πŸ“Š $100K Salaries & Soaring Skyscrapers: The New Austin Norm πŸŒ†

Austin Archuleta


February 2, 2024


Here’s what you need to know about Austin Real Estate today:

    • Austin’s housing affordability crisis: $100k salary now just a starting point. πŸ’Έ
    • “Trapezoidal” skyscraper by Gensler to redefine Austin’s skyline by Summer 2024. πŸ—οΈ
    • Home prices take a nosedive across Texas, with Austin leading the fall. πŸ“‰
    • Mayoral candidates Tovo and Llanes Pulido challenge Watson on housing, and transparency. 🏘️

Austin’s Real Estate and Housing Market Trends

How Much You Need to Make to Buy a House in Austin

Source: Austin Chronicle

Summary: Austin’s real estate scene continues to pose challenges for middle-income, first-time homebuyers, despite cooling prices. Lenders and economists highlight that while home supply might suggest a buyer’s market, actual affordability is hampered by increased monthly payments, nearly double what they were two years ago. Current calculations suggest that the minimum annual income needed to buy a house in Austin ranges from $75,000 to $100,000, excluding a significant portion of the city’s population. Austin does offer assistance programs, including the Community Land Trust and Down Payment Assistance Program, but they may need revamping to effectively help buyers navigate the tough market.

Why this matters: Awareness of the evolving real estate scenario in Austin, including rising monthly payments and the income threshold for purchasing homes, can help our readers better advise their clients, potentially guiding them towards the available assistance programs or alternative housing options within their budget.

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House Prices Are Falling Throughout Texas

Source: Newsweek

Summary: Recent data indicates that house prices are falling across Texas, with Austin experiencing the most significant drop. According to Lance Lambert’s house price tracker, Austin recorded a 7.2% year-over-year decrease and a 20.1% drop since its 2022 peak. Other cities like San Antonio, Dallas and Houston have also experienced price drops. Austin and San Antonio, which used to be among the most overheated markets in the country, saw the highest home-price appreciation during the pandemic. However, since the market correction, prices have been dropping consistently.

Why this matters: This information could be crucial for realtors and their clients in Central Texas, as it could influence their buying or selling strategies – knowing the trend can help them make informed decisions and potentially maximize their investment.

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Austin among metros in the US with steepest rent declines

Source: KXAN

Summary: Austin’s rental rates have seen a significant decline, with a 12.5% decrease from the previous year, according to a report from Rent.com. Another data source, RealPage Inc., corroborates this trend, ranking Austin as having the second-highest percentage decline in rental rates in the country. Increased housing supply is identified as a key factor driving this trend.

Why this matters: This shift in the rental market could provide home buyers and renters with more affordable options, offering real estate companies a unique opportunity to highlight the increased affordability and potentially attract more clients.

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Austin Zoning Changes Necessary But Not Sufficient To Increase Housing

Source: Central Texas Real Estate Review

Summary: The current real estate market in Central Texas is experiencing impressive growth and change, with significant boosts in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Notably, there’s an increasing interest in suburban and rural properties, driven by shifts in work-from-home policies and the desire for more space. Economically, Central Texas remains resilient, with promising investment returns and affordability compared to other major markets. Commercial real estate is evolving with e-commerce demands, leading to an uptick in industrial and warehouse spaces. Simultaneously, the region sees a surge in land and farm real estate, fueled by organic farming and sustainable living trends.

Why this matters: Real estate practitioners in Central Texas can leverage these market trends to advise clients looking for residential, commercial, or land & farm properties effectively. Understanding the ongoing shifts in the market enables agents to provide timely, strategic advice to clients and help them make informed decisions, thereby growing their business and advancing their career in the process.

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How Austin’s Mayoral Race Is Shaping Up So Far

Source: Austin Chronicle

Summary: The Austin mayoral race is heating up with two new candidates – Kathie Tovo and Carmen Llanes Pulido – both of whom have announced their intent to run for the position. Tovo, a former City Council member, is known for her skepticism of market-based solutions to housing challenges and preference for slower, more deliberate strategies like using public land for affordable housing. Llanes Pulido shares similar views on housing and has a strong background in advocacy on land use issues. Both candidates express dissatisfaction with incumbent Mayor Kirk Watson’s leadership and lack of transparency.

Why this matters: Understanding the housing stances of these mayoral candidates can help real estate professionals anticipate potential changes in Austin’s housing policies and market dynamics, enabling them to better advise their clients and make strategic decisions in their business.

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Development and Economic Indicators in Austin

Austin Economic Indicators

Source: Dallas Federal Reserve

Summary: The Austin economy witnessed a slight dip with job losses in December 2023, primarily in the tech sector, leading to a marginal increase in the unemployment rate. However, rent prices in the city observed stabilization, and there was an increment in the home inventories. Austin’s Business-Cycle Index grew by 0.7% annualized, albeit slower than the previous month. Sectors such as leisure, hospitality, education, and health services saw growth while professional, business services, construction, and mining experienced a decline.

Why this matters: The stabilized rent prices and rise in home inventories suggest a shift in the residential real estate market in Austin, assisting residential real estate professionals to strategically navigate the changes and provide valuable insights to their clients.

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“Trapezoidal” skyscraper by Gensler nears completion in Austin

Source: Dezeen

Summary: The construction of a “”trapezoidal”” skyscraper in Austin, Texas, designed by US studio Gensler, is making significant progress. The skyscraper, named Sixth and Guadalupe, stands at 845-foot-tall and is a mixed-use development encompassing residential, office, and retail spaces. The project is shaped by the Texas Capitol View Corridors legislation, which aims to preserve unobstructed views of the Texas State Capitol building. The building also includes terraces with green spaces and a pool. Completion is anticipated in Summer 2024.

Why this matters: This innovative project reflects a significant shift in Austin’s architectural landscape; understanding this trend can enable real estate professionals to anticipate client needs and market trends better, while also identifying potential opportunities for investment or development.

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Comparative Analysis and Broader Texas Real Estate Market

Houston vs Other Major Texas Cities: Lifestyle, Culture, and Opportunities

Source: The Central Texas Realty Review

Summary: Central Texas’ real estate market continues its dynamic growth, showcasing resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential properties have been experiencing a steady increase in demand, leading to higher sale prices and a seller’s market. Commercial and industrial sectors are also thriving due to increased investment and a trend towards urbanization. Notably, there’s a surge in farmland sales sparked by the desire for space and the popularity of sustainable farming.

Why this matters: Central Texas’ robust real estate market growth offers realtors opportunities to diversify their portfolio – a thriving residential sector, commercial and industrial real estate ripe for investment and a burgeoning market in farmland sales.

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