COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas continues to create jobs at a pace higher than the nation. The state's economy gained 297,900 nonagricultural jobs from May 2012 to May 2013, an annual growth rate of 2.7 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 nongovernment sector added 279,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent compared with 2 percent for the nation’s private sector.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent last month from 7 percent a year ago. The nation’s rate decreased from 8.2 to 7.6 percent.
All Texas industries except the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry had more jobs. 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. Midland ranked first in job creation, followed by Odessa, Fort Worth-Arlington, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown.
The state’s actual unemployment rate last month was 6.5 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos.
The 947,000-sf replacement for the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is in progress at Fort Hood in Killeen. The 72-acre site will include a six-story hospital tower, three outpatient clinics, ambulance garage, logistics building, central utility plant and three parking garages.
The $536 million project is scheduled for completion in July 2014, with operations to start the following year. Balfour Beatty-McCarthy is the designer and contractor.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy continues to create jobs at a pace twice the national average.
According to the Real Estate Center's latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy, the state gained 322,600 nonagricultural jobs from March 2012 to March 2013, an annual growth rate of 3 percent compared with 1.5 percent for the United States.
The state’s private sector added 310,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent compared with 1.9 percent for the nation’s nongovernment sector.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent from 7 percent a year earlier. The nation’s rate decreased from 8.2 to 7.6 percent.
All Texas industries and the state’s government sector had more jobs than a year ago. The state’s mining and logging industry ranked first in job creation, followed by the construction industry, leisure and hospitality services, and professional and business services.
All Texas metro areas except Texarkana and Wichita Falls had more jobs. Odessa ranked first in job creation, followed by Midland, Corpus Christi, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown.
The state’s actual unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Odessa, Amarillo, Abilene, San Angelo and College Station-Bryan.
TEMPLE - The Temple Economic Development Corporation and the City of Temple announced that Buc-ee’s will build the company’s thirtieth travel center in Texas on a 17.5-acre tract on NW Loop 363 in north Temple. The over 60,000-sf travel center will be the first Buc-ee’s located north of Austin.
Buc-ee's will make an approximately $16 million capital investment in the project. The company will hire approximately 150 full-time employees, according to Beaver Aplin, Buc-ee’s founder and CEO. It typically takes about one year to complete such projects.
The Temple EDC and the City of Temple both approved incentive agreements for Buc-ee’s on April 18.
TEMPLE - Five new projects netted $776 million in new value for the area economy last year, according to Lee Peterson, the president of the Temple Economic Development Corp.
These projects included
Panda Energy’s $758 million power plant
Johnson Brothers Ford-Lincoln’s new facility
Sparetime Fun Center
investments by Tin Knockers Sheet Metal and Gateway Center — which will be home to the new Cinemark Theaters.
More than 53 percent of Temple businesses plan expansions in the next three years. Over 73 percent expect to grow in Temple. Forty-one percent of Temple companies consider their primary market to be global, Peterson said.
Johnson Brothers’ owner Harry Adams and General Manager Kenny McCarty accepted the award for Expansion Project of the Year, which honored the dealership for its new $5.5 million facility and $500,000 in new equipment.
Johnson Brothers’ has plans to hire 15 more employees and expects to generate more than $3 million in sales taxes this year, according to Charley Ayres with the Temple EDC.
KILLEEN RANKED 8TH STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE NATION
KILLEEN, TEXAS – Killeen’s economy has not only fared well in recent years; according to the POLICOM Corporation, it has become significantly stronger. The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 8th in the nation on the POLICOM Corporation’s 2013 Economic Strength Rankings, an improvement from the 2012 ranking of 30th on the list.
POLICOM produces this study annually, analyzing the economic strength of 366 MSAs in the United States and ranking them accordingly. In less than a decade the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA has improved its standing in the chart by 161 places with a steady climb from the rank of 169 in 2006 to its best position yet with the 8th spot in 2013.
"To investors, those who start businesses, create wealth, provide jobs and pay taxes, the important economic factors are trends over time,” said John Crutchfield, President/CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. “By POLICOM's definition, their 'highest ranked areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time'. For our MSA to be ranked 8th out of 366 MSAs in the U.S. is an extraordinary achievement. When coupled with other factors, such as the City of Killeen's recently achieved high-quality credit rating, the achievement is even more remarkable. Our region is poised for a tremendous future."
In 2012, the MSA was ranked 30th in the nation and 5th in Texas behind the state’s four major metropolitan areas – Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The 2013 study ranks Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood as the 3rd strongest economy in Texas behind Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos ranked 4th in the nation and San Antonio-New Braunfels ranked 7th. The Killeen area surpassed Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington at the 14th position and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown ranking 17th in the nation.
“The rankings do not reflect the latest ‘hotspot’ or boom town, but the areas which have the best economic foundation,” said William H. Fruth, President of POLICOM.
The study measures 23 different economic factors over a twenty-year period to determine an area’s “economic strength” - the long-term tendency for an area to consistently grow in size and quality. To be designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area, the area must have at least one urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000, plus adjacent counties which have a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. They must have a minimum of one county but most often include several counties.
POLICOM, located in Palm City, FL, specializes in analyzing local and state economies and has created this study each year since 1997 to enable the corporation to study the characteristics of strong and weak economies. Data stretching from 1992 to 2011, released in January, 2013, was used for this study. Specific formulas determine how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time.
Though we have all gotten a little tired of the term "Fiscal Cliff" I thought I would send out a summary email with the changes in the law that affect property owners. This information was compiled by the National Association of Realtors and includes........
Mortgage cancellation relief is extended until January 1st, 2014. This is for people doing short sales and not wanting to be taxed on the amount shorted to the bank.
Deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, for filers making under $110,000, is extended through 2013 and is retroactive for 2012.
The energy efficiency tax credit of 10% (up to $500) was extended through 2013 for improvements to EXISTING homes.
Capital gains rate: This stays at 15% for those making under $400k/$450k. After that tax rate is now 20%. The $250k/$500k exclusion for the sale of a single family residence stays in place.
Estate Tax: The first $5m in individual estates and $10m in family estates are now exempt from estate taxes. After that the rate is 40%.
So some headway has been made. Now it's time for congress to get back to work and finish the deal.
McLEAN, Va. (Freddie Mac) – Freddie Mac yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average mortgage rates easing amid worsening economic indicators. Both the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) and the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) registered new average record lows.
According to Freddie Mac:
Thirty-year FRMs averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 21, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.71 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.5 percent.
Fifteen-year FRMs this week averaged 2.95 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week's 2.98 percent average. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.69 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 2.77 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.80. A year ago, it averaged 3.25 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.74 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. Last year, it averaged 2.99 percent.
Cheapskates of the world unite -- you have nothing to lose but your spare change!
The 10 cities below offer the lowest cost-of-living levels of some 300 communities surveyed each quarter by the Council for Community and Economic Research.
"These are parts of the country that are incredibly inexpensive," the council's Dean Frutiger says. "Prices there are a lot less than [No.1 cost-of-living area] Manhattan."
The council volunteers help compile cost-of-living figures for various cities by checking local prices every three months on some 60 goods and services, from doctor's visits to T-bone steaks.
The group then runs the numbers through a weighting system to give more prominence to things such as rent and mortgage bills.
There's also a heavily weighted "miscellaneous" category that serves as a catch-all for everything from bowling prices to dry-cleaning costs.
If your idea of the perfect date is using a two-for-one coupon at a Sunday matinee, click below to see the U.S. communities that offer the nation's lowest cost-of-living levels. (There are three Texas entries, which are grouped.)
Each city's score reflects how its living costs compares with the national average. For instance, a score of 90 means a community's cost of living is 90% of the overall U.S. average.
All local property prices are from Realtor.com -- the National Association of Realtors' official property-listing site -- and exclude mobile homes.
By Prashant Gopal - May 9, 2012
Prices for single-family homes climbed in half of U.S. cities in the first quarter as real estate markets stabilized.
The median sales price increased from a year earlier in 74 of 146 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the fourth quarter, only 29 areas had gains.
The U.S. housing market is showing signs of bottoming as improving employment and record-low mortgage rates boost demand while inventories of available properties tighten. At the end of March, 2.37 million previously owned homes were available for sale, 22 percent fewer than a year earlier, the Realtors said.
“The housing market is still depressed but it had a good quarter,” Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said in a telephone interview today. “We’re on the mend but it’s still something that will take two or three years before we’re back to normal.”
The national median existing single-family home price was $158,100 in the first quarter, down 0.4 percent from the first three months of 2011, according to the Realtors group.
The best-performing metro area was Cape Coral, Florida, where prices increased 28.1 percent from a year earlier. Prices rose 19 percent in Grand Rapids, Michigan; 16.9 percent in Palm Bay, Florida; and 16.6 percent in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Kingston, New York, had the biggest decline, with the median selling price tumbling 22 percent in the quarter. It was followed by Stamford, Connecticut, with an 18 percent decline; Mobile, Alabama, at 14.7 percent; and Atlanta at 12 percent.
The median selling price is influenced by the mix of homes on the market and probably was boosted by a smaller share of transactions involving distressed properties. Those homes, which sell at discounts, accounted for 32 percent of first-quarter sales, down from 38 percent a year earlier.
Prices are more volatile than normal because they are affected by the prevalence of distressed sales and “sudden upswings” in buyer interest in some areas, said Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist.
“We have broad shortages of lower-priced homes in much of the country, with very tight supply in Western states for homes through the middle price ranges,” Yun said in the report. “This is good news for many sellers who wish to list now, or for those waiting for prices to improve.”
Sales of previously owned homes rose 5.3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the report. Purchases climbed 11.7 percent in the Midwest, 6.6 percent in the Northeast, 4.1 percent in the South, and 1.4 percent in the West.
Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest mortgage-finance company, today reported a $2.7 billion first-quarter profit after a $6.5 billion loss a year earlier, citing smaller declines in home prices as one of the reasons for improvement. The Washington- based company said that it won’t need Treasury Department aid to balance its books for the first time since it was seized by federal regulators in 2008.
Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday a $1.8 million investment through the Texas Enterprise Fund for a new onshore delivery center in Belton for CGI Group Inc.
"What an outstanding day for Belton, as we welcome CGI's decision to bring 350 jobs to our community of 20,000 people," said Belton Mayor Jim Covington. "Let me extend my deep appreciation to the numerous partnerships and hard work of many across the Central Texas region that helped bring this dream to reality."
CGI Group, a Canadian-based information technology management and business process services company, employs more than 31,000 workers in 125 offices in 16 countries.
The Belton center, which is expected to create $7 million in capital investments, will "support CGI clients' needs for software development, maintenance and testing, as well as network engineering, design and data management support," according to a news release on the governor's announcement.
"For more than 25 years in the state of Texas, CGI has been a trusted IT partner to public sector clients and some of the world's largest corporation. We are proud to extend this partnership now with the city of Belton," said George Schindler, president of CGI U.S. "With a focus on recruiting veterans and military family members, this center will offer high-quality, onshore IT talents to our clients while providing good jobs to those that have served our nation so proudly."
The IT company plans to partner with Texas A&M University-Central Texas, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Temple College to recruit skilled local talent, according to the release.
"We're thrilled here," said Stephanie O'Banion, president and CEO of the Belton Chamber of Commerce. "I know the city and the Belton Economic Development Corporation have been working diligently at this project."
Cynthia Hernandez, executive director for the economic development corporation, said the city and the corporation still had to sign off on the deal. The Belton City Council will consider the matter at its meeting tonight.
"Obviously, we're very excited. It's a great opportunity for Belton," said Hernandez. "We're hoping (tonight) that we'll have lots of celebrating."
In his announcement, Perry said CGI's move to Belton will strengthen the Central Texas economy — a view shared by state Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, who represents Belton.
"I am glad that CGI was able to learn what I have known for a long time, which is Bell County is a great place to work and live," said Sheffield. "I look forward to continuing to work with them for the betterment of the region."
The Texas Legislature created the Texas Enterprise Fund in 2003 to help Texas businesses grow and create jobs.
The fund has invested more than $439 million, which led to 59,000 new jobs and more than $14 billion in capital investment in the state, according the release from the governor's office. Fund projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house.
AUSTIN (Texas Association of Realtors) – According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report released yesterday by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), Texas homes maintained their value in first quarter 2011. This despite a decrease in sales volume, indicating that economic recovery continues in Texas.
"While Texas has not been untouched by the recent economic downturn as indicated by the decrease in sales, it is encouraging to see home prices hold their value in the first quarter," said TAR Chairman Dwight Hale.
In the first quarter, the median price of existing single-family homes increased 1.3 percent to $143,300 compared with first quarter 2010. During the same period, the volume of home sales was 40,192, 7.3 percent less than the previous year.
"In evaluating the first quarter of 2011, we must remember we're comparing it to the first quarter of 2010," said Dr. Jim Gaines, research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "That time period included March, which was one of the most heavily government-stimulated months of the year by the homebuyer tax credit. While we expected sales to be down given this anomaly, we expected the decrease in the sales volume to be much greater, suggesting that the market is performing well despite the absence of tax credits."
Texas had 7.5 months of inventory in the first quarter, compared with 6.8 months a year ago.
"Texas is still performing considerably better than other states in terms of maintaining balance between home inventory and demand," Gaines said. "Combined with the fact that Texas has maintained strong property values, this indicates that the market is absorbing foreclosed and other distressed properties without experiencing harmful excess supply."
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy continues to outperform the U.S. economy, according to the Real Estate Center's latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.
From March 2010 to March 2011, Texas gained 237,900 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent. Over the same period, U.S. nonfarm employment rose 1 percent.
The state’s private sector also exceeded U.S. figures, posting an annual employment growth rate of 2.7 percent compared with 1.6 percent for the U.S. private sector.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent. The nation’s rate decreased from 9.7 to 8.8 percent.
All Texas industries except financial activities and information industries had more jobs in March 2011 than in March 2010. All Texas metro areas, except Abilene, Brownsville-Harlingen and Laredo, had more jobs. Petroplex Odessa ranked first in job creation followed by Midland, Longview and Dallas-Plano-Irving.
The state’s actual unemployment rate in March 2011 was 8.1 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Amarillo, College Station-Bryan, Lubbock and San Angelo.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy gained 231,700 jobs from December 2009 to December 2010, an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent, according to the Real Estate Center's latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.
U.S. nonfarm employment rose 0.8 percent over the same period.
The state’s private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 2.7 percent compared with 1.2 percent for the U.S. private sector from December 2009 to December 2010.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in December 2010, up from 8.2 percent in December 2009, while the nation’s rate decreased from 9.9 to 9.4 percent over the same period.
All Texas industries except trade and information had more jobs in December 2010 than in December 2009.
All Texas metro areas had more jobs in December 2010 than in December 2009. Odessa ranked first in job creation followed by Brownsville-Harlingen, Waco, Longview, and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood.
The state’s actual unemployment rate in December 2010 was 8 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Amarillo, Lubbock, College Station-Bryan and Abilene.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – The Texas economy continues to outperform the U.S. economy in the current recovery, according to the Real Estate Center's latest monthly economic review.
The state’s economy gained 194,400 jobs from November 2009 to November 2010, an annual growth rate of 1.9 percent, compared with the nation’s 842,000 jobs, an annual growth rate of 0.6 percent.
Texas’ private sector continues to play a key role in job creation. The state’s private sector posted an annual employment growth rate of 2.2 percent compared with 1 percent for the U.S. private sector from November 2009 to November 2010.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in November 2010, the same as in November 2009, while the nation’s rate decreased from 10.0 to 9.3 percent over the same period.
All Texas industries except the trade and information industries had more jobs in November 2010 than in November 2009. The state’s mining and logging industry ranked first in job creation followed by professional and business services, education and health services and manufacturing.
All Texas metro areas had more jobs in November 2010 than in November 2009. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission ranked first in job creation followed by Brownsville-Harlingen and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos.
The state’s actual unemployment rate in November 2010 was 8.3 percent. Midland had the lowest unemployment rate followed by Amarillo, Lubbock, College Station-Bryan and Abilene.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mortgage Bankers Association, Real Estate Center) – The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest mortgage delinquency survey indicate Texas is faring better than the nation in actual foreclosures.
"Texas’ seriously delinquent loans stood at 5.2 percent versus 8.7 percent of loans nationally," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines.
Loans considered "seriously delinquent" are 90 or more days past due or in the process of foreclosure.
Foreclosure was started on 0.85 percent of all loans in Texas during third quarter 2010, Gaines said. Nationally, that number was 1.34 percent.
The percentage of loans in foreclosure in Texas at the end of the quarter was 1.8 percent, compared with 4.4 percent nationally.
"Texas delinquent loans have picked up, but third quarter 2010 total delinquencies were down nearly 2 percent from the previous year," Gaines said. "Both the United States and Texas are running at around 9.5 percent delinquency on all loans."
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CoreLogic, Dallas Morning News, Real Estate Center) – Texas' five major metros have some of the lowest "shadow" inventories of unsold homes in the United States.
A recent study by CoreLogic Inc. shows Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos has the lowest in the nation at 4.2 months. San Antonio-New Braunfels is next at 4.7, followed by Fort Worth-Arlington at 6.3. Dallas-Plano-Irving has the fifth-lowest inventory at 6.7 months, while Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown is seventh with 7.3 months.
Shadow inventory homes are properties that have been foreclosed on or are in the process of foreclosure but are not currently listed for sale, writes Dallas Morning News real estate writer Steve Brown.
Texas' average shadow home inventory is 5.5 months. The average inventory among the 50 largest U.S. cities included in CoreLogic's study is about 16 months.
For more on this, tune into next week's Real Estate Red Zone podcast. Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines will stop by to talk about foreclosures in Texas housing markets.
With the exception of Lubbock, all Texas metro areas had more jobs in September 2010 than in September 2009. Waco ranked first in job creation, followed by Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, College Station-Bryan and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission.