Thursday, October 19, 2017

Could Austin Get the New Amazon Headquarters?



Moody’s Analytics has crunched the numbers and they think Austin has the best shot at getting the new Amazon headquarters, Business Insider reports.

The retail giant’s second headquarters is expected to employ 50,000 people and the company says it will give it a $5 billion investment.  

Amazon is accepting bids through today from cities that meet the following criteria: 1 million or more residents, 8 million square feet of space for the construction, access to an airport, stable, business-friendly regulations and tax structure, incentives that will help with the construction and expenses, workers, mass transit, a good cultural fit and a high quality of life.

The relatively low cost of living in Austin, as well as high quality of life and high desire of people to live here contributed to Austin’s coming out on top.  Texas’ low level of regulation and taxes were the icing on the cake.  

Atlanta, Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania came in at the next two spots.  

Amazon will announce the winner next year.

Looking to move to a new apartment closer to work here in Austin?  Austin Apartment Specialists can help!  Give us a call today at 512-241-1111!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

South First Named One of the Best Places to Visit in the US



Lonely Planet named the South First Street area in Austin one of the ten best places in the country to go right now, Austin 360 reports.

Lonely Planet cites Bouldin Creek Cafe and Torchy’s Tacos as destinations and applauds the casual, easy vibe of South First Street in direct contrast to the trendiness of South Congress.

They also suggest taking the CapMetro Bus 10 or renting a B-cycle to spend a day exploring the boutiques, vintage shops and bakeries along the street, and of course recommend a stop by the ubiquitous “Greetings from Austin” mural at the corner of Annie and South First.

For lodging, Lonely Planet recommends South Congress Hotel or a local house or room rented via Air BnB or Home Away.  

The other destinations in the country that Lonely Planet said were must visits are East Liberty and Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh; Avondale, Chicago; Point Loma, San Diego; East Nashville, Nashville; Capitol Riverfront and Yards Park, Washington D.C.; Montavilla, Portland; and River North, Denver.

Started out a tourist, but ready to put down roots in Austin?  Austin Apartment Specialists South Austin can help!  Give us a call today at 512-241-1111 to find your perfect apartment in no time!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Austin Tops for Commercial Real Estate Investment




Austin was named the best “non-gateway city” for commercial real estate investment, the Austin Business Journal reports.  (Non-gateway is anything other than New York and Los Angeles.)

DLA Piper’s Annual State of the Market named Austin the best city for commercial real estate investment in the country.  They asked 220 executives in the real estate biz from the best real estate firms in the country where they thought the best city was for investment and 45% of them said Austin.  That puts Austin on top, tied with Seattle.

Denver and Nashville tied for the next spot with 33% of the respondents naming them a great investment city.

Chinese investors are the biggest foreign investor in the US market.  In Austin, a Chinese firm is partnering with a domestic one on the construction of 70 Rainey.

Looking for an apartment to give you your own little peace of mind?  Austin Apartment Specialists can help! Give us a call today at 512-241-1111 to find your dream apartment in no time!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Austin's GDP 2nd in the US




Austin’s Gross Domestic Product was the 2nd highest in the nation, the Austin American Business Journal reports.

The Gross Domestic Product measures the total amount of all the goods and services that come out of the Austin metro area and was $125.8 billion in 2016, up 4.9 percent from 2015’s $119.9 billion.

The San Francisco Bay area beat out Austin in the rankings of metros with a population of at least 2 million.

Austin’s growth was strongest in the professional and business services sector, as well as finance and real estate.  Construction, trade and information were also robust.  The biggest drop in GDP was in the energy and durable-goods manufacturing industries.

Out of the United States’ 382 metropolitan areas, 267 saw an increase in their real GDP.  The average rise was 1.7 percent.

In Texas, GDP in Dallas was up 3 percent in 2016, but Houston’s was down 3 percent due to slowdowns in the energy industry.

Austin may have had the best growth in the country last year, it was the smallest increase in Austin since 2012.  The Austin Metro Area’s growth has been fast since 2011.  GDP was $93.4 billion that year.

Looking to get in on Austin’s strong economy? Austin Apartment Specialists can help!  Give us a call today at 512-241-1111 to find your dream apartment in no time with our free service!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Austin Real Estate Market Hotter than Ever


The Summer of 2017 will be remembered as the strongest ever for Austin's Real Estate Market, Austin Culturemap reports.

The Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area had more housing sales at higher prices than ever, with the median price exceeding $300,000 and home sales totaling over $1 billion each month for May, June, July, and August.

In August, home sales were up 1 percent in the area and 6 percent in the city of Austin.  The median price for the metro area was $300,000 and the median price for just the city was $361,000.  

Although home inventory was also up, that won’t lead to a decrease in prices anytime soon. Demand is just too high.  However, it may lead to a slow-down in the rapid growth of home prices in the area.

Looking to avoid the housing market stress and rent an apartment?  Austin Apartment Specialists South can help!  Give us a call today at 512-912-8000!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Austin Most Fun City in Texas


Austin came in as the top fun city in Texas in WalletHub’s new study, the Austin American Statesman reports.

It’s probably not surprising to most Texans that we beat out other cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.  However Austinites who like to have a good time may be surprised by the fact that Austin was listed as just the 18th most fun city in the country.  

Austin did okay in the Nightlife and Parties category, coming in at number 17, and slightly worse in the Entertainment and Recreation category, snagging the 24th spot, but its ranking was tanked by its showing in the costs category: 50th.  

Wondering where the most fun is to be had in the US?  That would be Las Vegas, Orlando and New York.  The least fun cities?  Brownsville, Texas and Oxnard, California.

Looking to join the fun in Austin?  We can help!  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111 for helping finding the perfect apartment for your lifestyle!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Austin Trails



Everyone has heard of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, but many outdoor activity loving Austinites can’t afford downtown Austin’s steep rents.  It’s often said that Austin is a city built in a park, and today we’re going to take a look at some of the lesser known trails and parks around our city that can give you that same outdoor lifestyle for less.

Brushy Creek Trail is located in Cedar Park and encompasses 6.75 miles of trails with beautiful landscaping and gorgeous views.  There are six parks along the trail with amenities such as splash pads, swimming areas, fishing docks, rocks that can be climbed, canoeing and kayaking, disc golf, restrooms, and many picnic and pavilion areas.  There are several apartment communities close to the trail and rent tends to be less than half that of a comparable property in downtown Austin near Lady Bird Lake.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is a 293-acre park in Northeast Austin off Lamar near Parmer Lane.  It has 15 miles of hiking trails, softball fields, a pool, a playground, an off-leash dog area, basketball courts, volleyball courts, barbecuing areas, and picnic areas.  There are four apartment communities adjacent to the park with amenities available such as fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, garden tubs and more. Bonus: this park is less than 5 miles from the Domain, so it’s easy to get new workout gear when you wear out what you’ve got!

There are lots of trail options in South Austin as well. The Onion Creek Greenbelt is a 555 acre park located along the banks of Onion Creek just south of William Cannon and east of IH-35.  Amenities include soccer fields, an off-leash dog area, a playground, and gorgeous shaded hiking trails.  There are three beautiful, amenity-filled apartment communities just three miles away, and two of those are brand new and ready for you to move in and enjoy!

Also located in South Austin, Mary Moore Searight Park is off Slaughter Lane just 2 miles from Southpark Meadows.  The park has more than 300 acres of amenities like disc golf, horseback riding trails, a playground, an off-leash dog area, basketball courts, a fishing pier, a picnic shelter, a soccer field, a tennis court, barbeque pits and 6 miles of trails.  Two beautifully appointed apartment communities are adjacent to the park, and one has direct access so you can enjoy all the park’s amenities easily.  The other has no weight restrictions on pets so you can take full advantage of the park’s off-leash areas.

Ready to make the move to an apartment with full access to the outdoor lifestyle?  Austin Apartment Specialists can help!  We know Austin and the surrounding areas well and can help you find an apartment that fits what you’re looking for. Give us a call today at 512-241-1111 to get started!

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Apartments In East Austin




A new apartment community has broken ground in East Austin, the Austin Business Journal reports.

The Guthrie is under construction on the former site of Guthrie Lumber near Gonzales and Tillery streets.  The project will have 322 apartments and live-work units as well.  Other amenities will include surface parking (as opposed to a parking garage), a large courtyard, a fenced-in dog park, and a hike-and-bike trail adjacent to the railroad tracks.

The developer, Argyle Residential, has built several multifamily projects in East Austin, including the Lakeshore Pearl, Lakeshore Azul, and Corazon.  

The buildings will be three and four stories in this heavily wooded area near the East 7th street bridge. It’s close to a nearby collection of artist studios called Canopy, the Austin Bouldering Project, Friends & Allies Brewing Company, and urban farms Boggy Creek Farm and Springdale Farm.

The developers hope to be able to offer the apartments in this often overlooked area for much less than what apartments closer to downtown would go for.

Looking to make the move to East Austin?  Apartment Specialists South Austin can help you find the perfect apartment so you can enjoy all that the eastside has to offer! Give us a call today at 512-912-8000!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Can Any Generation Afford Rent in Austin?


Rent is on the rise, not just in Austin, but in the US as a whole.  Culturemap Austin reports on what each generation is paying in rent and whether they are able to afford the rent increases.  

The US Census Bureau found that 35% of households nationally are renters and 47% of those households spend more than 30% of their income on rent, which means they are cost-burdened.  

A recent study looked at how that cost burden breaks down across three generations: millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Roughly two-thirds of millennials are renters and their median rent is $980.  Millennial's median income is $39,900 and this contributes to the fact that 46.5 percent of millennials are paying more 30% of their income on rent.

More Baby Boomers are facing burdens from renting than millennials.  23.3 percent of Baby Boomers are renters and 49.1 percent are paying more than 30% of their income in rent.  Boomer's median income is the lowest of the three generations at $33,000, and their rent is also the lowest at $890 per month.  

38% of Generation X’ers rent and 44 percent of them spend more than 30% of their income on their rent.  Generation X’s median income is $44,470 and their median rent is $1,050.

Austinites that are part of Generation X are doing even better.  Just 38.3 percent of them pay more than 30% of their income in rent.  45.1% of Austin Millennials spend more than 30% of their income for their rent, and 51% of renting Boomers in Austin spend more than they should on rent.

Looking to rent an apartment in Austin?  No matter what generation you belong to, Austin Apartment Specialists can help you find an apartment that fits your budget and lifestyle.  Give us a call today at 512-241-1111!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Austin Apartment Market Report



The new Multi-family Trend Report for Austin reveals that developers may be feeling uncertain about building new communities, the Austin Business Journal reports.

Developers are wary of two things: the rewrite of Austin land development code called CodeNEXT and the fact that some Austin City Council members are looking at expanding the Capitol View Corridors, especially in east Austin.

East Austin has just recently become a hotbed of development.  The largest apartment project under construction in the city currently, being built around the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail station, is in East Austin.  An expansion of the Capitol View Corridor would prevent high rises from being built, decreasing the size of projects, increasing the cost, and possibly making them way less feasible.  

In addition, financing for projects is scarce across the country.  Building costs are also increasing nationally, which is even worse in Austin because costs here for new construction is much higher than other places.

Those higher costs are due to higher land prices, delays in approvals by the city for new projects, and “onerous” regulatory rules in the Austin city limits.  

There was an increase in permit applications recently, perhaps due to developers wanting to get their projects approved before any more regulations are passed.  

There are 69 projects with 16,351 units total that are in the permitting stage.  There are 19,000 units in the Austin area under construction and 6,500 are set to be finished by the end of 2017.

After years of older apartments, (called Class C properties), being more popular due to renters preferring cheaper rent to amenities, they have been seeing their occupancy rates fall.  

The most apartments are being built in Cedar Park and Leander, followed by the Highland Mall redevelopment.  

Surprisingly, Bastrop has the highest occupancy rate, despite having lower rents than anywhere else in the area.  

Downtown Austin has the highest rents.

Looking for an apartment anywhere in the Austin area?  We can help you find the perfect place no matter what the market does.  Give Austin Apartment Specialists South Austin a call today at 512-912-8000.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Austin's Tight Rental Market


One of our agents, John Gutierrez, was recently interviewed by KEYE’s Fred Cantu about the tight Austin apartment market after an apartment fire in the East Riverside area.

The apartment fire took place at University Estates on July 26th and damaged three units, leaving 12 people without a place to live.  Thankfully no one was injured, but it leaves this apartment complex with three less apartments to rent just as the rental market heats up with college students returning for the fall semester.

John spoke to the fact that even though apartment construction is booming in Austin, there is still not enough supply to keep up with demand.  

This problem is particularly pronounced for renters caught with a short time table to find a new place.  These renters may have difficulty finding an apartment that fits their needs.  They are often only able to pick from the apartments others have already looked at and chosen not to rent.  While there are apartments in every neighborhood, the available ones for those with tight time constraints may may not fit apartment hunters’ budgets.

Frightened of the Austin apartment market?  Don’t be!  With one of Austin Apartment Specialists’ expert apartment locators on your side, we will find you a new home that fits all your criteria. Give us a call today at 512-241-1111.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Austin Housing Market Mid-Year Report



Culturemap Austin reports Austin home sales slowed down in the first half of the year, the new mid-year sales report from the Austin Board of Realtors reveals.

Sales in the Austin-Round Rock area only went up by 2.8 percent between January and June of this year.  The median home price did increase, though, by 6.4 percent to $300,000.

June home sales were up 4.4 percent over last June.  3,415 homes sold in the area last month.  The Median home price was up to $314,000, an increase of 6.6 percent.

In the city of Austin, home sales were up 4.3 percent over last year in the first half of the year, for a total of 4,680 homes sold.  The median price in Austin was $365,000, an increase of 7.7 percent from last year and over $26,000 more expensive than during the same time last year.

Last month, 1,015 homes sold in Austin, 2.1 percent more than last year.  However, the median home price was up to $393,500, a 13.2 percent increase from last June.

Avoid Austin’s crazy home buying market and rent!  Austin Apartment Specialists South can help!  Give us a call today at 512-912-8000 for help finding the perfect apartment pain free!  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Forbes Says Austin's Housing Market is Overvalued



According to a new report by Forbes, Austin’s housing market is the 2nd most overvalued in the country, KXAN reports.  San Antonio was ranked the most overvalued market in the US.

Forbes said Austin’s market is 17 percent overvalued. The median home price in Austin is $286,400.  San Antonio’s median home price is $202,600, which Forbes said was 18.6 percent overvalued.

Forbes looked at a city’s nominal income growth, population growth, unemployment, change in rental prices and change in home prices to determine its ratings.  

Home builders are putting new homes mostly in Northwest and Southeast Austin and home builders share the concern that the market is overvalued.  Homes are getting more and more expensive to build and many buyers are having to spend 30 to 40 percent of their income on their home costs.  Most experts recommend putting 25 percent of income towards home costs.

In the last ten years, home prices have skyrocketing in Austin.  In 2006, the median price of a home here was $182,000.  In 2012, prices started climbing and the current median home price is almost $100,000 more than it was in 2006.

Looking to avoid Austin’s scary home buying market and rent?  Austin Apartment Specialists can help!  Give us a call today at 512-241-1111 to find your dream apartment today!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Austin's Retail Growth


Austin’s retail boom continues, the Austin American Statesman reports, with the best retail occupancy rate in the country.

The current retail occupancy rate in Austin is 96 percent.  Some stores have closed recently, including Chair King in the Mueller development, but those locations are quickly snapped up by other companies looking for space.

Last year, Central Texas saw an additional 1.1 million square feet of space for retail and is on target to add 890,000 square feet more in 2017.

Some of the biggest expansions are in the grocery market.  Grocery stores often serve as anchors for new developments and attract other retailers.

While HEB is the biggest grocer in the area, Randall’s also has plans to open a store in Georgetown. 99 Ranch Market, an Asian grocer, will bring its first store to Austin at North Lamar and Airport Boulevard.  Target is brining a small version of their stores to Dobie mall by the UT campus, and Aldi and Lidl, a German discount grocery store, is planning to come to Pflugerville and Kyle as well.  

The demand for space has led to an increase in rent.  Increased property taxes also force owners to pass those costs onto tenants in the form of higher rent.

Despite a lot of restaurants closing in the city, many due to the increase in rent, more food purveyors are waiting in the wings to take over those spaces.  They are taking advantage of the fact that the previous tenants already did much of the work on building out spaces so the new restaurant can save on start-up costs.

The hottest neighborhoods for retail in Austin are Mueller, The Domain, and downtown, particularly near the new central library on Cesar Chavez.  East Austin’s explosive growth, on the other hand, seems to be slowing down.

Watch for more growth in the city, especially as Plaza Saltillo and the former Brackenridge tract are developed.

Looking to rent an apartment near retail?  Apartment Specialists South Austin can help!  Give us a call today at 512-912-8000 to find your dream home quickly!