Blogs

Austin's home market 'healthiest' in U.S., study says....

Austin's housing market is the healthiest among large cities, according to a study from WalletHub.

Austin was ranked No. 1 out of 62 U.S. cities with more than 300,000 residents, the report found.

For the overall study, analysts compared 300 cities nationwide in several size categories across 14 metrics, including foreclosure rate, median home price, vacancy rates, population growth and unemployment rates to determine their "health."

Seven other Texas cities were on the list of large cities analyzed:

No. 10: Fort Worth

No. 14: San Antonio

Is Austin slowing down?

So far in Austin, this year, Commercial construction starts this year have totaled $1.4 billion, up 34 percent over this time in 2014 and residential construction is up 9% at $2.4 billion, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. 

Mortgage Typos Can Lead to Big Problems

A mortgage loan application filled with inaccurate information -- even just a small typo -- could have big consequences later on. Name misspellings tend to be the most common mistake, according to a blog post on Credit.com.

Latest Rainey Street tower moves ahead after compromise....

Tension between a New York developer and Austin planners appear to have been diffused as City Council unanimously approved an agreement Tuesday to facilitate the construction of a 35-story condo tower on Rainey Street downtown.

Developer Sackman Enterprises will pay $400,000 to use a city-owned empty lot at 64 Rainey St. as a construction staging area for a minimum of two years. The developer also agreed to pay for the design and engineering of public right-of-way between its "70 Rainey" high-rise and the nearby vacant parcel of land at 64 Rainey St.

Apartment Occupancies Soar to Record High

Apartments are filling up nationwide. The national occupancy rate in May reached 95.3 percent, the highest ever, reports Axiometrics, a real estate analytics firm.

"The May rate historically is the start of each year's occupancy peak, meaning occupancy should remain at the current level or higher," says Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics' vice president of research.

Higher occupancy rates have come with higher rents. In May, rents rose 5 percent nationally, making it the fourth consecutive month at or above that mark.

Builder Tries Crowdsourcing Home Floorplans

Home builder Taylor Morrison is using crowdsourcing to generate floorplans for new model homes. The Phoenix-based builder has launched a campaign to ask for consumers' help across the country on help designing model homes in Houston, Austin, and Dallas as well as in some of its California communities.

The campaign, dubbed myModel Home Project, allows consumers to choose design items from the flooring and cabinetry to the paint colors and countertops. The items that receive the most votes will be built into each new model home.

Austin development delays cost renters the most, survey says....

Renters are being hit the hardest with increasing housing costs due to building delays within the City of Austin's Planning and Development Review department. That's the conclusion drawn by Megan Shannon, a new project manager with Momark Development, who studied the issue in depth at the University of Texas as a graduate student of urban planning.

Austin Neighbor Gets Ready To Woo Entrepreneurs!

San Marcos is getting ready to woo entrepreneurs at the second annual Governor’s Small Business Forum: Cultivating a Sustainable Economy.

San Marcos has been identified, by the U.S. Census, as the fastest growing city in the country for three consecutive years and Hays County is now the fifth-fastest growing county in the nation.

“This rapid growth, coupled with abundant talent and affordability, is shaping the San Marcos area into the center of economic gravity for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Austin-San Antonio Corridor, San Marcos officials said”.

Home Owners See Solar, Wind in Their Future

The preferred energy sources for the future of U.S. homes may be solar and wind, according to a new survey conducted by SolarCity, a solar installer, and Clean Edge, a marketing research firm. Of the approximately 1,400 home owners surveyed, half identified solar energy as the most important energy source for the future of housing—regardless of where respondents lived or their political views. Coming in second as an important future energy source was wind, followed by natural gas, increased efficiency, oil, hydro- and nuclear power.

Adopt-a-Beach Fall Cleanup Sept. 26

Fancy a weekend away down by the coast? Why not combine it with a community service event and sign up as a volunteer at the nation's biggest coastal cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The 2015 Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup takes place at 30 of Texas’ most popular tourist beaches.

If you’d like to help but can’t make the date, tax-deductible donations can also be made online.

Volunteers can sign up online at www.texasadoptabeach.org