Real Estate Center Online News

March 13, 2012

Real Estate Big Business in Texas

HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – Dallas and Houston mean business when it comes to the real estate sector. They each rank in the top ten among U.S. markets where real estate generates over $1 billion in salaries.

Dallas, ranked fourth, employs 57,056 in the industry with an average salary of $47,100. Houston takes the seventh spot, employing 45,261 workers with an average salary of $43,100.

Dallas’ collective payroll for real estate, rental and leasing firms is about $2.69 billion, with Houston at about $1.95 billion.

Top spots went to New York City ($9.26 billion), Los Angeles ($5.87 billion) and Chicago ($3.52 billion).

Among other Texas cities, Austin ranked 29th on the list, followed by San Antonio (34), El Paso (88) and Corpus Christi (106).

Kyle Commercial: Boomtown’s Balancing Act

KYLE (Austin American-Statesman) – Despite Kyle’s fivefold population explosion during the last decade, commercial development in the city had lagged behind — until now.

The city issued 36 commercial building permits in 2011, with more than 30 businesses opening last year. Diana Blank, Kyle’s economic development director, said 271 full-time jobs were created in 2011 alone.

Commercial permits peaked at 67 in 2008 before the recession hit. In 2004, only one was issued compared with 1,199 residential building permits.

Residential development in the Austin suburb has declined in the years since, with 196 permits issued in 2011. Blank believes the drop in residential permits is good news, “since residential is more of a burden on the City of Kyle to support."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kyle’s population was 28,016 in 2010, up from 5,314 in 2000.

Transit Use Picks Up Speed

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal, APTA) – Americans took 10.4 billion rides on public transit in 2011, according to a report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Transit usage is up by 200 million riders over 2010 on subways, commuter trains, light rail systems and buses. In fact, only once since 1957 has transit ridership been higher than last year.

“Two top reasons for the increased ridership are higher gas prices and, in certain areas, a recovering economy with more people returning to work,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.

Dallas saw a 31.2 percent increase in light rail ridership, with Houston and San Antonio showing modest increases in its system-wide use.

Austin’s light rail is quickly gaining traction as well, with Capital Metro reporting a 57 increase in ridership on its single line.

Melaniphy believes demand for transit is growing among Americans.

“Congress needs to pass a well-funded, multimodal, multi-year transportation bill that will help meet current and growing demand,” he said.

The APTA report can be found here.

Distressed Properties Depress Ft. Worth Home Values

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – Short sales, bank-owned and real-estate-owned transactions are affecting house prices, according to a report by CoreLogic.

Including distressed properties, home prices in Fort Worth-Arlington dropped 1.9 percent in January over the same month in 2011. The year-over-year decline was 0.4 percent for Texas and 3.1 percent nationally.

Not accounting for distressed properties, Fort Worth-Arlington saw a 3 percent increase in home values. Texas saw a 1.9 percent jump in prices.

Even excluding distressed properties, U.S. home values still declined 0.9 percent in January.

Dickinson High Completes Expansion

DICKINSON (Galveston County Daily News) – Students at Dickinson High School will return from spring break to a newly expanded facility.

The $107.5 million expansion, funded by a 2007 bond, includes 220,000 sf designed to increase the school’s capacity in the future.

Construction included a new academic wing with science and computer labs as well as a 4,000-seat gym, locker rooms, band hall, dance hall, and an auditorium classroom designed to give students a feel for learning at a university.

Dickinson is in Galveston County, just south of League City.

Kensington Office Buildings Sold

SUGAR LAND (Houston Business Journal) – Buchanan Street Partners has acquired the 170,774-sf Offices at Kensington.

The two-building office property is at SH 6 and US 59. It is 90 percent occupied. Tenants include Morgan Stanley, Progressive Insurance, Atos Origin, Humana Health and Fidelity National Title.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler's Houston office represented the seller.

Want More News? Check Out NewsTalk Texas

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – If you'd like more news, check out NewsTalk Texas, our online news database that is updated each weekday, throughout the day.

Here's some of what you'll find this week:

Center Closed for Spring Break

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Real Estate Center will be closed this Thursday and Friday for Spring Break. RECON will not be published Friday, and there will be no Real Estate Red Zone podcast this week.

We will reopen Monday, March 19.

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