Real Estate Center Online News

March 6, 2012

Rentals Trendy in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – On the Feb. 8 edition of the Real Estate Red Zone podcast, Research Economist Dr. Harold Hunt talked about how rentals have become such a popular housing option lately that developers are hustling to keep up with growing demand.

Take San Antonio, for instance.

Janine Claycomb, research director of the San Antonio division of Austin Investor Interests, told the Express-News last week that she expects 10,000 new apartment units to open there in the next two years.

Not only that, but rents are rising and will likely continue to do so.

In fourth quarter 2011, rents averaged 89 cents per sf in the Alamo City, up about 4.3 percent from the previous year, according to Austin Investor Interests. Class-A properties commanded rents of $1.07 per sf and were 93 percent occupied.

New DFW Airport Garage Takes Flight

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – Plans were unveiled Thursday for a new parking garage at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, increasing available parking at Terminal A by 54 percent.

Construction on the $176.7 million structure will begin in June, with the first phase opening this November. The garage is expected to reach completion by October 2014.

Smarter technology will help this garage stand out with better elevators and lighting, as well as a system to guide drivers to available parking spots.

Midland Housing Shortage Grows

MIDLAND (Midland Reporter-Telegram) – Just 187 homes remain on the market in Midland, the lowest in seven years of available statistics, according to MLS Director Carroll Nall. That number is down from 245 listings at the end of 2011 and from 361 at this time last year.

As many as one-fourth of those listings could be under contract.

With low inventory and historically low mortgage interest rates, those wanting to purchase in Midland have to move more quickly than in previous years. The average sales price for homes sold in January was $254,336, compared with $201,000 in the same month last year.

Builders are also struggling to keep up with demand. The city issued 565 residential building permits in 2011, more than the 2007 record of 514 permits.

Number of Underwater Dallas Homeowners Up

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – By the end of 2011, about 93,000 Dallas-area homeowners were upside down on their mortgages, according to CoreLogic. This is up one-tenth of a percent from fourth quarter 2010, when the negative equity rate was 12.2 percent.

Despite the increase, the negative equity share is better than in 2009, when nearly 30 percent of Dallas-area homes were not worth the remaining mortgage balance.

Dallas is faring better than other parts of the country. Nationally, 22.8 percent of homes with a mortgage were in negative equity by the end of 2011, or about 10.7 million properties.

Statewide, Texas has the tenth lowest negative equity rate, with 10.2 percent of homes valued less than their mortgages. At 61 percent, Nevada had the highest negative equity rate, followed by Arizona (48 percent) and Florida (44 percent).

Cordoba Apartments Sold

SAN ANTONIO (Hendricks & Partners) – Florida-based Blue Valley Apartments Inc. has sold the 260-unit Cordoba complex at 7810 Callaghan Rd.

Built in 1980, the Cordoba has 80 studio, 124 one-bedroom and 56 two-bedroom units.

Hendricks & Partners represented the seller. The buyer was a Texas-based investor.

Downtown Dallas Halfway Home

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – With about 5,300 residences built in Dallas’ central business district, local planners believe the city is halfway toward reaching the critical mass needed for it to become a viable residential district.

John Crawford of Downtown Dallas Inc. said progress is being made toward that goal.

Projects in the works include a 203-unit apartment conversion of the Mercantile Continental building at 1810 Commerce St., the 42-story Museum Tower condominiums at 2120 Woodall Rodgers Fwy., the 107-unit Lone Star Lofts, as well as Farmers Market Square, consisting of 108 townhouses.

Developers also hope to begin construction soon on a 164-unit low-income housing development at 901 S. Ervay St.

Greg Willett of MPF Research Inc. said rents and occupancy are lower in downtown Dallas than in other areas, but he is optimistic that future growth will help.

The vacancy rate for downtown apartments is about 8 percent.

NAR Good Neighbor Nominations Open

WASHINGTON (National Association of Realtors) – The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is seeking nominations for its annual Good Neighbor Awards.

The awards were established to honor Realtors who dedicate time and energy to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Nominations are due May 18. Five winners will be announced in the November/December issue of Realtor Magazine and be recognized at the association's 2012 conference in Orlando. They'll each receive a $10,000 grant for their charity.

For more information, visit NAR's website.

Five for the Road

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – For more Texas real estate news, check out NewsTalk Texas, our online news database. Here's a sample of what you'll find there this week:

NewsTalk Texas is updated every day, throughout the day.

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