The October 2016 Real Estate News Roundup

Steady as she goes. That could be the mantra for residential real estate news through the month of October.

Home sales saw a little increase, but consumer confidence slipped just a bit, as the U.S. economy continued to swing slightly upward through the month. But, while U.S. conditions are moderate, Austin’s boom continues to outpace national averages. The city’s population boom, as you’ll see detailed below, is expected to continue for another 16-plus years. Wow.

That growth is a big part of why Austin home prices continue to push upward, as people increasingly seek more affordable options in the city’s suburbs.

You’ll see those dynamics and much more — even the oldest home on the market — in our October real estate news round up. Let’s check out the news.

Austin’s Population Boom Continues Through 2040

For several years, Austin has been the fastest growing large city in the U.S. And new population estimates show there’s no end in sight. The Austin area is poised to grow faster than any other American city through 2040. That means it will double in size over the next couple decades, reaching a population of 4 million, the Austin Business Journal reported. And a lot of that growth will occur in Austin’s suburbs, where home sales are happening at an increasing rate and prices are climbing.

Major New Development in Central Austin Faces Strong Opposition

Allandale and Rosedale have long been among Austin’s most attractive neighborhoods. Now those neighborhoods are facing a battle as developers look to install one of the biggest mixed-use developments the area has seen in decades. The Grove at Shoal Creek project, which sits on 75-acres at the southeast corner of Bull Creek and 45th Street, is a promising sign of economic development on a site owned by the state that was largely vacant. But traffic concerns and the density of new residents have neighbors worried about drastic changes to the previously low-traffic area. The Austin Business Journal has some of the latest developments going on in city hall.

Cautious As She Goes

Consumer confidence in home buying slipped a little bit in October compared to the 20-month peak we saw a month before, the New York Times reported. It’s not exactly bad news for the housing market. It’s more of a sign of buyers taking their time in the fall. And, sales of previously-owned homes increased 3.2 percent in September from August, the National Association of Realtors said in October.

The Oldest Home Money Can Buy

Hingham, Mass., a town 25 miles southeast of Boston, is home to the oldest residence money can buy. You can add the home, built in 1650, to your portfolio of properties for about $429,000. It has four beds and two baths. Highlights include five cozy fireplaces, three staircases, period details, original wood floors and crown molding. There’s even an attic. But, buyer beware, it’s being sold “as is.”

U.S. Homes Sales Trending Upward

Consumer confidence may have slipped a notch this fall. But homes sales were on the upswing, which is another sign the economy is chugging along. Sales of previously owned homes increased 3.2 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. ”We are entering a seasonal slowdown…as we enter the winter months, but once the spring buying season returns, it’s going to be quite heated” one expert told the Wall Street Journal.

New Jersey Homes Expect to Increase in Value

New Jersey has seen a lot of fluctuation in home prices since the crash of 2008. But values are trending upward headed into 2017, according to local experts. But the news isn’t all good. Jeffrey Otteau of Otteau Valuation Group predicted property values won’t get back to housing-boom peaks until 2023.

Solar Power is Shining

The biggest problem with solar power used to be that you had to use it in real-time. When the sun went down, so did your energy flow. But companies like Tesla have developed ways to store that energy, and it’s led to a rise in consumer confidence and more people installing solar panels, often aided by government-backed rebates. A new Pew Research Center survey found nearly nine-in-ten U.S. adults favor expanding the use of solar power — that’s 89 percent. And it crosses party lines as more Americans see sun power as an alternative to traditional resources.