employment growth

In Texas, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

A new report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says that the Texas economy gained 276,400 nonagricultural jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for the United States. Many of the major metropolitan areas saw much bigger gains, like Midland-Odessa.

Midland ranked first in job creation, followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7 with 2.7 percent job growth.

In fact, every single Texas metro areas except Wichita Falls had more jobs in June 2015 than one year prior.

Big sectors for job growth were:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality: 5.05 percent growth
  2. Education and health services: 3.87 percent growth
  3. Professional and business services: 3.54 percent growth
  4. Transportation, warehousing and utilities: 3.52 percent growth
  5. Construction: 3.34 percent growth

All these new jobs in the Texas economy were created despite lower oil prices. Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari says there hasn’t been much impact from dropping oil prices yet. But that could change.

“The oil companies hedged into the future and they have oil contracts, many of them extending to the end of this year,” Anari said. “If there is a downtown, it would not be apparent until next year.”

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Here's my map to help guide Santa's sleigh. And his real estate agent.

Here’s my map to help guide Santa’s sleigh. And his real estate agent.

I grew up in North Dallas and have lived all over Dallas and the ‘burbs, but when I finally landed in East Dallas in 2007, I knew I had found my happy place.

East Dallas has a culture unlike anywhere else in the city (although North Oak Cliff feels like its cousin). I could spend hours walking or biking through neighborhoods like Little Forest Hills, Buckner Terrace, and the Peninsula. So many beautiful houses! So many trees! And friendly neighbors everywhere!

Circumstances and a new baby moved me to Plano this year, and I have pined over my favorite neighborhoods in East Dallas ever since. I go out of my way to get back to East Dallas as often as possible, and because I’ve been very good this year, I’m asking Santa for a token of his appreciation for Christmas: A midcentury house east of White Rock Lake. With original hardwoods. And mature trees.

That’s not too much, is it?

I’ve got a few ideas for Santa, in case he’s stumped. This Casa Linda cottage has just the kind of curb appeal I love: big trees, tranquil setting, and an expansive yard. Located at 1422 Tranquilla Dr., it’s listed at $348,500 and is a 3-2 with 1,857 feet. That’s not quite large enough for my family of four, so we might have to sell the teenager before we move. But I’m OK with that.

1422 Tranquilla Dr

Looks at those gorgeous original hardwoods! And the built-ins! And a wood-burning fireplace! So much character from when it was built in 1945.  (more…)

Southlake Champions sportsBy now you’ve probably heard that Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings blamed Dallas’s loss of the big Toyota Headquarters to Plano move on low performing Dallas Public Schools, or DISD.

In an interview on KERA’s Think, Rawlings said Toyota ultimately decided to relocate to Plano because of the schools in Dallas.

“We don’t get Toyota in Dallas because of the school system. We’ve talked to them. They want to be in Plano,” Rawlings said.

Rawlings said it’s difficult to sell a company on moving to Dallas when it has so many low-performing schools that produce few graduates. He said the schools played a role in 7-Eleven deciding to move its headquarters from Dallas to Irving recently.

“They looked at a lot of things — the location, cost of real estate,” Rawlings said about Toyota. “But they want a school … The 7-Eleven CEO said, ‘I need to be where our families are sending their kids to school,’ and they are not sending them to DISD.” (more…)

SUBURBIA

We already told you about the #VIVOLOVESPLANO contest, but just in case you forgot to enter, you need to get your winning submission posted tomorrow!

We love Vivo Realty Group, as they work hard for their clients and know Plano like nobody else! So, of course, Vivo wanted to celebrate Dallas’ most famous burb with a cool giveaway:

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Property For Rent

We wanted to get some boots-on-the-ground perspective from North Texas Realtors after Forbes named Fort Worth-Arlington and Dallas-Plano-Irving as the top two “best buy cities,” or areas in the U.S. where buying a home is a good investment. Forbes teamed up with Local Market Monitor to measure the “equilibrium home price,” which strips away several layers of market influence such as speculation and the cyclical boom-bust nature of housing.

Fort Worth-Arlington, Tex., and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Tex., top the list of our Best Buy Cities, at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Both cities offer homes that would be within reach for middle-class Americans, at $168,383 in Fort Worth-Arlington and $180,645 in greater Dallas. Prices in greater Fort Worth are considered 20% below their actual value, according to Local Market Monitor. Homes in the greater Dallas region are 12% down, so less off, but they are expected to rise more–29%–over the next three years.

For buyers who intend to rent out their homes, the populations in these cities are growing at a healthy clip: from 2009 to 2012, at 4.9% in Fort Worth and 6.1% in Dallas. At that rate, Dallas is tied for the fastest-growing city on the Best Buy Cities list. It’s ranked fifth in terms of job growth, at 3% as of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics stats.

 

While we do like our reports from Local Market Monitor, which give clear investment outlooks, our major sticking point with broad surveys such as this one is that real estate markets are hyper-local, meaning that West Plano could be having an outstanding year, with tons of price increases and new development, but on the other side of U.S. 75, growth may not be as great. The same holds true for neighborhoods such as Berkeley Place in Fort Worth, where some homes are reaching price peaks never seen before, while northern Fort Worth suburbs may be struggling to break even.

Still, Realtors remain optimistic, pointing to growth across all price points and through many different developments. Condos are up, single-family homes are up, new homes are up, and investment buyers are out of control.

“The fact that Dallas, Plano, and Irving are named as the No. 2 metro area to buy a home for investment in the U.S. is no surprise at all,” says Vivo Realty founder David Maez, who is based in Plano. “Our job market is, and always has been one of the best in the nation. That together with low cost of living, a high percentage of renters, and good schools, it’s an investor’s dream.”

Maez specializes in the northern suburbs of Dallas, where you’ll see tons of single family homes for sale and for rent, in his area, Realtors are noticing tons of activity on MLS for buyers and for renters. Maez is currently working with many investors, both local and out-of-state, all of which are looking to capitalize on the North Texas market.

“In the field we are seeing no more than 10 to 15 days on the market for a good lease, sometimes leasing on the same day. Supplement to that, home prices are also very affordable — you can find an amazing home here for $160K to $200K,” Maez added. “So whether you’re looking to purchase your first home or are a first-time investor looking to pick-up a rental, this is an amazing market to do so.”

 

CoreLogic HPI Jan 14

CoreLogic’s newest HPI report released today showed that Texas real estate professionals have good reason to blame their busy days on the hot market. Home prices in Texas are at new highs (yes, higher than pre-bubble manic market highs!), with January 2014 up 10.1 percent over a year ago, and home prices up 1.2 percent from Dec. 2013 (numbers include distressed sales).

In the Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA, home prices are up 12.2 percent year-over-year including distressed sales, and up 10.4 percent excluding distressed sales. National numbers show home prices up 12 percent year over year for January. This is the 23rd consecutive month that home prices have increased, and Texas is one of only three states that has reached a new peak in home prices after the housing bust. And despite near-record appreciation, Nevada is still 40.1 percent below peak prices, CoreLogic’s report showed. Incredible.

“Polar vortices and a string of snow storms did not manage to weaken house price appreciation in January,” said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming. “The last time January month-over-month and year-over-year price appreciation was this strong was at the height of the housing bubble in 2006.”

So, winter didn’t slow Dallas down, and we’re looking at a brisk spring selling season ahead. Still, real estate prices are a hyper-local economy, and while some areas are seeing hand-over-fist sales and appreciation (we’re looking at you, Lake Highlands and University Park) some areas will only see more modest gains. The key, of course, is pricing a home correctly and being flexible.

Where are you seeing break-neck appreciation and sales pace?

Be prepared for the loud cheering that will come from every car departing carpool lanes on Aug. 26 as parents throughout North Texas celebrate the first day of school. No more hearing “I’m bored!” every five seconds! No more shuttling to camps! No more packing and unpacking trunks! And of course, think of all you’ll get done during the day without a kid dragging their feet behind you!

And even though you have boxes of No. 2 pencils, Kleenex, and construction paper, no kid is really ready for school without a quiet place to do the mountains of homework they’ll be bringing home.

With the help of the kind folks Ebby Halliday Realtors for these five great built-in study nooks!

1) 603 Courtney Lane in McKinney

603 Courtney Desk

2) 435 Crestover Circle in Richardson

435 Crestover Desk

3) 3821 Purdue Street in University Park

3821 Purdue Desk

4) 5909 Genoa Court in Plano

5909 Genoa Desk

5) 1116 Danbury Drive in Mansfield

1116 Danbury Desk

West Plano Squatters

Photos: WFAA/Plano Police Department

Maybe we need to get over this whole “possession is 9/10ths of the law,” mentality, because some folks are taking it way too far.

In another case of a home on the market getting some unexpected tenants, Jack Brewer, 74, and his wife were arrested at the home of Jeff and Melissa Nunn after trying to assume ownership of the home, claiming it was abandoned and using a rule that hasn’t worked so well in the past.

Jack BrewerAccording to the story from WFAA, the Brewers had binders full of sensitive personal documents from the Nunns, including their recently filed divorce decree, which, by the way, was why the Kings Ridge home was vacant (not abandoned) in the first place. They had even gone so far as to tape a notice on the window of the home claiming it was abandoned and that they were taking possession. But when neighbors noticed strange folks moving into the Nunns’ home, they reported them. Smart neighbors!

Police are puzzled though, considering the amount of information the Brewers had. Could this be a bigger plot to seize homes? All this happened while the Nunns were readying their home for the market, which leaves me wondering — how do you protect a vacant home on the market from squatters and thieves?

I’m thinking a good security system is a start, as well as keeping your neighbors in the loop. Agents, how would you prevent this from happening?

Notice From Brewer