Posted in Rio Grande Valley Market | Posted on 05-21-2013 | Written by Metrostudy News
(Rio Grande Valley, TX – May 21, 2013) The Rio Grande Valley continues to see population growth in the 2.5% range, increasing the demand for housing, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.
The Rio Grande Valley MSA registered an annual job gain of 7,300 jobs in the year ending February 2013, a 2.0% rate. The benchmark results show a gain of 8,800 jobs (2.4%) in Year-2012, and 5,700 jobs (1.6%) in 2011. Job growth forecasts project the Rio Grande Valley to see job growth in the 2.3% range for 2013. “The local recovery has struggled to gain momentum in the past year though the revised job numbers show employment growth, namely in the sectors of transportation, and retail,” said Randall Allsup, Metrostudy’s regional director of San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley markets. The Rio Grande Valley unemployment rate as of February 2013 is 10.7%, which is down 0.5% from a year ago.
The annual rate of new home growth in the Rio Grande Valley as determined by Metrostudy’s first quarter survey is 1,773 starts. This annual rate of 1,773 is down 365 units, or 17.1%, from the 1Q12 rate of 2,019. “The expectation is that the decline is temporary as the short and long term prospects for the market are good with job growth forecasts for 2013 in the 2% range, and close proximity to a recovering Mexico,” said Allsup. The Rio Grande Valley had 412 starts in the first quarter, down 19.7% from the fourth quarter of 2012. In the Rio Grande Valley the number of new home closings in the year ending 1Q13 was 1,767 down 386 units, or 17.9%, from the 1Q12 rate of 2,153. There have been 458 closings in the 1st quarter, down 12.8% from 4Q12.
Metrostudy’s 1Q13 survey found the level of new home inventory to be high relative to the number of closings in the same period. There were a total of 1,368 homes in inventory at the end of 1Q13, which represents an 9.3 months of supply based on the annual closings rate. Metrostudy documented 685 homes under construction at the end of the first quarter, a decrease of 54 units when compared to 1Q12. “The months of supply of finished vacant units, is the key indicator of the health of housing inventory. When finished vacant inventory in the Rio Grande Valley market approaches approximately 3.0 months, builders are generally forced to begin to offer some concessions in order to move the inventory of unsold homes,” said Allsup. The inventory of finished vacant units totaled 667 homes at the end of 1Q13, up 10% compared to the 1Q12 level of 609. Based on the closings rate for the first quarter, the current level of finished vacant inventory represents 4.5 months of supply.
“The Rio Grande Valley continues to see population growth. The increased demand for housing is currently being absorbed by an extremely tight rental market with occupancy levels over 95% and rents that continue to climb. The positive side to this is that climbing rents will help build demand for detached housing which has seen the sales pace in the resale market steady over the past few months and inventory levels are beginning to drop which will contribute to stabilizing home values, especially in more desirable areas,” said Allsup.
For information contact:
randall allsup @ 210.525.9549
Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. www.metrostudy.com
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