Texas A&M University

May 21, 2013

Instructor training photo
Ron Walker conducted Legal Update/Ethics instructor training at the Real Estate Center this morning. A total of 24 participants attended training held here the past two days.

More Positive Texas Economic News

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy gained 331,100 nonagricultural jobs from April 2012 to April 2013, an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent compared with 1.6 percent for the United States.

According to the Real Estate Center's latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, the state’s private sector added 312,200 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent compared with 2 percent for the nation’s nongovernment sector.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in April from 7 percent a year earlier. At the national level, unemployment decreased from 8.1 to 7.5 percent.

All Texas industries except the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry had more jobs last month than a year ago. The state’s construction industry ranked first in job creation, followed by the mining and logging industry, leisure and hospitality services industry, and professional and business services industry.

All Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls, Texarkana and Beaumont-Port Arthur had more jobs last month than in April 2012. Midland ranked first in job creation, followed by Odessa, Fort Worth-Arlington, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos.

The state’s actual unemployment rate in April was 6.1 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo and College Station-Bryan.

Boston Hotelier to Rest at Bee Cave Galleria

BEE CAVE (Austin American-Statesman) – Boston-based Sonesta will operate the area’s first major hotel when it opens in early 2015.

A 200-room hotel is slated to break ground later this year at the northeast corner of Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave. The yet-unnamed hotel will include 8,000 sf of meeting space as well as a rooftop bar.

Hill Country Texas Galleria is developing the hotel at a cost of $25 million to $30 million. Gensler Inc. is the project architect and interior designer.

Panther Pounces on Cowtown Apartment Complexes

FORT WORTH (Fort Worth Business Press) – A local real estate investment company has acquired two apartment communities totaling 528 units.

Panther FW Investments LLC picked up Bent Tree and Country Place apartments, each located near the intersection of I-30 and Loop 820 in west Fort Worth.

The 264-unit Bent Tree complex at 9001 N. Normandale St. was built in 1985. The 264-unit Country Place complex at 9200 N. Normandale St. was built in 1986.

The buyer is planning significant interior and exterior upgrades to the properties.

Partners Disconnect from Buffalo Pointe

HOUSTON (GlobeSt.com) – Embrey Partners and Walton Street Capital have sold the 352-unit Connection at Buffalo Pointe.

San Antonio-based Embrey built the Class-A multifamily complex in 2012 at 10201 Buffalo Speedway in Houston’s Medical Center district. The community features wood-style flooring, custom cabinetry and large walk-in closets.

CBRE arranged the sale to the buyer, CBRE Global Investors.

Alamo City Home Sales, Prices Continue Climb

SAN ANTONIO (San Antonio Express-News) – Local home sales and prices are continuing their steady climb.

Nearly 2,000 existing single-family homes sold in April, a 21.1 percent increase over a year ago. The median sales price rose 6.1 percent to $168,100, according to data from the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Inventory is at 5.2 months.

Housing research firm Metrostudy predicts about 9,000 homes will be built in the region this year, an 11 percent increase over 2012.

NRP Group Goes 'Luxx' in SA

SAN ANTONIO (REBusinessOnline.com) – Financing is in place for a $32 million housing development being built for area college students.

The NRP Group LLC has broken ground on The Luxx, a 668-bed complex for students attending the University of Texas at San Antonio. According to the San Antonio Express-News, the project will be built on 15 acres on the north side of UTSA Blvd. near the main campus.

The apartment community is slated to open by the fall 2014 semester.

Seattle Brings Best Buzz to Metroplex

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal) – Coffee lovers rejoice: Seattle’s Best Coffee LLC opened its first ten drive-through cafes in the area this week.

The Seattle-based subsidiary of Starbucks launched its new commuter-style coffee shops at:

  • 971 SW Wilshire Blvd., Burleson
  • 160 N. I-35 E., Lancaster
  • 3036 W. Mockingbird Ln., Dallas
  • 3560 Frankford Rd., Dallas
  • 7441 McCart Ave., Fort Worth
  • 1658 W. University Dr., McKinney
  • 778 E. I-30, Rockwall
  • 4525 N. Tarrant Pkwy., Fort Worth
  • 6057 Skillman St., Dallas
  • 3233 W. Wheatland Rd., Dallas

Frank Sica, vice president and general manager of Seattle’s Best said the move to the Metroplex is part of a large expansion strategy.

Land Purchase Pushes EastPort Forward

AMARILLO (Amarillo Globe-News) – A land deal has pushed Prana Development Group closer to developing a business park in the area.

Amarillo College sold the 34.2-acre tract to Prana Development for $516,730, according to Joe Bob McCartt of Prana. The purchase allows the developer to move forward on its plans for EastPort, an air-served business park near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

The agreement between Prana and Amarillo College allows the developer to purchase up to 780 acres over its 25-year partnership. So far, Prana has acquired 47.5 acres from the college.

The first industrial building in EastPort is slated for completion by early 2014.

Governor Appoints Three to Advisory Committee

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three new members to the Real Estate Center’s advisory committee.

Walter F. 'Ted' Nelson of The Woodlands replaces Joe Bob McCartt of Amarillo. A regional president with Newland Real Estate Group, Nelson will represent real estate improvements on the ten-member committee.

Doug Roberts, a real estate broker with Moreland Properties in Austin, is replacing Kathleen McKenzie-Owen of Pipe Creek.

C. Clark Welder, a San Antonio attorney with Welder Exploration & Production Inc., will represent the public. He replaces Mona Bailey of North Richland Hills.

The advisory committee approves the Center's research plans and reviews findings prior to them being distributed. The committee also approves the Center’s proposed budget before it is submitted to Texas A&M University.

JW Marriott Coming to Downtown Houston

HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – A Fort Worth-based company is set to bring its first hotel to the area.

Pearl Hospitality will open a 323-room JW Marriott hotel at 806 Main St. downtown in the historic Samuel F. Carter building. The project will include a restaurant and bar, spa, health club, swimming pool and 10,000 sf of meeting space.

According to the Houston Business Journal, the project is valued at $80.8 million.

The JW Marriott is scheduled to open in spring 2014.

Austin Office Sales Solid

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – Area office properties have been selling at breakneck speed this year, with nearly three million sf of commercial space trading hands in April.

According to data from Kennedy Wilson, a conservative estimate of commercial deals made through last month puts the total at about $386 million.

The biggest deal was the $164 million sale of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Lone Star Campus. Located at 7171 Southwest Pkwy. in southwest Austin, the 812,350-sf campus includes five buildings and three parking structures. It was built in 2008.

DFW Foreclosures Closer to Normal

DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – Continuing the downward trend of foreclosure filings, area homes being threatened by foreclosure in June are down 43 percent from last year.

Not only are upcoming foreclosure postings down dramatically, year-to-date foreclosure filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have fallen by nearly 40 percent over the first half of 2012.

Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. James Gaines said foreclosures are slowly moving back toward historic norms, in part because lenders are changing how they handle past-due mortgages.

“The banks are not using foreclosure as the main way to cure the problem,” Gaines said. Instead, lenders are offering to modify loans or offering the properties through short sale.

Austin Existing Home Market Thriving

AUSTIN (Austin Board of Realtors) – Area existing single-family home sales continued their climb last month, hitting a near-decade high.

According to the latest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report, released today by the Austin Board of Realtors, April marked the 23rd straight month of year-over-year sales increases. Just over 2,560 homes were sold, the most the month of April has seen since 2004. Thirty-two percent more homes were sold than a year ago, and they spent 19 fewer days on the market.

The median price was $227,250, an 8 percent increase over a year ago.

The total dollar volume of single-family homes sold was just over $794.2 million, 52 percent higher than a year ago. There were 10 percent more new listings, 25 percent fewer active listings and 20 percent more pending sales than last year.

Fort Worth to Have Waterside

FORT WORTH (REBusiness Online) – Trademark Property Co. plans to build a new master-planned development called Waterside.

The 63-acre project will be on the Trinity River at Bryan Irvin Rd. and Arborlawn Dr.

The development will have 200,000 sf of retail, 100,000 to 200,000 sf of office space, a hotel and a residential district. It will also ultimately include an extension of the Trinity Trails.

Construction is expected to start in spring 2014 with Phase I to open spring 2015.

Hungry for more Texas real estate news? Then check out 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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Slow economic recovery and household debt. This week's blog entry from Real Estate Center Associate Research Scientist Dr. Luis Torres.

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