Texas economy remains strong through uneven housing reports
Home prices in Texas ticked up slightly in August based on data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, but remained stagnant overall, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said in a report this week. The Fed bank said home inventory levels in Texas remained unchanged at a seven-month supply in September. Meanwhile, existing home sales in the state declined 2.1% in September after experiencing three months of increases, the Dallas Fed said. Still, the bank said in general, existing home sales in Texas remain on an upward trend overall. Residential construction saw residential contract values jump 10.7% in September. Meanwhile, single-family housing permits grew 2.6% in September and 11.8% in August after falling during the preceding three-month period. Multifamily permits in Texas also are on the rise due to increased demand for apartment rentals in the area. The Lone Star state, which has been nationally lauded for weathering the recession better than other states, gained only 800 jobs in September, the Fed Bank said. The state's employment growth was mostly flat due to state budget cuts, which killed 16,100 education jobs. However, the Dallas Fed said Texas' economic growth continues to push forward at a moderate rate. Write to Kerri Panchuk.