Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
New apartments on South First add to housing trend of micro-units in Austin


More micro-units are coming to Austin, this time with South First apartments that will include retail and commercial space on the ground floor.

Known as Bruno, the building will have 38 studios and four one-bedroom apartments available for rent.

“Bruno is one of only a handful of micro-unit developments in Austin and the only one in South Austin with such proximity to downtown,” said Ross Wilson, Austin and San Antonio Division President of StoryBuilt, the Austin-based real estate developer that will manage the apartments.

For renters who like the “micro” in micro-units, the smallest size apartments will be 308 square feet. StoryBuilt says these units are an attractive option for the “urban dweller that values a vibrant neighborhood and access to the city around them.”

With an average unit size of 411 square feet, the largest will be 703. Pricing will be released closer to the completion of the units, which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2023 after starting construction at the end of this month.

Bruno will include four affordable units to be leased to people earning 50% or less of the median family income. In the 2021 fiscal year, the Austin-Round Rock metro area had a median family income of $98,900.

Micro-units are gaining steam in Austin. Last month, another Austin-based developer announced plans to build micro-apartments in East Austin, with the smallest units there being 252 square feet.

A rendering of an East Austin micro-apartment complex with an expected 2023 completion. (Mark Odom Studio)

StoryBuilt has purchased additional property on South First Street that it plans to develop into a mixed-use development with residential, commercial and retail.

The Bruno micro-units are StoryBuilt’s fourth South First project and continue the developer’s tradition of naming communities after a rescued animal or employee pet. This pet followed one of the company’s employees back to the office one day, and when an architect met Bruno, StoryBuilt said it was “love at first sight.” The architect adopted him when no owner came forward.


A mortgage banker walks us through the math on purchasing a 'mid-price' Austin home

So you want to buy a house?

To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.

Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.

Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.

So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.

Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.

Keep ReadingShow less
Fall camping: Camp Fimfo Waco offers one-of-a-kind experiences in the heart of Texas
Camp Fimfo Waco

Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!

Keep ReadingShow less