Marcus Hiles, Chairman and CEO of Western Rim Property Services, is a strong analyst of the Texas economy. He has watched the growth over the past three years, driven by $5 billion in tax cuts, result in steady in consumer confidence and spending in the real estate market. With 1.3 million new jobs generated by these tax cuts, unemployment was down to 4.4 percent in April (while at 5% nationally). The state’s job recovery rate is two years ahead of the US average. In May, the Consumer Confidence Index in Texas was at 117.6, a solid 15 points over the national average. Hiles explains that year-over-year home values in Texas are up 5.9 percent and there has been a 6 percent increase for single-family building permits.