NewsTalk Texas


Texas' military bases more valuable than you think? 


TEXAS - Texas is home to several major military bases and installations serving all branches of the United States military.

Projects on bases and surrounding communities help bring jobs, investments and opportunities for health care, education and real estate to Texans.

Additionally, more retired military men and women make Texas their home after their years of service than any other state.

Texas' military installations

•  provide an economic impact of more than $148 billion to the Texas economy;
•  account for 6 percent of the state's economic activity; and
•  employ more than 255,000 military and defense-related civilian personnel.

For an interactive map of Texas' military bases check out

Scroll down to mid-page and click on a 'star' for more data.

NAR's nine Texas metros 2Q housing stats 


TEXAS - The National Association of Realtors released its 2Q housing statistics for nine metros areas it traditionally covers. As a bonus, previous quarters are included.

The metro regions include:

Abilene (PDF)
Amarillo (PDF)
Austin-Round Rock (PDF)
Beaumont-Port Arthur (PDF)
Corpus Christi (PDF)
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (PDF)
El Paso (PDF)
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown (PDF)
San Antonio (PDF)

Source: National Association of Realtors, courtesy of Prudential Ada Realtors.

ALN: Austin, Atlanta, DFW, Houston, Tucson, San Antonio 

(9/15/2014 7:15:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the August 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Tucson, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview Aug. 2014
Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Tucson
Occupancy rate 93.4 93.5 92.7 91.3 92.9 90.1
Units added 6,721 9,479 12,702 3,225 4,852 331
Units absorbed (annual) 4,704 12,814 14,385 2,104 7,193 -67
Average size (SF) 851 860 873 838 1,014 731
Asking rent $1,083 $919 $950 $861 $923 $641
Effective rent $1,077 $909 $939 $846 $917 $616
Effective rent per SF $1.26 $1.06 $1.07 $1.01 $0.90 $0.84
Offering concessions 12% 28% 24% 40% 22% 61%
Avg. concession package 4.2% 4.1% 4.9% 4.3% 3.9% 6.5%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

Metrostudy: Texas' home lot production leads U.S. 

(9/11/2014 6:58:00 AM)

TEXAS - Metrostudy has released second quarter 2014 data on housing lot starts and deliveries.

Here are the Top Ten states for lot production in 2Q 2014:

Top Ten States, Home Lot Production
State 2Q 2014
2Q 2014
Texas 19,714 18,931
Florida 12,416 10,974
California 10,050 10,219
North Carolina 4,866 3,168
Georgia 4,489 1,270
Colorado 3,985 3,276
Arizona 3,519 4,596
Maryland 2,436 2,122
Utah 2,328 2,498
Virginia 2,198 1,850

Read more at Metrostudy.

TAR: International homebuyers spent $11B in Texas in 2013 

(9/4/2014 6:15:00 AM)

TEXAS - When it comes to finding a home in the U.S., Texas remains a top spot among international buyers. These buyers accounted for $92 billion worth of home sales in the U.S. between March 2013 and March 2014.

Of that $92 billion, 12 percent, or $11 billion, was spent on homes in Texas, according to the 2014 Texas International Homebuyers Report by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR).

Florida had the No. one spot — capturing 23 percent of the international market. California was second, with 14 percent of the market, TAR reports.

“The Texas housing market is not only strong in sales volume, but in its diversity,” says TAR Chairman Dan Hatfield. “International homebuyers increasingly view Texas homes as a good investment, and as our economy has grown, so has the number of international homebuyers in our state.”

Of those international homebuyers who are investing in Texas, 59 percent are from Latin America or the Caribbean. Many of these buyers are likely from Mexico — given that more than 65 percent of U.S. homes purchased by Mexican homebuyers were located in Texas, TAR states.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Click here to see the full 2014 Texas International Homebuyers Report by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR).

DFW, Houston lead U.S. in job growth over past year 


TEXAS - The DFW and Houston areas rank among the nation’s top three metropolitan areas for job growth over the last 12 months, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The New York area was No. 1 with 155,400 new jobs from July 2013 to July 2014. The DFW area was No. 2 (120,800 jobs), and the Houston area was No. 3 (112,200 jobs).

Overall, year-over-year employment rose in 327 U.S. metros, fell in 41 areas and was unchanged in four areas. The nation has 372 major metro areas.

Here are the top ten Texas metropolitan statistical areas ranked by number of jobs added during the past year:

Top Ten Texas MSAs by Jobs Added, July 2013 – July 2014
MSA Jobs
2 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 120,800 7.4%
3 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 112,200 7.0%
19 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos 32,600 4.4%
31 San Antonio-New Braunfels 20,800 3.7%
60 College Station-Bryan 6,700 3.0%
70 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 6,000 2.8%
79 Midland 5,300 2.8%
81 Corpus Christi 5,200 2.8%
84 El Paso 4,900 2.7%
97 Lubbock 4,200 2.5%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

For more stats on employment and more, check out any MSA's Market Data Sources.

Sweet dreams in Texas: hotel occupancy 2Q 2014 

(8/27/2014 7:10:00 AM)

TEXAS - In second quarter 2014, ten areas exceeded the state hotel occupancy average. Meanwhile, 19 of 27 Texas areas showed increased occupancy compared to 2013, according to Source Strategies Inc.

The table below is sorted by 2Q 2014 occupancy, and clearly shows the continuing, positive affect of oil and gas exploration and production activity.

In all oil and gas counties statewide, 2Q 2014 occupancy averaged 68.9 percent, up 1.7 points from 67.2 percent in 2013.

Top Ten Metros Ranked by Occupancy 2Q 2014
  2013 Total 2Q 2014
Metro Area


$ Rev.
Occ. % Chg. % $ Rev.
Midland 81.9 1.7% 84.7 0.9 31.4%
Odessa 77.0 -0.9% 79.6 -1.4 8.8%
San Angelo 82.9 36.7% 78.4 -3.8 -3.6%
College Station-Bryan 66.7 18.3% 77.7 6.2 26.9%
Austin-Round Rock 72.5 13.9% 75.9 0.3 8.3%
Lubbock 66.8 9.4% 72.7 1.1 7.3%
Houston-Sugar Land-
66.4 12.8% 71.9 3.2 11.6%
Dallas-Plano-Irving 65.4 10.2% 71.7 4.0 11.2%
Waco 61.7 10.4% 68.8 1.6 5.6%
Victoria 64.1 -6.0% 68.1 -0.5 8.6%
State average 63.6 8.6% 67.8 1.8 9.1%

See the full report at Source Strategies Inc. or the Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism.

For more stats on all counties and MSAs, see Hotel under Market Data Sources.

Forecast 2022: West Texas Energy Consortium booms 


WEST TEXAS - The Center for Community and Business Research at The University of Texas of San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development has determined the economic impact of oil and gas activities in the West Texas Energy Consortium (WTXEC).

WTXEC is organized by workforce solutions boards in the Concho Valley, West Central Texas, and the Permian Basin.

The ten-county core study area includes Fisher, Glasscock, Howard, Irion, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reagan, Scurry, and Sterling counties. In 2012, the oil and gas industry in the ten core counties is estimated to have had a total impact of $14.5 billion, supported 21,450 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs, generated revenues of $446 million for the local governments and $472 million for the state government.

The total impact of oil and gas industry activity in the ten core counties in 2022 is forecast to be more than $20 billion in the moderate scenario, with 30,540 jobs anticipated, and revenues of $664 million for the local governments and $701 million for the state government.

Additionally, a secondary study was conducted on Brown, Coke, Coleman, Runnels, Taylor, and Tom Green counties, which neighbor the core study area.

The economic output of the six neighboring counties are forecast to grow significantly over the period between 2012 and 2022. Forecasts show that Tom Green ($148.5 million), Taylor ($80.8 million), and Runnels County ($12.9 million) will continue to have the largest economic output in 2022.

See the Center for Community and Business Research’s full report.

Affordable housing draws middle class to inland cities 


TEXAS - Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life.

The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost.

Among people who have moved long distances, the number of those who cite housing as their primary motivation for doing so has more than doubled since 2007.

Since the start of the recession, of those who moved more than 500 miles, the share who said they were chiefly motivated by housing has risen from 8 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2014.

During the housing bubble, when even people with modest salaries could get loans to buy staggeringly expensive homes, the cost of housing was less of a concern.

Now that getting a mortgage has become harder, the wage stagnation that has hobbled the middle class for years has deeper consequences.

“People have no choice,” said Glenn Kelman, the chief executive of real estate services firm Redfin. “They can’t move across the street; they have to move across the country.”

Here are the U.S. cities ranked in the highest "most affordable" category by Redfin:

•  San Antonio, TX
•  McAllen, TX
•  El Paso, TX
•  Fort Worth, TX
•  Dallas, TX
•  Houston, TX
•  Oklahoma City, OK
•  Wichita, KS
•  Syracuse, NY
•  Gary, IN

Read the full article at the New York TimesFor a summary, see Beyond the Headlines.

Texas adds 46,600 jobs in July 


TEXAS - Texas added 46,600 seasonally adjusted jobs in July, according to data the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reported August 15.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 5.1 percent for the month, more than a percentage point lower than the nation’s at 6.2 percent. The number is a reflection of the 396,200 jobs the state has added over the past year.

Leading the job growth charge was the Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which boasted the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 2.9 percent.

Taking second was the Odessa MSA at 3.6 percent, and taking third was the Amarillo MSA at 4.1 percent.

However, all metropolitan rates reported by the TWC are not adjusted for seasonal employment trends, such as students looking for summer jobs. For comparison, Texas recorded a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, not adjusted, up from 5.5 percent in June and down from 6.7 percent a year ago.

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

For the full August 2014 report, see Texas Labor Market Review (TLMR). Go to page 10 of the report to see unemployment rates and rankings for all MSAs.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

CBRE 2Q 2014: Texas multifamily big four metros 


TEXAS - Amid strong job and population growth, the apartment market remains strong across all four of Texas’ major metro areas, according to CBRE’s 2Q 2014 Texas Multifamily MarketView.

Texas remains one of the nation’s leaders in new apartment construction. Almost 9,000 new units were delivered in 2Q 2014 across the four major metros and 59,916 units remain under construction.

The combined occupancy rate for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio was 91.6 percent, an increase of 20 basis points from 1Q 2014.

Increased apartment demand has driven up occupancy levels in Class A properties across all markets. Class B and Class C properties are also experiencing higher occupancy levels as rising rents are beginning to challenge affordability and price renters out of Class A properties.

On a statewide level, 2Q 2014 rents grew 6.2 percent year-over-year. Austin leads the state in average rent per sf at $1.21.

Quick Stats Multifamily 2Q 2014
Market Vacancy Absorption
Austin 8.7% 1,594 $1,023
Dallas 7.5% 4,571 $862
Houston 9.0% 5,521 $878
San Antonio 9.4% 2,156 $806

For the full report, click here.

For more multifamily, check out Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Texas cities ranked among the 'cool' towns in U.S. 


TEXAS - Forbes magazine has ranked Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio among America’s Coolest Cities in 2014. All four metros ranked inside the top 15.

Austin came in at No. 3, Houston at No. 4, DFW at No. 10 and San Antonio at No. 15.

The ranking looked at the 60 largest metropolitan statistical areas using six equally rated factors: recreation, entertainment, foodie culture, age of residents, diversity and population growth, including net migration.

Washington, D.C., topped the list followed by Seattle.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

See Forbes for the full report.

TAR: Texas housing inventory sees rare increase in 2Q 2014 

(8/7/2014 10:57:00 AM)

TEXAS - The Texas housing market showed quarterly gains in housing inventory for the first time in three years in second quarter 2014, allowing home sales to keep pace with 2013’s strong levels while home prices continue to increase from high demand.

The 2Q 2014 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) shows monthly housing inventory increased from an all-time low of 3.4 months in 1Q 2014 to 3.6 months in 2Q 2014.

“The statewide housing inventory shortage to date in 2014 has prevented Texas from seeing the double-digit increases in home sales growth that we saw last year, so this new increase in inventory is promising,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the TAR.

“However, home sales volume continues to keep pace with 2013 — the second-best year ever for Texas real estate — showing that housing demand continues to be very strong throughout the state. While this figure is still a year-over-year decrease of 12.2 percent from 2Q 2013, it is the first time since 2011 that housing inventory has increased on a quarterly basis," Hatfield said.

This gain in housing inventory led to a strong start for the 2014 summer selling season. In 2Q 2014, Texas home sales increased 46.7 percent from the 1Q 2014 and 1.1 percent year-over-year to 81,272 homes sales. 

In the same time frame, the median price for homes increased 5.9 percent from 2Q 2013 to $187,300 and average price increased 5.3 percent year-over-year to $246,209.

“Texas is facing an inventory shortage. A steady, ongoing supply of new housing stock — particularly in the first-time and move-up buyer market, where a majority of home sales volume occurs — will be crucial to Texas housing market growth in the second half of 2014 and in the future,” said Dr. Jim Gaines, economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Read more at the Texas Association of Realtors.

How apartments fared in small Metros: ALN Midyear 2014 


TEXAS, U.S. - Overall market occupancy of smaller cities and states nationally is available from the midyear 2014 report from ALN Apartment Data.

Links in the chart lead to the full page showing U.S. Metro June data, including previous months.

Texas Market Occupancy June 2014*
Market Occ.
Beaumont 90.9%
College Station 92.9%
El Paso 91.5%
Harlingen 95.7%
Killeen-Temple** 91.2%
Laredo 93.8%
Longview-Tyler 91.0%
Lufkin*** 88.3%
Midland-Odessa 94.6%
San Angelo 96.4%
Texarkana 91.9%
Victoria 95.6%
Wichita Falls 87.7%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas
***See Longview Market Data Sources for Lufkin.

Source: ALN Apartment Data

Need more multifamily data? See Market Data Sources and pick your Metro.

Three Texas cities make top five fastest-moving markets 


TEXAS - ZipRealty just released new data analyzing the fastest-moving housing markets. The median days on market among 25 major metro areas was 29 days, compared to 27 days as of June 2013. The fastest-moving markets at the end of the second quarter were:

1. Austin — 10 days
2. Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia — 14 days
3. Dallas, Portland and Denver (tied) — 15 days
4. Houston and Seattle (tied) — 17 days
5. Sacramento and Boston (tied) — 19 days

Read more at ZipRealty and the Houston Chronicle.

Texas oil drilling falls in June, production still rising 


TEXAS - Drilling activity for the state fell in June 2014 compared with the previous year, according to data released by the Texas Railroad Commission.

The state’s oil and gas regulator reported 1,739 new oil wells were drilled in June, a 5 percent drop from a year ago.

Although drilling slowed, oil production continues to grow with average May 2014 production of 2.1 million barrels a day, up from 1.7 million in June 2013.

Almost 618 million Mcf of natural gas was produced in May 2014, an 11 percent increase over the last 12 months.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Texas tops U.S. in new home sales 


TEXAS - According to a new report by Metrostudy Inc., builders have sold 33,177 new houses in Texas for the 12-month period ending June 2014. This ranks Texas first in the United States for new home sales.

Florida was second with 19,416 sales followed by California at 14,280 sales.

Dallas-Fort Worth new home sales were up about 7 percent in second quarter 2014. For the first six months of 2014, new home sales in the area were up about 10 percent from 2013.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

$225M buy includes seven Texas senior living communities 


TEXAS - Orlando-based CNL Healthcare Properties has acquired seven senior housing communities in Texas and one in Illinois from developer South Bay Partners, Ltd., for $187.2 million.

It is also expanding through a ninth community that will be developed through a joint venture between CNL and South Bay Partners.

The Texas facilities include:
•  Watercrest at Mansfield — Mansfield
•  Isle at Watercrest — Mansfield
•  Watercrest at Bryan — Bryan
•  Watercrest — Bryan
•  Isle at Cedar Ridge — Cedar Ridge
•  Legacy Ranch Alzheimer’s Special Care Center — Midland
•  The Springs Alzheimer’s Special Care Center — San Angelo

CNL will also develop a $38.2 million independent living community in Katy through a joint venture with South Bay Partners. Through the acquisitions and development, the REIT is investing a total of $225 million in the sector.

Read more at Senior Housing News.

Texas tops country in commercial building 

(7/23/2014 10:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas is leading the country in the rebound of commercial building activity.

But developers have a long way to go to get back to where construction totals were before the recession, according to a new report by the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP).

Texas is the top market for most types of commercial construction, including office, warehouse and retail.

Last year there was almost $5.8 billion in nonresidential building across the state. The largest share was office construction at $2.7 billion, followed by retail at $1.6 billion and warehouse at $1.1 billion.

A study by the NAIOP found that hard costs for construction of projects including office, warehouse and retail buildings totaled $61.6 billion nationwide in 2013. This was a 25.2 percent rise from 2012.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

What's driving Texas? Oil/gas manufacturing spurs jobs 


TEXAS - Industrial employment grew 2.5 percent in Texas from May 2013 to May 2014, marking the third straight year the Lone Star State gained manufacturing jobs, according to data from Manufacturers' News Inc.

Texas added 31,198 industrial jobs during that period, meaning the state is now home to 22,567 manufacturers employing more than 1.2 million workers.

The oil-and-gas extraction industry led Texas' industrial job growth with a 10.7 percent increase. With hiring driven by robust activity in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin energy basins, the industry now accounts for 133,448 jobs.

Industrial machinery and equipment — the state’s largest sector by employment with 186,490 jobs — grew 4.3 since May 2013. The fabricated metals sector grew jobs by 2.4 percent, bringing its total employment to 123,617.

Houston had the largest gain in manufacturing employment among Texas cities, adding 261,900 workers for a 4.7 increase this year.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Texas school construction cost data 2007-2013 


TEXAS - The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has released a database containing construction data for public school campuses built between 2007 and 2013.

Since no single publicly accessible database contains all Texas public school construction data, the Comptroller’s office submitted a public information request to every Texas public school district and charter operator to gather data on schools built from 2007 through 2013.

The responses have been compiled into a School Construction Lookup Tool. The Comptroller’s plans to release an analysis of new school construction expenditures later this year.

Read more at Texas Transparency. For more on education and other sectors, see any MSA's Market Data Sources.

How $121B U.S. natural gas projects may impact Texas 

(7/14/2014 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - A new study from the University of Texas’ Center for Energy Economics found 144 natural gas-intensive industrial projects on the drawing board for the United States that could be built by the end of the decade.

Taken together, the projects could total $121 billion in investment and add 26 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas demand.

The Texas projections are significantly higher than what the U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted.

The sudden surge of major projects is a direct result of the shale gas revolution. Flush with cheap gas, major plastics and fertilizer companies are rushing to build new facilities that use natural gas as a feedstock for their products.

Many of the facilities — such as ExxonMobil’s ethane cracker in Houston and BASF’s ammonia plant in Freeport — will be constructed near the Gulf Coast to take advantage of cheap gas and existing industrial infrastructure. As of July 2014, natural gas prices are at a six-month low, falling to $4.22 per million Btu (MMBtu).

More importantly, natural gas futures remain steady. Contracts as far out as 2017 are priced below $5/MMBtu, an indication that the shale revolution will continue to churn out record levels of natural gas even as the country consumes more of it.

The 19 to 31 percent increase in natural gas demand could significantly affect prices. If prices rise much more than anticipated, many of the planned industrial projects could be unprofitable.

Read more at OilPrice.

Texas $62M woo companies; $68M leftover 

(7/11/2014 6:58:00 AM)

TEXAS - The Texas Enterprise Fund has spent nearly $62 million this year alone to lure companies and jobs to the state. More than $68 million remains in the fund to bring in additional business.

The incentive money promised so far will bring 6,415 jobs and $400 million in capital investment by companies headed to Texas from across the U.S. or expanding existing operations here, according to figures from Gov. Rick Perry’s office.

The figures account for projects announced through July 8.

The Legislature created the TEF in 2003 and reauthorized funding in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 to fuel growth of Texas businesses and create jobs statewide. TEF projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House.

To date, the TEF has invested more than $560 million and closed the deal on projects generating about 74,800 new jobs and more than $24 billion in capital investment in the state.

Texas Enterprise Fund Projects in 2014 Under Contract*
Company City Jobs
TEF award
Toyota Motor North America Inc. Plano 3,650 $40 million
Active Network LLC Dallas 1,000 $8.6 million
Athenahealth Austin 607 $5 million
Dropbox Austin 170 $1.5 million
Websense Austin 445 $4.5 million
Prudential Insurance and HGS El Paso 300 $1.2 million
Maverick Arms Eagle Pass 50 $300,000

*ranked by amount of TEF award

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and Dallas Business Journal.

Dallas Fed: June's service-sector growth spurs optimism 


TEXAS - Texas service sector activity picked up pace in June, to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, rose from 13.1 in May to 16.9 in June.

Labor market indicators also improved as the employment index edged up from 13.8 in May to 16.5 in June. The hours worked index rose slightly from 4.9 to 7.3.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected more optimism in June. The general business activity index surged more than 10 points to 21.1.

The company outlook index advanced from 8.7 to 17, with 23 percent of respondents reporting that their outlook improved from May and 6 percent noting it worsened.

Respondents’ expectations regarding future business conditions reflected more optimism in June, as the index of future general business activity moved up almost 5 points to 28.7.

Read more at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Condo sales lead Texas housing growth in first half 2014 


TEXAS - Condominiums and townhomes were the fastest-growing segment of the Texas housing market during the first half of 2014, according to the 2014 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report.

Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio experienced an average 10.5 percent jump in condo sales between January and May 2014.

The resurgence of the urban centers of Texas’ largest cities has led to an increase in condo development across the state.

“There is little available land for housing development in Texas’s major metro areas, particularly in its urban centers where housing demand is strongest. Condo sales will likely be a strong driver in the Texas housing market for the rest of 2014,” said Dr. Jim Gaines, economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Here’s how the major metro areas measured up from January - May 2014, compared with the same period in 2013:

Condo/Townhome Sales; January-May 2014
  Austin Dallas Houston San Antonio
Category Jan.-May
Chg. from
Chg. from
Chg. from
Chg. from
Homes sold 1,349 14% 2,383 4% 2,678 6% 271 18%
Median price $214,480 11% $160,000 4% $145,000 6% $105,300 9%
Average price $365,820 9% $207,157 5% $194,009 7% $140,273 5%
Avg. days on market 47 -24% 62 -15% 55 -16% 95 -15%

Read more at the Texas Association of Realtors. For more information on Texas real estate, check out any MSA's Market Data Sources.

Texas manufacturing jumps into June 2014 


TEXAS - The state of Texas saw a 5 point increase in manufacturing activity for June.

Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas showed activity climbing from 11 to 15.5 on the Fed’s production index, reflecting faster output growth than that of May 2014.

The Fed report also conveyed the increase in the general business activity index from 8 to 11.4 for June 2014.

Other figures from the report included stronger employment growth, longer workweeks among Texas employees and increased prices for raw materials.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal and Dallas Morning News.

ALN May: How apartments fared in small Metros 


TEXAS, U.S. - ALN Apartment Data has released the May 2014 overall market occupancy by smaller cities and states nationally.

Links in the chart lead to Market Data Sources for each city under Multifamily.

Texas Market Occupancy*
Market Occ.
  May 2014
Beaumont 90.1%
College Station 95.1%
El Paso 91.4%
Harlingen 95.3%
Killeen-Temple** 89.6%
Laredo 93.6%
Longview-Tyler 91.4%
Lufkin*** 90.5%
Midland-Odessa 95.9%
San Angelo 96.6%
Texarkana 93.6%
Victoria 95.1%
Wichita Falls 87.1%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas
***See Longview Market Data Sources for Lufkin.

Source: ALN Apartment Data from May ALN Monthly Newsletter - Spotlight on: Phoenix, Tucson & Las Vegas.

ALN: Austin, Atlanta, DFW, Houston, Tucson, San Antonio 

(6/18/2014 6:56:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the May 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Tucson, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview May 2014
Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Tucson
Occupancy rate 92.3 92.7 92.1 91.4 92.4 90.7
Units added 6,736 9,101 13,060 2,499 4,372 315
Units absorbed (annual) 3,497 8,428 12,931 2,054 7,575 299
Average size (SF) 850 859 873 836 1,015 729
Asking rent $1,053 $898 $930 $847 $894 $643
Effective rent $1,047 $887 $918 $830 $887 $617
Effective rent per SF $1.23 $1.03 $1.05 $0.99 $0.87 $0.85
Offering concessions 11% 31% 28% 41% 26% 63%
Avg. concession package 4.3% 4.2% 4.6% 4.5% 3.9% 6.7%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

Hiring 100,000 veterans — AGC building a better America 

(6/17/2014 6:45:00 AM)

TEXAS - The Associated General Contractors of America has joined the national Hiring Our Heroes program as part of a construction industry effort to hire at least 100,000 veterans in five years.

Association chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr said today that many construction companies report having a hard time identifying military personnel who are ready to leave active duty and enter the private labor force.

The action comes as many construction companies report having difficulty finding skilled workers and identifying military personnel who are ready to leave active duty and enter the private labor force.

Although Texas companies experienced steady hiring increases from April to late May, some noted continued difficulty in finding skilled workers, according to a Federal Reserve survey of economic conditions in the Dallas district.

The partnership with Hiring Our Heroes will be a key part of Associated General Contractors’ Workforce Development Plan.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

CBRE 1Q 2014: Texas multifamily big four metros 


TEXAS - Texas apartment market fundamentals remained strong in first quarter 2014, according CBRE's MarketView report.

San Antonio's Downtown/Trinity University submarket occupancy has grown 5.7 percent in the last 12 months. Consequently, the submarket is growing quickly and accounts for 24.3 percent of the units under construction throughout the metropolitan area.

Houston’s downtown core has over 900 units under construction. The city’s Downtown Living Initiative program offers developers a $15,000 per unit subsidy in hopes of spurring downtown population growth. Today, there are over 2,600 housing units in downtown, but the city hopes to grow that number to nearly 10,000.

Dallas-Fort Worth's rent growth remains strong. Year-over-year growth was 4.2 percent in 1Q 2014. Rent growth was most significant in the Northeast Fort Worth and North Dallas submarkets, with an average year-over-year growth posted at 5.9 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Austin's year-over-year average rental rates climbed 7.6 percent. Austin leads the state in average rent per sf at $1.18.

Quick Stats Multifamily 1Q 2014
Market Vacancy Absorption
Austin 8.4% 1,395 $1,023
Dallas 7.8% 3,750 $862
Houston 9.1% 5,538 $878
San Antonio 9.7% 1,296 $806

Source: CBRE Research 1Q 2014.

For CBRE's report, see Texas Multifamily: Big Four Metros MarketView 1Q 2014 under Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Mini-Suites aren't in a box 


TEXAS - Source Strategies Inc. has released the first quarter report 2014 on hotel activity in Texas.

In the product category, all segments improved revenues in 1Q 2014, with Mini-suites exceeding 10 percent on the strength of supply additions.

The largest segments, Upscales and Limited Service, gained at lower rates. Independents continued to rise on the strength of unbranded new lodging in oil and gas production areas. 

Texas Hotels by Product Category
Segments Hotels Rooms
Change* Occupancy
Luxury 9 3.8 64,641 9.0% 71.3%
Upscale 95 41.1 447,180 5.2% 72.9%
Suites 186 24.5 224,010 9.9% 74.4%
Mid/Upscales 276 48.7 367,184 9.3% 70.2%
Mini-Suites 275 23.8 131,942 13.1% 67.1%
L.S./Midscales 1,049 84.4 476,635 6.7% 67.5%
Extended Stay 197 25.8 73,440 9.0% 71.4%
Budget 958 68.7 185,667 8.6% 60.0%
Total Brands 3,045 320.8 1,970,699 7.9% 68.0%
Total Independents 1,593 85.5 329,617 11.2% 57.1%
Total Market 4,638 406.3 2,300,316 8.4% 65.7%

*Change is the percent change in revenue versus 1Q 2013.

See the full report at Source Strategies Inc.

'Get away from it all' drives Texas small land sales 

(6/5/2014 7:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Last year was a good year for those brokers specializing in land deals, according to a new report released by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) — the 2014 Texas Small Land Sales Report.

In particular, the desire to find land to “get away from it all” accounted for most of the land deals in South Texas. Statewide, 4,189 small-land deals closed in 2013, according to the report.

Across Texas, three factors were the drivers for these deals — individual buyers, investors and industry.

In region six, the region that encompasses South Texas — including the cities of Laredo, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Brownsville and San Antonio, there were 437 land sales.

These transactions accounted for 10.4 percent of all small-land sales statewide. The average price per acre was $7,159 — the second-highest price per acre in the state.

“The same things driving demand for residential real estate — jobs and affordability — are driving small land sales in Texas,” observes TAR Chairman Dan Hatfield. “Texans are looking for vacation properties, industries are looking to support their operations and investors are looking for new development opportunities.”

The analysis is based on information provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal. See the full report from the Texas Association of Realtors.

Texas hotel performances 1Q 2014 


TEXAS - In 1Q 2014, occupancy averaged 65.7 percent, up from 64.7 percent last year and well above the long term annual average of 60 percent.

Texas Metro Area Performances*
  2013 Year-End 1Q 2014
Metro Area** Occ. % $ Rev.
Occ. % $ Rev.
San Angelo 82.9 36.7% 85.0 19.4%
Midland 81.9 1.7% 82.6 13.1%
Odessa 77.0 -0.9% 76.4 2.3%
Austin-Round Rock 72.5 13.9% 74.7 10.8%
Dallas MD 65.4 10.2% 70.7 9.4%
College Station-Bryan 66.7 18.3% 70.0 26.1%
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land 66.4 12.8% 69.9 10.6%
El Paso 64.5 -1.6% 66.9 6.5%
Victoria 64.1 -6.0% 66.7 6.3%
State average 63.6 8.6% 65.7 8.4%
San Antonio 62.5 5.5% 64.2 2.4%
Fort Worth-Arlington MD 61.5 5.5% 63.4 10.4%
Waco 61.7 10.4% 63.4 15.0%
Laredo 67.5 -5.2% 62.1 -7.4%
Lubbock 66.8 9.4% 61.9 2.3%
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood 55.3 -4.6% 60.2 16.5%
McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr 55.8 2.7% 60.1 6.5%

*ranked by 1Q 2014 % Occupancy
**does not include metro areas below 60 percent occupancy

See the full report at the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Texas student housing occupancy 98% plus 


TEXAS - American Campus Communities (ACC) has released fourth quarter 2013 statistics for their student housing properties across the U.S.

The chart below shows only Texas' final fall 2013 occupancy of 98 percent or greater.

4Q 2013 Same Store Properties with Final Fall 2013 Occupancy of 98% or Greater
Final Fall
2013 Occ.**
Initial Proj.
Rate Inc.***
Current Proj.
Rate Inc.***
26 West — Austin 1,026 99.5% 4.8% 5.4%
The Callaway House Austin &
The Penthouse at Callaway — Austin
753 99.5% 5.0% 4.9%
Vintage and Texan West Campus — Austin 311 98.7% 3.9% 4.7%
The Callaway House — College Station 538 103.9% 4.3% 4.3%
U Club Townhomes on Marion Pugh —
College Station
640 99.4% 3.5% 3.6%
City Parc at Fry Street — Denton 418 98.3% 2.8% 3.1%
University View — Prairie View 336 100.0% 3.0% 3.0%
University Village Northwest —
Prairie View
144 100.0% 3.0% 3.0%
Callaway Villas — College Station 704 99.7% 2.8% 2.8%
Union — Waco 120 98.3% 2.9% 2.8%
Aggie Station — Bryan 450 100.0% 1.8% 1.8%
Sanctuary Lofts — San Marcos 487 98.2% -1.1% 1.0%
Campus Edge on UTA Boulevard —
488 99.6% 0.7% 1.0%
The Outpost — San Marcos 486 99.2% -2.1% -2.1%

*Design beds include beds for staff accommodations. 
** As of September 30, 2013
*** Projected rate increase reflects projected rental rates anticipated to be achieved through the end of the company's leasing cycle, up to targeted occupancy.

See American Campus Communities for more information.

Texas' Big 4 cities among best in U.S. for small business 


TEXAS - Houston, Dallas and Austin are among the best cities to work for a small business in the United States, according to WalletHub.

Ranking cities using ten different metrics, such as net small business job growth, industry variety, employee hours worked and average wages for new hires, Dallas was ranked first among Texas cities at No. 9. Houston followed at No. 13, and Austin came in tied with Bridgeport, Connecticut at No. 16.

San Antonio also made the top 50 at No. 47.

Austin was ranked first in small-business health, while Houston came in fifth. Houston and Dallas were ranked Nos. 98 and 99, respectively, for average number of hours worked for small-business employees.

Read more at the WalletHub.

Seven of top 15 fastest growing U.S. cities in Texas 

(5/23/2014 11:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - New and big numbers confirm that Texas cities are among the fastest growing in the nation during the year ending July 1, 2013. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that seven of the top 15 fastest growing cities in the U.S. are in Texas.

San Marcos takes the number one spot on the list. The top 15 cities are shown below.

Top 15 Fastest Growing Cities in U.S. by Percentage Growth Year-End July 2013
City  Increase 2013 Pop.
1.   San Marcos, Tex. 8.0% 54,076
2.   Frisco, Tex. 6.5% 163,791
3.   South Jordan, Utah 6.1% 59,366
4.   Cedar Park, Tex. 5.6% 61,238
5.   Lehi, Utah 5.5% 54,382
6.   Goodyear, Ariz. 4.8% 72,864
7.   Georgetown, Tex. 4.5% 54,898
8.   Gaithersburg, Md. 4.4% 65,690
9.   Mount Pleasant, S.C. 4.1% 74,885
10. Meridian, Idaho 4.0% 83,596
11. Odessa, Tex. 4.0% 110,720
12. Gilbert, Ariz. 4.0% 229,972
13. McKinney, Tex. 3.9% 148,559
14. Franklin, Tenn. 3.9% 68,886
15. Pearland, Tex. 3.8% 100,065

*Cities must have at least 50,000 residents to be included.

Read more at the Austin Business Journal and see the U.S. Census Bureau for more information.

Texas' economic outlook optimistic but problems may lurk 


TEMPLE - Mark Dotzour, chief economist and director of research for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, told community business leaders he is optimistic about the future, but also pointed to potential problem spots during the CentraLand Title Company’s 2014 Economic Summit.

One problem with limited growth is that regulators have made it difficult for banks to loan money for new subdivisions because they lost a lot of money six or seven years ago, Dotzour noted.

Dotzour pointed out that what makes Texas attractive to businesses is that families can come to Texas and make a decent living without a huge wage they’d need in some other places. If the price of homes starts to skyrocket, then that’s gone away.

Average house prices in Texas were $169,900 five years ago, $197,500 in 2013 and haven’t dipped below $200,000 since October — what Dotzour believes is a serious issue.

Dotzour also noted that Americans are back in the saddle again, citing that the net worth of Americans is at an all-time record high at $81 trillion. “The good news you never hear about is there are 4.1 million jobs open today. We have a labor shortage," Dotzour said.

Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald

Lone Star State employment continues to shine 


TEXAS - The Texas Workforce Commission has updated employment data for the Lone Star State. Here's the latest.

From April 2013 to April 2014, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro led the state in job growth, creating 115,900 jobs. Houston ranked second, with 85,800 jobs created, and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos ranked third, with 29,900 jobs created.

Texas' unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in April 2014, down from 5.3 percent in March and from 6.0 percent in April 2013.

Here are the top performing metro areas from April 2013 to April 2014.

Change in Payroll Employment,
April 2013–April 2014
Metro Area Jobs Added Change
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 115,900 3.8%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown 85,800 3.1%
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos 29,900 3.5%
San Antonio-New Braunfels 20,200 2.2%
Corpus Christi 5,100 2.7%
College Station-Bryan 5,000 5.0%

Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Read more at the Texas Workforce Commission. For more stats, see Employment under any MSA's Market Data Sources.

Renting vs. buying map: how Texas stacks up 


TEXAS - Buying a home has long been part of the American dream, but rising prices have made renting less expensive in many places, according to Deutsche Bank. The five markets where renting has become cheaper than buying include Sacramento; Phoenix; San Bernardino and Riverside, Calif.; Austin; and Northern Virginia.

Miami, San Antonio and Las Vegas are among the hot markets where renters appeared to be on the verge of being better off than buyers at year-end.

The upside of buying is that a home can significantly increase in value. The median sales price of existing single-family homes rose 81 percent from 1993 through 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Renters, however, make more money by investing savings and cash they would otherwise use for a down payment. The value of the average single-family home increased by 3.6 percent a year in the three decades through 2013, compounded annually, according Freddie Mac. By contrast, the compound annual return on the S&P 500 over that period was 11.1 percent, according to Morningstar.

For a nationwide renting vs. buying map, see the Wall Street Journal. (Look at the bottom for the map.)

Six South Texas counties prop up U.S. oil production 


TEXAS - Over half of 2013 U.S. oil production came from 20 counties, six of which are located in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, according DrillingInfo.

The 20 counties — half spread through Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken Shale — represent just 2 percent of U.S. oil-producing counties yet accounted for 52 percent of 2013’s output. Karnes County, southeast of San Antonio, ranked 7th on the list, making it the highest-producing county in the Lone Star State.

In 2014, the results are likely to skew even higher to shale locations, usually described as “unconventional” basins, according to Kevin Thuot, Drillinginfo engineering research analyst.

Top Texas oil producing counties include:

• Karnes County, with 214,000 barrels per day;
• LaSalle County, with 141,000 barrels per day;
• Dewitt County, with 133,000 barrels per day;
• Dimmit County, with 117,000 barrels per day;
• Gonzales County, with 116,000 barrels per day; and
• McMullen County, with 88,000 barrels per day.

Read more at the San Antonio business Journal.

ALN Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock apartments 


ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the April 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

General Overview April 2014
 Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Occupancy rate 90.0 91.2 92.0 92.1
Units added 0 0 848 371
Units absorbed (annual) -99 -87 -80 378
Average size (SF) 869 811 849 846
Asking rent $660 $665 $864 $695
Effective rent $649 $657 $861 $691
Effective rent per SF $0.74 $0.81 $1.01 $0.82
Offering concessions 31% 24% 11% 15%
Avg. concession package 5.6% 5.0% 2.6% .2%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

For more ALN stories from other cities, see NewsTalk Texas.

Office forecast 2014-2016 across U.S. 

(5/6/2014 10:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - The office sector is exhibiting the most divergent performance between markets of any of the major property classes, according to the 2014 Integra Realty Resources report covering major U.S. markets.

2014 Office Market Conditions and Forecast: CBD Market Class A & B
Avg. Annual
Net Absorp. (SF)
Avg. Annual
Net Absorp. (SF)
Atlanta, Ga. 16,213,000 25.46% -577,000 900,000
Austin 10,129,378 10.45% 55,950 293,040
Chicago, Ill. 98,000,000 14.35% 412,145 -142,472
Dallas 30,895,730 27.37% -124,000 285,667
Fort Worth 10,124,653 12.63% -10,250 88,667
Houston 52,730,000 10.57% -10,000 310,000
Los Angeles 57,171,518 14.49% -150,000 100,000
San Antonio 4,985,000 28.29% -47,666 72,000

For the full report showing the Suburban Market Area and more, see Office under Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Texas summer power crunch punches up 2,153 megawatts 


TEXAS - New power generators coming online will add capacity to the state’s power grid. Six new units, totaling 2,153 megawatts (MW) of capacity, are slated to come on by August. Of that, 2,112 MW is coming from four new facilities:

•  Deer Park Energy Center is in Harris County
•  Ferguson Replacement is northwest of Austin
•  Panda Sherman is north of Dallas
•  Panda Temple is near Temple

A report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s grid operator, has forecasted peak electricity demand this summer to be 68,000 megawatts, just shy of an all-time record set in August 2011.

One megawatt is the equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to serve about 200 homes during peak conditions in the late afternoon on a hot summer day.


Fire — smoke detector inadequacies from The Today Show 

(5/1/2014 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - One the best things we can do is put a smoke and heat detector in our attic. Attics are not commonly used as occupied spaces and, as a result, they usually do not have smoke alarms or heat sensors.

When a fire occurs in an attic, it is common that it will go unnoticed until smoke or flames, escaping from the roof, are visible from the outside. Dr. B. Don Russell, the Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, discussed inadequacies in smoke detectors during a segment of The Today Show Oct. 3, 2012.

Listen to Podcast 213 for more hints about May Home Improvement Month. Also see TAMU's website.

Thrills and chills: Texas’ top five exciting places 

(5/1/2014 7:39:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas is one big rip-roarin rodeo of excitement, and Movoto Real Estate lassoed themselves a list of the ten most fun places and captivating locales.

The 100 most populated places in Texas were eligible for the list, and each received a score from one to 100, with one being the best. All the scores were averaged out to make one Big Deal Score, and whoever had the best score in that ranking was the victor.

Criteria for the list included:

•  Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.);
•  Live music venues per capita;
•  Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.);
•  Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better);
•  Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better); and
•  Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better).

Whether it’s festivals, amusement parks, shopping or dining, there is plenty to choose from in this great state. The top five exciting places in Texas are listed below.

Movoto’s Most Interesting Places in Texas
City Population Overall
Galveston 47,743 1 25 1 7 1 46 3 13.83
Austin 790,390 2 6 4 1 4 67 12 15.67
Houston 2,099,451 3 20 6 15 42 44 9 22.67
Conroe 56,207 4 18 13 6 3 82 14 22.67
Dallas 1,197,816 5 19 10 11 50 39 11 23.33

Read more at Movoto Real Estate. Listen to Podcast 213 for this story and more.

Order up sub(markets): in-depth look at Texas cities 


TEXAS - ALN's recent In Depth: Major Texas Markets show submarket data for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio occupancy and effective rent rates by submarket. The report covers data for November 2013 and February 2014 by Theron Patrick of ALN Apartment Data.

The chart shows a comparison of occupancy and effective rents at the end of February 2013 and February 2014 for each major Texas market.

Major Texas Market Comparison
Markets Occupancy Effective Rent
Feb. 2013 Feb. 2014 Change Feb. 2013 Feb. 2014 Change
Abilene 92.1% 88.7% -3.7% $639 $658 3.0%
Amarillo 90.1% 91.1% 1.1% $634 $650 2.5%
Austin 94.0% 92.0% -2.1% $951 $1,026 7.9%
Corpus Christi 95.2% 94.5% -0.7% $858 $901 9.0%
Dallas-Fort Worth 92.0% 92.1% 0.1% $824 $867 5.2%
Houston 90.7% 91.6% 1.0% $828 $889 7.4%
Lubbock 91.4% 91.0% -0.4% $667 $685 2.7%
San Antonio 91.1% 90.4% -0.8% $789 $816 3.4%
Texas average 91.7% 91.8% 0.1% $831 $882 6.1%

See Multifamily in numerous Market Data Sources' metros for ALN March 2014 In Depth Apartment Data: Major Texas Metros 2014,

Source: ALN Apartment Data

ALN: How smaller Texas markets fared Feb. 2014 


TEXAS, U.S. - ALN Apartment Data has released the February 2014 overall market occupancy by cities and states.

Links in the chart lead to Market Data Sources for each city under Multifamily. The full report also shows smaller cities from Alabama to Wisconsin.

Texas Market Occupancy*
Market Occ.
Feb. 2014
Beaumont 88.4%
College Station 93.8%
El Paso 91.5%
Harlingen 95.0%
Killeen-Temple** 89.8%
Laredo 92.8%
Longview-Tyler 90.0%
Lufkin*** 89.6%
Midland-Odessa 92.2%
San Angelo 95.5%
Texarkana 89.9%
Victoria 94.6%
Wichita Falls 86.1%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas
***See Longview

Source: ALN Apartment Data .

Texas tea flows: crude production up 22 percent 


TEXAS - Crude production in Texas reached an estimated 77.2 million barrels in February 2014 — up 22.4 percent from February 2013. The Texas Petro Index soared to the highest level since 1980, according to economist Karr Ingham.

The value of oil and gas produced in February 2014 totaled $10.63 billion, up rose by more than $2.85 billion from February 2013.

The oil and gas sector averaged about 285,000 people on its payroll in February 2014 — up nearly 5 percent from February 2013.

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers created the Texas Petro Index in 1995. It combines various metrics to provide an indication of the health and trajectory of oil and gas production in the state.

Read more at Fuel Fix.

Residential remodeling: popular, profitable in Texas  


TEXAS - Residential remodeling projects in Texas’ major cities grew increasingly profitable and popular in 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Remodel Valuation Report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

The report analyzed the project recoup costs and recoup cost growth in 2013 for remodeling projects in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio. Four of the five Texas markets showed significant gains in project recoup costs in 2013.

All five Texas markets demonstrated that smaller, functional remodeling projects showed greater increases in recoup costs than upscale, luxury projects.

Steel entry door replacements ranked number one for total recoup cost nationwide and in Houston, recouping up to 105.5 percent of the total project cost.

Basement remodels ranked in the top five for recoup cost in four of the five major cities in Texas, recouping up to 99.6 percent of the total project cost.

Kitchen remodeling projects also ranked in the top five for recoup cost growth in all five Texas metro areas, recouping up to 143.9 percent of the total project cost.

Backup power generators ranked number one for recoup cost growth in Austin, El Paso and Houston including a 105.1 percent gain in recoup cost in El Paso in 2013.

Natural materials, such as wood, cement and steel, led to a significantly higher recoup cost than synthetic, plastics-based materials, such as composites and vinyl.

Sunroom additions ranked in the bottom five for recoup cost in five Texas metro areas, recouping a maximum of 61.3 percent and as little as 38 percent of the total project cost.

Read more at Business Wire.

For the full report, see the Texas Association of Realtors.

Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock apartments 

(4/11/2014 7:30:00 AM)

ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the March 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

General Overview March 2014
 Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Occupancy rate 89.7 90.9 92.6 90.8
Units added 0 0 564 371
Units absorbed (annual) -117 -5 -162 273
Average size (SF) 869 811 850 847
Asking rent $658 $700 $857 $699
Effective rent $644 $692 $854 $695
Effective rent per SF $0.74 $0.85 $1.00 $0.82
Offering concessions 37% 25% 12% 15%
Avg. concession package 5.3% 5.0% 2.5% 4.5%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

For more ALN stories from other cities, see NewsTalk Texas.

ALN provides data for Texas metros! It's easy to find under the category Multifamily under Market Data Sources.

ALN: Austin, Atlanta, DFW, Houston, Tucson, San Antonio 

(4/10/2014 8:00:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the March 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Tucson, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview March 2014
Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Tucson
Occupancy rate 91.8 92.3 91.8 90.2 91.9 89.9
Units added 7,013 10,003 11,438 3,769 4,168 375
Units absorbed (annual) 2,590 8,097 12,964 1,834 7,188 165
Average size (SF) 854 860 873 835 1,015 729
Asking rent $1,045 $883 $912 $838 $878 $643
Effective rent $1,038 $871 $899 $819 $869 $618
Effective rent per SF $1.21 $1.01 $1.03 $0.98 $0.85 $0.85
Offering concessions 13% 35% 32% 45% 31% 58%
Avg. concession package 3.9% 4.1% 4.6% 4.7% 4.1% 6.9%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

See NewsTalk Texas for this story. ALN provides data for Texas metros! It's easy to find under the category Multifamily under Market Data Sources.

Texas contractors building larger ... workforce at 23,000 


TEXAS - General contractors across the state enjoyed another month of strong employment numbers, according to the February 2014 analysis by Associated General Contractors of America.

Over the 12 months ending February 2014, construction firms in Texas added 23,700 employees to their payrolls — a 3.9 percent increase from February 2013.

Texas added the third largest number of new construction employees on a year-over-year basis, behind Florida and California.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Texas public school enrollment soars past 5M 


TEXAS - Student enrollment in Texas public schools has hit a new record with an enrollment of 5,075,840 in 2012-2013, according to the Texas Education Agency. Between the 1987-1988 school year and the 2012-2013 school year, enrollment grew 57.4 percent or about 1.85 million students.

Enrollment in Texas increased by 21.6 percent between 2000 and 2010, four times more than the nationwide increase of 4.8 percent over the same period.

By 2050, the number of Texas public school students is expected to swell to 9 million, according to Steve Murdock of Rice University.

In 2012-13, Education Service Center Region 4 (Houston) served the largest student population, accounting for 22.1 percent of total state public school enrollment.

The number of students in Grades 9-12 participating in career and technical education programs rose by 21.1 percent between 2002-03 and 2012-13. The number of students receiving bilingual or English as a second language instructional services increased by 46.9 percent over the same period.

Read more at the Texas Tribune.

See the full enrollment report at the Texas Education Agency.

Deep in the heart of a surging Texas economy  

(3/31/2014 7:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - The $1.3 billion state economy has completely recovered from the Great Recession and is getting stronger. The Texas economy is now larger than those in Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia combined.

Texas and New York are the only two states to have restored all of the jobs lost when the recession hit in 2007, said John Heleman, chief revenue estimator in the Texas comptroller's office.

Texas unemployment is down to 5.7 percent, about a point lower than the national average, and the state's average home price has broken $200,000 for the first time ever. Consumer confidence in Texas is above average, while it remains low in California, Ohio and other Midwestern states.

Oil and gas production has doubled over the last six years and the state's rainy day fund will have $8 billion at the end of the 2014–2015 budget year.

The oil and gas industry directly employed 416,000 employees in 2013 and they averaged $120,000 a year in wages, according to James LeBas, economist for the Texas Oil and Gas Association. Producers paid $11.5 billion in royalties to 570,000 families, or about $20,000 per household.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram, courtesy of the Associated Press.

Texas office: Big four metros 4Q 2013 CBRE 


TEXAS - The Texas office market concluded 2013 on a favorable note, both for the quarter and for the year, according to a report from CBRE. Positive net absorption remains a widespread theme for the major metropolitan areas of Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, totaling about 9.5 million sf for the year in just the office market alone.

Office vacancy in Texas continues to be driven down by sustained positive absorption, fueled by prolonged demand in most of the state’s largest markets.

Total net absorption for fourth quarter 2013 was positive and exceeded 2 million sf. This is a reduced amount since last quarter, but boosts the annual total to nearly 10 million sf — the highest year of annual absorption since 2006.

The quad-market average for quoted lease rates witnessed another uptick in 4Q 2013, averaging $23.11 per sf and up by $0.33 per sf from the previous quarter. Asking rates are expected to continue rising trend while supply is still constrained due to the slow churn of new speculative inventory.

The construction pipeline picked up momentum once again over 4Q 2013, expanding by almost 4.5 million sf and exceeding 20 million sf in total projects actively under construction.

Texas Office Market Statistics 4Q 2013
Market RBA* Total
Space (SF)
Vacancy Net
Asking Rate
Market Avg.
Austin 42,444,966 6,919,831 12.1% 205,463 $28.15
DFW 225,501,521 49,303,128 18.0% 436,746 $19.85
Houston 193,551,155 26,986,051 11.8% 1,343,850 $24.62
San Antonio 27,151,901 6,007,609 19.1% 103,484 $19.82

*Rentable building area

For CBRE's report, see Texas Office: Big Four Metros under Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Texas multifamily: Big four metros 4Q 2013 CBRE 

(3/24/2014 9:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - The multifamily market wrapped up 2013 with a strong quarter, making 2013 a banner year for the state, according to CBRE's 4Q 2013 Texas Multi-Housing report.

Texas saw 37,739 new units added in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio — up from 23,880 new units in 2012. Nearly 50,000 more units are currently under construction.

The hottest area for multifamily development across Texas in 2013 was the Uptown-Oak Lawn-Highland Park submarket in Dallas, with over 5,400 units currently under construction.

Rates have remained fairly steady over the past year in all four metros, even as new units are added, signaling continuing strength for apartment demand. Occupancy rates in Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio are 91.7 percent, 92.1 percent, 90.5 percent and 89.8 percent, respectively.

Houston ranked second in the nation for multifamily permits issued year-to-date through November 2013, behind New York City. Dallas placed third and Austin was fourth.

See CBRE's Texas Multifamily: Big Four Metros under Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio Market Data Sources.

Texas national park tourism $188M economic benefit 


TEXAS - National Parks in Texas saw 3,939,160 visitors in 2012, received $188.1 million in economic benefit, and supported 2,592 jobs, according to the National Park Service.

“This new report confirms that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service,” said Sue Masica, director of the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region.

The national report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

Jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores received 39 percent of spending, hotels, motels and B&Bs received 27 percent, and other amusement and recreation received 20 percent.

Read more at KTSM-TV.

Texas hotel occupancy 2013; 11 metros beat state average 


TEXAS - In 2013, 11 areas exceeded the state occupancy average. Meanwhile, 18 of 27 Texas areas exceeded occupancy compared to 2012, according to Source Strategies Inc.

Hotel revenues in fourth quarter 2013 alone rose 9.1 percent to $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion a year ago.

In oil and gas counties statewide, room revenues rose 9.5 percent in 2013 to $3.386 billion.

Top 11 Metros Ranked by Occupancy 2013
  2012 Year-End 2013 Year-End
Metro Area Occ. % $ Rev.
% Chg.
Occ. % Chg. % $ Rev.
% Chg.
San Angelo 73.6 42.6% 82.9 9.3 36.7%
Midland 91.5 55.9% 81.9 -9.6 1.7%
Odessa 90.3 55.0% 77.0 -13.3 -0.9%
Austin-Round Rock 69.1 11.6% 72.5 3.4 13.9%
Laredo 70.5 6.6% 67.5 -3.0 -5.2%
Lubbock 62.9 7.6% 66.8 3.9 9.4%
College Station-Bryan 61.2 8.7% 66.7 5.5 18.3%
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land 64.6 14.3% 66.4 1.8 12.8%
Dallas MD 62.8 6.3% 65.4 2.6 10.2%
El Paso 64.4 -0.7% 64.5 0.1 -1.6%
Victoria     70.2 16.3% 64.1 -6.1 -6.0%
State average      62.5 10.2% 63.6 1.1 8.6%

See the full report at the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism. For more stats on all counties and MSAs, see Source Strategies under the hotel category at Market Data Sources.

Texas outpaces nation in new home sales 


TEXAS - The Lone Star State outpaced the rest of the country in new-home sales in 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers report by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Of all the homes bought in Texas in 2013, 30 percent were new, a 4 percent increase from 2012. Nationwide, new homes accounted for 16 percent of all the homes sold last year, unchanged from 2012.

The highest share of homebuyers were married couples, according to the report. In Texas, the number of married homebuyers increased to 71 percent in 2013 from 69 percent in 2012. Nationally, 66 percent of the buyers were married couples, up from 65 percent in 2012.

The percentage of first-time homebuyers in the state last year was 33 percent, a decline of 2 percentage points from 2012. That compares with 38 percent in the U.S.

See the full report at the Texas Association of Realtors.

Site Selection crowns Texas with Governor's Cup 


TEXAS - Site Selection Magazine has crowned Texas the winner of their Governor’s Cup for 2013. The award is given annually to the state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities announced over the year, and 2013 is the fifth time Texas has won the award under Governor Rick Perry's leadership.

Texas previously won the Governor’s Cup in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2012. Texas had 657 qualifying projects in 2013.

Ohio finished second with 480 qualifying projects. A qualifying project had to have a capital investment of at least $1 million, must create 50 or more jobs or have 20,000 sf or more of new construction.

“States are the laboratories of innovation, and Texas continues to be a beacon of opportunity for job creators and entrepreneurs,” said Governor Perry. “Over the past 12 years, we’ve built a strong foundation for the future of this state with our low taxes, smart regulation, fair courts and skilled workers. Companies nationally and internationally know that Texas works, and is the best place to live, work, raise a family and own a business.”

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal.

Texas builder, Granger MacDonald, elected to NAHB 


TEXAS - Granger MacDonald, a Kerrville-based builder and developer with 40 years of experience in the home building industry, has been elected as the 2014 third vice chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

MacDonald is president of the MacDonald Companies, a diverse development and construction enterprise with more than 35 neighborhoods completed throughout Texas.

MacDonald has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state and national levels throughout his career. He has served on the NAHB Board of Directors for more than 30 years and is a member of the NAHB Executive Board.

MacDonald has also served as chairman on several influential NAHB committees and councils, including the Federal Government Affairs Committee, the State and Local Government Affairs Committee, the Housing Credit Group, the Multifamily Council and BUILD-PAC, the political action committee of NAHB.

NAHB’s newly elected senior officers serve on a multi-year leadership ladder. MacDonald will become chairman of NAHB’s Board of Directors in 2017.

Read more at the National Association of Home Builders.

Mexico's fuel fix? $1.2T to border towns 


TEXAS - As Mexico moves to open its energy sector to international companies, the new investments and increased activity could mean a bonanza for  border towns on both sides, attracting as much as $1.2 trillion in economic activity to the region in the next decade, according to Marcial Nava, BBVA Compass economist.

However, while Mexico will be looking to increase its supply of natural gas, this could come through exploration or through increased pipeline infrastructure to the United States.

The United States is Mexico’s largest natural gas supplier, providing 80 percent of imports. More than 60 percent of the natural gas supplied comes from Texas through pipelines that link the Lone Star state with its southern neighbor.

In 2012, the Mexican government only authorized the drilling of three shale oil and gas wells, a stark contrast to the 9,100 in the United States for the same period.

The reforms will remove the limitations that prevented international investment from developing Mexican shale plays, especially in the Burgos Basin, which is the portion of the Eagle Ford Shale that extends into Mexico.

This play could hold more than 300 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, while Mexico’s other shale plays — the Sabinas, Tampico and Veracruz Basins — are estimated to hold more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Read more at Fuel Fix.

Texas $45B trumps nation in tech exports  

(2/17/2014 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas has surpassed California for the first time to become the largest tech exporting state in America, according to the TechAmerica Foundation.

Technology exports from Texas increased 7 percent from 2011 to 2012, to total of $45 billion.

Technology exports, such as semiconductors, computer equipment and communications equipment, accounted for 17 percent of all exports from Texas in 2012, significantly higher than the national average of 13 percent.

Texas’ largest trading partner by far is Mexico with $22 billion in tech exports flowing across the border. Second is Canada with $4 billion followed by South Korea with $3 billion.

“The high tech industry is not only growing in Texas, but it is also yielding thousands of high paying jobs in our state,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Nationally, technology trade in the United States totaled $204 billion in 2012, growing by 1.3 percent or $2.7 billion.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

See the full report from TechAmerica.

ALN: Austin, Atlanta, DFW, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio,  

(2/13/2014 6:45:00 AM)

AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the January 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Phoenix, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview Jan. 2014
 Markets Austin DFW Houston San
Atlanta Phoenix
Occupancy rate 92.2 92.4 91.6 90.3 91.5 92.0
Units added 4,761 10,360 7,185 2,381 1,943 748
Units absorbed (annual) 1,914 11,771 11,342 1,100 5,812 2,221
Average size (SF) 853 860 873 835 1,015 839
Asking rent $1,029 $877 $897 $832 $867 $765
Effective rent $1,022 $864 $884 $813 $857 $750
Effective rent per SF $1.20 $1.00 $1.01 $0.97 $0.84 $0.89
Offering concessions 14% 36% 33% 43% 34% 47%
Avg. concession package 4.2% 4.2% 4.7% 4.9% 4.2% 4.9%

*Stabilized market is everything in a market except for apartments in initial lease-up.

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

Want more ALN news in other Texas cities? See NewsTalk Texas.

Texas ranked sixth for solar jobs, first in potential 


TEXAS - Texas ranks sixth in nation with 4,100 jobs in the solar industry, a 28 percent increase from 2012. Texas also ranks first in solar potential capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association.

"Falling solar prices combined with enormous solar resources will make Texas a huge solar market. With some smart policy, jobs in the solar industry could easily double or triple in the next three to five years," said David Dixon, CEO for Native Inc.

San Antonio and Austin account for about 85 percent of the state's solar capacity.

CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipally owned utility, plans to have 400 megawatts of utility-scale solar constructed by 2017. That is projected to power about 10 percent of San Antonio area homes.

In 2014 Texas will see two private solar projects come online, one in Pecos County and one near Lubbock.

Read more at the Burnt Orange Report and The Solar Foundation.

ALN Jan. 2013: Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock 


ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the January 2014 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

General Overview January 2014
 Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Occupancy rate 88.9 90.8 94.6 91.3
Units added 0 0 179 205
Units absorbed (annual) -232 126 20 246
Average size (SF) 868 811 848 844
Asking rent $658 $657 $834 $692
Effective rent $645 $647 $832 $685
Effective rent per SF $0.74 $0.80 $0.98 $0.81
Offering concessions 37% 30% 7% 22%
Avg. concession package 5.7% 4.7% 2.1% 4.3%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

Want more ALN news in other Texas cities? See NewsTalk Texas.

Texas exports close to $280B in 2013 


TEXAS - Texas’ export revenue totaled $279.69 billion in 2013, up $14.3 billion, or 5.4 percent, from 2012. This marks twelfth consecutive year that Texas is the top exporting state, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In August 2013, Texas hit a record $134.4 billion in exports for the first half of 2013, according to the International Trade Administration. That figure was up 3 percent from the first half of 2012.

California saw the second-largest increase, up $6.4 billion to $168 billion. Washington also was up $6.4 billion for a total of $81.9 billion. New York increased $4.8 billion to $83.99 billion, and Kentucky was up $3.19 billion to $25.3 billion.

Read more at the U.S. Census Bureau and the San Antonio Business Journal.

ALN apartment occ. Dec. 2013: Beaumont to Wichita Falls 

(2/11/2014 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - ALN Apartment Data released December 2013 occupancy for Beaumont, College Station, El Paso, Harlingen, Killeen-Temple, Longview-Tyler, Midland-Odessa and Wichita Falls.

Texas Market Occupancy*
Market Occ.
Dec. 2013
Beaumont 88.5%
College Station 94.5%
El Paso 92.1%
Harlingen 94.6%
Killeen-Temple** 89.3%
Longview-Tyler 90.4%
Midland-Odessa 90.9%
Wichita Falls 87.4%

*excludes student, senior, income-restricted properties
**Central Texas

For the full report see ALN Apartment Data.

Texas cookin’: restaurant sales to hit $42.5B 

(2/5/2014 7:45:00 AM)

TEXAS - In 2014, the Texas restaurant industry is expected to post 4.7 percent sales growth, reaching $42.5 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

2014 will be the fifth consecutive year of restaurant industry sales growth despite a continued challenging economic landscape.

Texas restaurants will employ 1.1 million in 2014 and create an additional 170,800 jobs in the next decade. 2014 will be the 15th straight year in which restaurant industry employment growth will outpace overall employment growth.

For example, Abilene has seen an influx of restaurants opening. McAlister's has opened their second location on North 10 & Judge Ely, the third Golden Chick location opened on US Hwy. 351, and Firehouse Subs has taken out a $450,000 building permit to begin construction on the vacant space near Target on Ridgemont Dr.

Local Abilene restaurants say they are already seeing an increase in sales since 2013. Oscar Avila of Oscar's Mexican Restaurant says his business has seen an 8 percent increase, which he attributes to the oil boom in Midland and Odessa.

Read more at Big Country

Texas fishing lures $3.7B from anglers 


TEXAS - More than 1.6 million adults fished in the Lone Star state during 2011, spending $2.1 billion in retail sales, generating $1.1 billion in salaries and wages and supporting more than 29,000 jobs, according to Southwick Associates.

The total economic multiplier effect is estimated to be as high as $3.67 billion. Of the total economic effect, $1.67 billion was generated by freshwater angling, while saltwater angling accounted for $1.97 billion.

The largest economic impact from a single species was attributed to red drum, which produced an economic multiplier effect of $763 million in Texas.

The report looked at the demographics of 2011′s Texas anglers: how many freshwater fished and how many fished saltwater, age, income, marital status, race and other key factors.

Lunker after lunker for Lake Fork (Jan. 13, 2014): Randall E. Claybourne of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was fishing in 15 feet of water in the east arm of Lake Fork when a 13.86-pound bass took his jig-and-craw lure about 11:20 p.m. The fish was 25 inches long and 21 inches in girth. It was held for pickup at Lake Fork Marina.

Read more at Lone Star Outdoor News and Southwick Associates.

Texas Petro Index hit new high in December 2013 


TEXAS - The Texas Petro Index hit a new record in December, rising for the fourth consecutive month, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

The measurement, a composite index based on several upstream economic indicators, hit 295.0 last month, up 6.7 percent from a year ago and above the previous high of 287.6 set in October 2008. Nearly all of the growth in 2013 was driven by crude oil, but higher wellhead prices for natural gas was a contributing factor.

For all of 2013, Texas crude oil production totaled 856.8 million barrels, which accounted for 31 percent of all U.S. oil production and is the highest statewide total since 1985.

Among the highlights of the report:

• The statewide working rig count averaged 835, about 7.1 percent less than in 2012.
• The Texas Railroad Commission issued 21,471 drilling permits, compared to 22,479 permits issued in 2012.
• The estimated value of Texas-produced crude oil increased by 27 percent to about $81 billion, with wellhead prices increasing slightly (4.2 percent) and production up by nearly 150 million barrels.
• The estimated value of Texas-produced natural gas increased 29.6 percent to $28.56 billion, as wellhead prices increased 31.8 percent to reach $3.60/Mcf while production declined slightly (1.0 percent).
• About 276,092 Texans on average were employed in the oil and gas production, drilling and service sectors during 2013, up about 6.4 percent compared to 2012 (average of 259,575). Upstream industry employment reached a record 282,700 in August before declining during the remainder of the year.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

DFW, Houston, SA tops apartment list into 2017 

(1/31/2014 8:00:00 PM)

TEXAS - Three Texas cities have made the list of 14 cities that will overcome oversupply issues in the multifamily market, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio are the three Texas cities that are expected to shine bright into 2017.

Other U.S. cities making the list include: Phoenix, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa, San Diego, Philadelphia, Orange County, the Inland Empire, Palm Beach, Las Vegas and Memphis.

The JLL report showed that the housing recovery is causing expansion nationwide. In addition, tightening market conditions brought U.S. quarterly rent increases for 2013.

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle

Texas contractors add 13,000 employees to payrolls in 2013 

(1/30/2014 6:59:00 AM)

TEXAS - In 2013, Texas construction firms added 13,500 employees to their payrolls, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

The state’s construction industry had 611,100 employees on its collective payroll in December 2013, compared to 597,600 in December 2012 — an increase of 2.3 percent.

In December 2013 alone, contractors added 3,400 jobs — going from 607,700 employees in November 2013, to 611,100 employees in December.

Texas was one of 34 states that added jobs between December 2012 and December 2013. Additionally, it was one of only 17 states that added employees on a monthly basis.

While Texas construction firms do expect some challenges in 2014, as a whole, contractors were more optimistic than their peers were across the United States.

Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal.

Forbes: four Texas cities best places to retire 


TEXAS - Abilene, Austin, Fredericksburg and San Angelo have all been selected for Forbes Magazine’s list of the 25 best places to retire in 2014.

Abilene’s cost of living is 13 percent below national average and the average home price is $139,000, compared to the national average of $207,000.

Austin boasts a terrific economy with a cost of living at about national average. The low crime rate and high grades for bicycling and volunteering are also enticing factors.

Fredericksburg has above average air quality, high walkability and a low crime rate. The cost of living is 5 percent below national average and the median home price $138,000.

San Angelo offers a warm climate with a booming economy where the cost of is living 9 percent below national average and the median home price $175,000.

Four states — Texas, Florida, South Carolina and Pennsylvania — have two or more listings.

See the best places to retire at

Some small, midsize farms going away 


TEXAS - A growing number of Texans are leaving the land because of opportunities in urban areas, a spike in land prices and concerns about risky weather patterns fueled by a blockbuster drought that continues to plague much of the state. The agricultural workforce is also aging.

Small and midsize farms and ranches — those under 2,000 acres — have been declining at a rate of 250,000 acres a year, according to the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. From 1997 to 2007, the institute estimates, Texas lost about 1.5 million acres of agricultural land and is expected to lose a million more by 2020.

And while Texas as a whole is growing rapidly, the 96 counties that lost population from 2010 to 2012 are mostly in heavily agricultural West Texas and the Panhandle, the Office of the State Demographer said.

“The scariest thing is what’s happening to the blacklands;  that’s the land that’s being built out,” Billy Howe, the state legislative director for the Texas Farm Bureau, said, referring to cropland that lines Interstate 35, around which the swelling metropolitan areas of Austin, Dallas and San Antonio are clustered.

A century ago, Williamson County, north of Austin, was a top cotton producer. “It’s nothing but houses now, for the most part,” Billy Howe, the state legislative director for the Texas Farm Bureau, said.

A decline in population did not always mean less farming, according to Darren Hudson, a professor of agricultural economics at Texas Tech University. Technological advances have allowed many farms and ranches in the Panhandle to expand, while maintaining production levels with fewer workers.

Read more at the Texas Tribune.

Eagle Ford tops U.S. with $8.8B in deals 


TEXAS - The Eagle Ford Shale drew $8.8 billion in upstream oil and gas deals in 2013, the largest value in the country, according to the Petroleum Listing Service.

The shale play in South Texas was also the site of 2013’s largest energy deal, with Devon Energy’s $6 billion Eagle Ford land acquisition.

In West Texas, unconventional regions of the Permian Basin were targets of the second-largest disclosed value of deals, $7.5 billion. Other high-value regions included:

•  the Rockies conventional plays, with $5.5 billion in deals;
•  the Gulf of Mexico shelf, with $4.2 billion in deals; and
•  the Bakken Shale, with $2.9 billion in deals.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

2014 could yield Texas $70B worth of industrial projects 

(1/13/2014 9:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas is going to be bustling with industrial construction activity in 2014. This year, more than $70.9 billion worth of planned industrial capital and maintenance projects are scheduled to start in Texas, according to Industrial Info Resources.

Many of those projects will be in Houston, a hub for oil, gas and chemical processing and manufacturing operations. The bulk of new projects in Texas are related to liquefied natural gas production and export facilities and chemical processing facilities.

Although the firm points out that not all of these projects will come to fruition, this number is still pretty astounding, especially when compared to other states.

For example, Louisiana, another state that expects a surge of industrial projects in 2014, has $45.7 billion worth of industrial capital and maintenance projects planned.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal.

Love's fuels Texas  


TEXAS - Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores will introduce fast-fill compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling capability for heavy-duty trucks at nine Texas locations by second quarter 2014.

Love’s CNG stations are designed to deliver a fill rate of at least ten gallons per minute in all lanes, meaning a driver can fill a 100-gallon-equivalent tank in ten minutes or less.

“Professional drivers filling up with CNG see a $2 savings per gallon-equivalent over diesel. That economic edge creates an incentive for fleets to look into the viability of fast-fill CNG,” said Jon Archard, director of fleet sales at Love’s.

Love’s fast-fill CNG locations will include the following:

•  Amarillo — I-40, Exit 74

•  Dallas — I-35/I-20, Exit 466

•  Fort Worth — I-35 W, Exit 40

•  Houston — 610 Loop, Exit 24A

•  Katy — I-10, Exit 737

•  Rockwall — I-30, Exit 283

•  San Antonio — I-35, Exit 144

•  Seguin — I-10, Exit 604

•  Willis — I-45, Exit 95

Read more at Convenience Store Decisions.

Job growth is bigger in Texas 


TEXAS - With booming construction around the energy industry and a strong tech community, the Lone Star State has harnessed the two biggest drivers of job growth, according to TriNet.

The report, which analyzed small business employment in 2013, found that construction and technology were last year’s hottest growing sectors, leading to net job growth of 21.53 percent and 21.07 percent, respectively.

Thanks to the Barnett Shale construction has been blazing hot in the state as the energy industry continues to heat up, with jobs growing by 68.06 percent in Texas in 2013. Austin’s technology scene has also led to impressive job growth.

Read more at Fox Business.

ALN Dec. 2013 Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock  


ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the December 2013 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Stabilized Market Overview December 2013
Occupancy 91.1 91.6 95.2 92.0
Units added 0 -57 -57 224
Units absorbed (annual) -63 75 -118 358
Average size (SF) 868 812 847 842
Asking rent $649 $655 $830 $683
Effective rent $637 $645 $827 $678
Effective rent per SF $0.73 $0.79 $0.98 $0.80
Offering concessions 40% 33% 10% 19%
Avg. concession package 5.2% 4.6% 2.9% 4.0%

*Stabilized Market is everything in a market except for apartments in initial lease-up.

ALN Apartment Data provides more Texas city information including general overviews.

ALN: Atlanta, Austin, DFW, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio 


AUSTIN, DFW, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO - ALN Apartment Data released the December 2013 review of occupancy, effective rent and more for Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and San Antonio.

For reference, Atlanta, Ga., and Phoenix, Ariz., are shown. The general overview includes properties in initial lease-up.

General Overview Dec. 2013
 Markets Austin DFW Houston San Antonio Atlanta Phoenix
Occupancy rate 95.0 93.4 92.5 91.5 91.9 92.1
Units added -401 -1,925 -1,415 -100 -1,481 -150
Units absorbed (annual) 1,069 5,244 7,233 -663 4,229 1,837
Average size (SF) 852 859 871 834 1,016 838
Asking rent $1,006 $865 $882 $824 $863 $760
Effective rent $1,002 $853 $868 $805 $853 $744
Effective rent per SF $1.17 $0.99 $1.00 $0.96 $0.84 $0.89
Offering concessions 13% 36% 34% 44% 34% 48%
Avg. concession package 3.4% 4.3% 4.7% 4.9% 4.3% 4.9%

Read more at ALN Apartment Data.

Want more ALN news in other Texas cities? See NewsTalk Texas.

Cline Shale creates $14.5B impact, Eagle Ford with $61B 


TEXAS - The oil and gas industry had a $14.5 billion impact on the Cline Shale region in 2013, according to The University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development. The industry supported 21,450 jobs with $1 billion in salaries and benefits to workers.

The core counties for the study were Fisher, Glasscock, Howard, Irion, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reagan, Scurry and Sterling, where around 854 vertical wells and 57 horizontal or directional wells were completed in 2012.

The study forecasts that by 2022 — depending on a variety of factors that include oil prices and well productivity — the annual economic output could be as low as $7.6 billion or as high as $34.3 billion.

Neighboring counties, including Brown, Coke, Coleman, Runnels, Taylor and Tom Green, don’t have much drilling activity, but have had a lot of construction and new headquarters because of the boom.

The oil and gas activity generated $472 million in state revenue in 2013, including $187.4 million in severance taxes, and $447 million in local government taxes.

In 2013, UTSA estimates the Eagle Ford had a $61 billion impact and supported 116,000 jobs across 20 counties in South Texas.

One of the long-term challenges for both West and South Texas will be to diversify their economies, but it may be easier for South Texas, according to Thomas Tunstall, research director with the Institute for Economic Development.

“In West Texas, it’s mostly scrub, the two interstates and it takes a long time to get out there. It makes it harder for them to diversify,” said Tunstall.

Read more at the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Mexico's oil industry monopoly ends 


MEXICO - The Mexican government has approved to historic legislation to open the state-run oil industry to private investment. The legislation dismantles a 75-year-old barrier to foreign investment in Mexican oil fields.

As a result, Mexican oil output is expected to double, according to Citigroup Inc. The impact is equivalent to adding another Nigeria to world supply, or about 2.5 million barrels a day.

An influx of Mexican oil would contribute to a glut that is expected to lower the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s crude that has averaged $108.62 a barrel this year. It could go as low as $88 a barrel in 2017, based on estimates from analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Five of the seven analysts who provided 2017 forecasts said prices would be lower than this year.

The revolution in shale drilling that boosted U.S. oil output to a 25-year high this month will allow North America to join the ranks of the world’s crude-exporting continents by 2040.

The effects of the reform will reverberate far beyond the energy industry. Some estimates predict the reform will boost Mexican GDP by 2 percent and create 2.5 million Mexican jobs by 2025.

Read more at Bloomberg and USA Today.

Magpul Industries HQ moving to Texas 


TEXAS - Firearm accessories manufacturer Magpul Industries has announced it is relocating its corporate headquarters from Colorado to Texas. Production, distribution and shipping operations will be moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Magpul cited the Lone Star State's business-friendly environment, predictable regulations and consistent respect for the Second Amendment as key elements in its decision to relocate.

Three North Central Texas sites are under final consideration, and the transition to the Texas headquarters will begin as soon as the facility is selected. The company said its Texas relocation is being accomplished with support from Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

Read more at NBC

Say 'howdy' to your new neighbor! Texas No. 1 

(1/2/2014 9:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Texas gained more residents than any other state in 2013, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Dec. 30, 2013. The Lone Star State, which has ranked first in annual population growth since 2006, said 'howdy' to 387,000 new Texans from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2013.

California — still the nation's most populous state with 38 million people — added 332,000 residents while Florida netted 232,111 newcomers.

Warmer-weather states in the South and West are gaining residents at a faster clip than the chilly Midwest and Northeast, both of which have seen only sluggish growth in recent years.

North Dakota's impressive 3.1 percent population increase proves the one exception to the climatic trend, notes the Washington Post, thanks to the state's ongoing boom in oil and natural gas.

You're the Tops in 2013
State Population Gain
from 2012
California 38,332,521 332,643
Texas 26,448,193 387,397
New York 19,651,127 75,002
Florida 19,552,860 232,111
Illinois 12,882,135 13,943
Pennsylvania 12,773,801 9,326
Ohio 11,570,808 17,777
Georgia 9,992,167 13,103
North Carolina 9,848,060 99,696

Read more at Culture Map Houston.

Top places to invest in real estate 


WICHITA FALLS, LUBBOCK, AUSTIN - As you look for investment opportunities in 2014, take a moment to look beyond your local market, according to Brian Kline, real estate investor who lives in Lake Cushman, Washington.

Wichita Falls, Texas, is an oil town with money. But more than that, nearby Sheppard Air Force Base provides a steady stream of renters.

In this expansive prairie region of Texas, home prices are cheap with a median cost of $84,000, according to RealtyTrac. A 1,700-sf house recently listed for $89,900. Houses that size easily rent for $1,000 or more. The average return on investment in this region is 13.4 percent.

In Lubbock, Texas, 2,100-sf homes again being rented to oil workers and in this case to college students that are delivering an 11.8 percent return on an average investment of $111,000.

College towns almost always make a good investment. Syracuse, N.Y. is a good example where you can expect a 10.9 percent return on your average investment of $120,000. That’s about $90,000 below the national average.

Very close behind Syracuse is Oklahoma City where houses are a touch more expensive but average rents are approaching $1,200. Here you can expect a 10.8 percent return on your rental investment. These are newer houses built around 2009 requiring very little maintenance.

Take a close look at the Austin region. The fact that the average cost of a house drops to $158,000 and rents dip to $1,400 still means you make an annual return on your investment of 10.7 percent.

Large houses in the range of 2,400 sf are in the heart of Dell Computer headquarters country.

According to Kline, much of the research was recent information provided by RealtyTrac.

Read more at RealtyBizNews for other U.S. cities.

Cushing gut unblocked to Texas leg of Keystone 

(12/12/2013 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Crude oil has started flowing through the Gulf Coast Pipeline — the Keystone XL Pipeline's southern portion, which runs from Cushing, Okla., to refineries in Nederland.

There is only a small amount of crude oil flowing initially, because the transmission line is being tested by federal authorities, according to Shawn Howard, a spokesman for TransCanada, the Canada-based company that built the pipeline.

The line fill will continue through the end of 2013 with about 3 million barrels of oil pumped through the 485-mile, 36-inch pipeline. The Gulf Coast Pipeline, which passes about 80 to 100 miles east of Dallas, will reduce the oil glut that has occurred in Cushing, according to TransCanada officials.

Read more at the Houston Business Journal. Also see TransCanada's Gulf Coast pipeline to Keystone.

Texas hotel occupancy 3Q: 13 metros beat Texas 


TEXAS - In third quarter 2013, 13 areas exceeded the state occupancy average. Meanwhile 17 of 27 Texas areas exceeded occupancy compared to 2012, according to Source Strategies Inc.

The table below is sorted by 3Q 2013 occupancy. It clearly shows the major effect of oil and gas exploration and production activity.

In oil and gas counties statewide, 3Q 2013 occupancy averaged 64.8 percent, up 0.3 points from 64.5 percent in 2012.

Top 13 Metros Ranked by Occupancy 3Q 2013
  2012 Total 3Q 2013
Metro Area

Occ. %

$ Rev.
% Chg.
Occ. % Chg. % $ Rev.
% Chg.
San Angelo 73.0 42.6% 88.7 10.8 32.4%
Midland 91.3 55.9% 75.6 -14.4 -1.0%
Odessa 90.7 55.0% 72.2 -16.3 -10.2%
College Station-Bryan 61.0 8.7% 71.4 8.6 22.4%
Lubbock 63.3 7.6% 70.2 3.6 11.0%
Amarillo 59.3 5.5% 69.3 3.7 11.7%
Austin-Round Rock 69.2 11.6% 68.1 3.2 14.2%
Laredo 70.3 6.6% 67.5 -4.8 -9.2%
Houston-Sugar Land-
64.3 14.3% 66.5 2.0 13.2%
Corpus Christi 54.9 10.5% 65 -0.4 9.3%
Waco 57.6 10.1% 64.8 7.7 19.8%
San Antonio 62.3 6.1% 64.3 -1.2 -0.2%
Victoria 71.0 16.3% 64.1 -3.3 -3.5%
State average 62.3 10.2% 63.6 0.5 7.0%


See the full report at Source Strategies Inc. For more stats all counties and MSAs, see Hotel under Market Data Sources.

ALN Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock 


ABILENE, AMARILLO, CORPUS CHRISTI, LUBBOCK - ALN Apartment Data has released the October 2013 review of occupancy, effective rent and other data for many Texas cities.

 Markets Abilene Amarillo Corpus
Stabilized Market Overview October 2013
Occupancy rate 89.1 91.2 95.7 91.9
Units added 0 -56 -61 517
Units absorbed (annual) -285 -80 -96 403
Average size (SF) 869 812 847 843
Asking rent $657 $657 $833 $692
Effective rent $647 $649 $831 $690
Effective rent per SF $0.74 $0.80 $0.98 $0.82
Offering concessions 29% 32% 5.0% 13%
Avg. concession package 5.6% 4.1% 3.5% 4.6%

*Stabilized Market is everything in a market except for apartments in initial lease-up.

ALN Apartment Data provides more Texas city information.

Texas manufacturing grows for third straight month 


TEXAS - Growth in factory activity increased for a third consecutive month in November 2013, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 13.3 to 16.9, reaching its highest reading in five months.

The November 2013 employment index was 5.0, down slightly from October, but still indicative of increased employee headcounts. Only 10 percent of firms reported layoffs, while 15 percent reported hiring new workers. The hours worked index held steady at a reading of 4.2, suggesting a slight increase in average workweek length.

The general business activity index posted its sixth consecutive positive reading but edged down to 1.9. The company outlook index also posted its sixth positive reading in a row and moved up to 8.0, its highest level since June 2013.

The new orders index came in at 5.4, similar to its October 2013 level, and marked a seventh consecutive month of increased demand. The capacity utilization index rose to 16.2, its highest level since March 2011, and the shipments index edged up to 14.8.

Read more at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Texas cities rank in top ten fastest markets 


TEXAS - Market speed remained steady for the second consecutive month in October, according to brokerage and research firm Redfin. Across 23 metro areas, the percentage of homes that went under contract within two weeks remained flat in October at 28.1 percent.

Houston saw the biggest month-over-month increase in market speed, with a 4.5 point increase in the rate of homes going under contract within 14 days.

Below are the top ten out of 23 markets ranked by percent of new listings under contract in two weeks.

Rank Market Oct. 2013 Oct. 2012
Top Ten Percent of New Listings Under Contract
1 San Jose, Calif. 48.9% 54.3%
2 San Francisco, Calif. 43.1% 46.0%
3 Boston, Mass. 40.2% 13.4%
4 Dallas, Texas 34.6% 20.6%
5 Las Vegas, Nev. 33.9% 11.7%
6 Austin, Texas 32.5% 24.7%
7 Seattle, Wash. 32.2% 32.4%
8 Washington, D.C. 30.9% 30.8%
9 Houston, Texas 30.0% 18.8%
10 Los Angeles, Calif. 29.9% 37.0%

Source: Redfin

Cities codes escaping you? See Municode Library 

(11/25/2013 10:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Looking to develop in a city and don't know where to start? Want to renovate your home or business but fear the city won't allow it? How can you access your city's code of ordinances?

The planning and zoning communities don't take a cookie-cutter approach for rules and regulations. As such, it is important to review the development codes of each municipality you do business in.

Whether you're looking to find information on traditional zoning or land development code, a form-based code, or even a SmartCode, check out Municode’s library for the municipal code near you. Municode includes the code of ordinances of most of the cities and towns in Texas.

Find the link to Municode’s website under "Market Overview" on any MSA Area page at Market Data Sources.

Bexar, Travis home value growth tops in U.S. 

(11/22/2013 8:00:00 AM)

TEXAS - Of the 50 most populous counties in the United States, only three saw significant growth in home values from 2007 to 2012: Allegheny County, Pa.; Bexar County, Tex.; and Travis County, Tex., according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Other, less populated counties in Texas also saw significant median home values increases from 2007 to 2012. Ector, Midland and Wilson counties have their gains listed below.

County Median
Home Value
Home Value
American Community Survey Home Values by County
Travis* $206,600 $215,700 $9,100
Bexar* $117,500 $123,500 $6,000
Wilson $121,400 $153,800 $32,400
Midland $125,800 $146,600 $20,800
Ector $78,500 $92,200 $13,700

* in top 50 most populated counties in U.S.

Read more at the Texas Tribune and the U.S. Census Bureau.

TWC: state unemployment slips in October  


TEXAS - The seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate decreased from 6.3 percent in September 2013 to 6.2 percent in October 2013, according to the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest report.

The private sector in Texas recorded a strong annual growth rate of 2.9 percent in October 2013, adding nearly 265,000 jobs over the year.

Seven out of 11 industries that added jobs in October 2013 included leisure and hospitality, which expanded by 7,600 positions; professional and business services, which added 5,000 jobs; and trade, transportation and utilities, which grew by 3,700 positions.

The Midland MSA had the lowest statewide jobless rate in October 2013 at 3.1 percent, and the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the highest average unemployment at 10.1 percent.

The nationwide jobless rate for October 2013 was 7.3 percent.

Texas MSAs With Lowest Unemployment Rates*
MSA Oct. 2013 Sept. 2013 Oct. 2012






Midland 95.9 3.1 95.9 3.3 92.4 3.1
Odessa 87.8 3.6 88.0 3.8 85.3 3.7
Amarillo 135.4 4.4 134.8 4.7 134.6 4.4
Lubbock 149.1 4.7 148.8 5.0 147.7 4.9
Abilene 85.4 4.7 85.5 5.0 84.6 4.8
San Angelo 57.1 4.8 56.8 5.1 56.6 4.8
Texas*** 12,784.1 6.0 12,833.7 6.3 12,667.7 6.2

*top six, ranked by unemployment rate
**not seasonally adjusted (in thousands)
***includes all MSAs

Read more at the Texas Workforce Commission.

Texas cities make ten most affordable suburbs in U.S. 


TEXAS - Movoto has compiled a list of the most affordable suburban cities in America. Movoto surveyed 139 suburbs, which comprise the largest suburbs of the 50 largest cities in the country. The top ten affordable suburban cities in America, along with their rank in each of the seven categories measured, are listed below.

Most Affordable Suburban Cities in America
City Overall
Cost of
Cost of
Cost of
Property  Sales
Midwest City, Okla. 1 3 15 4 6 26 57 57
Moore, Okla. 2 11 14 4 10 27 59 57
Cimarron Hills, Colo. 3 28 21 15 47 1 50 43
Pearland 4 28 1 21 22 73 65 1
Greenwood, Ind. 5 15 10 76 21 36 9 56
Clarksville, Ind. 6 15 10 76 21 36 9 56
Universal City 7 18 5 21 27 87 65 1
Schertz 8 31 2 12 36 78 65 1
Fishers, Ind. 9 53 15 42 12 56 9 39
Cibolo 10 37 2 12 32 78 65 1

Other Texas cities on top 50 list inlcude League City, San Elizario, Horizon City, Cedar Park, Socorro, Round Rock, North Richland Hills, Georgetown and Euless.

Source: Movoto Real Estate

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