Monte VistaWhen we found this week’s historical shelter, an English Domestic Revival home in the Monte Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, we immediately wanted to know more about one of the largest historic districts in the United States.

And we became even more intrigued when we found out that the district, which encompasses 100 city blocks in midtown San Antonio, had rather humble beginnings as a goat pasture.

According to historians, the Monte Vista neighborhood began as a development when, in 1889, real estate developers began eyeballing the land — which was being used for grazing land for goats, five miles north of downtown San Antonio.

Street by street, developers built homes, with different developers owning blocks at a time. The entire enclave was finished in the 1930s. At the time, Monte Vista would be considered one of San Antonio’s tonier Gilded Age suburbs, showcasing several styles of homes, including Classical Revival, Tudor, Spanish Eclectic, and Craftsman, built by names like Alfred Giles, Harvey Young, James Riely Gordon, and Atlee B. Ayres. (more…)

rents

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

There may be a lot of apartments being built in Texas, but that’s not necessarily translating to more affordable rents, one economist said at a recent conference on affordable housing held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage, told the group assembled that the same affordable housing issues that have begun to block families from purchasing homes have begun to crop up in the rental sector as well.

“We are starting to see the same affordability challenges in rental housing,” he said, adding that this issue is occurring despite a boom in apartment completions across the country. (more…)

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 in the state saw much bigger gains, like North Texas.

The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area ranked No. 2 in job creation in the state (Midland was No. 1), followed by Odessa, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 7, with 2.7 percent job growth.

“The North Texas economy is more dependent on the U.S. economy, so it’s not energy-based, compared to the Houston or Midland-Odessa economy, where energy has a bigger weight,” said Real Estate Center research economist Luis Torres. “Because the U.S. economy is growing and doing better, you’re seeing that reflected in the Dallas economy.”

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

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

“The correlation between the Dallas economy and the U.S. economy is very high, and the main reason is because Dallas is a transportation hub and all the goods and services that pass in the state use Dallas transportation systems,” said Real Estate Center research economist Ali Anari.

(more…)

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Cowtown has new braggin’ rights: the U.S. Census Bureau says they were the fastest-growing big city in the nation between 2000-2013. Fort Worth population saw a 42.34 percent increase in that time. Dallas lagged far behind, coming in at 24th.

The 2010 Census count for Fort Worth put the number of residents at 741,206. Compare this to a population of 534,694 just a decade earlier.

Fort Worth is the 17th-largest city in the country, and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Jump to read more!  (more…)

IMG_7045

Downtown San Antonio’s Dolorosa Bridge as seen from the Riverwalk

I have a few friends that moved to San Antonio after college. One of them is an architect and the other was a medical student. Both were initially bummed about moving to the Alamo City. It was so different from Houston and Austin and Dallas. They weren’t sure they would like it. They didn’t know a lot of people there.

I now see them post cool photos of cycling trips, historic buildings, trips to local watering holes and parks … they either learned to love San Antonio, or they busted their bottom to build the momentum the city needed to be a cool place. And you know what? More and more Millennials are doing the same thing, opting for San Antonio and Houston over Dallas and Austin according to Trulia’s dissection of U.S. Census Bureau surveys.

(more…)

1410 Gray Oak Living

This listing from Diana Gonzalez of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty out of San Antonio is making the rounds at HuffPo and Curbed. It’s an incredibly preserved 1970s mecca that will have you doing the “Time Warp.”

1410 Gray Oak Kitchen

Inside 1410 Grey Oak Dr. you’ll find swag lamps, wood paneling, and a kitchen that could be straight out of “The Brady Bunch.” This house will have you reaching for your bell bottoms and mock turtlenecks! It was also featured on one of my new favorite home decor blogs, Retro Renovation, who compared this home to the incredible sets of American Hustle.

1410 Gray Oak Formal

I totally agree with the folks at the Retro Renovation blog in that I hope this property is purchased by someone who doesn’t gut this amazing time capsule!

Does this bring back memories or what?

(Photos: San Antonio Board of Realtors via Realtor.com/Matthew Wingate)

Hyatt Regency San Antonio

Clients expect agents to know everything about the process of buying and selling a home, but with the constant regulatory changes and market adjustments … well, it’s best to stay abreast of everything, right?

That’s where the fantastic seminars put on by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University come in. The center will host its 27th annual Ad Valorem Taxation seminar on Aug. 28 – 30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio. What’s better than getting your continuing education credits out of the way right next to the Riverwalk? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything, either.

If you want to save a few bucks, register before Aug. 7 for the earlybird fee of just $485. The regular registration fee is $515.

Chicago's not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn't even make the top 20 list of Forbes' fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

Chicago’s not so hot anymore. The huge mid-west MSA didn’t even make the top 20 list of Forbes’ fastest growing American cities! (Photo: John Gress/Reuters)

As Candy already mentioned, pre-owned inventory is scary low, which is driving prices up for Dallas properties. Sure, demand means a seller’s market, but what about all of the folks that are either being born or moving to Dallas? That’s putting our housing market in a tough spot! Several big corporations have moved to Dallas in recent years — Comerica Bank being one of the largest — which has made move-in ready pre-owned homes sell like hotcakes.

For the study, Forbes measured the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas using six metrics:

Using data from Moody’s Analytics, we assessed the estimated rate of population growth for 2012 and 2013, the rate of job growth in 2012, and the rate of gross metro product growth, or economic growth, for 2012. We also factored in federal unemployment data and median salaries for local college-educated workers, courtesy of Payscale.com. The result is a list of the 20 fastest growing metro areas in America in terms of population and economy.

I find it interesting that the three largest Texas cities — Austin, Dallas, and Houston — topped the national list based on these criteria, with San Antonio coming in ninth. Texas cities grew by 470,000 people in 2012!

Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.

Sure, we ranked high in 2012, but this is a year in which the Texas Legislature convenes, and we’re facing funding shortages across the board. Let’s see if we’re still considered “business-friendly” after the session in Austin.

Still, I wonder if this growth is sustainable for the Dallas housing market. Will we see an uptick in rentals? What will happen if the residential lending environment sours?