The November 2017 Real Estate News Roundup

It’s been almost a decade since the U.S. housing market hit its low point, and now new construction is booming and existing home sales have returned to levels we haven’t seen since before the Great Recession.

Austin is among the ever-growing markets that have shown record-level growth year-after-year, and the metro area is again on pace to set the bar even higher this year.

Meanwhile, one of the trends drawing the most attention is the ever increasing buying power of celebrities and the uber wealthy, with superstars like Beyonce and Jay Z spending $20 million plus on homes. With big buys like that, the luxury home average price hit $1.79 million as the pace of sales of $1 million-plus homes has increased 22 percent year-over-year, Fox News reported.

You’ll learn about that and more in our November real estate news roundup.

Livin’ Like a Country Music Legend

There you are, arms draped over the edge of an infinity pool overlooking the San Antonio skyline. Behind you is a gorgeous 7,9250-square-foot home. That’s what life might be like for the property’s owner, country music legend George Strait. Now, Strait is ready to move on. He’s selling the 12.2 acre property in a luxury development, the San Antonio Business Journal reported( The price isn’t listed, but it was last assessed at about $4 million.

Real Estate Agents Push Back Against Tax Plan

The real estate industry spends millions on lobbyists who pressure lawmakers to keep property taxes low and protect a wide variety of relatively small regulations that add up to big savings for home buyers — thereby encouraging home sales. Now the industry is mobilizing in an even bigger way. That’s because some versions of the tax bill being discussed in Congress would eliminate caps on local property taxes. That doesn’t bode well for real estate transactions, as it gives buyers another reason to pause, especially when buying in up and coming neighborhoods where there tax increases would otherwise be capped at some level. And tax breaks that allow homeowner to deduct the interest on mortgage debt may also be on the chopping block as lawmakers debate broad tax reform. Read more in the New York Times.

Could Austin Have Too Many Apartments?

With Austin’s red hot growth, it’s hard to imagine you could overbuild anything. And that might be true. But the new Austin Multi-Family Trend Report created by Robin Davis shows hints that there may be an oversupply. That’s likely because of the rapid pace of building over the past decade, but it’s still too early to know for sure. The report, discussed in this Austin Business Journal article, shows there are about 18,000 units under construction in the metro area. Plaza Saltillo just east of downtown Austin is the largest of them, with 800 units. Average rental rates haven’t changed much across the metro — it still sits at $1,215 per month. That follows years of increasing rent rates.

Austin Poised for Another Record Year in Home Sales

Might sound like a broken record, which it is — Austin is on pace to have its seventh year in a row of record-setting single-family home sales. That’s the word from the Austin Board of Realtors, which in November reported that home sales in the Austin metro area increased 2 percent year-over-year in October. While the pace of sales was down slightly in Austin, where demand is outpacing supply, the region’s boom continues. The median sales price in October was $286,742, up 4.3 percent from the same month a year ago. When you look just inside Austin city limits, prices have grown 63 percent from 2006 to 2016, which is the fastest in the nation among large metro areas. Get all the details in our monthly housing trends report.

U.S. Home Sales on the Climb

The nation’s home sales industry continues to improve. Sales increased more than had been expected during the month of October. The pace of sales increased 2 percent — about a point higher than many economists had forecast. This is a continuation of years of gradual improvement since the 2008 low point. But the nation’s relatively low housing inventory may be preventing even stronger growth, some economists told the Wall Street Journal.