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.
The Killeen area's economy ranks among the nation's strongest, according to a new study.
Policom, an economic research firm that specializes in analyzing local and state economies, ranked the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area 30th out of 366 MSAs in its annual Economic Strength Rankings study.
The ranking is an increase from 2011, when the local MSA ranked 60th.
William H. Fruth, president of Policom, said the rankings reflect areas that have the best economic foundation.
"The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time," said Fruth. "While most communities have slowed or declined during this recession, the strongest areas have been able to weather the storm."
Data stretching from 1991 to 2010 was used for the study, which measures 23 economic factors. Specific formulas determine how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time.
Ranked MSAs must contain at least one city with 50,000 people and are typically composed of more than one county.
Killeen ranked fifth out of 25 MSAs ranked in Texas, placing it below the state's largest metropolitan areas — Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA has steadily climbed on Policom's list since 2006.
The region was ranked 169th in 2006, 143rd in 2007, 125th in 2008, 122nd in 2009, 89th in 2010 and 60th in 2011.
John Crutchfield, president and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, said the ranking will have a positive impact on the region.
"Anytime you get a positive endorsement from an independent third party, especially one with the economic credibility of Policom, it makes a difference in the market place," said Crutchfield.
Policom, headquartered in Palm City, Fla., has conducted the national study since 1997.
From the research, the firm determines if an economy is growing or declining, what is causing the change, and offers ideas and solutions for improvement.
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: Esther Cho 05/15/2012
Nationwide, the number of homes listed for sale has fallen 21 percent from a year ago, according to Pro Teck Valuation Services' May Home Value Forecast.
Also, the forecast reported Months of Remaining Inventory (MRI) is at 6.3 months, which is the lowest level since 2006.
A strong market will have 0 to 5 months of inventory, a balanced market 6 to 10 months, and a soft market will have 11 to 15 months.
From 2002 to 2005, when the housing market was booming, the national MRI was at or below 5 months.
As listings and MRI decline, some of the metro areas that fell the hardest may be recovering now.
The report noted that closely watched areas such as Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, and Riverside-San Bernardino are high on the list in terms of seeing the greatest declines in listings. As for areas with low MRI, Phoenix, San Jose, and Seattle topped the list.
Using a broad base of indicators, including MRI, median prices, number of active listings, sales percent change, and other indicators, HomeValueForecast.com ranked the 10 best and worst performing core based statistical areas(CBSAs).
Commenting on top performing CBSAs, Michael Sklarz, principal of collateral analytics and contributing author to HomeValueForecast.com, noted that “Rustic Belt” states such as Michigan and Illinois are seeing positive trends as the number of their active listings decline over the past year.
“This has led to most of these markets having balanced or tight markets based on their Months of Remaining Inventory values,” he said.
When observing trends for the worst performing CBSAs, Sklarz pointed out that a high percentage are located in the Northeast and all locations have double digit months of remaining inventory.
“Also, prices in these metros have held up much better since the market peak in 2005-2006 compared to the current top ranked markets,” said Sklarz. “We believe that the relative rankings in the bottom ranked metros are not offering the same bargains – in terms of compelling prices and high rental yields – as the top ranked ones.”
Boise City, Nampa, Idaho
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan
West Palm Beach-Boca Rotan-Boynton Beach, Florida
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Florida
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virgina-North Carolina
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.
Texas came out on top of Gadberry's survey, with four high-growth cities: Atascocita, Katy, Mansfield, and Wylie. The report only included areas larger than 10,000 occupied households that met requirements for growth rate, household income, length of residence, and other factors.
Larry Martin, principal of the Gadberry Group, says many of the places with the biggest housing growth at the beginning of the last decade, such as Nevada, Florida, and Arizona, also saw the biggest drop-off since the economy sank. Texas, however, enjoyed relatively strong housing and job markets over the last 10 years, thanks in large part to the presence of major employers in the robust energy business. As of December, the state unemployment rate was 8.3% (lower than the national rate of 10%), according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also had the largest state population growth between July 2008 and July 2009, according to a December release by the Census Bureau. "New homes are still being built and people are still moving into these homes" in Texas, says Martin.
Part of the state's strength, says Mark Mather, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., is its diversified economy. Main industries include petroleum refining, chemical production, aerospace, and information technology.
COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas beats the rest of the country when it comes to housing affordability, according to first quarter 2009 Texas Housing Affordability Index (HAI) numbers compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
The numbers reflect the ability of a median-income family to purchase a median-priced existing home in their area. Texas had a ratio of 1.95 in first quarter 2009 compared with the nation's 1.55.
"The slowdown in the housing market nationally and within Texas has led to significantly increased housing affordability everywhere, and Texas continues to maintain its place as the most affordable high-growth state in the country," said Dr. Jim Gaines, research economist with the Center.
COLLEGE STATION— “It appears we are at the bottom of the housing market in most Texas cities,” said Real Estate Center Director Mark Dotzour after reviewing the state’s latest home sale numbers.
Dotzour mentioned two years ago that new home construction needed to fall dramatically to avoid the level of overbuilding that could damage Texas housing markets. He even picked summer 2009 as the bottom of the housing cycle because bankers would constrain credit to homebuilders and developers.
Apparently he was right on all counts. The Texas inventory of unsold new and existing homes is in good shape.
“I feel now is the time to buy a house in most Texas cities,” he said. “Housing affordability has never been higher, and I never thought I would see 5 percent mortgages in my lifetime. If you plan to live in the house for at least two or three years, now is the time to buy.
“If you are planning to build a home to retire to in the near future, now is a great time to do it. Contractors are plentiful, construction costs are lower and mortgage money is cheap,” he said.
Dotzour said mortgage rates should remain low as long as the federal government continues to purchase almost all residential mortgages. When they stop, rates will move up.
The Center’s chief economist is quick to note, however, that everything hinges on one crucial assumption — “that the federal government doesn’t cause further damage to the U.S. economy with higher levels of intervention in healthcare, taxation, cap and trade and rewriting accounting and legal standards.”
(Forbes.com) – Texas has nine of the top 20 best cities for job growth in the United States, according a new study. Texas dominated every category, led by number one-ranked Odessa.
Others on the list are Longview (3), Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood (5), Austin–Round Rock (6), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission (7), Laredo (8) and Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown (10). Next come College Station–Bryan (16) and San Antonio (20).
The study used job growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 333 U.S. regions.