Friday, January 23, 2015

CBRE Acquires United Commercial Realty (UCR)

DALLAS--On Friday, CBRE Group Inc. announced that it had acquired United Commercial Realty (UCR), the Dallas-based commercial real estate firm which specializes in retail services. GlobeSt.com’s Anna Caplan recently asked Michael Caffey, CBRE’s executive managing director/Texas region, five questions about the deal.
GlobeSt.com: Why was UCR so appealing?
Caffey: UCR is the retail industry leader in Texas and is seen as one of the most innovative and successful retail real estate advisors in the country. Their professionals are well known for their first-class service, creative marketing and exceptional client outcomes. They share our corporate values and are a great fit with our culture.
GlobeSt.com: What does the acquisition mean for your day-to-day operations?
Caffey: Integrating the UCR team into the CBRE family will allow both of us to meet the needs of our clients more comprehensively and in more markets. This will be a big win for everyone, especially the clients we serve. 
GlobeSt.com: How will UCR's strengths benefit CBRE?
Caffey: Joining with UCR will allow us to build further advantage for our retailer and retail investor clients in Texas as well as across the country.  This acquisition supports CBRE’s goal to become the premier retail real estate service firm in the country.
GlobeSt.com: In what ways are you excited (personally, professionally) about this merger/acquisition?
Caffey: Personally, I have great admiration for Mickey Ashmore [CBRE’s new vice chairman, retail services] and Scott Weaver [CBRE’s new senior managing director, asset services]. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work more closely with them as we continue to build on the CBRE retail platform.
GlobeSt.com: What does the future hold for CBRE in Texas? 
Caffey: We have and will continue to support the growth of CBRE in Texas, as this regional economy is one of the strongest in the U.S. We have market-leading teams made of the most talented professionals in the industry in place in Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas. As such, we are well positioned to serve our valued customers in Texas.
By Anna Caplan | Dallas/Fort Worth

New homes are downsizing to keep a lid on costs

The average new home built in the U.S. last year was about 20 square feet smaller than in 2013.
“After rising for four consecutive years, it began to recede in 2014,” said Rose Quint, a researcher with the National Association of Home Builders. “It went down to 2,642 square feet.
“I think the average home size will likely continue to recede in 2015,” Quint said at the builders association’s annual show in Las Vegas.
New homes on average are still about 25 percent larger than they were in the mid-1990s. And for a few years it looked like the American home would continue to be plus size, with more bedrooms, garages, media rooms and the like.
Quint said market factors are now putting a ceiling on home size growth.
In recent years most of the houses built across the country have been designed for more affluent, repeat buyers.
As young, first-time homebuyers come back to the market, average new house sizes will decline, she said.
“We are going to have more young people — first-time buyers — entering the housing market in 2015,” Quint said. “They are going to want smaller homes that cost less money.”
Those younger buyers say they are not interested in pricey features like outdoor kitchens, media rooms and fireplaces.
Dallas-Fort Worth homes have already seen big increases in size and price.
“From 2010 to 2014, the median new home price in D-FW has climbed from $213,000 to $285,000, an increase of almost 34 percent,” said Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies Inc. “During the first part of the D-FW housing recovery, as mortgage rates declined, very clearly buyers were purchasing more expensive homes with larger square footages.”
Higher construction and land prices have been putting pressure on the cost of a new home in North Texas, Wilson said. “As a result, the square footages are flat to down.”
Steve Brown - Dallas Morning News

Baby boomer homebuyers are boosting builders’ business

I’m having a hard time getting my head about being a target market.

Except for hair dye and cholesterol blockers, folks my age don’t get a lot of attention from Madison Avenue.
The last time mass marketers considered me their prime demographic, it was for sales of eight-track tapes.
So I’m surprised by the love I’m getting from the nation’s $400 billion residential construction industry.
Turns out that over-55 Americans are the one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the new home market.
“We thought that as soon as the housing industry started to recover this segment would take off in a very strong way,” Sharon Dworkin Bell, senior vice president of the National Association of Home Builders, said at the industry’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. “We have definitely seen that increase in the last year.
“We expect these buyers to continue to be a big share of the home market.”
For 2015, Americans 55 and older are likely to account for 44 percent of households. And by 2020 that share will rise to about 47 percent, housing economists forecast.
“It’s growing not just in absolute numbers but as share of all U.S. households,” said Paul Emrath, a research vice president with the Washington, D.C.-based builders association. “Those people have wealth, and that wealth makes this segment of the market attractive to many builders.”
Chris Porter, chief demographer with John Burns Real Estate Consulting, said that there are about 89 million Americans over age 55. They represent more than half of current homeowners.
“It’s a very, very rapidly growing group,” Porter said. “It’s ramped up in the last decade as baby boomers have reached this age.
“One of the reasons it continues to grow is they aren’t dying off as rapidly,” he said. “We are living longer and longer, and people are also working longer.”
Porter said that new home purchases by older buyers were delayed during the recession.
“Now they are ready to buy,” he said. “They have been waiting for the equity to return in their current homes.
“The challenge is they can’t find what they are looking for,” Porter said. “They want different layouts and new features and changes in location.”
And with existing housing inventories running short in many parts of the country, boomer buyers are more likely to be hunting for a newly built home.
“This is the story of the baby boomer,” said Tim McCarthy, a Pennsylvania homebuilder who’s vice chairman of the builders association’s 55-plus housing council. “They started arriving in our office about three years ago. Now it’s a tidal wave.”
McCarthy said that when one of his boomer target communities recently opened its doors, he sold 68 new houses in the first hour.
“The demand right now is overwhelming,” he said. “The challenge is to keep up with the production of homes.”
Steve Brown - Dallas Morning News

Texas adds 45,700 jobs in December, 457,900 for the year

Reports from the Texas Workforce Commission show the state gained 45,700 jobs in December, marking 51 straight months of employment growth. Riding that trend, Texas' unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent for the month – the lowest rate since May 2008.
The professional and business services industry lead December's job growth, adding 14,800 positions. Education and health services grew by 6,800 positions and construction expanded by 5,100 jobs.
"The state's steady job growth is great news for Texas workers," said Ronnie Congleton, TWC commissioner representing labor. "We continue to work with our local Workforce Solutions partners to strive for an environment where there is a good-paying job for every Texan who wants one."
Unemployment for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington dropped to 4 percent in December, down from 4.6 percent in November and 5.5 percent in December 2013.

Korri Kezar - Dallas Business Journal

Generation Y Prefers Suburban Home Over City Condo

New Survey Shows 66% of Millennials Want to Live in the Suburbs

Karla Kingsley and Matt Chwierut chose a single-family house in a neighborhood in Portland, Ore., based on its proximity to the city center.ENLARGE
Karla Kingsley and Matt Chwierut chose a single-family house in a neighborhood in Portland, Ore., based on its proximity to the city center. PHOTO: AMANDA LUCIER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Some demographers and economists argue that the preference of millennials, also called Generation Y, for city living will remain long lasting. And surveys of these young urban residents have tended to show that they don’t mind small living quarters as long as they have access to mass transit and are close to entertainment, dining and their workplaces.
But a survey released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group, suggested otherwise. The survey, based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.
“While you are more likely to attract this generation than other generations to buy a condo or a house downtown, that is a relative term,” said Rose Quint, the association’s assistant vice president of survey research. “The majority of them will still want to buy the house out there in the suburbs.”
The survey, which was released at the association’s convention in Las Vegas, found that 66% want to live in the suburbs, 24% want to live in rural areas and 10% want to live in a city center. One of the main reasons people want to relocate from the city center, she said, is that they “want to live in more space than they have now.” The survey showed 81% want three or more bedrooms in their home.
The preferences of millennials are important to nearly every U.S. industry because of their size, which is estimated at between 70 and 80 million.
Not since the baby boomers, a generation that counts roughly 76 million people, has there been such a big population bulge.
For home builders, the survey results carry particular importance.
“The preference for the suburbs suggests that future demand will be in the form of single-family homes rather than condominiums more prevalent in cities,” said David Berson, chief economist with Nationwide Insurance Co. “That’s also good news for future suburban single-family sellers, many of whom are baby boomers.”
The survey results, though, could be skewed because they included only millennials who first answered that they bought a home within the past three years or intended to do so in the next three years. That excluded young people who intend to rent for many more years, which is a large and growing group, in part because of hefty student debt and the tight mortgage-lending standards of recent years.
The homeownership rate among heads of household 35 years of age or younger was at 36% in last year’s third quarter, the most recent data available. That is the lowest figure since the Commerce Department started tracking the data on a quarterly basis in 1994 and well short of the recent high of 43.1% in the third quarter of 2004.
Another factor leading to fewer young people buying homes is that women are waiting until later in life to have their first child. The average age of a mother at her first childbirth was 25.4 years in 2010, up from 22.7 in 1980, federal statistics show.
Stockton Williams, executive director of the Terwilliger Center for Housing at the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research group, said that many millennials still don’t have the financial resources to buy a home in the aftermath of the recession.
“There may be a strong interest, but there might also be a recognition that, at least for some, the opportunity to own a home might have to wait,” he said.
Some millennials said that they prefer to live in a house, but still enjoy living close to the city center.
When Karla Kingsley, a 32-year-old transportation consultant, and her fiancĂ© bought a single-family home last month in Portland, Ore., for $375,000, she said the couple’s top priorities were finding a home close to restaurants, shops and their workplaces downtown.
“That was most important to us, to be able to walk to things from our house and to bike to work,” she said.
Kent Piacenti, a 33-year-old commercial litigation lawyer and his partner, took a similar approach when they bought a three-bedroom home less than four miles from downtown Dallas this month. The couple, who previously rented an apartment downtown, wanted more space for their two dogs and a pool.
“My absolute preference is to be as close to the city center as possible to be near work and near friends,” Mr. Piacenti said. “Our entire work and social network is in the city center.”
Kris Hudson at kris.hudson@wsj.com

Big price gains, short supply set tone for Dallas’ housing market

The Dallas area had one of the biggest home price increases on record in 2014.


Average prices rose 12 percent from 2013 levels in the 46 areas The Dallas Morning News analyzed for a year-end comparison.
The biggest price gains were in several southern Dallas County residential districts — including Wilmer-Hutchins, Southeast Dallas, Lancaster and Oak Cliff — where single-family home sales prices rose by more than 20 percent, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Prices jumped at double-digit percentage rates in more than half of the areas.
Housing analysts and longtime sales agents don’t expect last year’s high home price appreciation rates to continue indefinitely.
“I can’t imagine we will see the kind of appreciation we have seen over the last couple of years,” said Rich Thomas, executive director of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. “I think things will level out a little bit.
“But overall I think we will see much of the same in 2015 as we saw in 2014,” Thomas said. “It’s still going to be a tight market.”
A shortage of houses for sale in the Dallas area has combined with robust economic growth to create the current housing crunch.
There’s only about a two-month supply of preowned homes listed for sale with Realtors in the area. A normal market is about six months of inventory.
“Inventory is still at an all-time low,” said Mary Frances Burleson, CEO of Dallas’ Ebby Halliday Realtors. “I just wish we had more homes.
“People are not rushing to put their house on the market and sell it,” she said. “Every time I go to a sales meeting we talk about inventory and what to do.”
Because so few houses were available, Dallas-area home sales were basically flat in 2014 compared with the year before. The largest sales increases were in Lancaster, Ellis County, Wylie and Euless.
Home sales fell in about half of the residential areas, with the largest declines in affluent neighborhoods with scare supply, including North Dallas, the Park Cities and Southlake.
“I think 2015 will be another good year for smart agents who can get the listings,” said Virginia Cook, CEO of Dallas’ Virginia Cook Realtors. “I think buyers realize that one day mortgage rates will go up, and it could be a substantial increase.”
Current low home finance rates have motivated some potential buyers, said David Brown who oversees the Dallas office of Metrostudy Inc.
“With rates down, it’s causing people to get into a rush,” Brown said. “Buyer traffic is up substantially, and earlier than normal.”
Analysts and some sales agents are predicting that home price gains will slow in the Dallas area this year.
“I think prices have leveled off, and the hip pocket listings aren’t selling like they were,” said Dallas agent Allie Beth Allman. “The sellers are worried about the oil market.
“Residential real estate is driven by emotion and fear.”
By Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News

3 Quorum Drive Buildings Close in North Dallas

HFF has closed the sale of and arranged acquisition financing for a three-building office portfolio totaling 465,703 square feet in North Dallas.
Ala.-based Harbert Management Corp. New York City-based DRA Advisors LLC purchased the asset.
The portfolio consists of 5000 Quorum Drive in Dallas, and Quorum Place and Quorum North in Addison. Situated on 4.5 acres between the Dallas North Tollway and Inwood Road, the 165,434-square-foot 5000 Quorum has seven stories and is 77.2 percent leased. At nine stories and 181,737 square feet, Quorum Place is the largest of the three in the portfolio. The 78.2-percent-leased building is situated on 5.4 acres at 14901 Quorum Drive, north of the 5000 Quorum Drive property. Quorum North, located at 13201 Spectrum Drive, is situated on 2.8 acres northeast of the other two properties in the portfolio. At 118,532 square feet, the five-story, 75.7-percent-leased office building is the smallest in the portfolio.   By Anna Caplan

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Main Street tower in downtown Dallas gets new owner who plans makeover


A local entrepreneur who has already pumped millions of dollars into the downtown Dallas restaurant scene is now making a play in the office market.


FAQ Capital LLC headed by Mike Hoque has just purchased the 27-story Adolphus Tower on Main Street with plans to redevelop the building into first-class offices and restaurant space.
The 181,000-square-foot, 60-year-old office tower is about 70 percent leased to a variety of business and retail tenants. Major tenants include WhichWich’s corporate headquarters, the State of Texas, The Berry Law Firm, Mathis & Donheiser Law Firm and consulting firm Litzler, Segner, Shaw & McKenney.
The new owners plan to give the high-rise a new exterior plus rebuild the ground floor for restaurant and retail tenants.
Buyer Hoque’s DRG Concepts has developed a string of popular downtown restaurants including Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market and Wild Salsa. He’s credited with significantly boosting the downtown restaurant market.
His Hoque Global firm is also in transportation, meeting planning and other businesses.
“We have admired the Adolphus Tower since our entry into downtown with Dallas Fish Market in 2007 opening in the historic Kirby Building at Main and Akard,” Hoque said Tuesday.  “With an ideal location and scale, Adolphus Tower will become an even more exciting downtown Dallas anchor in providing modern office space, and quality of life amenities for business and residents with a vibrant and expanded retail and restaurant mix.”
Hoque said he’s been working with Dallas developer Jack Matthews who did the Omni Hotel to better understand the downtown market.
“This is not something I just woke up and decide to attack,” he said.
After renovating Adolphus Tower, Hoque said he plans to target the offices to technology firms and business entrepreneurs.
Construction will start sometime during the next three months.
Hoque has hired Dallas architect 5G Studio Collaborative to handle the redesign of Adolphus Tower.
“We are looking at different sources of exterior lighting,” he said. “In the next few weeks we will be looking at finalizing the design.”

(DMN archives)
A 1955 advertisement touted the new Adolphus Tower.
The building’s mechanical systems will also be reworked.
FAQ Capital bought the tower from a partnership set up by Henry S. Miller Co., which had owned the building since 2005.
Darrell Hurmis with Henry S. Miller Brokerage and Jonathan Diamond of United Commercial Realty brokered the sale. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Adolphus Tower was built by the famed Dallas developer Leo Corrigan. He also owned the landmark Adolphus Hotel next door.
The office building was originally supposed to be 50 stories tall but it was impractical to construct a building so tall on such a small site. The $7.5 million project was designed by noted Dallas architect Wyatt C. Hedrick, who also did many prominent 1950s projects.
It was touted as “the most modern office building in the Southwest.”
The original exterior of Adolphus Tower was done in gray aluminum panels, which were replaced with stucco in the 1980s.
The renovation of Adolphus Tower will be just the latest in a series of high-profile building redevelopments on Main Street in Dallas’ old financial district.
“The Adolphus Tower at Main and Akard is a premier downtown location and important project in the Main Street district,” said John Crawford, CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc.  “In addition to adding and expanding restaurants, the decision to purchase Adolphus Tower and invest in improvements shows [Hoque’s] continuing commitment to downtown.”
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Crow, MetLife unveil plans for Dallas skyscraper project on Klyde Warren Park

(Trammell Crow)
Called Park District, the new project includes a 19-story office tower and a 32-story residential building.
Developer Trammell Crow Co. has finally pulled the wraps off its huge new Uptown high-rise project.
The more  than 900,000-square-foot office, retail and residential development will start construction this year at Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway on the north side of Klyde Warren Park, Crow said Wednesday.
The 3-acre mixed-use project will be built in partnership with Metropolitan Life Insurance.
“We believe this is the best site in North Texas for a project of this kind,” Scott Krikorian, Senior Managing Director with Trammell Crow, said in a statement.  “We are excited about working with MetLife and the City of Dallas to develop this site at the doorstep of our city’s signature park.”
Called  Park District, the development will include a 19-story office tower and a 32-story residential building with 255 units.
There will be 22,000 square feet of retail space on the lower floors of the skyscraper complex.
HKS Architects designed the development. It has sleek glass towers with low glass restaurant and retail buildings in front, facing the park.
The huge project will be constructed on the site of the Chase motor bank across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Crow and MetLife bought the bank property in June from JP Morgan Chase Bank.
The office tower will be located on the corner of Pearl and Woodall Rodgers and the residential high-rise will be on Olive Street.
The office, apartment and retail complex will be the largest such development in the downtown and Uptown area. The office building will contain more than 500,000 square feet of space – the biggest in the works for Dallas.
Park District is one three major mixed-use projects Crow is planning in central Dallas.
The developer has announced plans for a 20-story apartment and retail complex to be built on McKinney Avenue at Bowen Street in Uptown.
And Crow is starting work soon on another apartment and shopping project just east of Highland Park near Knox Street and McKinney.
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Dallas was one of the top office leasing markets in the country in 2014

(DMN files)
Dallas ranked fourth nationally with 4 million square feet of net office leasing in 2014.
The Dallas-area ranked as one of the country’s top office leasing markets in 2014.
Commercial real estate firm DTZ said that Dallas had the fourth highest net office leasing in the U.S. last year with 4 million square feet.
That was behind New York City, Houston and San Diego, the nationwide real estate services firm said.
Total office leasing for the U.S. in 2014 was the highest since 2006 and rose 47 percent in the fourth quarter.
“If one annualizes the second half of 2014, the office sector has been absorbing space at nearly twice its historical average,” DTZ economist Kevin Thorpe said in the report. “Fundamentals still vary greatly by location, but the latest demand metrics can no longer be characterized as subpar. This is robust.”
Thorpe said the office market was one of the slowest real estate sectors to recover from the recent recession.
Nationwide there was there was 105 million square feet of office space under construction – up 76 percent from a year ago. About 6 million square feet is being built in the Dallas area.
Along with strong leasing, Dallas was also one of the country’s fastest growing office rent cost markets with an average 5.5 percent increase in rates in 2014, according to DTZ.
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

New warehouse project coming on I-30 west of downtown Dallas

(Holt Lunsford)
The Turnpike West project will have more than 220,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Developer Holt Lunsford is breaking ground this month on a new industrial building west of downtown Dallas.
The Turnpike West development will contain 259,672 square feet of warehouse space and is to be built on Interstate 30 at Chalk Hill Road.
The planned project is just north of the Pinnacle Park business park.
John Gorman and Jim Brice with Holt Lunsford are leasing the industrial project which will start on Jan. 21.
It’s one of several warehouse projects Holt Lunsford has in the works in the Dallas area, including a business park in Far South Dallas and a 2-building project in Carrollton.
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

D-FW home starts surged 30 percent in fourth quarter


Builders started more than 25,000 North Texas home in 2014.
A jump in fourth quarter home starts made 2014 the best year for home construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since the recession.
Builders started 30 percent more houses in the final three months of last year compared with fourth quarter 2013, according to a new report by Residential Strategies Inc.
For all of 2014, 25,902 homes were started in North Texas. That’s about a 91 percent increase in home construction since 2011.
“On an annual basis the starts were up 24 percent,” said Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson.  The builders had a really good fourth quarter.”
New home sales were 11 percent higher in the final months of last year. In 2014, North Texas homebuilders sold 21,792 homes – an increase of about 12 percent over 2013 levels.
“Everybody is clucking about how strong their traffic and sales have been,” Wilson said. “What has helped out quite a bit is that 30 year mortgage rates have edged down.”
Home financing costs have recently dipped below 4 percent.
Builders are also getting a break in construction.
“We have heard some reports that there has been an improvement in the availability of labor,” he said. “The lack of skilled construction workers has acted as a governor to the market for much of the recovery.”
The number of new houses on the market for D-FW consumers to chose from remains very low. At the end of the year there were only 3,376 finished vacant houses in North Texas, according to Residential Strategies. That’s only about a 2-month supply.
Wilson is forecasting another strong year for North Texas new home sales and construction in 2015.
He said most builders aren’t concerned about recent drops in oil prices which have fueled fears of an economic slowdown in Texas.
“There is not any near term expectation of any swoon in the business,” Wilsons said. “People in the housing industry are saying they still have all these jobs coming from Toyota and other companies.
Even with the rebound in homebuilding during the last few years, new home starts in North Texas remain almost 50 percent behind where they were in 2006 before the recession hit. Builders started more than 48,000 houses here at the peak of the market.
Home construction firms have been constrained in the recovery due to shortages of workers, building lots and tougher financing requirements.
Almost 27,000 new building lots were developed last year, compared with just 15,748 new D-FW home lots in 2013, according to Residential Strategies.
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Uptown Dallas office tower sells to Invesco

(HFF)
McKinney Place was built in 1984.
Invesco Real Estate has made a high-profile building buy in Dallas’ Uptown district.
Invesco has purchased the 13-story McKinney Place tower at 3131 McKinney Avenue.
The 150,000-square-foot office building was constructed in 1984 and is more than 90 percent occupied.
Invesco bought the Uptown building from Velocis Fund, which acquired the property in early 2013, county deed records show.
McKinney Place was marketed for sale by HFF.
Demand for office building investments is high in Uptown, which has some of the highest rents in the city.
Invesco is already a major player in central Dallas, with its ownership of downtown’s Plaza of the Americas complex.
And Invesco is a partner in an 11-story office tower under construction at 1920 McKinney at Harwood Street.
By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Interactive map: Where Texas home values are rising and falling

So what would Texas' home values look like from space? Using new data released earlier this month from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Austin Business Journal compiled a map showing how median home value estimates in Texas from the Census' American Community Survey 5-Year-Estimates have changed since 2010. The map, embedded below, colors Texas' 5,000-plus Census tracts from blue to red to signify the percentage change in median home value estimates. A blue-shaded tract is one where median home value estimates have fallen. A red-shaded tract is one where median home value estimates have risen. Be sure to click within the tracts to explore its statistics. Viewing this on our mobile page? View the full map by clicking the "view full site" link at the bottom of the page.Texas is booming, drawing people from all over the world in seek of economic opportunities. But as Texas' economy grows, so do home values. It's a story familiar to anyone who has spent time in Texas' major cities. In some places, such as Austin, the home values are growing so fast thatsome national analysts are beginning to wonder if those values are sustainable.

On average across Texas, median home value estimates have risen 5 percent in the four years from 2010 through 2013. The tract with the fastest growth is Census Tract 3616.02 in Harris County, Texas, just south of downtown Houston. There, median home value estimates have grown by more than 427 percent since 2010, rising from a median of $19,100 in 20109 to $100,600 in 2013.
According to Toni Nelson, director of strategic initiatives for Houston-based Better Home andGardens Gary Greene Realty, one of the biggest realtors in Houston, the growth estimated median home values in this area is driven by home building activity and rehabilitation of existing housing stock for resale by production builders.
"This particular area, until recently, was not one of the finest parts of town, you could say," said Nelson in an interview. "It's not like a master-planned community. They've taken these old, lower-income homes and torn them down and...it's become a mecca of affordability."
On the other end of the scale is Census Tract 99 in Dallas, where home values estimates have reportedly fallen by 89 percent since 2010, from $107,000 to $12,000 in 2013. But this particular outlier is suspect, according to Bill Head, director of communications for Dallas MetroTex Association of Realtors. He notes that the tract is largely industrial, and is unaware of any major residential areas there.
Head's comments underscore a fact that, sometimes, ACS tract-level results can have some weird things going on, especially when you get to either end of the bell curve. This oddity could be chalked up to sampling errors, or unseen or low-key owner-occupied housing in the area.
If you want a takeaway from the data overall, it would be this: Home values grow slower in an area when more housing supply is added. Statewide, Texas Census tracts estimates for housing unit growth increased by an average of 2.3 percent. But the 25 percent of Census tracts that grew the slowest saw above-average housing unit growth at 2.5 percent. The 25 percent of Census tracts where median home values grew the fastest expanded their housing unit stock much slower than average at only 1.7 percent.


  Digital Editor-Austin Business Journal

Atlanta developer expanding its Victory Park vision of high-rise living


Novare Group
The 24-story, 336-unit luxury residential tower was recently completed by an Atlanta-based developer eyeing a nearby site in Victory Park.














An Atlanta-based development firm Novare Group is expanding its vision of high-rise living in Victory Park, with perhaps another SkyHouse tower.

This year, the company in partnership with Batson-Cook Development Co. recently finished its luxury high-rise at 2200 N. Lamar St. targeting "young renters" and "Generation Y professionals" working in downtown and Uptown.

The 24-story, 336-unit luxury residential tower is one of Novare Group's SkyHouse concepts, which have been popular in cities like Austin, Houston and Atlanta.

Now, it appears that Novare Group wants to expand that vision to include another tower — which has yet to be outlined. The company filed a site plan on a tract adjacent to the AudiPark Garage near the American Airlines Center.

A spokesman for Novare Group confirmed the filing, but said the details of the possible development are still under wraps.

The group's newly completed SkyHouse project includes one-, two- and three-bedroom units with high-end finishes and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The luxury tower includes amenities such as the signature SkyHouse clubroom, fitness area and outdoor plazas with a swimming pool, lounges and fireplaces on the building's 24th floor.

Last go-around, Novare Group President Jim Borders said the SkyHouse in Victory Park willhelp serve the largest employment center in the growing region.
Staff Writer-Dallas Business Journal