The August Real Estate News Roundup

These lovely summer months have been a boon for the real estate market — both nationally and in Austin. That’s thanks, in part, to a relatively strong and stable economy.

Home builders are voicing confidence, national home sales figures are on the rise and changing real estate trends combined to create a newsy month of July in residential real estate.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest themes and hottest stories impacting residential real estate:

Builders are Loving the National Housing Market: New jobs and relatively good economic indicators are giving single-family home builders across the nation a boost of confidence. The National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index climbed up by a point to reach 61 in August. That’s the highest level of confidence builders have reported to the Association since November 2005. Find more details here.

Singles are Snapping up Houses: When we think of homebuyers, we often picture a husband and wife who are looking to start a family together. While that’s still common, the number of single people buying homes is on the rise, according to an article in Forbes. About 60 percent of homebuyers aren’t married. A part of the reason is that young people are delaying marriage longer than ever before.

Crowdfunding for Real Estate is on the Rise: Investors have pooled their money together on real estate investments for ages. But a new, web-based form of it may be on the rise, according to this column in Forbes “A recent study from Massolution reports that crowdfunding investors injected $1 billion into the U.S. real estate market last year,” the story says. “By the end of 2015, that number should climb to $2.5 billion. Advances like $100 investments, debt participation and availability to foreigners are contributing to this projected surge.” Such investment pools are for accredited investors who have a net worth of at least $1 million. A lesser used, but new form of equity crowdfunding in Texas allows non accredited investors to take part through web portals, such as Mass Venture.

New Rules for HomeAway & Airbnb Rentals: Tens of thousands of Austinites occasional rent their home, or part of their home, to travelers through sharing economy sites like Austin-based HomeAway and San Francisco-based Airbnb. Now, city hall is looking at stricter rules aimed at preventing neighborhood problems that can arise from frequent short-term rentals. Among the new rules is limiting rentals to a maximum of six adults per house. The Austin Business Journal reported that HomeAway is pushing back against the proposed regulations. See the story here.

City Hall Just Can’t Keep Up: It’s taking the city’s planning department more than three months longer than it should to process some aspects of residential housing development. Those delays are slowing down the process of building housing for the city’s rapidly-growing population. That growth fuels demand that’s pushing up prices. And a story in the Austin Business Journal shows that it may be costing renters about $60 more per month in rent.

Maxavenue Staff