Edited by Holly Kelch
Volume 26 Number 7 July 2011

Houston Real Estate Trends is widely read by brokers, developers and other industry professionals. The newsletter is $199 per year and covers significant transactions and economic and financial news for Multifamily, Retail, Office, Industrial, Single-family and Vacant land. Click on the following for more information:

Apartments

Apartment market occupancy in the Greater Houston area stood at 88.3% in June 2011, a 0.4% increase from the previous month, according to www.oconnordata.com, O’Connor & Associates data. Overall rents stand at $0.889 per square foot, which represents a change of $0.001 per square foot. Average rental rates for individual classes remained essentially unchanged from May. Pre-leasing is currently underway in 9 communities (1,721 units) out of the 29 total properties (5,658 units) in the construction pipeline city-wide.

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Note: The multifamily projects listed herein are followed by their representative identification number as they appear in the new O’Connor & Associates ApartmentLink Online Data platform and are provided for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within this database is updated on a monthly basis and accessible over the web. (Please contact us for more details.)

Apartment Developments

  • Davis Development (Mike Davis: 770-474-4345) has completed construction of Grand Villas (18612), a 276-unit, Class A apartment community located at 1550 Katy-Fort Bend Road in the Katy submarket (485F). The community features one-, two-, and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 667-1,523 square feet and rental rates ranging from $879-$1,619 per unit. The property is currently 52% occupied. Common area amenities include a resort-style pool with wi-fi sundeck, high-tech cardio strength training, wi-fi computer lounge, and an auto detail bay. Unit amenities include private patios or balconies, energy efficient programmable thermostats, built-in computer desks, and a full size washer and dryer in every unit.

  • Blazer Real Estate Services (Chris Richardson: 713-265-4328, blazer1@blazerbuilding.com) has completed construction of Campanile on Eldridge (18595), a 144-unit, Class B Senior Tax Credit apartment community located at 13650 Beechnut Street in the Far West submarket (528P). The community features one- and two-bedroom units with an average size of 780 square feet and average rental rates of $0.85 per square foot. The property is currently 49% occupied. Common area amenities include a beach-front entry swimming pool, fitness center, club room, and putting green. Unit amenities include private balconies, black-on-black appliances, walk-in closets, and washer/dryer connections.

  • The NRP Group LLC (Debra Guerrero: 210-487-7878, dguerrero@nrpgroup.com) has completed construction of Casa Brazoria (18528), a 36-unit, Class B Tax Credit single-family rental home community located at 1218 Old Angleton Road in the Brazosport submarket (884Q). The community features four-bedroom units with an average size of 1,300 square feet and average rental rates of $0.64 per square foot. The property is currently 66% occupied. Common area amenities include a community grill area with picnic tables, child playscape and tot lot. Unit amenities include fully-equipped kitchens, full-size laundry connections, covered patios, and thermal and draft efficient doors.

       For comprehensive and latest property information, subscribe to OconnorData.com.

The following chart illustrates historical apartment rental rates.

Source: O'ConnorData

Apartment Sales

The Reserve at City Center North

  • ComCapp Westway Village LLC, an entity of San Antonio-based Commerce Capital Partners LLC (Kevin Bell: 210-826-7771), has purchased The Reserve at City Center North (1687), a 326-unit, Class B apartment community located at 2401 West Sam Houston Parkway in the Spring Branch submarket (449Q), from Ambassador VII LP, an entity of AIMCO — Apartment Investment and Management Company — (Terry Considine: 303-757-8101, terry.considine@aimco.com). The 32-year-old property, formerly named Westway Village, is 93.3% occupied with average rents at $0.75 per square foot. ComCapp has plans for a $1.5 Million rehab of the community.

  • Melcor Developments Arizona Inc, an entity of Edmonton, Alberta-based Melcor Developments Ltd (Ralph Young: 780-423-693, info@melcor.ca), has purchased Augusta Meadows (17810), a 268-unit, Class A

    Augusta Meadows

    apartment community located at 24215 Kuykendahl Road in Tomball (290A) from Belle Resources Ltd (Walter Galdenzi: 281-893-1542). The two-year-old property consists of one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 640 to 1,036 square feet.

  • Applewood Village Townhomes

  • AHC Applewood LP, an entity comprised of general partner Allen Harrison Company and limited partner SQN Realty Finance LLC (David Gregory: 214-842-6770), has purchased Applewood Village Townhomes (1352), a 92-unit, Class B apartment community located at 15455 Ella Boulevard in the Champions - East submarket (332X), from 15455 Ella Boulevard Holdings LP, an entity of CW Capital (Dustin Swartz: 202-715-9500, dswartz@cwcapital.com), the servicer assigned to dispose the foreclosed property. The 27-year-old property is 59% occupied with average rents at $0.79 per square foot. Mosaic Residential will handle the management of the property, while AHC Construction will handle renovations.

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Apartment Financing

Domain at Kirby

  • Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage (DBBM) has arranged $31.4 million in acquisition financing for Domain at Kirby (17284), a 293-unit, Class A apartment community located at 1333 Old Spanish Trail in the Medical Center submarket (533L). The buyer, Domain at Kirby LLC, an entity of Principal Real Estate Investors (Patrick Halter: 515-247-7895, halter.pat@principal.com), purchased the property through a presale arrangement with the developer, Simmons Vedder Partners (Wolf Vedder: 512-499-0088). Delivered in 2009, the property is 91% occupied. The five-year, fixed-rate loan which is full-term interest only was acquired through Fannie Mae.

  • Grubb & Ellis has arranged $2.25 million in refinancing for Mapletree Gardens (3226), a 243-unit, Class D apartment community located at 6050 Glenmont

    Mapletree Gardens

    in the Gulfton submarket (531A), on behalf of Pryzant Management Inc (Joseph Pryzant: 713-523-5005). The 41-year-old property is 78% occupied. Jim Adams (713-626-2288, jim.adams@grubb-ellis.com),

    Tree Tops at Post Oak

    Executive Managing Director at Grubb & Ellis, arranged the loan through Mutual of Omaha Bank.

  • Holliday Fenoglio Fowler — HFF — has arranged refinancing for The Tree Tops at Post Oak (2334), a 180-unit, Class A apartment community located at 4510 Briar Hollow in the Galleria submarket (491R), on behalf of Venterra Realty (John Foresi: 905-886-1059). Cortney Cole (713-852-3500, ccole@hfflp.com), director at HFF, led the team that negotiated terms with Freddie Mac. The seven-year, 3.9% adjustable rate loan will be serviced through the Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller/Servicer program.

       For comprehensive and latest property information, subscribe to OconnorData.com.

Office Buildings

Citywide occupancy for Houston area multi-tenant office buildings is 84.9% (Class A = 85.7%; Class B = 84.2%; Class C = 86.1%; Class D = 77.9%), according to the O’Connor & Associates First Quarter 2011 Houston Office Data Program. The citywide quarterly multi-tenant office rental rate is $19.53 per square foot (Class A = $21.43; Class B = $18.87; Class C = $17.21; Class D = $16.04).
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Note: The office buildings listed herein are followed by their representative sector code and identification number as they appear in the O’Connor & Associates OfficeLink Online Data platform and are provided for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within this database is updated on a monthly basis and accessible over the web. (Please contact us for more details.)

Office Developments

  • Exxon Mobil Corp (Rex W. Tillerson: 713-680-7993) has announced plans for a new office campus to be located on a 385-acre company-owned site in north Houston. Situated near the intersection of I-45 and Hardy Toll, the campus will consolidate all of the company’s offices in one location. Exxon’s employees currently work out of leased spaces across the metro area. The campus will include low-rise office buildings, training facilities, labs, conference halls, daycare center, wellness center, restaurants and retail space. Gilbane Inc (Thomas F. Gilbane Jr.: 713-209-1801, tgilbane@gilbaneco.com) and Harvey Builders (David E. Harvey, Jr.: 713-783-8710) have been appointed to design and develop the project.

  • Mazak Corporation, owned by Japan-based Yamazaki Mazak Corp, recently hosted the Grand Opening of its new regional headquarters, Southwest Technology Center (18228), a 30,000 square-foot facility located at 10950 Greenbend Boulevard in the Greenspoint Northbelt sector (372T). Built at an estimated $5 million, the center will serve as the training, research, and sales support base for the company. The facility also features a 100-seater conference center, and will showcase the company’s tools used for precision cutting. Mazak, which has operated in Houston for 30 years, will move its employees from a nearby location to the new center. Dana Scott (281-931-7770, dscott@mazakcorp.com) will manage the facility.

       For comprehensive and latest property information, subscribe to OconnorData.com.

The following chart illustrates historical office rental rates.

Source: O'ConnorData.com

Office Sales

Southwest Center

  • Fugro Properties Inc, a division of Fugro (713-346-4050), has purchased Southwest Center (1790), a 149,000 square-foot, Class A office building located at 6671 Southwest Freeway in the Southwest Freeway sector (530D), from NHP Houston (817-329-8800). The 27-year-old, eight-story building is 35% occupied with average rents at $15.50 per square foot. Chris Dray and Bob Gulley of Moody Rambin Interests represented the buyer, while Dan Miller and Brad Elmore of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler represented the seller.

  • Hewlett-Packard Center I

  • In a joint venture with Principal Real Estate Advisors (Patrick Halter: 515-247-7895, halter.pat@principal.com), Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company (Adam Saphier: 214-863-3030, asaphier@trammellcrow.com) has purchased two 10-story office buildings located at 20555 State Highway 249 in the Technology Corridor/FM 1960 sector (329X). Hewlett-Packard Center I (316) formerly served as headquarters for Compaq Computer Corp. and later for Hewlett-Packard. The buildings were vacant at the time of sale. Asking rents at the property stand at $15.00 per square foot. Steve Rocher (713-577-1615, steve.rocher@cbre.com) and Cody Armbrister (713-577-1853, cody.armbrister@cbre.com) of CB Richard Ellis will handle leasing and management of the property.

  • Newport Beach, California-based Buchanan Street Partners (Brian Zulpo: 949-219-2324, bz@buchananstreet.com) has purchased two low-rise office buildings located within Beltway 8 Corporate Centre in the North Northwest sector (449H). Built during 2006 and 2007 by Panattoni Development (Donald Dennis: 713-273-8989, dedennis@panattoni.com), the two buildings provide a total of 262,000 square feet of Class A office space.

    Beltway 8 Corporate Center III

    • Beltway 8 Corporate Centre III (2078), a 130,000 square-foot building located at 10900 Corporate Centre Drive.

    • Beltway 8 Corporate Centre IV (2249), a 132,000 square-foot building located at 4920 Westway Park Boulevard. The property was 76% occupied at the time of sale, with average rents at $21.50 per square foot.

    The buildings, which were purchased for a reported $26.2 million, were 76% occupied at the time of sale, with average rents at $21.50 per square foot.

Improve your sales opportunities with detailed contact information of all buyers and sellers. Subscribe to our Commercial Deed Report.

Office Financing

Bear Creek Professional Building

  • Holliday Fenoglio Fowler — HFF — has arranged acquisition financing for Bear Creek Professional Building (1392), a 29-year-old, 53,000 square-foot, Class B office building located at 4600 Highway 6 North in the Northwest sector (448A), through ViewPoint Bank. Colby Mueck (713-852-3500, cmueck@hfflp.com) led the HFF team that arranged financing. In the sale transaction Dan Miller and Trent Agnew of HFF represented the seller, Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund, a division of Brookfield Asset Management. The buyer was represented by Rockwell Management Corporation.

       For comprehensive and latest property information, subscribe to OconnorData.com.

Office Leases

    Phoenix Tower

  • Permian Mud Service (Steven J. Lindley: 713-627-3303) has expanded its lease by 17,144 square feet to a total of 94,798 square feet at Phoenix Tower (804), a 619,000 square-foot, Class A office building located at 3200 Southwest Freeway in the Greenway Plaza sector (492X). The recently renovated, 34-story tower is 69% occupied with average rents at $17.00 per square foot. Rob Neblett of Newmark Knight Frank represented the tenant, while Tyler Garrett of Hines (713-621-8000) represented the landlord FSP Phoenix Tower LP, an entity of Franklin Street Properties Corp.

  • Marathon Oil Tower

  • Two tenants renewed and one tenant expanded their respective leases at Marathon Oil Tower (497), a 1,100,000 million square-foot, 41-story, Class A building located at 5555 San Felipe in the Galleria sector (491Q). Following the deals, occupancy in the tower stands at 93% with average rents at $19.00 per square foot. The 26-year-old property is owned by Tower Real Estate Corp, an entity of Hanover Real Estate Partners (203-661-6076).

    • Univation Technologies (713-892-3700) renewed its lease of 29,532 square feet.

    • Kelpetro (Donald J. Kelly: 713-403-7407) renewed its lease of 1,474 square feet.

    • Ankor E & P Holdings Corp., a subsidiary of Korea National Oil Co. expanded its lease to 12,915 square feet.

    John Pruitt and Jessica Ochoa of CB Richard Ellis brokered the deals.

Get latest tenant and vacancy information at OconnorData.com.

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Retail Centers

Citywide occupancy for Houston area multi-tenant retail buildings is 87.2% (Regional = 92.5%; Community = 88.9%; Neighborhood = 84.5%; Strip = 86.2%), according to the First Quarter 2011 Houston Retail Data Program. Occupancy is up 1.12 points over the last quarter and up almost 3% over the first quarter 2010. The citywide quarterly multi-tenant retail rental rate is $1.58 per square foot (Regional = $2.72; Community = $1.57; Neighborhood = $1.23; Strip = $1.29).
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Note: The retail centers listed herein are followed by their representative identification number as they appear in the new O’Connor & Associates RetailLink Online Data platform and are provided for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within this database is updated on a monthly basis and accessible over the web. (Please contact us for more details.)

The following chart illustrates historical retail rental rates.

Source: O'ConnorData.com

Retail Sales

  • Baker Katz LLC (Jason Baker: 713-621-2900, jbaker@bakerkatz.com) has purchased Four Corners Shopping Center (1230), a 120,000 square-foot neighborhood shopping center located at the southeast corner of FM 2920 and State Highway 249/Tomball Parkway in the Far Northwest sector (288K), from LNR Property LLC (Justin Kennedy: 305-695-5500). LNR had purchased the property out of foreclosure in 2010. The center is 35% occupied and tenants include Tuesday Morning, Rent-A-Center, Firestone and Domino’s Pizza. James Namken of The Weitzman Group represented the seller. The buyer plans major renovations at the center to be implemented later this year.

  • Delta Troy Interests Ltd (713-783-7343) has purchased Westheimer Crossing Shopping Center (1571), a 94,000 square-foot retail center located at

    Westheimer Crossing

    7530 Westheimer Road in the Near West sector (490V), from Gulf Coast Commercial (713-532-0977). The 16-year-old property was 90% occupied at the time of sale. Tenants at the property include DSW, REI and Michaels. The buyer was represented in-house, while the seller was represented by George Cushing and Wendy Vandeventer of Grubb & Ellis.

  • Stella Link Center

  • Festival Properties Inc, an entity of Silvestri Investments Inc (Dan Silvestri: 713-785-6272), has purchased Stella Link Center (60), a 100,000 square-foot, neighborhood shopping center located at 9117-9335 Stella Link Drive in the Inner Loop sector (532N), from Cincinnati, Ohio-based Phillips Edison & Co. (John Bessey: 513-554-1110), for a reported $6.85 million. The 55-year-old property is 78% occupied and is anchored by Conn's, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, and Citi Trends. Marvin Stapper of M.M. Stapper Co. represented the buyer, while Edward B. Hanley and Eric P. Wohl of Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors represented the seller.

Improve your sales opportunities with detailed contact information of all buyers and sellers. Subscribe to our Commercial Deed Report.

Retail Leases

    Woodlands Mall

  • The Container Store has signed a lease for Woodlands Mall Retail Center (765), a 34,000 square-foot retail center located at 1455 Lake Woodlands Drive in the Far North sector (122A), with Circuit City Stores Inc (David Mathews: 804-914-9713). There are plans to remodel the 12-year-old center to suit the tenant’s requirements. Operations are expected to start in November. AmREIT (Charles Scoville: 713-850-0498) negotiated terms for the lease.

  • Dollar General has leased 11,400 square feet at Beechcrest (1752), a 91,000 square-foot neighborhood shopping center located at 10820 Beechnut Street in the Far Southwest sector (529L), from Global Fund Investments LLC. Tenants at the 30-year-old property include Holman Medical Clinic, Pizza Hut, and Loan Star Title Loans. Vaughan Ford of NewQuest Properties represented the tenant, while Jason Gaines (713-410-8910, jgaines@gfinvestments.com) represented the landlord in-house.

       Get latest tenant and vacancy information at OconnorData.com.

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Industrial Facilities

Citywide occupancy for Houston area operating multi-tenant industrial facilities is 85.5% (Bulk = 83.0%; Flex = 86.2%; Manufacturing = 93.5%, Service = 84.4%, Distribution = 83.1%, R&D = 84.7%), according to the O’Connor & Associates First Quarter 2011 Houston Industrial Data Program. Occupancy decreased 0.3% over the last quarter and decreased 1.9% over the first quarter 2010. The overall quarterly rental rates is $0.44 per square foot (Bulk = $0.42; Flex = $0.47; Manufacturing = $0.40; Service = $0.62; Distribution = $0.38; R&D = $0.77).
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Note: The industrial facilities listed herein are followed by their representative identification number as they appear in the O’Connor & Associates IndustrialLink Online Data platform and are provided for subscriber cross-referencing. The property information contained within this database is updated on a quarterly basis and accessible over the web. (Please contact us for more details.)

The following chart illustrates historical industrial rental rates.

Source: O'ConnorData.com

Industrial Sales

  • Angadare Land LP, an entity of Visual Comfort (Andy Singer: 713-686-5999, asinger@visualcomfort.com), has purchased Castillian Imports (5999), a nine-year-old, 103,000 square-foot warehouse facility located at 22008 Berwick Street in the Far Northwest sector (368S), from A and B Designs Inc, an entity of Norberwick LP (Lily Shen: 713-937-1120).

  • Quality Burial Vault

  • Wilbert Vaults Houston LLP, an entity of Wilbert Vaults of Houston Inc (Jim Henery: 713-692-6105, wilbert@wilberthouston.com), has purchased Quality Burial Vault (854), a

    5072 Steadmont Dr

    36-year-old, 34,000 square-foot warehouse facility located at 7420 Apache Street in the Near Northeast sector (455N), from SCI Texas Funeral Services Inc, an entity of Service Corporation International (Thomas Ryan: 713-522-5141, tom.ryan@sci-us.com).

  • Yildiz Eyup, an entity of CMS USA Inc (Ali Yildic: 713-690-6868, cms@cmsusa.us), has purchased 5072 Steadmont Dr (6405), a 32-year-old, 13,000 square-foot warehouse facility located at 5072 Steadmont Drive in the Near Northwest sector (450H), from Kalkan Development & Construction (Fercan Kalkan: 979-260-9811).

Improve your sales opportunities with detailed contact information of all buyers and sellers. Subscribe to our Commercial Deed Report.

Industrial Leases

Wallisville Rd Industrial

  • Packwell (Ross Selvaggi: 281-842-5985, ross@packwell.com) has renewed its full-building lease of Wallisville Rd Industrial (957), a 137,000 square-foot warehouse facility located at 8786 Wallisville Road in the Near Northeast sector (495B), with New York-based Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (Roger W. Ferguson: 212-490-9000). Bill Rudolf and Gray Gilbert of CB Richard Ellis represented the tenant, while John Kruse and Edward Bane of Holt Lunsford Commercial represented the landlord.

  • Techway SW Business Center

  • Sercel (281-492-6688) has renewed its 99,000 square-foot lease at Techway SW Business Center Bldg I (5925), a 11-year-old, 126,000 square-foot warehouse facility located at 10570 Bissonnet Street in the Far West sector (529U), with East Group Properties Inc (David H. Hoster lI: 601-354-3555). Gray Gilbert and Bill Rudolf of CB Richard Ellis represented the tenant, while Rives Nolan of Insite Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord.

  • Direct Airflow Distributors, Inc., dba Coastal HVAC Supply (Larry Plocheck: 281-445-3237, lplocheck@coastalhvacsupply.com) has leased 53,350 square feet at Greenspoint Business Center, Building B (6325), a three-year-old, 107,000 square-foot office/warehouse facility located at 51 Esplanade Boulevard in the Mid North sector (372V), from Industrial Developments International. Andy Iverson and Griffin Rich of Jackson & Cooksey represented the tenant, while Ben Newell (281-999-5600, bnewell@idi.com) represented the landlord in-house.

       Get latest tenant and vacancy information at OconnorData.com.

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Vacant Land

  • Pulte Homes Of Texas LP (Jim Rorison: 281-749-8000, jim.rorison@pulte.com) has purchased 28.90 acres located along Rohan Road, near Benton Road, in Richmond, Fort Bend County (606W), from Ventana Development Reading Ltd (James Grover: 979-245-2245).

  • Davian Investment LLC (Dawn Nguyen: 281-998-8516) has purchased 14.57 acres located along South Main Street, near Ellis School Road, in Highlands, Harris County (459Z), from Highlands Church Of Christ (Jim Nash: 281-426-2742).

  • 30.59 Acre Perry Mills Road LLC, an entity of Dwayne Henson Investments Inc (Dwayne Henson: 713-334-5808, wd_henson@hotmail.com) has purchased three tracts, totaling 27.25 acres, located on Perry Road, near Mills Road, in northwest Harris County (369M), from Tremont Homes Inc.

  • L.S. Energy Properties LLC has purchased two tracts of industrial land totaling 12.99 acres located along FM 1405 within Cedar Crossing Industrial Park in Baytown, Chambers County from Cedar Crossing LP. B. Kelley Parker, III; John F. Littman, Coe Parker and Tim M. Thomas of the Houston office of Cushman and Wakefield of Texas Inc. represented the seller.

Improve your sales opportunities with detailed contact information of all buyers and sellers. Subscribe to our Commercial Deed Report.

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Single-Family Housing

MLS home sales improved slightly in May as 4,382 existing homes were sold, compared to 3,963 homes sold in April 2011, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). Sales for May 2011 decreased by 8.9% compared to May 2010. The median price of an existing single-family home sold in May was $148,000, an increase of 2.1% compared to 2010, while the average home price – $ 209,352 – was up 7.9% from the May 2010 level.
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Note: MLS sales include primarily existing home sales throughout the Houston region. Historical comparisons are offered solely for informational purposes and may not truly reflect growth in sales.

According to American MetroStudy, net sales of new homes in the Greater Houston Area increased by 3.6% in May 2011 to 1,231 and are up 37% from May 2010. Realtor co-op sales represented almost 65% of gross sales for the month, and are up 31% from May 2010. Traffic increased by 5.1% compared to last year to 14,351 in May 2011. The inventory of completed speculative homes (1,338) is up 18.7% from May last year. There are 1,517 spec homes under construction, a decrease of 22.5% from May 2010. Overall, the 2,855 specs (both completed and under construction) is down 7.2% from May 2010.
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Note: the 23 homebuilders in this survey account for approximately 55% of housing starts in Houston.

According to RealtyTrac, Texas reported 9,055 foreclosure filings in May, a 3% increase in filings when compared to April. Harris County recorded 1,879 filings, with Houston accounting for 58% of them. On a year-to-date basis, Texas filed 55,325 foreclosures in May.

The following chart illustrates historical existing home sales.

 

Source: Houston Association of Realtors

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Permit Issuance

The City of Houston issued permits to build 236 private single-family houses in May. No permits were issued for private multifamily buildings. Demolition permits were issued for 361 private single-family houses and 1 multifamily structure. In addition, 176 permits were issued for privately owned non-residential construction totaling $66,231,422 and 12 permits were issued for public non-residential construction. Additions, alterations, and conversions totaled $115,689,289 for the private sector and $45,270,778 for the public sector.

Cost of Construction*

 

2009

2010

2011

Month of May

$312,469,446

$339,932,451

$312,267,968

Year-to-Date

$1,649,982,762

$1,339,829,673

$1,312,644,141

*The figures in this section include all categories of buildings and non-building structures

Source: City of Houston Housing Statistics

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Economic & Financial News

The total number of nonagricultural wage and salary jobs in the ten-county Houston area increased by about 16,500 jobs to 2,586,800 in May 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This total is 45,739 jobs more than the 2,541,060 jobs in May 2010. Of nonagricultural employers, the Professional & Business services sector marked the largest growth over the month adding 9,300 jobs. On a year-on-year basis, the Mining and Logging sector recorded the largest growth adding 7,501 jobs.

The following chart illustrates total non-agricultural employment in the Houston MSA.


Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index (CPI) of motor fuel stood at 338.480, a 41% increase compared to previous year. The shelter index stood at 205.853, a 1.1% increase over the previous year. The Cost of Food at home went up 5.8% to stand at 210.282 in May. CPI is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services and is relative to a figure of 100 in 1982, the base year.

The Business Cycle Index (BCI) for Texas stood at a seasonally adjusted 183.5 in April while the BCI for the Houston metropolitan area stood at 273.9, according to the Federal Reserve. The Texas Leading Index posted 122.4 for the month of April 2011. The indexes represent broad movements in local Texas economies relative to a figure of 100 in 1987, the base year.

The Baker Hughes count of active domestic rotary rigs stands at 1,836 for May 2011. The current rig count increased by 21% compared to last year’s figure of 1,512 rigs. The rotary rig count is a census of the number of drilling rigs actually exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the United States.


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Potpourri

According to the monthly U.S. Monster Local Employment Index, overall online job demand in the Houston area stood at 130 in May, an increase of 1 point from April 2011 and an increase of 16 points over May last year. The index recorded marginal changes – upward or downward – for most sectors, except for Legal (went up 10 points), Education, Training, and Library (went up 9 points), Community and Social Services (came down 11 points), and Healthcare Support (came down 7 points).

According to the Architecture Billings Index developed by the American Institute of Architects, the index for May stood at 47.2, a drop of 0.4 points from the previous month’s score of 47.6 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). Both the project inquiries index and the inquiries for new projects score was 52.6.

ACE Manor Properties Management I Ltd has purchased a 7,000 square-foot retail property located at 7744 FM 1960 East in the Northeast sector (337Z), from Humble Paint & Decorating. Mark Wimberly (281-224-1989) and Patrick Wimberly of Houston Commercial Development brokered the sale.

Following appointments and promotions were noted in real estate firms in Houston:

    Ken Page

    Scott Myers

  • Ken Page (713-868-1676 x 2240, ken.page@transwestern.net), Scott Myers (713-270-3384, scott.myers@transwestern.net), and Rachel Glass (713-270-3327, rachel.glass@transwestern.net), all previously with Grubb & Ellis, have joined Transwestern in the firm’s investment services group.

  • Bradley Kovach (281-820-8070, bkovach@moodyrambinint.com) has been promoted to Senior Vice President of property management at Moody Rambin Interests. Jeffrey C. Barbles (713-773-5574, jbarbles@moodyrambinint.com) has joined as Senior Vice President for the industrial services division.

  • Katie Maxwell joined Intero Real Estate Services as Managing Broker at the firm’s office situated at West Avenue.

  • Allan Parr (214-522-7337) has been promoted to President at Rees Associates and will operate from the firm’s Houston office. He takes over the role from founder and current chairman Dr. Frank W. Rees, Jr. Mr. Parr will continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer, the role in which he joined the company in 2008.

  • Brent Smith (713-452-4200, brent.smith@marcusmillichap.com) has been promoted to National Director of the National Hospitality Group at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Service. In addition to his latest role, Mr. Smith will continue to serve as Regional Manager at the Houston office.

  • Joshua Dick has joined the Greater Houston Builders Association as Chief Operating Officer.

  • Rudy Hubbard, previously with Trione & Gordon/Oncor International, joined the Capital Markets team at Jones Lang LaSalle as a Managing Director. Leah Gallagher, previously with Transwestern, joined the team as Vice President.

  • Kinder Baumgardner (713-868-1676 x 2240, kbaumgardner@SWAGroup.com) has been promoted to Managing Principal at the Houston office of SWA Group. He will take over from Scott Slaney who is moving to the Shanghai office.

Please direct any questions regarding content in the Houston Real Estate Trends to Holly Kelch at 713-686-9955 or hkelch@poconnor.com.

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