Real Estate Wealth Supports Texas Economy

By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

Oct. 15, 2012/Release No 02-1012

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Texas is wealthy, and real estate is a big reason.

Texas’ 2011 real estate wealth was valued at $1.6 trillion or $65,432 worth of real estate for every Texan, regardless of age. That’s up 86.7 percent from the $35,055 in 1997.

Dr. Ali Anari, research economist with the Real Estate Center (REC) at Texas A&M University, monitors the relative importance of the state’s real estate industry and the resulting wealth it creates. His latest article, “Texas Treasure,” is in the October issue of

Tierra Grande magazine, REC’s flagship periodical.

Real estate is the state’s second largest industry. According to Anari, the 2011 Texas real estate industry accounted for 8.4 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). Only manufacturing at 14.7 percent of GDP is larger.

“Real estate wealth comprises single-family residences, multifamily residences, commercial properties, industrial properties, mineral real estate, utility company properties, rural acreage and vacant lots,” he said.

More than half (56.3 percent) of the state’s real estate treasure is in single-family housing. Texas’ 2011 single-family residential wealth totaled $945.1 billion. Multifamily residential wealth was $85.1 billion. Total 2011 commercial real estate wealth amounted to almost $279 billion.

Also in the 2011 state treasure chest: industrial real estate ($95 billion), mineral real estate ($106 billion), utility company properties ($50 billion), rural acreage ($80.3 billion) and vacant lots ($39.5 billion).

Including the self-employed, 521,684 Texans worked in real estate in 2011, some 3.6 percent of total statewide employment. The largest proportion of self-employed Texans are in real estate. In 2010, the four largest Texas metropolitan areas accounted for a majority (81.4 percent) of real estate employment.

Anari says that every $1 million of Texas real estate revenue generates:

  • more than $500,000 in revenue elsewhere in the state economy;
  • 5.2 real estate jobs; and
  • five jobs in other industries.

“Taxes paid by the real estate industry accounted for 14.8 percent of total Texas business taxes in 2009,” said Anari. “Texas’ property tax revenue that year was more than $40 billion or 47.8 percent of state tax revenues; school districts levied $21.7 billion in property taxes, 54.4 percent of the total.”

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