Commercial Real Estate

Ross Perot Jr. On the Upside—and Downside—of the Best Market of His Career

Hillwood’s chairman discussed Dallas-Fort Worth’s growth at the recent United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Tocqueville Society luncheon.

Perot Jr. addresses the crowd at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.
Perot Jr. addresses the crowd at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

At this week’s United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Tocqueville Society luncheon, featured speaker Ross Perot Jr. talked about the construction boom in North Texas—and what the construction-labor shortage means for the area.

Perot said one of the biggest problems Dallas-Fort Worth is facing is that, “We don’t have enough people … The construction market alone needs another 20,000 workers just to feed the construction boom we have.” He cited the area’s unemployment rate, which as of March was at 4.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Perot said that 10 years ago, the region could produce around 55,000 new homes, but that because of the labor shortage, that figure is now around 30,000 homes built per year. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the number of U.S. construction jobs rose by 5,000 last month, making for the highest total number of jobs (6.8 million) in almost 10 years, due to robust construction demand.

“Twenty-one billion dollars of construction is going on in Dallas-Fort Worth today,” Perot said, putting DFW on par with the likes of New York City. And the really good news about the North Texas development, according to Perot? The product being built is “filling up, it’s well-financed, it is not a lot of speculative money, so it feels like it’s a real solid market.” In fact, Perot said this is the best market he’s seen in his real estate career—which means a lot coming from the chairman of Hillwood.

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