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Posted by: In: Rockspring News 07 May 2014 0 comments

Rockspring Capital, a privately owned real estate investment firm headquartered in Houston with offices in Edmonton and Calgary, today announced that it has added Douglas Peterson as a Director.  Peterson, along with current Director Fred Munn, will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Canadian activities and to insure that any capital raised is invested in properties that match the objectives of the offering memorandum.

“Doug’s vast experience in international law and legal regulatory matters will make a great addition the team,” said Jim McAlister IV, President and CEO of Rockspring Capital. “We’ve had great success with our partners in Canada, and Doug’s efforts will help us to strengthen our business relationships as we grow by ensuring we’re meeting and exceeding industry standards of corporate governance.”

Peterson has worked with several private practices specializing in corporate commercial law with a focus on international business transactions. He is a member of the Alberta Bar and the British Columbia Bar and is an instructor at the School of Business and Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. Peterson is also general counsel for a selected portfolio of Canadian companies with international interests.

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About Rockspring

Rockspring Capital is a Houston-based land investment company founded in 1973 whose strategy is to acquire opportunistic land parcels and residential lots in high growth areas. It also makes special situation bridge loan and note purchases on land related assets. Rockspring Capital acquires with all cash in markets within the “Texas Triangle” – Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Posted by: In: Industry Insights 21 Apr 2014 0 comments

Jim McAlister IV, president and CEO of Rockspring Capital, will speak at the Real Estate Private Equity Forum on Land & Homebuilding hosted by the Information Management Network (IMN) on April 22-23 in Miami.

This conference will focus on the key issues regarding successfully investing in land and homebuilding by private equity and real estate funds and explore what geographies are predicted to have lucrative investment opportunities in 2014.

McAlister was invited by IMN to be part of a panel of five discussing where the best upcoming land development and home building opportunities are located as well as provide expert insight into the trends Texas land developments are seeing in particular. Specific topics the panel will cover include: What areas of the U.S. are seeing the most demand? How are they tracking risk? What factors will impact underwriting criteria this year?

The panel will take place at the Ritz Carlton on April 22 and commence at 10 a.m. McAlister spoke at last year’s very first Real Estate Private Equity Forum on Land & Homebuilding in Las Vegas, which was a great success.

Posted by: In: Industry Insights 02 Apr 2014 0 comments

(CultureMap Houston) Houston has more new home construction than any other city in the nation and the building boom is going to get even more intense in the next few years, even though home prices are rising, a national housing consultant predicts.

“Construction is growing much faster here than anywhere else and the economy is much stronger than anywhere else,” says housing consultant John Burns, who heads Irvine, Calif.-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Houston had more new-home starts last year than the entire state of California, he says, and it will continue to be the nation’s top spot for building for a long time.  “I think it’s going to last for quite some time because Atlanta and Phoenix are the only two that are challenging and they are way behind.”

Burns was in Houston this week to address developers, home builders and real estate brokers at the Urban Land Institute’s Suburban Marketplace conference at the Marriott Westchase.

Houston’s new-home prices are at an all-time high, Burns says. With the economy strong and the supply of new homes very tight, home prices will continue to go up, probably about 5 percent this year, followed by a 4 percent gain next year.

“With only a three months supply of houses on the market, prices have to go up,” Burns says.

Houston builders could be building and selling 50,000 new homes in 2014, but a shortage of labor and quality lots is suppressing the local construction industry somewhat.

Developers are responding to the need for more lots by creating new communities, such as Pomona, which was recently started by Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood company in Manvel, south of Houston.

Burns’ survey of the best-selling master planned communities in the nation shows that 10 of the top 25 are in Houston. “This is the capital of suburban master planned communities in the country,” he says.

Burns projects that Houston’s annual new-home starts will increase about 13 percent annually over the next three years, peaking at 50,000 starts in 2016. The city, boosted by the energy and healthcare industries will have rising employment growth, topping out at 100,000 new jobs added in 2016.

Tough for first-time buyer

Today’s conditions are tough on the first-time homebuyer. Thirty-year mortgage rates, now in the mid-4 percent range will be rising over the next few years, topping out at 6.3 percent in 2017, Burns predicts.

Younger buyers and would-be homebuyers are saddled with student debt that has tripled over the last eight years, Burns says. And inflation adjusted incomes for the 25 to 34-age bracket has been falling slightly.

Fewer apartment dwellers are moving out of apartments to buy homes these days. Only 15 percent of apartment residents today say they are leaving because they are buying a house, down from 25 percent when the starter-home market was at its peak a few years ago.

Houston’s housing market appears to be on a strong run that will continue for at least three more years, Burns predicts. His projections indicate prices will continue to rise through 2017, but will soften slightly in 2018.

Long-term projections are tricky and the future is always uncertain. But for now, it’s a great time to be carpenter in Houston.

Ralph Bivins, former president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, is founding editor of RealtyNewsReport.

To view the Investor’s Business Daily article, click here.

Posted by: In: Rockspring News 31 Mar 2014 0 comments

Rockspring Capital, a privately-owned real estate investment firm based in Houston, today announced the acquisition of a 7.6-acre site in Northwest San Antonio, Texas.

The property is located in the prestigious Westover Hills Development located on Rogers Rd near Mt. Evans. It neighbors Chevron and Microsoft’s Data Center worksites, and is moments away from heavily-traveled highways 151 and 1604.

“We look to acquire a wide variety of assets in different submarket locations of Texas’ four major cities, and this acquisition helps us to further diversify our fund portfolio for our investors,” said Jim McAlister IV, President and CEO of Rockspring Capital. “There are numerous types of vertical developments that can be built on this property as this flourishing Westover Hills area is in need of various services.”

The potential uses for this site include office, data center, medical and multi-family. McAlister added, “With multiple exit strategies, this property was a very attractive buy and should produce a strong return.”

This is the second purchase the firm makes this year as it acquired a 22.52-acre retail site in booming Austin, Texas. These investments are further evidence of the growing demand for land in Texas, which is being driven by its thriving economy and explosive population growth.

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About Rockspring Capital

Rockspring Capital is a Houston-based real estate investment firm with a history of investing since 1973, whose strategy is to acquire opportunistic land parcels and residential lots in high growth areas. It also makes special situation bridge loan and note purchases on land-related assets. Rockspring Capital acquires with all cash in markets within the “Texas Triangle” – Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth. For more information about Rockspring Capital, visit https://www.rockspringcap.com.

Posted by: In: Industry Insights 08 Mar 2014 0 comments

This past month, Rockspring employees had the rewarding opportunity to volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity worksite in the Fifth Ward of Houston.

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From left to right: Beau Ryan, Jim Hynes, Will DeYoung, Jim McAlister, Chris Hutcheson, James Kadlick and Walter Wolff; Sierra Mansukhani, Melissa Showers and Olga Luna

Employees spent the day constructing the interior frame walls of a one-story three-bedroom home.  Houston Habitat for Humanity, with thousands of sponsors and volunteers, has built over 940 homes for deserving, low-income Houstonians. Habitat Partner Families contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity,” hands on involvement in construction of their home and other organizational activities, and complete training on home ownership best practices in order to purchase a home with a no-interest mortgage.

A very fortunate and hard-working single mom with two kids will be the owner of this new beautiful home by June 1st.  Rockspring looks forward to being on-site when the keys are handed to the family and celebrates their first day of home ownership!

Posted by: In: Industry Insights 06 Mar 2014 0 comments

(Investor’s Business Daily) Economy: When not making excuses for President Obama’s dismal economic record, liberals try to explain away Texas’ stellar growth. But what choice do they have? The Lone Star State proves limited government works.

After Gov. Rick Perry entered the presidential primaries in 2011, the left made a determined effort to dismiss the fact that his state had outperformed the rest of the country.

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called it the “Texas Unmiracle.” Time magazine dismissed Texas’ burgeoning growth as mere luck. Others chimed in along the same lines, insisting that low taxes, limited government spending and a business-friendly environment couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Texas’ better-than-average growth in GDP, jobs and incomes. And so, as Krugman put it, Texas “offers no useful lessons.”

Now that Perry is giving hints of another presidential run, the debunking effort is undergoing a resurgence.

An article this week in Washington Monthly written by Phillip Longman and titled “Oops: The Texas Miracle That Isn’t” spends 4,700 words claiming to have exposed the miracle as a fraud. But his debunking effort turns out to be phony.

Longman admits Texas has “outperformed the rest of the country in its growth of high-paying jobs.” That, he says, is “potentially a very big deal.” So he spends the rest of the article trying to explain it all away. He argues, for example, that the growth is almost entirely due to the boom in oil and gas production, though that industry directly accounts for just 8% of the new jobs.

In any case, he overlooks the fact that the oil and gas industry is doing well because Texas — unlike other energy-rich states such as, say, California — isn’t smothering it to death with regulations.

Longman then tries to deny the fact that people are flocking to Texas from other states in search of opportunity by citing just one year’s data on net migration — from 2010, a relatively low year for Texas.

Truth is that, since 2000, Texas has enjoyed a net migration of more than 2 million people, accounting for 40% of its total population growth, according to Census Bureau data. Between 2005 and 2012, nearly a quarter-million came from California alone.

Another way to look at it: In just five years, $14.4 billion worth of income shifted from other states to Texas, according to the Tax Foundation. Over the same years, liberal bastions such as California lost $15.8 billion, New York $21 billion and Massachusetts $4 billion.

Does that look like a “low level of net domestic migration to Texas”? Clearly, people are moving to Texas for a reason. And that mystifies those on the left because Texas has fewer government services, doesn’t try to soak the rich and spends less per student on education. Never mind that Texas students get a better education than those in big-spending California, according to a McKinsey & Co. study. Or that it has a lower poverty rate than California and New York.

And this migration trend isn’t limited to Texas. Between 2000 and 2011, the states with the biggest gains were more conservative, while the biggest losers were all liberal, according to a state freedom index report from the George Mason University Mercatus Center.

Longman also tries to claim Texas has been falling behind other states in per-capita income. But he fails to adjust for cost-of-living differences between states, so his numbers are meaningless.

Yes, Vermont’s per-capita income is now 5% higher than in Texas, as Longman says. But it costs about 25% more to live in Vermont, according to various cost-of-living calculators. Indeed, when you adjust for the vast differences in living costs across the country, Texas climbs from 26th to 11th in state per-capita income.

Fact is, Texas has pursued decidedly un-liberal policies. It has one of the lowest levels of government spending, among the lowest tax burdens and consistently ranks as the most business-friendly state in the nation.

As a result, its real economy grew 13% between 2009 and 2012 — twice as fast as the nation overall. Private-sector jobs climbed 12% since Obama’s “recovery” started 4-1/2 years ago, compared with 7% nationwide. And per-capita income has been rising faster — 50% since 2000 vs. 44% nationwide.

Longman’s right about one thing: This isn’t a “miracle” at all. Texas is just an example of what invariably happens when a state, or nation, pursues free-market economic policies. And that’s why the left is so desperate to make its success disappear.

To view the Investor’s Business Daily article, click here.

Posted by: In: Industry Insights 17 Feb 2014 0 comments

(Austin Business Journal) Austin’s accolades keep piling up. After the city ranked at or near the top of most economic polls and surveys in 2013, the Texas capital has started 2014 right where it left off, ranking No. 1 on Forbes’ list of the country’s fastest-growing cities for the fourth year in a row.

Forbes noted that Austin had a 2.5 percent estimated population growth in 2013 — the highest of all geographic regions in the country. It’s something that Austin demographer Ryan Robinson laid out in his latest findings that estimate how many people are moving to the Austin area every day.

Forbes also noted that Austin’s economy grew at a stellar 5.9 percent in 2013. That’s pretty hard to beat, the report said.

Houston, which has ranked near the top of the list in recent years due to the huge surge in domestic oil and gas production, may be seeing its sizzle start to fizzle. The city fell all the way from No. 2 last year to No. 10.

After Austin, the rest of the top five fastest-growing cities in the country are Raleigh, N.C.; Phoenix; Dallas (down from No. 3 a year ago); and Salt Lake City. San Antonio is ranked No. 20 this year.

Texas’ strong population growth, unemployment rate under 6 percent, business-friendly regulatory environment, lack of state income tax and highly educated labor market helped it put four cities on the list. Florida was the only other state with that number of cities. Read the complete Forbes report here.

Forbes’ analysis of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas was based on six metrics, including estimated rates of population growth for 2013 and 2014, job growth for 2013 and gross metropolitan product growth for 2013.

To view the Austin Business Journal article, click here.

Posted by: In: Rockspring News 27 Jan 2014 0 comments

Rockspring Capital, a privately-owned real estate investment firm based in Houston, today announced the acquisition of a 22.52-acre retail site in Austin, Texas.

The property, which was acquired at an attractive price, is located on the heavily-traveled Route 71 in the Bee Cave’s area, just 2 miles west of the Hill Country Galleria.  The firm plans to invest approximately $1.4 million to enhance the property’s value further.

“Austin’s booming economy and population growth is driving tremendous retail demand in this flourishing submarket,” said Jim McAlister, President and CEO of Rockspring Capital. “We were receiving a lot of interest from retailers even before the deal closed.”

Bee Caves plans to add more than 6,400 new homes, which will only increase the demand for the retail site. This property will serve future residents with several restaurants and banks, along with other service providers.

“We were aware of this opportunity before others and able to jump on it quickly because of our local real estate experts and all-cash model,” McAlister said. “We’re looking forward to selling off these pad sites soon which will quickly reward our investors.”

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About Rockspring Capital

Rockspring Capital is a Houston-based real estate investment firm with a history of investing since 1973, whose strategy is to acquire opportunistic land parcels and residential lots in high growth areas. It also makes special situation bridge loan and note purchases on land-related assets. Rockspring Capital acquires with all cash in markets within the “Texas Triangle” – Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth. For more information about Rockspring Capital, visit https://www.rockspringcap.com.

Posted by: In: Newsletter 20 Jan 2014 0 comments

By Michael Ross

Senior Vice President, Asset Management & Entitlements

Here at Rockspring, we pride ourselves for our level of local market knowledge and all-cash resources. These two traits are key in finding and closing on good deals before other companies do. Our latest acquisition exemplifies these traits very well.

This month, Rockspring acquired a 22.52-acre retail property in Austin, Texas, located on the heavily-traveled Route 71 in the Bee Cave’s area, 2 miles west of the Hill County Galleria. The property was acquired at an extremely attractive price, and the firm plans to invest approximately $1.4 million to enhance the property’s value further.

Austin’s booming economy and population growth is driving tremendous demand for housing, especially the submarket of Bee Caves – the area is expected to add more than 6,400 new homes over the next several years. Thus, there will be a great need for retail services in the area, such as restaurants, banks and more.

Our teams in the region were aware of the property’s potential well in advance, and because of our all-cash model, we were able to quickly purchase the property. We’ve been receiving calls from retail buyers even before the deal closed.

Now that the deal is done, our next step is to sell off the pad sites to retailers at competitive market prices, which will quickly reward our investors.

With deals like this, it’s going to be a great year for our company and investment partners!

Posted by: In: Newsletter 15 Jan 2014 0 comments

By Jim Hynes

Managing Director

I hope you read the cover story last year of TIME magazine’s October 28, 2013 edition by economist Tyler Cowen. He looks at the reasons why so many Americans are headed to the Lone Star State. In detailing the reasons for the tremendous success of the conservative state, he comes to a conclusion that surprises even himself: Texas is the nation’s future.

time-magazine

Based on Cowen’s research, there are several reasons why America’s future is going to look a lot more like Texas. The most significant reasons have already been highlighted by Jim McAlister in his article for this newsletter, but here are a few more compelling facts from this article to think about:

1) With three of the top five fastest-growing cities in the country — Austin, Dallas, and Houston — Texas is America’s fastest-growing large state. Over the past 20 years, more than 4 million Californians have moved to Texas.

2) Texas has the third highest average income (after Virginia and Washington) based on a ranking done by MoneyRates.com, which ranks states on the basis of average income, adjusting for tax rates and cost of living.

3) Over the past 10 years, Texas created nearly one-third of the country’s highest-paying jobs.

What it all adds up to is a future where many more Americans live in Texas — and a nation that looks more and more like the Lone Star State.