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Set the asking price just below a round number – that’s the best technique for pricing a home for sale, according to new research published in the Journal of Housing Research. Researchers found that buyers are more drawn to a house priced “just below” at, say, $199,000 than to a house priced at a rounded number like $200,000.

"Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers," says Eli Beracha, one of the study’s author. "As a result, they end up selling their house for more."

Indeed, researchers found that such a “just below” pricing strategy yields a selling price that is about 2.5 to 3 percent higher – or $5,000 to $6,000 more – on a $200,000 house

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The controversial Grove at Shoal Creek development in North Austin is one step closer to becoming reality after the developer, ARG Bull Creek, Ltd., and the Bull Creek Road Coalition, a neighborhood group that represents several neighborhoods, came to a last minute compromise this weekend.

The agreement includes a 25 percent increase in affordable rental and for sale units, from around 1,515 to 1,630; cuts back on retail and office space by 25,000 square feet and sets aside $1.3 million for traffic mitigation and safety enhancements like sidewalks and traffic circles.

One of the issues the development company ARG Bull Creek heard from the community had to do with traffic, which some estimate to double in the area. The plan also eliminated the

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Drivers who regularly use Loop 360 should expect to spend less time stuck in traffic between US 290 and Walsh Tarlton, starting Friday, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The traffic is expected to improve thanks to a $6.4 million project that added auxiliary lanes and extended entrance/exit lanes on Loop 360 near Loop 1. In addition, crews also constructed another left-turn lane on the northbound Loop 1 frontage road at Loop 360 to create a triple left-turn condition from northbound Loop 1 to northbound 360.

Drivers leaving the business park Barton Creek Plaza will no longer be able to turn left out of the Barton Creek Plaza signal. All drivers will make a right. Those wishing to go south on Loop 360 toward US 290 from Barton

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Austin is losing residents at a staggering 7.11% rate, according to a new report from an apartment listing website; that’s #7 in the country for loss of residents! Great news for those Austinites who think we’re getting too big, right?!?!

But, hold your moving trucks! Austin has an inflow of over 8.28%, #4 in the country for fastest growing areas.

Some believe that this turnover is due to the nature of large cities … big populations generally lead to larger turnovers. Others cite that Austin is a millennial top pick, but millennials are also known to be very transient.

So Austin continues to grow at a high rate and is foreseen to continue that trend for the foreseeable future. Remember, Forbes ranked Austin as the #1 Boomtown for the next decade

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Southern hospitality still reigns. If you want to be around friendly people, head to Charleston, S.C. The city nabbed the first spot on Conde Naste Traveler’s 2016 Friendliest Cities in the U.S. -- as well as its world list too.

The results are from the publication’s Readers’ Choice Awards survey, based on 128,000 travelers’ experiences with locals. As for the city that readers found to be the least friendly, Newark, New Jersey came out on top for the second year in a row.

Here are the eight cities in the U.S. that topped the publication’s friendliest places list:
1. Charleston, S.C.
2. Park City, Utah
3. Savannah, Ga.
4. Nasvhille, Tenn.
5. Austin, Texas
6. Santa Fe, N.M.
7. Asheville, N.C.
8. Jackson, Wyo.


Read more here:

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A project that will transform about three acres at Airport Boulevard and 53rd ½ Street was recently approved by Travis County commissioners.

The mixed-use development will include retail, office space for the county along with affordable housing. The county says this will help with the growing need for affordable housing in the area through a combination of 1-3 bedroom apartments on four levels.

During a work session in November, commissioners were told that the project would include 146 units to rent to families with certain income requirements. The incomes would range from 30 to 60 percent of the area median income. At 50 percent, the new apartments would be affordable for a single person making $27,250 or a family of four with a combined income

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The Austin Business Journal has produced an interactive map showing the proportion of households occupied by residents who have moved in since 2010.

The Domain came out as the “hottest” neighborhood with the highest percent of residents who have moved in since 2010 at 81%.

Other area clusters, heavily populated by recent residents, are located near: Lakeline Mall; the intersection of 183 and State Hwy 45; areas along Riverside Drive; and areas around colleges and universities.

To check out the map, click on the following link … http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/11/24/map-shows-where-newcomers-tend-to-settle-downin.html 

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Sure, you may think your home is perfect, but what does Fido think? It's a question becoming more commonplace these days, as more Americans than ever are pet owners.

In fact, 79 million U.S households currently own a pet, and 83 percent of pet owners think of their pet as a member of their family. When this group of buyers starts a house hunt, it's important to think about not just the needs of the clients, but of their pets as well.

“Many people who don’t have children view their pets as their children, and they consider their pets’ needs in the same way others would consider how the schools or playgrounds are in a particular neighborhood,” says Arlene Kagle, a psychologist in a recent interview in the New York Times. “These are people who have a great

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Single-family home sales jumped within the city of Austin but declined across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in October, according to the October 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

After relatively flat growth throughout much of the year, single-family home sales in the city of Austin jumped 7.5 percent year-over-year to 703 home sales in October 2016. Median price increased 6.5 percent year-over-year to $332,250, while housing inventory increased 0.2 months to 2.2 months. Active listings increased 11.3 percent year-over-year to 1,667 listings during the same time frame, while homes spent slightly more time on the market, or an average of 42 days.

Conversely,

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Home owners who are renting out rooms using services like Airbnb are facing difficulties refinancing their mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bank giants like Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. reportedly are subjecting borrowers who rent rooms to additional scrutiny when owners try to refinance. Some borrowers are finding they aren’t eligible for certain types of loans or they will have to pay higher interest rates, according to a WSJ article.

For some home owners, they may have assumed the extra income they’re generating from renting out rooms would help them when refinancing. After all, one owner in Seattle says he earned about $30,000 last year from renting out a cottage in his backyard. He thought that extra income would help him

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