The August 2018 Real Estate News Roundup

Austin’s residential real estate market had an exceptionally hot July, and the city was once again poised for a strong month of August, too.

That the city — and broader metro area — continue to show year-over-year growth is somewhat astounding considering the year’s record-pace growth the area has experienced. Meanwhile, median prices have hit their highest point ever, yet demand continues.

It’s a fascinating time and place to be. Meanwhile, the nation as a whole has shown some signs of cooling in the real estate market, despite a fast-churning economy.

But, hey, it’s no fun to only talk about stats. This month we’ve also shared a few stories about celebrity homes, including the childhood abode of a famous pop star and the somewhat downsized digs of Austin’s most famous bicyclist.

Learn about that and more in our August real estate news roundup.

Austin Library Named One of World’s Greatest Places

Libraries have always been a special place for readers, explorers and students. But it’s not often you think of them as a must-see feature in a city. But that’s the case in Austin. The city’s newly-opened Central Library is a sight to be seen, with a technology petting zoo, endless multimedia options, a butterfly garden and a rooftop chill spot that rivals that of most 5-star hotels. Time Magazine liked it so much it named the library one of the world’s 100 greatest places for 2018.

U.S. Home Sales Decline

For the fourth month in a row, the pace of home sales in the U.S. declined slightly. The National Association of Realtors reported a 0.7 percent decline in July. Most viewed it as a sign that the national market is cooling after a long and mostly steady recovery over the past decade. Overall, the sale of previously-owned homes has fallen 1.5 percent in the past 12 months, the Associated Press reported. Part of the problem is the lack of affordably priced homes. Sales of homes priced at $500,000 or more have increased, but those priced between $100,000 and $250,000 have remained mostly unchanged. Those less than $100,000 have dropped off significantly by more than 10 percent.

New Home Sales Decline Nationally

Newly-built homes aren’t selling as fast as they were a year ago. New home sales declined by 1.7 percent in July. That’s the slowest rate since last October, the Wall Street Journal reported. While the economy remains strong, affordability issues are limiting the pace of new home sales, which are a small portion of the overall residential real estate market.

Major League Soccer is (Almost) Here

Austin has set up everything it needs to lure its first ever major league team to the city. With the votes in place, the city is moving forward with a plan for a stadium in north Austin to house a team that will move from Columbus, Ohio, and be called the Austin FC, which stands for football club. It will start with a temporary stadium — perhaps at Dell Diamond in Round Rock — before a new one is ready by 2021. Learn about what’s next from the Austin American-Statesman.

Beyonce’s Childhood Home for Sale

Beyonce Knowles is one of the most famous people on the planet, and now her childhood home in Houston is up for sale. The 3,000-square-foot home near the Texas Medical Center is on the market for $500,000. See the photos in the Austin Business Journal.

Lance Armstrong’s New Digs

You might recall Lance Armstrong, the former pro cyclist, sold his Austin mansion a few months ago. Now, he has a new place — it’s slightly smaller, but in a choice area in Old West Austin. It appears the home was sold to Armstrong for at least $1.2 million in mid-July. The Austin Business Journal reports that the home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.