We rock on and so does our local real estate market. While I wouldn’t call it great guns, it is steady in many neighborhoods. Average prices seem to have come down a tad, although there are a number of special locations that out perform all others at every turn. As an example those areas immediately adjacent to Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin continue to lead the pack. Also some of the first-ring neighborhoods that offer larger more private homesites, have access to greenbelts and other popular attractions, and are in those school tracts that are perceived to be better than others are in demand. Much beyond that and it begins to show the softer underbelly of a recovering market.
Sales in Austin are up more than 30% over the same time frame a year ago. Although that is a significant increase, it comes as a recovery to the home buyer tax credit which ended last year at that time and immediately contributed to a further slow down in the affordable housing market nationwide. Probably we’ll see a steady uptick in spring 2012.
Texas also continues to lead the nation in new home construction as the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area had $4.17 billion in new residential project in 2010, more than any other U.S. city. Dallas-Ft Worth-Arlington came in second and Austin-RR-San Marcos was tenth with $1.29 billion.
Texas jobs created from July 2010 to July 2011 accounted for 20.5% of total new nonfarm jobs in the U.S., according to the latest from RECON. The states private sector added 292,700 jobs, and annual growth rate of 3.4% compared with 1.7% for the nation.
Although the unemployment rate in Texas increased to 8.4% in July 2011, there have been over 12,000 jobs added in the middle of no-where south Texas over the past year or so. If you keep your eyes open as you drive south of San Antonio (SA warehouse and industrial space is in short supply because of this) you’ll see the gas wells in the air.
You may have never heard of the Eagle Ford Shale, but it will be in the news for the foreseeable future. First recognized as a major natural gas play it is now being seen as the sixth largest oilfield ever discovered in the United States and the largest discovery in over forty years. Yes there are a few folks getting super rich, but there are also the many engineers, heavy equipment operators, construction people, etc etc that are immediately employed. Do not misunderstand this boom; it’s a long-term big deal for Texas’ economy that will come with its share of pros and cons. Here’s a link to the Haynesville Movie as seen on CNBC for some insight.