The March 2019 Real Estate News Roundup

The March 2019 Real Estate News Roundup

With mortgage rates falling below 4 percent, at least momentarily, and Austin’s record-breaking late winter for home sales, the city’s residential home market appears poised for a very active Spring season.

 The favorable numbers also come as the city has scored major economic wins, with a $1 billion campus announced by Apple at the end of 2018 and this month’s news that Amazon will add an 800-employee high tech center that will push its local workforce to about 7,400.

 Meanwhile, we’ve rounded up a few interesting celebrity home sales as part of our monthly real estate news roundup. You won’t want to miss the photos of Bruce Willis’ estate, which is hitting the market for $33 million.

 Learn more about those stories and much more in our March real estate news roundup.

An Aging Group of Renters

High home prices often translate into more people renting in order to be in a desired area. As such, Austin’s population of renters is aging faster than those in any city in America, according to an analysis by RentCafe, which looked at data from 2007-2017. That was just ahead of Phoenix. The report says about 12 percent of renters were over the age 60 as of 2017.

Major League Soccer Moving Forward in Austin

After quite a back and forth about the future of Major League Soccer in Austin, things appear to be getting on track. A construction firm has been picked to build the 20,500-seat stadium that will be home to the Austin FC team. They’ll start playing in 2021. The McKalla Place stadium site is just south of the Domain in North Austin. It’s being privately financed, and it’s estimated to have a $240 million price tag, the Austin Business Journal reports.

What $8.5M Buys in Austin

Looking for a prime property? Austin philanthropists Joe and Teresa Long have put their home at 2308 Woodlawn just outside of downtown Austin on the market for $8.5 million, the Austin Business Journal reported in a detailed story about the historic home. The mansion is 12,033 square feet and has three elevators. The couple have also recently put up for auction a variety of paintings, including a Picasso and a Renoir.

Home Starts Cool Off

New home builders and buyers seemed a bit timid in February. The pace of new home groundbreakings dropped by the largest amount in eight months — an 8.7 percent decline, Bloomberg reported. That was a lower turnout than economists had expected. But reports also said existing home sales, which makes up a larger share of the market, were increasing in February at a faster pace than anytime since 2015.

Prelude to an Active Spring in Home Sales?

The Austin metro area appears to have gotten an early start on the action with a record-breaking number of home sales in February. The 2,101 single-family home sales logged in February represents the largest number of sales ever recorded in that month, the Austin Board of Realtors reported. That was a 6 percent increase from February 2018. Meanwhile, active listings also increased compared to the year prior. That, ABoR says, is likely a signal that Austin’s housing market is gearing up for an especially active spring season.

A Bargain on Charlie Sheen’s House

Sometimes, luxury homes just don’t sell for as much as the owner expects. That seems to be the case for Charlie Sheen, who has had the price of his California home lowered five times. But, he’s still poised for a profit. He bought the home for $7.2 million and it’s still listed at just about $8 million, Inman reports. It’s a Mediterranean style home that was once listed at $10 million.

Die Hard, Sell Hard

You may think of Bruce Willis as a tough guy, but it looks like he has a knack for relaxing, too. At least that’s the case when you see the lovely poolside amenities at his Parrot Cay island estate. The property is now hitting the market at $33 million. Willis has owned the home since 2000, and has since renovated it. The 13,500-square-foot home has a couple casitas and plenty of beach cabanas. See the photos in the Wall Street Journal.