The November 2016 Real Estate News Roundup

No one overlooked the fact that Donald Trump was elected as the next president. But, politics aside, so far the election has proven to be a good thing on the stock market. And local markets, like Austin and New Jersey, aren’t likely to change their subtle upward glide.

Although data and reports lag behind, the U.S. housing market continued to show signs of growth this fall. A Census Bureau report in November showed home construction surged to a nine-year high in October, growing 25 percent in the course of a month.

That’s a great sign in cities like Austin where population continues to grow at a fast pace as new jobs, particularly in technology, fuel home sales in many metro areas. But it’s also raising questions about affordability for middle class buyers. And the longer-term trend has shown home construction is still a ways from matching some of the nation’s historic high points.

Here’s a look at some of the top real estate news developments from November.

Home Construction Boomed in October

New home construction hit a nine-year high in October as builders increased productivity by about 25 percent compared to the month prior, U.S. News and World Report reported. That exceeded what experts projected, and it showed another new sign of economic growth in the U.S., both in the housing market and in employment statistics. Meanwhile, many real estate investors are still pondering what President-Elect Donald Trump may mean for the market in the next year or two.

The Pace of Sales Keeps Climbing

The U.S. housing market showed continued signs of recovery from the doldrums of 2008. In fact, homebuying climbed in October for the second month in a row, the Wall Street Journal reported. That beat expectations, and it’s another sign that the U.S. is on a strong path for home sales after years of tepid growth.

Signs of Trouble in Commercial Real Estate

After months of historically low interest rates, investors are starting to blink at the prospect of long-term increases in borrowing rates. And that’s a canary in the coal mine for commercial real estate, at least in some key parts of the market. The Wall Street Journal, in November, reported that market analysts see troubling signs in the climbing number of defaults in the market. But that’s an early warning that mostly applies to a few key markets, particularly in New York and the East Coast. In Austin, meanwhile, commercial real estate continues to boom along with strong unemployment figures.

Texas Still King of Real Estate Investing

Dallas, Houston and Ausitn all got top marks for their booming real estate markets. In November, Curbed reported that Dallas is the best market for investors, with 20 percent returns. And, after Portand and a few other cities, Houston and Austin rounded out the top 10. New York City, meanwhile, showed only small returns on investment.

U.S. Housing Sales are Reaching Early 2000s Levels

For most Americans who have watched the housing markets since the late 1990s, it’s been a rollercoaster. Well, we’re on a consistent climb at the moment. Vice News reported the pace of sales is on the upswing, although many would-be homeowners are still priced out of the market. But we’re still a long ways off from the home ownership rates seen before 9/11.

North-Central Austin Development Battle Continues

The Grove at Shoal Creek has long been envisioned as the next great commercial-residential development in Austin. But the vacant corner of 45th Street and Bull Creek will remain so for months to come as city officials, neighbors and advocates battle over the specifics of the large development. The Austin Business Journal reports the project is now in mediation, and there’s no clear end in sight.

This Uber-Rich Luxury Area is in Trouble

Housing markets always have anomalies. And Greenwich, Conn., is now one of them. It’s a particularly high-end market for real estate, with abundant mansions and estates for the ultra rich. Now, it’s in trouble. Multi-million dollar homes have been sitting on the market for months, with no qualified buyers, Fortune reports. The magazine says it’s an extreme example of the declining market for high dollar estates in key markets.