The February 2019 Real Estate News Roundup

The February 2019 Real Estate News Roundup

Even though Austin home sales slowed ever so slightly at the start of the year, it’s easy to see promising signs as we head into the busiest season for buying and selling.

Mortgage rates have gone down a bit after a slight increase at the end of 2018, and U.S. home builder confidence is on the climb. In fact, the National Home Builders Association said a survey of its members shows the highest gains in months.

That’s positive news for prospective buyers and sellers because it signals an increase in available homes. Still, it’s the luxury market that often shows the strongest growth.

Among those high-price sales in February was a home purchased by former University of Texas football coach Mack Brown. You’ll learn more about that below. Meanwhile, we also highlighted a story about the most expensive condo ever put on the market in downtown Austin. Hint: It’s north of $20 million and has some sweet views.

Learn about those developments and more in our February real estate news roundup.

Austin Oddity: Home Sales Slow Slightly

We’re accustomed to seeing month-over-month growth in the pace of single-family home sales in Austin. But, in January, the metro area saw a slight slowdown. Not enough to set off any alarms, just a break from the steady growth we’re used to seeing. Inside Austin city limits, home sales remained flat in January, as compared to the same month last year. The median price rose 1.7 percent, year-over-year.

U.S. Home Sales Show Positive Signs

Lower mortgage rates may be encouraging home buyers to make more moves. Pending home sales increased 4.6 percent in January, as compared to December, the National Association of Realtors reported. Average mortgage rates have been falling since last November when they increased by 5 percent.

Austin Grew at 152 People Per Day

It’s not your imagination, there are a lot of new neighbors in Austin. Over the past decade, the metro has averaged 152 new people each day, a new report based on new Census figures shows. The Austin Business Journal reports that 68 percent of that growth is due to net migration. Where are they coming from? Texas, for one, led by the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. But a lot of people are moving from California, Florida and New York, as well.

A Home Fit for a Coach

Former Austinite and former University of Texas football coach Mack Brown has purchased a new home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He and his wife bought a $2.1 million home that provides about 5,000-square-feet of living. It was built in 1922 and has four bedrooms.

Condo for a King and Queen

Austin’s downtown condos have been climbing in price for years. Now there’s a new space that appears to top them all — at least in terms of price. The Austin Business Journal wrote about a 13,000-square-foot condo with huge views of Lady Bird Lake that’s listed at $25 million. That appears to be a record price, but perhaps worth it as it sits on the 30th floor of the Four Seasons Residences. It has six terraces and a 500-bottle wine room.

Choose Your Route Carefully

Austin’s largest festival and conference kicks off March 8th and runs through the 17th. During that time frame, if you’re not planning on attending, it’s a good idea to steer clear of downtown, if possible. The city has released a list of road closures that are worth a glance if you’re driving through downtown during SXSW. Here’s a closer look from Curbed.