With prices skyrocketing and demand outpacing supply, it might seem like there's never a great time to buy a home in Austin.
But there may be a sweet spot. According to Realtor.com, prime home-buying season is fast approaching nationwide, and the best time to buy in the Austin-Round Rock metro is a one-week span from Sept. 19-25.
Austin will join I-35 neighbors San Antonio and other national markets including Washington, D.C. and Chicago in reaching their peak that week. The five-county metro could see up to 13% more listings and 22% fewer page views per listing when compared to its peak. Austin should also see significant price drops: the week should see median listing prices drop nearly 5% below the peak and have 1.6% more price reductions when compared to the average.
With listings lasting 34% longer than on peak weeks, it could be a prime opportunity for homebuyers to slide into that increasingly high barrier of entry.
Danielle Hale, Realtor.com's chief economist, says the coming weeks will be especially beneficial for first-time homebuyers.
"Home prices peaked in the summer, and new listings continue to come on the market helping slow the pace of sales—which is good news for homebuyers," Hale said. "As families across the country focus on getting back into school routines, there are fewer buyers in the market, creating a great opportunity especially for first-time homebuyers to make a purchase with somewhat less competition."
The study comes after the latest Austin Board of Realtors report shows Austin home sales dropped for the first time since May 2020 in July. Residential home sales in the metro dropped by 9.9% and the median home price in the city of Austin dipped slightly from $575,000 in June.
ABoR MetroStudy Regional Director Vaike O'Grady said that the market could begin to cool from the heat of early summer. But with record year-over-year median housing prices in July, O'Grady said the housing market will not slow down in the long-term anytime soon.
"Seasonality has a hand in the increasing home sales growth across our region and nationally," O'Grady said. "If you're looking to buy or rent a home, don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of the market's slower pace. If you're looking to sell, don't mistake this dip as a cooldown—it's still an excellent time to sell a home."
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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