RTA will seek to purchase core plus office and retail assets in Austin. The industrial market is generally driven by local consumer based goods and not considered a national gateway market. This, combined with an abundance of land to the east of I‐35, limits the opportunity for viable industrial properties.
As mentioned previously, Texas dominates the population‐growth lists and Austin is no exception. At year‐end 2011 it ranked #2 in population growth and #9 in 2012. Austin ranked first among the 50 largest U.S. metros based on net migration as a percent of total population in 2012 and this influx of new residents were the most talented according to the US Census Bureau. This fact is drawing new high paying employers like Apple, National Instruments, and Visa, to name a few. Consumer spending will increase and retailer expansion will follow.
The office market in Austin is hot, with the city leading the nation in job growth and boasting an unemployment rate of 5.4%. There have been 18 consecutive quarters of decreasing vacancy and rent growth is starting to surge. Further, Austin is a diversified economy based on state government, education, technology, electronics manufacturing, research and development, and software. The concentration of the most desirable office properties can be found downtown, west and southwest of the CBD. RTA plans to seek quality office projects in these submarkets and anticipates favorable Landlord conditions for the next 3‐4 years.