We often don’t know just how good of a year we’ve had until we get a month or more into the next one. That was the case in January as year-end reports trickled in.
The new stats indicate 2016 was a strong year of recovery for the U.S. housing market and another record-breaking year for the Austin metro area. And most of the Central Texas and national housing market experts expect another strong year in 2017.
That’s good news, and it’s part of the ongoing economic recovery in the U.S. And, with the improving situation comes plenty of extravagant displays of wealth. In our monthly roundup, we’ve found one of Austin’s most impressive homes on the market — a $14 million design masterpiece — as well as the priciest home in the nation — a $250 million Bel Aire spread.
Now, let’s check out the most important and interesting real estate stories from the month of January.
New and Previously-Owned Homes are Hot
In 2016, the pace of sales of newly constructed homes hit its highest point since before the 2008 financial crisis. The government’s latest estimates show 563,000 new home sold last year — the highest since the nearly 800,000 sold in 2007. Meanwhile, existing home sales set a 10-year record last year.
The Hottest Real Estate Markets in 2017 – Maybe
A new year brings a wave of new predictions on what the next 365 days (or so) will bring. In its annual look at the U.S. housing market, Zillow has projected that Nashville and Seattle are the hottest markets in the country. Austin, which has led dozens of such lists as its housing market has boomed in recent years, didn’t even make the top 10. That may be, in part, because Austin’s market has been hot for so long that it will most likely level off soon.
A Sixth-Straight Record Year for Austin Home Sales – and Prices
Austin had another huge year in real estate transactions. It was the sixth year in a row that it continued to up the bar for both the pace of home sales and the median price of homes sold. To some, this seems about as far as it can go. While most experts expect a strong 2017, many say the Austin market will likely normalize. See our full report on 2016 residential real estate transactions here.
Austin: The Land of Mansions
Austin has more $1 million-plus homes than anywhere else in Texas. That’s in part because of the rapidly rising cost of real estate in Austin and in part because Austin has become a hotspot for luxury homes. Overall, 19.2 of every 1,000 owner-occupied homes are valued at $1 million or above, CultureMap Austin reported. Houston and Dallas came in second and third, respectively, among other major metros in Texas.
The Floating Box Home
One of Austin’s most impressive homes is back on the market. A West Lake Hills mansion designed by renowned architect Peter Gluck is listed for $14.9 million. It sits on four acres of land, and you’ll find a few stunning photos of the home’s interior and exterior on Curbed.com.
Wow. The Most Expensive Home on the Market
Looking to go really, really big? There’s a Bel Aire mansion on the market for $250 million, and it has plenty of swagger. The L.A. Times reports the 38,000 square feet home has four floors, 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, three kitchens, a 40-seat movie theater. And, it has an infinity pool and massive views of city and sea. Oh, and it comes with a fleet of exotic cars.
High Tech Real Estate Videos
Drones, 360-video and virtual reality are changing the way we view real estate. And a new company in Austin company is quickly making inroads using drones and 360 video. The cost of drones and video production has gone down rapidly in recent months, making such services more accessible, the Austin Business Journal reports.