January 21, 2013
HOUSTON - A prominent site in the Westchase District of west Houston, where a number of energy firms have been expanding, has been purchased for hotel construction.
Hans Lindberg has purchased 2.3 acres of land located at the northwest corner of Westpark and Beltway 8 from Serena Holdings LLC for the construction of four-story, 121-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Mark Davis of Davis Commercial Real Estate represented the seller of the tract, located on a corner with significant traffic.
Several office buildings are under development in Westchase, including a new headquarters for Phillips 66.
January 10, 2013
Houston real estate had an excellent 2012 and outlook for 2013 looks very solid, as well.
The job growth may be down slightly. Houston led the nation in apartment rent growth last year and won’t continue forever. The city’s real estate markets are hitting on all cylinders – office, apartments, industrial, single-family. It’s doubtful that 2013 could surpass 2012.
The Forecast: here are the top six predictions for real estate in the year ahead:
- Empty office space will get harder to find and rental rates are going to shoot up “fairly dramatically” in 2013, having already surpassed $30 per square foot Class A buildings, where vacancy rates are below 5 percent (all-time lows) in hot areas like the Energy Corridor, Westchase and The Woodlands, Stream Realty reports. Sanford Criner of CBRE says: “Where will we be at the end of 2013? We will be the envy of virtually every city in the country and most of the rest of the world.”
- Houston home prices will increase as much as 5 percent in 2013, says Evert Crawford of the University of Houston’s Institute for Regional Forecasting. Houston has a tight four-month supply of homes for sale, the lowest since December 2000, the Houston Association of Realtors association says. Increased demand limited supply mean values are going up quickly this year.
- Land is purchased for master-planned communities. The inventory of existing homes is at a 12-year low and local home builders say there’s a shortage of lots to build on. Exxon Mobil is building a 385-acre corporate campus near The Woodlands and a $1 billion expansion of the Grand Parkway is being built nearby. “The Grand Parkway expansion will open up a wide swath of land for residential development in the next few years,” says Mark Sikes of Deal Sikes & Associates.
- Apartments surge. After rents reportedly went up 16 percent in 2012 (the most in the nation, Trulia says) Houston apartment renters will receive no rent relief in 2013. Rents will rise some more this year. Construction is robust in the Inner Loop and deals are happening fast. Investors from around the country are hyper-focused on Houston right now, says Victoria Wood, principal of The MORE Group, an apartment development and management firm based in Delray Beach, Fla.
- In retail real estate, grocery stores will dominate local retail construction in 2013, says retail center developer Ed Wulfe. Aldi, a discount grocer, is entering the Houston market with 15 stores, Wulfe & Co. reports. Other grocery stores for Houston: two new HEB stores, two Kroger’s, one Whole Foods, one Trader Joe’s, four Fresh Markets and four Sprouts. Plus, two new Costcos and two Sam’s Club will be opening in 2013.
- Inflationary pressure will push mortgage rates upward slightly. At year-end, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a 3.35 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Mortgage interest rates are forecast to gradually rise and to average 4.0 percent in 2013, and 4.6 percent in 2014, the National Association of Realtors predicts. Mortgage rates were at record lows in 2012. The 2012 annual average of 3.66 percent was the lowest annual average in at least 65 years, Freddie Mac reports. Realty veterans can remember in 1981 — when inflation was at its worst — the average mortgage was 16.63 percent.
November 15, 2012
AUSTIN – Karlin Real Estate has acquired 297 acres – one of the largest parcels of developable land in northeast Austin – for a master planned technology and office park.
The site, located near Interstate 35, is bordered by McCallen Pass on the West, E. Howard Lane on the North, Harris Ridge Boulevard on the East and Tech Ridge Boulevard on the South, is currently zoned for up to 9 million sf of office, industrial, hotel and retail uses.
Matthew Schwab is managing director of Los Angeles-based Karlin.“Major corporations are attracted to Austin for its reputation as a vibrant business community which is sparked by the flood of intellectual capital coming into the city that will continue the overall trend of job growth,” said Schwab. “Based upon the large blocks of space rapidly being absorbed, we believe Austin is one of the few cities in the country ready for new development.”
The land neighbors three large commercial and industrial/warehouse buildings totaling approximately 900,000 square feet, which were acquired in separate transactions by Karlin earlier this year. Two of the buildings were 100 percent leased at closing. The third, a vacant 320,000 square-foot Class A office building was subsequently leased by Karlin to General Motors in a long-term lease transaction.
October 31, 2012
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio-based apartment developer Embrey Partners, Ltd. has closed on a new urban infill site, located on West Avenue along the Wurzbach Parkway extension in north central San Antonio. Groundbreaking on the 29-acre site will begin in mid-November 2012, with the first apartment residents beginning in early 2014.
The 360-unit project will feature floor plans ranging from 613 square feet to 1,830 square feet, complete with backyards and two-car garages.
The 29-acre site will feature ample open space, including a 4-acre nature sanctuary, site clearing of invasive species, the preservation of existing trees and planting of new trees that extensively promotes the tree canopy that will be in compliance with the San Antonio Tree Ordinance.
Over the past 37 years, Embrey has developed real estate projects totaling nearly 30,000 apartments and more than six million square feet of commercial space.