Real Estate Center Online News

April 22, 2014

Capital City's Home Sales Volume Hits Seven-Year High

AUSTIN (Austin Board of Realtors) – Area existing single-family home sales volume hit a seven-year high last month, rising 7 percent year-over-year to 2,262 single-family homes sold.

According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released yesterday by the Austin Board of Realtors, monthly housing inventory decreased 0.4 months year-over-year to 2.2 months in March 2014.

Homes also continued to sell at an accelerated rate, spending an average 51 days on the market — 13 days fewer than a year ago.

The median price for single-family homes was $231,750, a 6 percent increase over a year ago. The average price increased 5 percent to $296,640. The total dollar volume of single-family homes sold was just under $671 million, a 12 percent increase over last March.

In addition, the market had 2 percent fewer new listings, 5 percent fewer active listings and 3 percent fewer pending sales last month than a year ago.

Cassco Breaks Ground on Clearfork

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Business Press) – The first multifamily phase of the Clearfork development has broken ground.

Cassco Development started on 392 units in the 270-acre project at 5000 Clearfork Main St. The buildings will be two-, three-, and four-stories with ground-floor retail in the four-story building.

Preleasing is planned for first quarter 2015, with opening scheduled for the second quarter.

At its completion, Clearfork will have more than two million sf of upscale office space, 1.2 million sf of retail, and 2,500 multifamily residences.

Cassco obtained up to $30 million in incentives over 15 years on 44 acres of the development.

Texas Medical Center Will Change, Grow

HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – The Texas Medical Center campus is going to be renovated and expanded. Memorial Hermann Health System will start a $650 million expansion this summer, concluding in 2018.

The campus currently spans more than 2.5 million sf. The expansion will include:

  • an additional 1.34 million sf;
  • 160 additional beds (plus 71 replacement beds);
  • 24 new operating rooms;
  • 16 additional emergency room bays;
  • 750 new parking spaces; and
  • a 333-seat café.

Locally based WHR Architects Inc. is the architect of record for the project.

Amarillo Sees Six-Year Housing High

AMARILLO (Amarillo Globe-News) – Area existing home sales had their best first quarter since 2008.

Despite increased steps in the mortgage financing process that may have kept some pending sales from closing, 620 sales were completed during the first quarter of the year — the most since the 705 sales in first quarter 2008.

The average sales price increased more than 5 percent to between $157,000 and $159,000.

The median price for first-quarter sales was up 10.4 percent from a year ago, hovering around $138,000.

Austin Industrial Market: Slow but Positive Start

AUSTIN (REOC Austin) – According to REOC Austin's survey of nearly 37.7 million sf of local industrial lease space, the city's industrial market had a slow but positive first quarter.

New leases and expansions were largely offset by tenant move-outs, resulting in 82,407 sf of positive net absorption for the first three months of the year. As a result, the market closed the quarter with a citywide vacancy rate of 10.6 percent, which is unchanged from last quarter but significantly improved compared with 13.2 percent recorded in the same quarter last year.

“By comparison, the industrial market started last year with negative absorption but still managed to record more than a million sf of positive gain by the end of the year, so a slow start doesn’t necessarily mean a slow year,” said Mark Milstead, the firm's vice president of industrial services. Milstead said the citywide vacancy is at its lowest point in 12 years.

The city’s inventory of roughly 24.3 million sf of warehouse space dominated first quarter activity with a total of 284,088 sf of positive net absorption recorded. The warehouse market closed the quarter with a citywide vacancy rate of 9.5 percent (compared with 9.9 percent the previous quarter and 12.1 percent a year ago). Warehouse vacancy rates were 12.4 percent in Round Rock, 9.2 percent in the northeast, 10.3 percent in the east, 10.6 percent in the southeast and 0.9 percent in the south.

The city’s inventory of roughly 13.3 million sf of Flex/R&D space closed the quarter with a citywide vacancy rate of 12.6 percent, up slightly from 12 percent recorded last quarter.

Rental rates continue to respond to improved occupancies with modest increases as landlords renew a more confident position in lease negotiations. Specifically, “the bottom asking rate for office warehouse space has moved up,” said Rob Eaves, REOC Austin's associate vice president. The cost of renting office warehouse space ranges between $0.40 and $0.60 per sf while the price for bulk warehouse ranges between $0.35 - $0.50.

Lamar Village to Become Central

AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – Highland Resources will convert the Lamar Village shopping center into the four-level, mixed-use Lamar Central.

The property is at West 38th St. and North Lamar Blvd.

Scheduled to open by fall 2015, Lamar Central will include 34,000 sf of ground-floor space for shops and restaurants topped with three levels of office space totaling 128,000 sf. Parking will be in a garage with more than 600 spots.

No leases have been signed for the property yet.

Energy Corridor Getting More Hotels

HOUSTON ( – Two new hotels are going to be built in the Energy Corridor.

Western International will build a Courtyard by Marriott and a Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton on a recently purchased 5.2 acre plot in the Ten Oaks development.

Located at the corner of Barker-Cypress Rd. and Park Row, the 135-room hotels will be directly across from Texas Children’s and Methodist’s West Houston hospitals.

Ten Oaks is owned by locally based Wolff Cos.

Arlington Commerce Center Gets Large Lease

ARLINGTON (Dallas Morning News) – Williams-Sonoma is bringing its regional distribution hub to Arlington Commerce Center.

The company leased more than 821,000 sf of warehouse space from Exeter Property Group at 4900 Sherry St.

Colliers International represented the retailer in lease negotiations with CBRE.

Exeter broke ground on the new property last summer.

Stockdale Sweet on Sugar Creek Office Space

SUGAR LAND ( – Sugar Creek I and II have been purchased.

Stockdale Capital Partners purchased the 409,168-sf office park from Granite Properties and MetLife.

Sugar Creek houses Noble Drilling Corp. and United Healthcare.

HFF secured financing for the 96.1 percent occupied property.

Inland Picks Up Mansfield Retail Property

MANSFIELD (Dallas Business Journal) – The Mansfield Pointe Shopping Center has been purchased.

Illinois-based Inland Real Estate Income Trust Inc. purchased the property for $28.4 million.

Located on SH 287 at Debbie Ln., the 148,529-sf shopping center is 96.7 percent occupied, with tenants including Sports Authority, PetSmart and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Disney Investment Group represented the buyer. The Retail Connection represented the seller.

News, News and More News

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Hungry for more Texas real estate news? Then feast your eyes on NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. Here are a few of the stories you'll find there this week:

NewsTalk Texas is updated each weekday, throughout the day.

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