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  /  Market Update   /  Shapiro Real Estate Group Update | October 2020

Shapiro Real Estate Group Update | October 2020

Halloween will certainly be different this year, but it’s most definitely not cancelled! A lot of people are embracing their creativity and coming up with fun ways to keep up the spirits from a candy launcher to a candy shoot. And even ghosts are practicing social distancing—have you seen this zipline ghost that will be giving out candy AND BEERS!!!?? 👻🍬🍺

And since people ask me all the time whether to buy now or later in Austin, here’s a PSA:

Don’t expect that you’re going to wait out this hot market and buy in 2021. The market shows no indication that it’s going to get easier for buyers. In fact, it could get harder (check out the multi-year trend in Travis County below). There are some strategic things we’ve done to help buyers get into homes despite the crazy seller’s market. Reach out to me today so we can see what strategies we have in our arsenal that can help you reach your real estate goals.

Real Estate News

Austin Convention Center Expansion  

Last month, the Austin City Council voted to approve the expansion of the Austin Convention Center. To be clear, the City Council approved the negotiation and execution of the purchase of the surrounding two city blocks west of the existing location. The project has a budget of $6.4M for earnest money which will only be a small percentage of the total funds needed to complete the multiple acquisitions. With so many different property owners involved, I anticipate the negotiations will take a while. Current occupants of the proposed city blocks include Vince Young Steakhouse (aka the Real World: Austin house), Fogo de Chão, P.F. Chang’s, and Railyard Condos (which sold for $104M in Nov 2019 and now goes by Railyard Oasis) among others.

Image Cred: City of Austin Office of Real Estate Services

Austin Housing Inventory

We see inventory declining every year as we transition from summer to fall. But this year, the decline is steeper and faster. In August, we were at about 1.4 months of inventory. In September, most areas in the Austin metro area (like Travis County) were down to less than 1 month of inventory! 😳  This is pretty crazy given that since 2016, Travis County has never seen inventory go down below 1.4 months!

Keep in mind this is not solely just the impact of the pandemic. You can see in the chart below that it is a multi-year trend. Since 2017, the inventory in Austin has been going down. Even in January of 2020 (before COVID-19 hit the states hard), inventory was only at 1.4 months. In previous years, inventory was typically around 2 months in January.

Travis County – Inventory Heat Map September 2020

Cred: Independence Title

So what does this mean as we go into the winter? It’s hard to predict with any certainty given that 2020 has been full of surprises all year, but it could very well be that there will only just be a few weeks of available inventory. And listing your property for sale in the winter may not be a bad idea!!

A More Comprehensive View of Affordability

Have you heard of the Housing and Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index? It provides a comprehensive view of affordability, one that includes the cost of housing and transportation at the neighborhood level.

While housing alone is traditionally deemed affordable when consuming no more than 30% of income, the H+T Index incorporates transportation costs—usually a household’s second-largest expense—to show that location-efficient places can be more livable and affordable.

By taking into account the cost of housing as well as the cost of transportation, H+T provides a more comprehensive understanding of the affordability of place. Dividing these costs by the representative income illustrates the cost burden of housing and transportation expenses placed on a typical household.

In Austin, the typical H+T costs are 47% of a household income, in which housing is at 28% and transportation is at 19%. You can use this tool to see the numbers in your area or other neighborhoods that you are interested in moving to. You’ll be surprised by some of the numbers.

Pre-construction Opportunity

The Linden Residences

The Linden is a 28-story, contemporary tower that introduces a new concept in inspired living where world-class luxury meets Austin’s artful soul. Borrowing its name from Linden Street, the original name of 17th Street, and the tree of the same name, The Linden is a nod to both Austin’s past and future.

Away from the hustle and bustle yet located in the middle of Austin’s most iconic buildings and districts. The Linden Residences are uniquely situated at the nexus of the Texas State Capitol and the new Texas Mall, the traditional Central Business District, The University of Texas at Austin, the new Medical District, and one of Austin’s most beloved neighborhoods, Judge’s Hill. Because of its strategic location amongst various districts, The Linden affords views from all sides that include: The Texas State Capitol, Texas Hill Country, The University of Texas at Austin and the traditional Central Business District (CBD).

A limited collection of only 117 downtown residences are available—seven residences per floor and five two-story penthouses on levels 27-28. Flexible & functional floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows, inset balconies and 10’ ceilings.

Elevated amenity deck on the tenth floor includes: covered lap pool, outdoor cooking & Dining, fire pit lounge, sauna, cold plunge pool, exercise facility, dog park w/ washing station, conference room/private dining, club room w/ kitchen. Ground floor amenities include 24/7 concierge, lobby, and two retail spaces.

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