While the U.S. housing market continues to improve, one conundrum remains. Renters are hesitant to buy because home prices have climbed back up, even though mortgage rates are near historic lows are are likely to rise in coming months.
That was one of the big trends to emerge during a busy month for residential real estate in June. In Austin, the trend lines continued to point toward an even more active summer than last year, when several monthly records were broken. Even as median prices climb quickly, the pace of sales in the Austin metro area continued to climb by 9 percent.
We’ve also spotted a few other trends emerge, like the sale of a $10 million-plus home on an auction app and the emergence of high-tech tiny homes in Austin.
Now, let’s check out some of the most interesting real estate stories from the month of June.
Austin’s Major Code Overhaul Crafted for Affordability
If you look closely enough at Austin’s massive code overhaul, you’re bound to find things to love and hate. But, one theme resonating across the massive set of proposals would almost certainly help provide more affordable housing. That’s because it allows more density in many neighborhoods. So, when a builder wants to build something larger than code would allow, the city would provide an exception as long as the development included significant options for affordable rental units or homes or condos for sale.
Is This Tiny Smart Home the Wave of the Future?
As many of America’s most popular cities, including Austin, become more expensive, there’s a new trend afoot — tiny homes. Now, an Austin company called Kasita is building prefabricated tiny homes that are about 350-square-feet and have several built-in smarthome features, including an app-controlled mood setting for your whole house. The Austin Business Journal reports the homes are being sold for $139,000, making them more affordable than many condos. The trick, however, is finding the right piece of land to put it on.
Austin Sets Yet Another Real Estate Record
The Austin metro area had a huge month of May, churning out $1.2 billion worth of residential real estate transactions. The pace of home sales increased 9 percent, compared to May 2016, the Austin Board of Realtors reported. The sales boost came as the median price of a home in the metro area climbed by more 8 percent. And the median price in the city of Austin increased by nearly 9 percent to $380,000. Learn about other trends in our latest real estate report.
Austin Rental Rates Have Peaked — At Least Momentarily
The cost of renting apartments in Austin stagnated over the past year of so, according to a new report by Dallas-based Axiometrics. Austin renters for years have decried rapidly increasing rates. But the latest statistics show the city’s population growth has slowed slightly, easing demand, at least enough that landlords in many areas kept rates flat.
Build It Up for $10M and Sell it on an App?
A billionaire real estate developer is planning to sell his amazing Mariposa del Lago retreat using an online auction app. John Goff plans to sell the retreat to the highest global bidder. The sprawling property in the Fort Worth area includes a 6,500-square-foot house, and it will be sold over the Concierge Auctions software. The idea is that Chinese investors are likely to drive up the bidding price on the remarkable property, which has basketball and tennis courts, massive outdoor spaces with big views.
Renters Have Cold Feet About Buying as Home Prices Soar
Many renters have dreams of one day owning a home of their own. But, even as mortgage rates remain near historic lows, many renters say the rapidly increasing price of homes is leading them to put off the big purchase. Only 52 percent of renters feel like now is a good time to buy, down from 62 percent a year ago, according to a survey of renters by the National Association of Realtors.