Real Estate Center Online News

July 31, 2015

Texas Housing Markets Among Nation's Healthiest, WalletHub Reports

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WalletHub) – WalletHub compared housing markets in 25 of the largest U.S. metros across ten key metrics to determine which markets were the healthiest. Three Texas metros ranked high overall.

San Antonio was the third healthiest market overall, while Austin ranked sixth and Houston tenth. Boston was first, followed by Oklahoma City.

The Alamo City also fared well under "Highest Equity Level," tying Philadelphia for fifth.

Austin ranked third in lowest percentage of underwater mortgages. San Antonio came in fifth. The cities had the lowest down payment percentage, with San Antonio first and Austin second.

Austin also had the fifth lowest percent of "easy" mortgages and the lowest rate of first-time homebuyer assistance.

San Antonio, Austin and Houston claimed the top three spots under "least access to home equity line of credit."

For details on this report, visit WalletHub's website.

'Fourth &' Goal: 130,000-SF Austin Mixed-Use Coming

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – Capsa Ventures LLC debuted plans for Fourth &, a 130,000-sf residential condo and commercial project on 2.2 acres at Fourth and Chicon streets. Demolition of an existing warehouse there is about to begin.

The project, which includes 97 residential units and 42,000 sf of commercial space, will be completed by fall 2016.

Fourth & will include energy efficiency features such as solar panels and tankless water heaters as well as upscale elements.

The entire development team is locally based and includes architects Delineate Studio and Forge Craft Architecture + Design; David Johnson Engineering, which is now a part of Big Red Dog Engineering and Consulting; Leap Structures and Tracey Overbeck Stead as interior designer.

MadNic Construction and Canvas Properties are handling construction and brokerage.

What's New In Our Research Library?

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – While you're listening to this week's Real Estate Red Zone podcast, check out the latest additions to our online research library:

"Poor Records May Increase Taxes"
Regardless of whether a taxpayer correctly includes income and deductions on a tax return, an IRS audit could lead to additional taxes, interest and penalties if the taxpayer does not have adequate supporting documentation. Written by Jerrold J. Stern.

"Estimating Residential Construction Cycles"
The Texas Residential Construction Coincident Index is based on the movements in three direct measures of residential construction activity: real contract values, real wages paid and number of jobs. This index should be a useful tool for understanding the current direction of Texas residential construction activity. With data through May 2015, the index is signaling a healthy expansion that is showing signs of slowing. Written by Jesus Cañas, Keith R. Phillips and Luis B. Torres.

$360 Million Park West Student Housing Coming to Aggieland

COLLEGE STATION (Texas A&M University System) – The Texas A&M University System has selected Servitas LLC to develop 48 acres west of the George Bush Dr. and Wellborn Rd. intersection into student housing.

Park West will be the largest of five recent public-private projects of the Texas A&M System in College Station. When it opens in August 2017, it will provide an additional 3,402 beds for students in facilities ranging from studio apartments to three-bedroom garden-style units.

The land will be leased to NCCD-College Station Properties LLC, which will engage Servitas to develop the property and contract with Servitas Management Group, LLC to serve as manager.

NCCD-College Station will pay $18.5 million upfront to Texas A&M. Revenues are projected to average $20 million annually over 30 years. The facilities will revert to The Texas A&M University System on termination of the ground lease.

Praxis Acquires 276-Unit Houston Multifamily

HOUSTON (CoStar Group) – Praxis Residential has purchased the 276-unit Carriage Place Apts. from LYND.

Carriage Place is on 11.3 acres at 505 Wells Fargo Dr. near I-45 in the outlying Harris County multifamily submarket. The complex has 156 one-bedroom and 120 two-bedroom apartments ranging from 587 to 1,283 sf across 26 two-story buildings.

The California-based firm will invest over $9,000 per unit in interior renovations and property upgrades.

Cushman & Wakefield handled the disposition on behalf of LYND.

Canadian Investor Makes Run for the Border with Industrial Buy

McALLEN (Realty News Report) – Canada-based Dalfen America Corp. has purchased four industrial buildings in the 1,200-acre Sharyland Business Park.

The portfolio totals 635,752 sf and is 89 percent occupied.

JLL Capital Markets arranged a $60 million credit facility for Dalfen through Bank of America.

TTC Approves More Than $400 Million in Prop 1 Projects

AUSTIN (Texas Department of Transportation) – The Texas Transportation Commission yesterday approved 17 more projects totaling more than $400 million worth of roadway construction, rehabilitation and restoration.

To date, commissioners have now approved final contract awards on 93 of the 200 planned Proposition 1 projects across the state.

Specific projects awarded this month include new road construction on US 83 in Hidalgo County, construction of an interchange on I-10 in Beaumont and intersection improvements on I-40 in Amarillo.

Proposition 1, which dedicates a portion of oil and gas tax revenue to the state highway fund, was approved last November by Texas voters. The 200 planned Proposition 1 projects will result in more than 800 miles of rehabilitated highways; nearly 500 miles of new highway lanes; 114 bridges replaced, widened or rehabilitated; and an additional 159 miles of passing lanes on rural highways.

Women Landowners Focus of October Natural Resource Conference

FREDERICKSBURG (AgriLife Today) – "Women: Taking the Reins in Natural Resource Management,” a two-day conference aimed specifically at women in the Edwards Plateau, will be held Oct. 5-6 at the Inn on Barons Creek.

The conference, funded by the Ruth and Eskel Bennett Endowment, is intended for women who are becoming landowners through inheritance or other means, said Dr. Larry Redmon, co-chair and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Bennett Trust specialist.

Speakers will include wildlife biologists, animal scientists, range scientists, estate attorneys and financial planners. Cost is $75.

For more information, contact Redmon at or Dr. Rick Machen at

New Round Rock ISD Elementary School Breaks Ground

AUSTIN (Community Impact Newspaper) – Round Rock ISD has broken ground on its 34th elementary school.

The 118,324-sf project, intended to help alleviate overcrowding at Wells Branch Elementary School, is at 2800 Sauls Dr. off Bratton Ln. Cost for the school is $36.7 million.

The school will open in time for the 2016–17 school year.

Designs Complete for Large Flower Mound Industrial

FLOWER MOUND (REBusiness Online) – Alliance Architects has completed the design for a two-building speculative industrial project totaling 584,000 sf for Exeter Property Group.

The first building has 231,754 sf. The second totals 352,832.

The project is within the 230-acre Lakeside Ranch, a business park consisting of over three million sf of primarily industrial space in which Alliance has designed multiple buildings totaling almost two million sf.

F.A. Peinado provided construction services on the project.

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