What’s the Good News for November?

Good News1

eSports Facility coming to Frisco. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has teamed with Fort Worth-based real estate investor John Goff to get into the $700 million global eSports industry.

Esports5Jones & Goff acquired a majority of CompLexity Gaming, an eSports organization that has been based in Houston since 2007.  The CompLexity Gaming organization, its management and its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DoTA 2 teams will relocate to the DFW area and will have offices at The Star in Frisco.  The group intends to build an eSports facility at The Star, which is the current office location of the Dallas Cowboys, in the future.

The Cowboys will also participate in the Madden NFL Club Championship events in the coming months, which will be the first time all teams from a professional sports league take part in an eSports event. Other NFL owners such as Robert Kraft and Stan Kroenke have purchased slots in the Overwatch League, but the Jones family joins a short list of NFL owners to invest or acquire an existing team in the space.

Forbes recently estimated there are about 148 million eSports players worldwide.

Logistics1International Logistics Center breaks ground on a new industrial park on the south side of DFW International Airport. Located near the intersection of State Highway 360 and U.S. Highway 183, the 40-acre business park will include 3 buildings totaling more than 640,000 square feet of warehouse space. The development can accommodate tenant sizes of 20,000 to 320,000 square feet.

North Texas has added millions of square feet of new distribution and e-commerce space to the region in recent years. In the first quarter of 2017, North Texas developers leased nearly 6.5 million square feet of space — ranking the region as the No. 2 industrial market in the United States.  E-commerce accounts for about 12% percent of industrial leasing activity nationwide, and an additional estimated 30% of indirect leasing through closely tied logistics, distribution and support businesses.

Pecan2Pecan Square Development moves forward in Northlake. Hillwood officials announced their purchase of 1,157 acres near the southwest corner of I35W and FM 407 in Northlake, about 6 miles north of Texas Motor Speedway.  This is the beginning of a $1.5 billion development that will be known as Pecan Square.

The residential community will eventually include 3,000 newly built homes, with prices expected to range from $270,000 to $500,000 or more.  A mix of commercial retail, educational and residential uses will be featured in Pecan Square, which gets its name from the 200 pecan trees on the property that will be preserved. The initial phase will include 609 single-family homes, and homes from 8 builders should be on the market by summer 2019.  The developer donated land for an elementary school and sold Northwest ISD the land for a middle school, high school and football stadium so that families will be able to attend K – 12 within Pecan Square.  They estimate that the full buildout of Pecan Square will take 10 to 12 years.

Nissan1Nissan partners with Sundance Square. The one acre Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth, which includes a stage and a pavilion, has become a gathering place with regularly scheduled concerts and events.   To help pay for its free programs — and to bring in even more events and more widely recognized acts — Sundance Square has signed a one-year sponsorship deal with Nissan USA that lets the automaker display its vehicles, put up signage and be included in advertising for the plaza.   Nissan states that the sponsorship was an obvious decision for them since Texas is home to 70+ Nissan dealerships and 7,000+ Nissan employees.

Rangers1Arlington Breaks Ground on mega-entertainment complex. Arlington’s new $1.1 billion ballpark is officially under construction! The new home of the Texas Rangers will feature 41,000 seats and a retractable roof. However, to be ready for the 2020 season, an estimated 97,000 truckloads of dirt must first be hauled away!

Additionally, ground has been broken on the new $150 million Live! by Loews-Arlington hotel. It will be built adjacent to the Texas Live! entertainment complex and near the Rangers new ballpark.  The resort hotel, the first Loews Property developed in Texas in 30 years, is scheduled to welcome its first guests in 2019.  The 14-story, 302-room hotel will include an infinity-edge pool, and an event lawn for special events. There will also be a covered outdoor bar called Tower Terrace that will have views of the nearby stadiums and Arlington’s entertainment district.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams called Texas Live! the largest entertainment complex outside of Las Vegas.  Alex Tisch, executive vice president of Loews Corporation, said it would be “the biggest destination outside of Orlando.”

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

What Was The Good News For December?

Motorsport Aftermarket Group is relocating their corporate headquarters from Irvine, California to the Cypress Waters development in Irving. They are expected to employ roughly 150 workers, with an average annual wage of $70,000, in its new headquarters.  The company sells aftermarket parts for motorcycles — from mufflers to handle grips to sunscreens.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s strong housing market shows no signs of slowing with analysts expecting the region’s home sales to reach $24 billion by the end of the year. That would more than double the market’s sales volume in four years.  “We were ecstatic when the market reached $11 billion at the end of 2011,” said MetroTex President Steve Habgood, in a statement. “This year, we reached $22.7 billion by the end of November and could conceivably reach $24 billion for the year.”   North Texas’ condo sales have also done well this year and have already topped a billion dollars for the year, he added.  Not only is volume higher, prices are higher too.  Through the first 11 months of 2015, sales prices for preowned homes sold by real estate agents in North Texas are 11%  higher than where they were in November 2014, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.  The price jump so far this year is more than twice the average annual price increase in the area during the last decade.

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Plano-based Green Brick Partners, Inc. acquired 52 acres in southern Flower Mound at Gerault Road and FM 2499 for the development of 450 home sites with a build out value of approximately $160 million. The planned townhomes and patio homes are part of the 110 acre master planned development called Southgate.  The first phase of residential development will begin in the spring of 2016, with model homes opening in early 2017.   The patio homes and townhomes will be built by Green Brick Partner’s subsidiary, CB JENI Homes. The homes are designed around 5 acres of parkland with walking trails connecting owners to the $1.5 million amenity center, complete with a pool, workout room, and entertaining areas.

 

There are 3 college football bowls to watch in the DFW area. The most anticipated of the three is the Cotton Bowl game played at AT & T Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 31st at 8:00pm.  2 Alabama will square off against No. 3 Michigan State and the game will be one of two semifinal games played, leading to the CFP title game. Each of the so-called Big 5 conferences, including the Irving-based Big 12 Conference, will receive an estimate $50 million, whether they have a team in the playoffs or not. Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will have the University of Washington versus Southern Mississippi University at 1:20 p.m. Dec. 26 at the Cotton Bowl stadium at Fair Park in Dallas. Estimated payout for the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will be $1.1 million per team.  In Fort Worth, officials with the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl announced that the University of California will take on the Air Force Academy on 12/29/15.  The estimated payout for the Armed Forces Bowl will be $675,000 per team.

Dallas-based TopGolf is building its fourth North Texas location, expanding for the first time to Fort Worth. Topgolf has 22 locations worldwide, including in Dallas, Allen and The Colony. The 65,000-square-foot center is slated to open in late summer 2016. Located at the southeast corner of Highway 121 and I-35 near downtown Fort Worth, the new TopGolf will include102 hitting bays, up to 3,000 square feet of private event space and 230 high-definition TVs.

Frisco’s $5 Billion mile continues to develop.  From Warren Parkway to Lebanon Road along the Dallas North Tollway, the development along Frisco’s $5 Billion mile is rapidly changing the landscape.   In the span of just one mile, Frisco has $5.4 billion in projects under development. The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco — future home of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters — is the $1-billion, 91-acre mixed-use project that anchors this mile. Upon completion next summer, The Star will feature a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that will host high school football games for local schools, two hotels with 480 rooms, and an additional 66-acre, mixed-use entertainment district capable of supporting 1.7 million sq. ft. of commercial development.  Also under development along the $5-billion mile are the $1.7-billion Frisco Station mixed-use project; the $700-million Gate mixed-use and office complex; and the $2-billion Wade Park community that will include a Whole Foods Market, two hotels and 2.3 million sq. ft. of office space.

WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS? APRIL EDITION!

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.

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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.”

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ECONOMIC UPDATE FROM MOVEMENT MORTGAGE

The economy continued to add jobs, but the growth was at its slowest pace in more than a year, while lay-offs saw unexpectedly good news, and personal incomes and spending saw modest gains.

Unemployment

The U.S. economy added just 126,000 jobs in March, which, while an increase, was the slowest pace of job growth since December 2013. This kept the unemployment rate at 5.5 percent, unchanged from last month, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last week.

Overall, the number of unemployed Americans saw little change, hovering at 8.6 million people, with the labor force participation rate — the percentage of employable Americans actively working or looking for work — also hovering at 62.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed people saw little change at 2.6 million people, which represented 29.8 percent of overall unemployment.

The number of Americans involuntarily employed on part-time basis, for economic reasons such as their hours work cut back or that was the only work they could find, totaled 6.7 million, which was the essentially the same as February.

Analysts cautioned not to read too much into the March numbers, as one month’s performance does not represent a trend in terms of any employment slow-down.

“Payrolls are always volatile even at the best of times, and we are coming off a run of almost unbelievably strong employment growth stretching back to last summer,” Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth wrote in a statement to clients. “… this is most probably another temporary blip.”

Initial Jobless Claims

Lay-offs beat market expectations for an increase, and instead saw a healthy decline, with continuing jobless claims hitting a 15-year low. Initial jobless claims filed during the week ending March 28 fell to 268,000, a drop of 20,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 288,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. The performance completely reversed market expectations of a rise in jobless claims to 295,000.

The four-week moving average, considered a more reliable gauge of jobless claims, also saw a significant drop, falling to 285,500, a decline of 14,750 claims from the prior week’s revised average of 300,250.

Better yet, the number of unemployed Americans still covered by unemployment insurance fell to 2,325,000 people, a drop of 88,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 2,322,000. That’s the lowest continuing jobless claims have been since Dec. 16, 2000.

“The trend in claims, now below the pre-recession trough, continues to impress and remains consistent with an improving labor market,” BNP Paribas analyst Derek Lindsey stated in a note to clients.

Incomes and Spending

Continued bad weather had an impact on consumer incomes and spending in February. Personal incomes for the month grew by $58.6 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI; income after taxes) notched p $54.2 billion, or 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week. Meanwhile, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) notched up $11.8 billion, or 0.1 percent.

Personal savings — which is DPI minus personal outlays — hit $768.6 billion in February, compared with $728.7 billion in January. The personal savings rate — which is personal savings expressed as a percentage of DPI — grew to 5.8 percent in February, compared with 5.5 percent in January.

“It does look like weather might have been a disruption in the first quarter, just like we thought a year ago,” BNP Paribas economist Laura Rosner told the Wall Street Journal. “The question now is, is this going to persist or is it something that’s going to get reversed?”

 
 Maggie Paniagua
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