San Antonio’s economic growth remains strong in the aftermath of booming Eagle Ford Shale drilling activity. According to EOG Resources Inc., the estimated Eagle Ford oil reserve potential increased by 250 percent since the discovery in 2010 (including a recent 45 percent increase), implying more economic opportunities for the region. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas production in the Eagle Ford formation will increase to 6,590 million cubic feet/day in September of this year, up by 20 percent year-over-year compared to the last September. In fact, total liquid petroleum production has quadrupled in the past three years in the region boosting the local economy.
San Antonio added a net of 14,100 jobs in the first half of 2014 ending in June, compared to 11,200 jobs in the same period last year. Consequently, unemployment declined by 1.3 percent to 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014 from 2013Q2. We expect job growth to be around 2.5 percent year-over-year through 2014. Most of the job growth is expected to be in construction, manufacturing, professional services, hospitality, and biotechnology/biomedical sciences. Consistent with the solid job growth, personal income in the area is growing in line with the long-term average of about 6.0 percent.
The housing market in the region is tightening up and home prices are growing steadily. Home prices grew 4.4 percent year-over-year in 2014Q1, the strongest since 2007. Housing starts, especially multifamily, have surged since the beginning of 2014. Strong home builders’ confidence and solid residential real estate demand has helped enhance residential construction in the area. According to the San Antonio Housing Authority, Phase III construction of $31 million worth of multifamily apartment buildings in San Juan will erect 252 residential units by the end of 2014, boosting community connectivity and economic activity in the area.
Click here for the complete San Antonio MSA Regional Economic Update: SanAntonio 2014Q2.