sale.​

Gateway Parks is part of a 2,000-acre mixed-use development being built by a unit of Petro-Hunt.
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.

50-acre mixed-use project planned for Georgetown

GEORGETOWN (Austin Business Journal) – San Antonio-based Athena Domain Inc. is developing a 50-acre mixed-us​e project at the corner of I-35 and SH 130. 

Berry Creek Crossing will include up to 34 acres of high-density multifamily totaling 650 units and 17 acres of commercial space. 

Athena received unanimous approval from the city council on July 13 to rezone the site from agriculture and single-family to a planned unit development. The rezoning still requires a second reading, scheduled for July 27.
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Florida investors purchase Five Post Oak Park tower

HOUSTON (Realty News Report) – Florida-based CP Group has acquired the 28-story Five Post Oak Park office tower.

The 567,000-sf tower is in the inner loop on the north side of San Felipe St. 

The new owner will modernize interior finishes and add amenities ​such as a top-tier restaurant, coffee bar, an outdoor patio, and concierge services. Current amenities include a conferencing facility and a 3,000-sf fitness center.

The purchase is CP Group’s first in Houston since 2014. JLL Capital Markets represented the seller.​
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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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