Austin's hot housing market is cooling down with the weather, but it's still on track for a record-breaking year according to the Austin Board of Realtors October 2021 Central Texas Housing Report, which has shown that home sales across the metropolitan statistical area have dropped by 12.1% since this time last year.
Last month was a slow one for the real estate market across the Austin-Round Rock metro area, with 3,250 closed sales compared to 3,780 in October 2020. On the flip side, the metro's median home sales price grew by 24.7% year-over-year to $455,000, setting a record for the month.
Of course, if you want to live close to the city center, it's going to cost you more: in just the Austin city proper, the median home price is up by 21.1% year-over-year from $441,250 to a whopping $536,000.
ABoR 2021 president Susan Horton said with more new listings continuing to pop up, prospective buyers have more options to pursue.
"We are beginning to see a glimpse into what buyers and sellers can expect in our housing market moving forward," Horton said. "With the market remaining stable — but still on track for a record year — it is an exciting time for realtors who continue to be the best advisers to both buyers and sellers when it comes to navigating one of the most desirable housing markets in the country."
Although the median home price is up from this time last year, the Austin metro area hit its pricing peak in July 2021 at $478,000. According to a study done by the Texas A&M Texas Real Estate Research Center, the pandemic accelerated home sales in an already depleted market, causing prices to jump. However, the study indicates that Texas' "housing frenzy" could be over as both price growth and sales have already peaked.
New listings are up by 0.9%, from 3,747 to 3,777 new listings to browse, however, active listings are 0.5% down year-over-year to 3,475 from 3,501 in 2020, which was already down by 50%.
Inventory remains stable with about a month available, only dipping by .1 months since last year. You have less time to shop around though, as homes spent about 20 days on the market in 2021, down from 35 days in October 2020.
- Cooling down? Austin home sales drop for the first time since May ... ›
- Austin metro posts $800M in home sales to foreign buyers - austonia ›
- How millennial homebuyers are influencing the Austin market ... ›
- Elijah Wood's Victorian Austin home goes on the market - austonia ›
- What billionaires like Elon Musk look for in Austin real estate - austonia ›
- Cord Shiflet named 2022 Austin Board of Realtors President - austonia ›
The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus is urging Gov. Greg Abbott to call an emergency special legislative session to consider a variety of gun restrictions and safety measures in the wake of a mass school shooting in Uvalde that left 19 children and two adults dead this week.
In a letter released Saturday morning, all 13 Senate Democrats demanded lawmakers pass legislation that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years old. The Uvalde gunman was 18 and had purchased two AR-style rifles which he used in the attack.
The caucus is also calling for universal background checks for all firearm sales, “red flag” laws that allow a judge to temporarily remove firearms from people who are considered an imminent threat to themselves or others, a “cooling off period” for the purchase of a firearm and regulations on high capacity magazines for citizens.
“Texas has suffered more mass shootings over the past decade than any other state. In Sutherland Springs, 26 people died. At Santa Fe High School outside Houston, 10 people died. In El Paso, 23 people died at a Walmart. Seven people died in Midland-Odessa,” the letter reads. “After each of these mass killings, you have held press conferences and roundtables promising things would change. After the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, those broken promises have never rung more hollow. The time to take real action is now.”
Such laws are unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has a track record of favoring legislation that loosens gun restrictions. Only the governor has the power to call lawmakers back into a special session for emergency work.
Asked about a special session at a Friday press conference in Uvalde, Abbott said “all options are on the table” adding that he believed laws would ultimately be passed to address this week’s horrors. However, he suggested laws would be more tailored toward addressing mental health, rather than gun control.
“You can expect robust discussion and my hope is laws are passed, that I will sign, addressing health care in this state,” he said, “That status quo is unacceptable. This crime is unacceptable. We’re not going to be here and do nothing about it.”
He resisted the idea of increasing the age to purchase a firearm, saying that since Texas became a state, 18-year-olds have been able to buy a gun.
He also dismissed universal background checks saying existing background check policies did not prevent the Santa Fe and Sutherland Springs shootings, which both happened while he has been in office.
“If everyone wants to seize upon a particular strategy and say that’s the golden strategy right there, look at what happened in the Santa Fe shooting,” he said. “A background check had no relevance because the shooter took the gun from his parents…Anyone who suggests we should focus on background checks as opposed to mental health, I suggest is mistaken.”
Since the massacre at Robb Elementary School, the governor’s comments about potential solutions have centered around increasing mental health services, rather than restricting access to firearms.
This story has been edited for length.
- Help for Uvalde: Aid for families after the school shooting - austonia ›
- Manor, Georgetown, Round Rock schools face threats following ... ›
- Uvalde Shooting - austonia ›
- PHOTOS: Community mourns Uvalde shooting victims in vigil at ... ›
- Beto O'Rourke confronts Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at Uvalde press ... ›
- 14 elementary school students, 1 teacher killed in Uvalde shooting ... ›
- Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey calls for action following ... ›
- Police charge 15 year old in 6th Street mass shooting - austonia ›
Designs for stations along Project Connect’s Blue Line were presented this week, giving a detailed look at what part of the rail system extending from downtown to the airport could look like.
The planned stations that have gotten the latest focus include Waterfront, Travis Heights and Lakeshore stations past Lady Bird Lake.
At the Waterfront station, the preliminary design aims to prevent visual obstructions and save on costs. This is accomplished by a transit guideway that will lower from the bridge to a level station.
Heading onto East Riverside Drive, the light rail faces a curve requiring a slow down to about 10 miles per hour.
The Travis Heights station could involve relocating a pedestrian crosswalk zone at Alameda Drive to Blunn Creek. Since light rails can't effectively operate on a steep grade, this allows the transit guideway to avoid that.
From there, the rail will extend to the Norwood Park area, and though it will reach along the right-of-way zone, the park will be able to remain open.
A view of the Blue Line by Lady Bird Lake. (Project Connect)
The line involves some coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation. That's because the department is working on an intersection that will have to be built before the phasing of the section of the Blue Line involving an I-35 crossing.
When it comes to the safety of cyclists and walkers, design ideas include a pedestrian hybrid beacon by East Bouldin Creek that would provide a protected signal to cross. And for the intersection TxDOT is carrying out, Project Connect is working with them on pedestrian access across the intersection. It could involve shared use paths along the street and crossings beneath it.
This summer, the public can expect 30% of design and cost estimates to be released. Though the project was $7.1 billion when voters approved it in November 2020, the latest estimates factoring in inflation and supply chain constraints show it could ultimately be upwards of $10 billion.
- Austin faces rocky road in hiking taxes for Project Connect - austonia ›
- City launches $65M in Project Connect anti-displacement plan ... ›
- CapMetro CEO switches to role in D.C. as Project Connect moves ... ›
- Project Connect doubles cost of Orange, Blue lines - austonia ›
- With Project Connect in the works, what place do EVs serve ... ›
- 5 ways Project Connect is moving forward in Austin - austonia ›
- Federal Transit Administration awards $750K for Project Connect ... ›
- Project Connect begins scoping phase, officially hitting the road ... ›
- Austonia answers: How feasible is the $7.1B Project Connect price ... ›
- The pros and cons of Austin's $7.1B transit plan Project Connect ›