For the last five years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the Annual SMU Cox Economic Outlook Panel led by Dean Al Niemi Jr. The panel consists of six or seven faculty members from the Cox School of Business, each with individual areas of expertise in the economy: energy, global economics, banking, finance, retail, and real estate. Members of the local media attend the two-hour session and are offered an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. There is typically a lively discussion of the topics; there are differing opinions, that’s for sure.
The panelists each choose a topic from their respective area of expertise, mine being real estate. Last year, the title of my presentation was “The Real Estate Market: All Things Considered, It’s Good to be in DFW.” My basic thought was: if you have to suffer through a recession here in the United States, I sure would rather be in DFW than anywhere else. I tried to point out the positives here in DFW to prove my thesis.
So, when this year’s panel came around this week, I had another incredibly insightful and creative title for my presentation: “The Real Estate Market: All Things Considered, It’s Good to be in DFW—Part Deux.” Darn near brilliant, in my opinion.
In reality, it is good to be here—at least through the third quarter of 2012. Here are some broad data points for which all of us in the North Texas real estate community should be thankful. The following chart ranks DFW in year to date net absorption of square feet (or, for apartments, in net units), relative to the rest of the United States.
DFW is currently the fourth-largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the U.S.. Using the above chart as a barometer, we are leading the country in commercial real estate activity, based upon net absorption of space—a common measure of success.
On the residential side, for single-family permits in the U.S., we are second in number only to Houston, For multifamily permits, we are second in permits only to the behemoth New York MSA. Granted, these permit figures are far from the highs we saw in the early 2000’s, but on a relative basis, I will take second place all day long.
So, there you go. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees, but all in all, it’s good—really good—to be in DFW.
Chuck Dannis is co-founder of Crosson Dannis Inc., which provides real estate appraisal and consultation services for many of the nation’s largest real estate lenders and owners. Contact him at email@example.com.