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Hot housing market pushes Austin rents to all-time high

The average Austin rent has increased nearly 13% year-over-year and nearly 10% since July 2018, according to the latest market report from ApartmentData.com. (Pexels)

The average Austin rent is steadily increasing after a months-long pandemic slump, largely due to prospective homebuyers who have been exhausted by the frenzied local housing market and turned to apartments.


After a nine-month pandemic downturn, the average rent in the Austin metro began to creep up in December. It is now $1,442 a month, up from $1,278 in July 2020 and $1,311 in July 2019, according to the latest market report from AparrtmentData.com. The occupancy rate is 91.4%, up from 89.3% last year, and only 20% of units are rented with concessions, such as one-month-free specials and other discounts, compared to 26% in June and 44% this time last year.

"The housing market is taking what used to be residential homeowners who can't find homes now and turning them into apartment renters," ApartmentData.com Vice President of Sales and Development Cindi Reed said.

The median home price in the city of Austin reached an all-time high of $566,500 in May, increasing $142,450 year-over-year, according to the Austin Board of Realtors latest market report. Low supply, high demand, labor shortages and rising construction costs are all contributing to the rising sales prices.

Many prospective homebuyers are being priced out of the brutal housing—and turning to the rental market instead. Deanna Garza, a Realty Austin agent, said people relocating to Austin for jobs at companies such as Tesla and Apple may also wish to rent before buying. These trends have led to more competition. The average rent in the Austin metro is more expensive—and rising more rapidly—than in other big Texas cities, despite a brief pandemic slump that offered tenants rare relief in an increasingly expensive market, according to ApartmentData.com.

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Howdy, and happy holidays.

I have some big news for you.

Austonia is now part of 6AM City, a fast-growing network of hyper-local newsletters across the country.

I’m proud to be telling you this, because 6AM City’s mission is very much like Austonia’s — a daily morning update on events, things-to-do and news, with an underlying mission of community building in the cities they serve.

If you’re not already subscribed, 6AM City’s Austin newsletter is called ATXtoday. One of its city editors is Laura Figi, who you’ll remember for her previous great work on Austonia’s newsletter.

I’ve been reading ATXtoday every day since it launched last year.

Starting this week, you’ll receive ATXtoday every morning and I’m confident it will become part of your daily wake up routine. Be sure to add hello@theatxtoday.com to your contact list (how to do that here).

Meantime let me thank you for your readership and support of Austonia, and convey my wishes for a great holiday season for you and those close to you.


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Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.