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March 2017

Found 17 blog entries for March 2017.

When it comes to rent, no place is more expensive than Austin, right? Wrong. At least that's what the most recent rent report from Zumper says.

The rental website compared 30,400 active one-bedroom listings in 13 cities across the greater Austin area, and, surprisingly, Leander had the highest rent in February 2017. With a median price of $1,110 per month, the suburb was just a tad pricier than Austin ($1,080).

But the trend won't necessarily continue. Rent for a one-bedroom unit in Austin was 6.9 percent lower in February 2017 than the previous year. However, if rents in March 2017 mimic March 2016, Austin ($1,160) will surpass Leander ($1,140).

The report also details the fastest-growing rental markets in the area. Georgetown, which experienced

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Fifty-two of the 100 largest U.S. cities were majority renter in 2015, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Since 2009, 21 cities had shifted to renter-rule. Renters now dominate in both hot housing markets such as Denver and San Diego and more tame markets like Detroit and Baltimore.

The homeownership rate has fallen steadily for a decade as millions of foreclosures prompted more owners to rent. Renting likely will continue to rise through 2030, due to demographic trends like aging baby boomers who are opting to downsize to rentals, noted a 2015 report from the Urban Institute.

Also hampering the housing market in gaining the advantage: a shortage of homes for sale. That shortage is making it more difficult for renters to buy.

Many low-income families

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The sheen of Austin's robust economy is losing some of its shine.

The unemployment rate in the metro increased to 3.7 percent in February, compared with 3.1 percent the same period a year earlier, according to new data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The labor force grew by 32,482 people in the past year, but job creation hasn't kept up, and the number of unemployed people in the area increased by 7,222, from 34,437 to 41,659, over the same span.

The sky isn't falling but the jump in unemployment is another sign of a cooling trend. Local economist Angelos Angelou has predicted the Central Texas economy will continue to grow through at least 2018, albeit perhaps at a slower rate than the feverish pace of the last few years. That

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In 2016, the Austin area added 159 people per day on average. That's the net gain.

After taking into account 40,273 migrants, 27,375 births and 10,304 deaths, plus some statistical adjustments, the regional population climbed by 58,301 to an estimated 2,056,405, according to new county and metro-area population estimates released Wednesday night by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The federal agency released this week July 2016 population estimates for 382 metros and 3,142 counties across the nation. Eleven major metropolitan areas, led by the Texas duo of Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, are growing at a pace of more than 1,000 persons per week.

When just looking at migrants, about 110 people per day moved to the Austin area from July 1, 2015, to July 1,

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The number of riskier mortgages is growing, which is increasing delinquencies—albeit slightly—and raising concerns about defaults, USA Today reports. Federal Housing Administration loans, which typically require down payments of 3 percent to 5 percent, are at the center of most of the concern.

FHA-backed loans are becoming more available through non-banker lenders, who have in some cases eased credit standards compared to banks.

While still far from the concerns of the mid-2000 subprime mortgage offerings, some analysts are sounding a cautious alarm that a bigger problem may surface if more precautions aren’t taken. The share of FHA mortgage payments 30 to 59 days past due averaged 2.19 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 2.07 percent the previous

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Oden Hughes LLC and CWS Capital Partners LLC have created a joint venture to build an upscale apartment community just west of downtown near the flagship Whole Foods Market Inc. store on Sixth Street.

The 226-unit complex with associated retail has broken ground at 1301 W. Fifth St. on a 1.6-acre site that previously was occupied by an AT&T office building and fleet parking lot.

Documents at the city of Austin show that the project is valued at nearly $29 million. About 10 percent of the units — one, two and three-bedroom floor plans — will be leased at below market rates to qualified households.

The development is scheduled to deliver in late 2018, including the 2,200-square-foot retail space on the ground floor. The contemporary styling is by

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For the second consecutive week, mortgage rates were on the rise. "As expected, the [Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee] announced its first rate hike of 2017 and hinted at additional increases throughout the remainder of the year," says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Although our survey was conducted prior to the Fed's decision, the release of the February jobs report all but guaranteed a rate hike and boosted the 30-year mortgage rate 9 basis points to 4.30 percent this week. Increasing inflation, continued gains in the labor market and the Fed's intentions for further rate increases—all three will keep pushing mortgage rates up this year."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week

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Sometimes selfies are just too tempting to resist! Like the time you prepared to dive into Barton Springs Pool to christen the summer, or rocked out to your favorite band at ACL. Before you know it, you’re grinning into that little black lens on the back of your phone, hoping you’re getting the angle right so that your arm doesn’t look like it’s twenty feet long as you click the shutter.

We understand, and so we want to provide you with a bit of advice. As you explore Texas’ great capital city, you’re going to find a huge number of selfie-snapping opportunities, but none so perfectly Austin-esque and Instagram-worthy as these seven locations:


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“Flat February home sales could indicate a market correction after two straight years of record Central Texas home sales.

Single-family home sales across the metro inched up 0.9 percent to 1,829 last month, compared with the same month a year prior, according to Austin Board of Realtors data released Thursday”.

I’m not so sure … I’m hearing and experiencing a lot of multiple offers.

Maybe that’s “Austin Cooling”?!

Check out the February details at …

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Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion announced they will soon remove tax lien and civil judgment data from some consumer credit records. The reason for this change is that many liens and most judgments fail to include vital pieces of information. Beginning on July 1, the public records data the firms use must include these data points: the consumer’s name, address, and either a social security number or a date of birth. Existing reports that fail to comply will be struck from the consumer’s credit record and new data that does not have that information will not be added.

Credit scores are weighed carefully by lenders in making decisions about loan terms and how much consumers can borrow, and can be very important in securing a sustainable mortgage. FICO

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