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December 2015

Found 30 blog entries for December 2015.

Home Ownership Rate Increases The nation's home ownership rate posted its first increase – albeit a slight one – after seven quarterly declines. But the real news is demographic: The biggest gain between July and September was among those under 35 years old. According to the Commerce Department, that's the first time this group has seen an increase in more than a decade.

The home ownership rate rose to 63.7 percent in the third quarter, up from 63.4 percent in the second quarter. The rate remains well-below the high of 69.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004.

There are many factors at play. After the housing crisis, many Americans who were foreclosed upon were forced to become renters. Also as the nation’s population grows older, more Americans are being drawn to nursing or

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For new-home buyers, they have some tough decisions to make: Which extra features are worth the extra money and which ones aren’t? Some upgrades buyers can easily put off without breaking the bank. But for others, buyers may be wise to get them done right away.

Realtor.com® recently featured an article on some of the easiest upgrades to add to a new home now that could save time, money, and headaches later on. Among the upgrades to do now:
1. Cable conduits: This can be one way to future-proof a home. “Yes, smart home features are increasingly going wireless, but that doesn’t mean you should skip running cable conduits throughout the house—especially if you see a big home theater or full-home sound system in your future, both of which work best plugged in

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The Domain juggernaut just keeps trucking as a whole slate of new stores and locations are preparing to open for the holidays or in early 2016. Some of the stores include:

• The Brass Tap – will open in 2016 with 75 to 80 craft beers on tap.
• Mystery Room – will open during the holidays, a strategy-based room escape game challenges participants to unlock the door to their mystery room within 45 minutes.
• Catone Italian Clothing – an imported women’s clothing selling Italian clothes will open during the holidays.
• Personique Laser Center will open during the holidays.

And others are also coming during this period, too!

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/retail/2015/11/as-holidays-loom-new-shops-abound-at-the-domain.html

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‘The Independent’ high rise, aka “The Jenga” building, is now heading towards construction after it was confirmed that the 1.7 acre parcel of land, owned by Austin, had closed for $14.5M, according to the ABJ. The high rise will be built at West Third Street and West Avenue.

The Independent will be, for now, the tallest structure in Austin at 58 stories, and will contain 370 residential condominium units (90% of which have already been reserved). Total cost is estimated to be about $300M.

Site work and clearing should begin this month.

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/real-estate/2015/12/jenga-style-condo-tower-developers-purchase.html

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Seven, the newest downtown high-rise apartment building, has recently opened with little fanfare, giving affluent tenants another choice in the ultra-luxury leasing sector.

The edgy design — another conception by Austin architect Brett Rhode — is located at 615 W. Seventh St., and towers over the popular bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.

The majority owner of Seven is Monogram Residential Trust (NYSE: MORE) based in Dallas, though CWS Capital Partners, which has a sizable presence in Austin, first introduced the project in 2012. The current ownership arrangement is unknown, but based on Monogram's SEC filings, it owns a 55 percent share of the 220-unit tower and has invested about $51 million thus far.

It's also unknown how many units

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It’s work to move their Christmas tree, but Sherry Ashford and her husband say staying home and putting up the tree is a nice break from the roads.

“It’s just gotten way worse.”

Sherry is talking about the traffic on A.W. Grimes Blvd.

“It kind of loops around and it seems like it takes longer and it’s just so congested right there at Gattis School [Road],” said Sherry.

Sherry says she got into a car accident at that intersection.

The City of Round Rock wants to get some of the cars off A.W. Grimes by building more road in between A.W. Grimes and Red Bud Lane. The plan is to expand Kenney Fort Blvd. at Forest Creek, all the way south to Gattis School Road and eventually to Highway 45.

“I have to get to 45 and it takes me almost an

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More Single Family Homes For nearly the past 10 years, more single-family homes have turned into rentals, posing new challenges for neighborhoods that were once dominated by owners and now have more renters in the mix.

Since 2006, the number of single-family detached homes occupied by renters has risen by a third – from 9 million to more than 12 million. Single-family rentals now account for 29 percent of all rental housing, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Because most single-family rentals were formerly owner-occupied, however, they tend to be smaller, older, and have fewer amenities than currently owned single-family units,” notes Rachel Bogardus Drew on JCHS’ Housing Perspectives blog.

The renters of these single-family households are

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Williamson County was the 43rd-fastest growing county in the United States over the past five years, and the 19th-fastest growing county with a population of more than 10,000 in 2009, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5-Year American Community Survey, the longest and most-accurate demographic information that the Census Bureau collects in-between the decennial censuses. You can explore the data for the entire U.S., county by county, in the map and table posted below this article.

According to the data, Williamson County was the fastest growing county in the Austin area by percentage in that time, growing by 84,780 new residents from 372,438 in 2009 to 457,218 in 2014, a

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So what neighborhood collectively has the longest tenured residents in Austin? That would be the neighborhood that surrounds the Ortega Elementary School in East Austin. Excluding renters, the average homeowner has lived there since 1976, according to the Census Bureau.

For owner-occupied housing units, the median move-in year across the entire metro area is 2003.

The attached story link will allow you to explore the geography of Austin’s housing tenure with interactive maps courtesy of the ABJ story …

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2015/12/07/map-where-austinites-have-lived-the-longest.html

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National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron testified before a House subcommittee Wednesday in support of legislation that would help expand housing opportunities, stressing the need for reform of current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condo financing.

Polychron spoke in support of H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015,” before the U.S. Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. Polychron told lawmakers that the reforms are crucial for making sure that qualified home buyers have access to financing.

“Condominiums are often the most affordable home ownership option for first-time buyers, small families, single people, urban residents, and older Americans.” Polychron testified.

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