The October 2018 Real Estate News Roundup
Austin had one of the soggiest Octobers on record, as heavy rains caused flooding across broad swaths of Hill Country. But while the precipitation dominated headlines, the city was also churning out interesting real estate news.
In this month’s roundup, we dive into how home values could rise if Amazon picks Austin to be the home of its forthcoming second headquarters. Austin is already booming, and Amazon’s move, though still seemingly unlikely, could have a massive impact on the market for years to come.
Meanwhile, we look at two new trends emerging in real estate. One is the proliferation of tiny homes, which offer people seeking a bit of minimalism affordable homes — and now there are communities being built to accommodate them. Another surprising development is the emergence of 3D-printed homes, which hold a lot of promise for building affordable homes quickly, especially in developing nations.
Learn about those developments and more in our October real estate news roundup.
Austin Startup Develops 3D-Printed Houses
Need an affordable home? Try printing it. That’s the take from an innovative new startup that is using large-scale 3D printers to create small homes. The company, ICON, launched at South by Southwest earlier this year, but it has since gotten a housing permit for its first home here in Austin. Meanwhile, the company has raised money from big name investors and builders, including D.R. Horton and Emaar (famous for developing the Burj Khalifia in Dubai) to print more houses, according to the Austin Business Journal.
Austin Home Prices Could Surge if Amazon Comes
Amazon has spent most of the past year hunting for an ideal location for its second North American headquarters, which could bring in 50,000 high-paying jobs over the course of several years. Austin is on the finalist list of 20 cities. Now, a new study by Owners.com shows that Austin home values would likely increase 8.5 percent more than they otherwise would if Amazon picks Austin. The spike could be as much as 16 percent over time, according to this Austin Business Journal story.
Keeping Austin Trendy
Two Austin neighborhoods landed on a new RentCafe list that shows the most popular ZIP codes for millennials. CultureMap Austin reports that 61 percent of the residents in Hyde Park’s 78751 area were millennials as of two years ago. Austin’s 78756, which includes Brentwood, was the runner up in Austin. In 2016, there were roughly 4,000 millennials in the area. Other hot spots for the young at heart include 75201 and 75292 in Dallas and 77054 in Houston.
Austin Voters Head to the Polls
The midterm elections are here. Austinites started voting on Oct. 22, and they’ll continue early voting until Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6. In Austin, voters will choose a mayor, several city council members, judges and a variety of bond issues that could help the City of Austin improve traffic, public safety, parks and much more. Learn more about where to vote here.
Tiny Homes Expand in Austin
The Austin area now has several new neighborhoods popping up that cater to those who prefer to live small — as inside tiny homes. CultureMap Austin reports that these sub-$150,000 homes are proliferating in four small communities. Those include Village Farm, Pecan Meadow Village, Manor Tiny Wildlife Resort and Constellation ATX.
Austin Home Prices Climb, Sales Hold Steady
Inside Austin city limits, home sales decreased 0.9 percent in September, year-over-year, to 702 home sales. At the same time, the median price for a single-family home in Austin climbed from $353,500 to $365,000. Meanwhile, new listings fell 11.3 percent. Rising prices certainly have played a role in the stabilization of Austin home sales after years of exceptional growth. But interest rates have increased a bit, which is also playing a role.