While wage and job growth were positive in Texas metros along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018, rising housing prices cut into affordability across the region, according to the latest Texas Border Economy report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Border metros added 13,000 non-farm jobs, with McAllen leading with 1.9% growth. El Paso recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the metro’s history at 4.3% and a fifth-straight year of improving private wages. McAllen and Brownsville also saw wage improvement. Laredo was the exception, where earnings fell for the second year.
Housing sales along the border were up 5.3% in 2018 along with increased activity in the $100,000 to $300,000 price range. Sales activity shifting away from homes priced below $100,000 applied upward pressure on the median price. The Real Estate Center
Affordability Indices for border metros sank to their lowest levels since the recession, representing a reduction in how much families making the median income could afford to pay relative to median home prices.