The February 2020 Real Estate News Roundup

Spoiled as we are here in Austin, with warm weather generally greeting us when we step outside, it does seem the late-winter chill is hanging on later than usual. But no matter, we’re happy to call this fair city home, and we’re looking forward to spring break, just around the corner, regardless of the weather. 

Whatever the season, the real estate market never takes a break, with Austin picking up another spot in a “best of list” — Forbes magazine thinks we’re swell for commercial investment, and developers think the UT area is perfect for more hotels. 

Read on to learn why you’re too late to buy John Travolta’s mansion, but if a pre-Revolutionary War home on the other coast is your style, there’s a house calling your name. 

Austin Area Sets New Home Construction Records in 2019

Builders started construction on 18,905 new homes in the Austin metro area last year — a record for a calendar year, according to market research firm Metrostudy. Builders started work on 5,046 houses in the final three months of 2019, a fourth-quarter record. Annual closings, at 18,708, were up 15% from the year before, setting a record, and fourth-quarter closings were up 32% year over year, setting yet another record.

Curbed’s Picks for Best Austin Neighborhoods, 2020-Style

Curbed Austin has made some picks for where they think Austinites should live in 2020. Let’s have a look and then you can decide if you agree, and if you’re going to pull up stakes and move across town. Their choices include: North Loop, Cherrywood33, South Menchaca, North University, J.W. Smith’s Western Oaks, Crestview and Windsor Park. Great neighborhoods, all, though some are more affordable than others. What do you think? Calling a Realtor yet? 

Forbes Declares Austin Among the Best for Commercial Investment

Austin was recently included in an unranked list from Forbes of the “Hottest Cities For Commercial Real Estate Investing In 2020.” Forbes magazine says that opportunities are abundant for commercial real estate investing this year, and adds that seven cities “stand out as providing the most exceptional prospects for investment,” including Austin. “Economists expect Austin to lead the nation in job growth in 2020,” according to the magazine. “Correspondingly, the city is also likely to add the most people over the next five years. Lower taxes, affordability and tech jobs are fueling Austin’s ongoing economic boom.”

Two New Hotels Open in “Campus District”

Two new hotels have opened near the University of Texas in an area developers are calling a new “campus district.” The Otis Hotel and the AC Hotel Austin-University are on San Antonio St, a block from campus. Both hotels are Marriott boutique brands and have separate entrances and lobbies but will share some services, such as housekeeping. The Otis is a hip, Austin-centric spot that caters to the city’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. Each room has a record player in every room and vinyl records for guests to play. The AC Hotel offers traditional high-end hotel accommodations. 

John Travolta’s Spanish-Style Mansion Secretly Sold 

Well, heck. We all missed out on the opportunity to purchase the home of John Travolta and Kelly Preston, who sold their longtime home in an off-market deal for $18 million to their neighbor, record executive Scooter Braun. The home, located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, has 9,100 square feet and includes 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The two-story home was built in 1949 and features beamed ceilings, Saltillo tile floors and hand-painted tilework.

Meticulously Restored Georgian Mansion Survives Big Wars, And Can Be Yours

Maybe you missed out on Travolta’s estate, but you can still acquire a Geogian-style 1790s beauty in Charleston, S.C. Surviving both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, the “Capers Motte House” had been home to numerous Charleston notables and exudes historic character after a significant restoration by its current owners. The salmon-colored stucco beauty  — at 8,524 square feet — can be had for a mere $9.95 million. Now you have to consider how you’ll keep all 15 fireplaces going!