Report: Economy Growing … Literally

Area economy fueled by hot building industry trying to keep up with surging demand

Tom Maynard

A building industry putting up record numbers trying to meet growing housing demand and steady employment growth pushed the Bryan-College Station Economic Index to 152.6 in April – up 0.5 from March and 2.6 from April a year ago.

Tom Maynard, Commerce National Bank’s senior vice president and regional manager, shared the following four insights from the April report.

The only area that dropped was single-family housing permits, down 5.2 percent over April 2016.

“Prices keep going up because there’s a shortage of lots,” said Maynard, as the industry tries to keep up with demand. “Three-to-four years ago you might find $30,000-$40,000 lots. Now the lower ones are in the mid-to-upper $50,000 and continue to well over $100,000.”

“If a house under $200,000 comes on the market, people can be aggressive and some bid on it before they even see it,” he said.

“This is becoming a real good place for former students of Texas A&M to retire and come back to ‘mecca.’ They can come and have Aggie sports, there are three hospitals, the arts, you’re an hour away from Houston, 90 minutes to Austin. It’s well located with lots to do without headaches of the traffic of Houston,” said Maynard.

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