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Reports paint promising picture

Recent reports reflect a promising picture for Denton County’s economy.

Statistics on housing prices, automotive sales and unemployment rates show the region’s recovery is strengthening this fall following several years of setbacks during the Great Recession.

According to the Texas housing quarterly report issued by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Denton County has seen significant gains from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter in sales as well as median and average prices.

In the second quarter, 2,214 housing units were sold, up from the 1,377 sold in the first quarter and 23.41 percent greater than the same period last year. The median price of a house rose from $160,400 in the first quarter to $173,300. The second-quarter median price also was 8.31 percent greater than the second quarter of 2011. The average home price for the second quarter was $223,149, up from $193,915 in the first quarter and 11.76 percent higher than the same period last year.

In addition, the number of pre-owned homes on the market in Denton County has dropped 38 percent in the past 12 months.

Automotive sales are also up year over year, according to Freeman Auto Report. A total of 2,525 automobiles and trucks were sold in Denton County in September, up from the 1,983 sold in September 2011. For the year to date, a total of 19,543 cars and trucks have been sold across the county. Last year, at the same time, a total of 16,343 had been sold.

And earlier this week, the Texas Workforce Commission released monthly unemployment rates that showed an ongoing drop in the number of unemployed residents in the area. Denton’s unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent for September, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from August. In September 2011, the city’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

In Denton County, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent, also down seven-tenths of a percentage point from the prior month. In September 2011, the county’s unemployment rate stood at 6.9 percent.

Heading into the holiday shopping season, these numbers may well reflect higher sales at retail outlets as consumers settle back into more of a day-to-day routine without the heaviest worries of recent years.

Separately and collectively, the information depicts a strengthening economic outlook across the city and the county, painting a brighter future for all us who live and work here.