October, which is often the start of a slight slowdown in residential real estate, generated a lot of optimistic news for homeowners. Sales surged across the nation, and, in Austin, housing trends pointed toward continued growth.
And the month saw a historically large deal, as The Blackstone Group sought to purchase a massive, 80-acre apartment development in Manhattan for $5.3 billion. Wow.
The increasing values and optimism among realtors and home builders is a strong sign for homeowners who are considering selling. Strong demand and a steadily improving economy, paired with low mortgage rates, are driving up prices in most markets, providing homeowners with big returns on their investments.
Let’s take a look at all the big real estate news in October.
National Housing Sales Surge: The pace of residential home sales during the month of September since 2007 climb, setting the stage for the best year in home selling since 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal. The strong sales are driven by job growth and the continued low mortgage rates. While many expect the pace of sales to slow during the end of the year, the increases during the summer and fall point to renewed confidence in the housing market — along with some caution stemming from the 2008 housing bubble. Economists say more needs to be done to encourage first-time home buyers to jump into the market.
Home Builders Express Confidence Nationwide: You may recall we talked about a growing sense of optimism among home builders last month. Well, that good vibe seems to be spreading. The latest Housing Market Index, which surveys builders nationwide, showed builders are the most optimistic about the housing market that they have been in the past decade. The index jumped three points this month to 64, continuing a five-month trend of strong numbers, American City Business Journals reported. That’s great news in Austin and New Jersey, where additional, affordable housing is needed to accommodate growth.
New York City’s Biggest Apartment Complex Sold: And you thought your mortgage was high. The Blackstone Group recently inked a $5.3 billion deal to buy the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village out of foreclosure. The property, 56 buildings in all, has 11,227 housing units on more than 80 acres of Manhattan’s east side, CoStar News reported.
Austin Home Values Rise Despite Seasonal Slowdown: Austin area home values continued to climb in September, continuing a long stretch of increasing prices and strong sales. The latest figures from the Austin Board of Realtors show that single-family home sales and prices hit an all-time high for the month of September. And the pace of home sales increased by 7 percent year-over-year to 2,603 home sales. Meanwhile, median prices climbed 8 percent compared to last year, hitting $258,000 in September.
Commercial Real Estate Pricing App Launches in Austin: Commercial real estate investors interested in Austin can throw this one in their digital toolbox. CompStak, which has a national presence, opened shop in Austin, providing commercial real estate researchers with data from a wide variety of sources that shows what people paid for local commercial spaces. The Austin Business Journal profiled the new organization last month.
Austin is Number 1 for Real Estate Investment: Austin’s booming real estate market is still growing. And a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute shows it’s the best market for investment purchases in the nation. CultureMap Austin reported that Austin ranks No. 1 for development, No. 2 for home building, and No. 4 for investment. The hottest amongst all housing types are single-family and retail properties.