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Texas Economy Keeps Driving Ahead of the Nation

CRS-TXTexas continues to outpace the rest of the nation in its economic recovery. While the recovery has progressed slowly in many other areas, a slew of recent news attests to the strength of the economy in the Lone Star State compared to other states in the U.S.

The top two and three of the top five in Forbes’s best cities to invest in housing in 2014 are in Texas. Fort Worth and Dallas are ranked numbers 1 and 2, with Houston rated number 5 in this particular list. Affordable home prices and population growth fueled by strong job growth are the driving forces behind the top rankings of these two neighboring cities.

Fort Worth-Arlington, Tex., and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Tex., top the list of our Best Buy Cities, at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Both cities offer homes that would be within reach for middle-class Americans, at $168,383 in Fort Worth-Arlington and $180,645 in greater Dallas. Prices in greater Fort Worth are considered 20% below their actual value, according to Local Market Monitor. Homes in the greater Dallas region are 12% down, so less off, but they are expected to rise more–29%–over the next three years.

For buyers who intend to rent out their homes, the populations in these cities are growing at a healthy clip: from 2009 to 2012, at 4.9% in Fort Worth and 6.1% in Dallas. At that rate, Dallas is tied for the fastest-growing city on the Best Buy Cities list. It’s ranked fifth in terms of job growth, at 3% as of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics stats.

The strong job growth is evidenced by WalletHub’s ranking of the best places to land work in 2014. Five Texas cities are in the top ten of this list. Fort Worth is ranked #1. Three Lone Star cities hold the 4-6 spots (Arlington, Dallas and Austin) and Houston comes in at number 10.

WalletHub describes the reasons for Fort Worth’s high ranking,

The leader of the Long Star State’s impressive pack of bountiful job markets, Fort Worth boasts the nation’s 5th fastest-falling unemployment rate, the 4th largest proportion of full-time employees, and the 2nd most affordable housing. Such dynamics, combined with the lack of either a state or local income tax for which Texas is renowned, are enough to make up for middle-of-the pack rankings when it comes to industry variety, health care coverage and the percentage of the workforce living below the poverty line.

HousingWire helps to explain the success of Texas with the 4 secrets why Texas leads in new home sales.

The Texas A&M University Real Estate Center posits four reasons the Texas housing market and economy as a whole is running so much hotter than the rest of the nation.

1. Job Growth

Texas has continually outperformed the national average for job growth. Often Texas is double the national average. That job growth is likely to continue through 2014. Texas has added over 459,000 jobs since January 2012.

2. Mortgage rates still cheap

Yes, mortgage rates are increasing and will likely continue by all accounts to climb in 2014, but they are still ridiculously cheap. Point is, with jobs marginally higher, and mortgage interest rates lower than historical levels, interest rates do not provide a dampener to home purchases.

3. Affordability is not a Texas challenge

A look at the price index for Texas real estate in key markets shows that prices are not nearly as much of a challenge in terms of affordability than can be seen elsewhere.

4. Limited inventory = greater demand

The whole state of Texas has just four months of inventory. Because of the limited inventory, prices are expected to continue to increase smartly. Home builders will not be able to build homes fast enough to meet the demand.

All of these are reasons that Cooper Roofing & Solar is very optimistic about Texas. The economy is strong and continues to attract talented people and innovative companies.

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