13,000 insurance industry jobs are headed to North Texas. That’s how many combined insurance industry positions are being created in Plano and Richardson by Boston-based Liberty Mutual and Illinois-based State Farm. Both companies are in the process of moving major operations into North Texas. Texas data speaks volumes to the insurance companies. The pot is huge: Texas residents paid $15 billion in auto insurance premiums last year, $7 billion in homeowners premiums and $10.5 billion in life insurance premiums.
The Texas unemployment rate slipped to 4.2% in March 2015, the lowest mark in nearly eight years. Flower Mound’s unemployment rate was 3.7%, while the nationwide jobless rate was 5.5% in March.
Allen is now ready to kick off its $85 million convention center and hotel complex. The city of Allen and the Allen Economic Development Corp. are providing the 6.7-acre construction site for the hotel. The convention center complex will be located at North Central Expressway at Bethany Drive, across the street from the Watters Creek shopping and apartment development. The hotel will have 290 rooms, and the convention center will include 64,000 square feet of meeting space.
Foreclosure activity in the U.S. was at an eight-year low in the first quarter of 2015, despite an increase in activity in March, according to the most recent foreclosure report from real estate data company RealtyTrac. The number of residential properties with a foreclosure filing — default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession — decreased about 8% from the first quarter of 2014. The 313,487 properties in foreclosure are the fewest in the market since the first quarter of 2007. CoreLogic supports that good news agreeing that the current foreclosure rate of 1.4% is the lowest since March of 2007, and the foreclosure inventory has declined every month for the past 40 months. Foreclosures have dropped by 67% from the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010.
Vacation home sales rose 57% last year over 2013, to 1.3 million properties, well above their most recent peak level in 2006, according to National Association of Realtors. In fact, vacation home sales accounted for 21% of all real estate transactions last year, their highest market share since the survey was first conducted in 2003. The same recently released survey by NAR showed that investment home sales in 2014 decreased 7.4% to an estimated 1.02 million in 2014 from 1.10 million in 2013. Investment sales made up 19% of all transactions in 2014, down from 20% in 2013.
Amazon.com is expanding their DFW presence again! There now will be its newest distribution center in North Texas, this time in southern Dallas. The facility would employ 500 to 900 people, and will join the Coppell and Haslet distribution centers in North Texas. Amazon has also leased a big office block at Dallas’ Galleria complex. Amazon has rented 88,615 square feet of office space in the Two Galleria Tower, planning to occupy about five floors next door to the Galleria shopping mall. And of all of this supports Amazon’s one-hour delivery now available in 35 DFW area zip codes. Amazon expanded its rapid delivery program to parts of Dallas, Irving, Coppell, Plano, Flower Mound, Frisco, Grapevine, The Colony and Lewisville. The website added a friendly “Howdy, Texas!” drop down to explain that it is “now delivering to even more Dallas ZIPs.”