A word on the Lone Star State: The Texas real estate market has not withered away following the remarkable decline in oil prices over the last year.
A significant number of new developments are underway in Texas: a $1 billion 750,000 square-foot Facebook data center is under construction in Fort Worth; a 4 million square-foot Daikin HVAC manufacturing plant being built in northwest Houston and San Antonio is getting its first downtown skyscraper in more than a decade. And the Rolex watch company is getting a new regional headquarters building in Dallas.
Plus, the residential markets are strong. Predictions of a great crash of the Houston housing market haven’t materialized, even though regional media continues to report on flimsy national press releases and weak studies that predict a Houston home price meltdown and other realty calamities. The Houston residential markets are fine and inventories are low.
Yes, oil prices have dropped to almost $50 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate prices may dip into the $40s this week. Yes, a ton of sublease office space is being dumped onto the market in Houston’s Energy Corridor.
But this is no crash. And we’re not taking a Pollyannaish stance. When there was a crash in the late 1980s, we were there every step of the way. I probably have written about more foreclosures than any other journalist in the nation. I’ve covered scores of real estate-related bankruptcies, savings-and-loan shutdowns and bank failures, too. If the market takes a turn for the worst, we will report it vigorously.
Sure, there’s a little tarnish. But the economy of the Lone Star State is shining brightly in 2015 and it will remain that way for the rest of the year.
Commentary by Ralph Bivins, editor, Realty News Report