100% Austin news, info, and entertainment, straight to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning.
In five minutes, you're fully informed and ready to start another great day in our city.
Austin is projected to be the top housing market in 2021, according to a recent study from Zillow.
With more and more large tech companies—such as Oracle, Tesla and Hewlett Packard Enterprises—moving to Austin, increased demand for housing has followed suit. Just last year, by November, 35 tech companies had moved into Austin—bringing more jobs and people to the city.
In the study, Pulsenomics LLC, on behalf of Zillow, interviewed a panel of 113 economists, investment strategists and real estate experts about their predictions on the U.S. housing market in the new year. Of those interviewed, 84% said Austin's home values would be greater than the national average.
In fact, the cities that are slated to do better than the national average—including Austin, Phoenix, Tampa, and Nashville—are in the Sun Belt. Denver is also projected to have a top housing market, although it is not part of the Sun Belt.
These relatively affordable metro areas are becoming the primary destinations for people wishing to get away from the expensive coastal cities such as Los Angeles and New York.
This has been a trend throughout 2020. According to Jeff Tucker, a Zillow senior economist, the pandemic actually accelerated trends we saw in the past year.
The report said that Zillow's 2020 survey of housing markets proved accurate when Austin ended the year with the median list price at a 23.6% year-over-year increase—the largest rise among the 50 largest U.S. markets.
"These Sun Belt destinations are migration magnets thanks to relatively affordable, family-sized homes, booming economies and sunny weather," he said in a release. "Record-low mortgage rates and the increased demand for living space, coupled with a surge of Millennials buying their first homes, will keep the pressure on home prices there for the foreseeable future."
- Austin's new urban center begins construction - austonia ›
- What $10 million or more can get you in Austin luxury homes ... ›
- Austin luxury real estate market booms in pandemic - austonia ›
- Austin homes more expensive than ever - austonia ›
- Austin housing market rebounds but apartments struggle with COVID ›
- Austin housing market broke records in 2020 despite COVID - austonia ›
- Austin's housing market is hot, but buyers feel burned out - austonia ›
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
- Reopening Austin offices plan for one-way foot traffic, sanitizing ... ›
- Buc-ee's avoids national workers shortage with benefits - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants struggle to hire workers after pandemic year ... ›
Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
Austin health orders requiring masks expire Tuesday. What then?
Take our three-question quiz, and tell us what you're thinking.