The November 2018 Real Estate News Roundup
A roundup of U.S. home sale trends and Austin area real estate news from November 2018.
November tends to fly by with Thanksgiving gatherings and travel — not to mention all those football games and fall fun.
But it was also a busy month for residential real estate in Austin, which entered the month coming off record sales in October. As part of our monthly news roundup, we also spotted an interesting story about the first Austin neighborhood where the median value of a home is at least $1 million — it’s a sign of the times, and more are likely to come.
Meanwhile, we spotted stories about the sale of Frank Sinatra’s Malibu home — and the sale of one of Aretha Franklin’s Detroit mansions. You won’t believe the difference in price between the two homes.
Learn about those developments and more in our November real estate news roundup.
Austin’s First Million Dollar Neighborhood
You don’t have to drive far to find a million dollar home in Austin. But, until recently, there weren’t any neighborhoods where the median price is at least a million. That changed in November when a new report from Trulia showed the Barton Creek neighborhood just southwest of downtown has a median home value of $1.02 million. But, as the Austin Business Journal reports, this is likely the first of several neighborhoods to get that distinction.
A Decrease in New Home Sales
The pace of sales of new, single-family homes fell to a two-year low in October. The Commerce Department reported an 8.9 percent decrease in new home sales last month. CNBC reports that’s the lowest rate since March 2016. Economists say an increase in mortgage rates is partly to blame.
Pending Home Sales Decline
The number of homes pending sale fell 2.6 percent last month, indicating fewer buyers are signing contracts to buy a home. That, like the decrease in new home sales, is attributed to an increase in mortgage rates, ABC reported.
Austin is a Hot Market to Watch
Anyone who has been in Austin in the past decade knows we have a hot housing market. The latest sign came in a report from Trulia that put Austin as the fifth hottest market for growth in 2019. Austin was behind Colorado Springs, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville and Bakersfield in the report. The analysis looked at employment growth, vacancy rates, starter home prices and share of population below 35. The Austin Business Journal reported that Austin ranked poorly on affordable starter homes.
Austin Launches Affordability Plan
The City of Austin has been grappling with affordability issues for years as the tech economy has boomed and attracted tens of thousands of new residents with high-paying jobs. Now the city has outlined a plan to put 60,000 new affordable housing units on the market over 10 years. Suggestions in their report call for land use changes, tax exemptions for middle-income homeowners, quicker city permitting on construction and many a pile of policy changes. You can review the city’s plan here.
Live It Up Like Frank Sinatra
Looking to hang in style? Consider owning the former home of Frank Sinatra. The Malibu digs are right on the beach and include seven bedrooms spread across 5,800 square feet, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s yours for $12.9 million, and you can recount the home’s many stories — including Bob Newhart and Don Rickles giving speeches at the Sinatra’s wedding vow renewal party.
Live It Up Like Aretha Franklin
The home Aretha Franklin once owned in Detroit has been sold. The 5,600-square-foot home sold for $300,000. While it’s a historic mansion with a golf course out back, it had fallen into foreclosure a decade ago. It’s one of five Detroit properties the Queen of Soul owned, Realtor.com reported.