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Real estate bidding wars driving most Austin home sales above asking price


Thanks to bidding wars, high demand and breakneck sales speeds, most Austin homes sold for higher than their asking prices in 2021 as the metro surpassed sale-to-list price ratios in all U.S. cities outside of New York and California.

Austin's sale-to-list price ratio was 105.1% in 2021, according to a study. That's higher than all but four cities, including Buffalo and Rochester, New York, and Californian metros San Jose and San Francisco, which topped the list.

The median home price in the Austin metro reached nearly $500,000 in February, coming in at an all-time high of $499,995, according to an Austin Board of Realtors report. The new record is 28% higher than just a year prior but even lower than the city of Austin's median home price, which reached $565,000 in the same time frame.

The Porch report found a positive correlation between home price and the average sale-to-list ratio. While the nationwide average ratio was 101.2%, bids were inclined to be higher in areas with higher home prices like Austin.

Multiple offers and speedy sales—Austin had just 0.4 months of available inventory in February, offering much less wiggle room than the six months of inventory found in healthy housing markets—have become trademarks in Austin and the nation amid a pandemic housing boom.

And with a "big year ahead," according to ABoR's 2022 president Cord Shiflet, all-out bidding wars may continue to be the new norm in the up-and-coming tech city.

“We’re hearing from economists that last month’s numbers are a potential harbinger of a big year ahead even as our market continues to deal with insufficient supply compared to demand resulting in the steady cycle of home price increases,” Shiflet said.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.