Who knew that big ol’ Texas was such an economic powerhouse these days?


BusinessWeek presented its Top 40 strongest U.S. metropolitan areas based on a study by the Brookings Institution considering employment, gross metropolitan product, and home prices.

Texas cities dominated the list, placing six metros in the Top 12.

Fort Worth/Dallas ranked No. 5. Our “sprawling, vibrant, and diverse metro” was lauded for its major international airport, pro sports, and big corporations. And our home prices actually increased a bit compared to the previous year — pretty rare in this nationwide recession.

San Antonio topped the list, followed by Austin-Round Rock (No. 2), Houston-Sugar Land (No. 9), El Paso (No. 10), and McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission (No. 12).

I watch Flip This House and other real estate oriented shows on HGTV Network and I’m amazed at how much houses sell for in other parts of the country compared to good ol’ Texas. A friend of mine who hails from Texas but now lives in Los Angeles said houses out there are about four or five time more expensive, but people’s incomes aren’t even double what they are here. She knows people whose mortgages and utility bills take up about 80 percent of their income.

Eventually Texas home prices will get more in line with the rest of the country, which, I suppose, means the smart thing to do is to buy a house in Texas while prices and interest rates are low.

I’m no financial wizard and have no credentials for giving financial advice, so take it with a grain of salt, a wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

If you get in the stock market, buy low and sell high.