State Roundup: Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia

August 1, 2006

Texas: Off the beaten path

Adjacent towns Bryan and College Station, home to Texas A&M University, were ranked as the most undervalued housing markets in the country in this year's first quarter by National City Corp., a lender, and Global Insight, a consulting firm. What’s holding values back? It might be a lack of accessibility. No major highway goes through the metro area and the nearest major airport is 90 miles away, analysts said in a June 14 report in The Wall Street Journal.

More: National City Corp. and Global Insight report

Louisiana: New Orleans poised for investment

How would you rate the economic health of New Orleans on a scale of 1 to 10? Real estate investors and commercial practitioners rated it a 4.2, well below the United States as a whole, which they rate a 6.9. But investment opportunities look strong, says Ken Riggs, CCIM, CRE®, president and CEO of Real Estate Research Corp. in Chicago, which conducted the poll. Investment conditions in the Big Easy are best for apartments, which respondents rated a 7.2; industrial conditions rated a 6.4; and hotels a 5.6. “The core rebuilding will occur as insurance money and an influx of other funds comes in, which will take at least five years,” says Riggs.

Virginia: Home of white picket fences

What’s a great cottage community? Cottage Living magazine thinks a good example, among others, is the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Va. It boasts attractive older homes in good condition within walking distance of a vibrant town center. There’s plenty of green space, too, and the demographic profile is highly diverse. Del Ray is among the top picks by the magazine, which selects neighborhoods from five regions in the United States.

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