Real Estate

Homes sales in the city of Austin decreased by 33.1% in April when compared to last year, showing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the local stay-home orders that took effect in late March, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.
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(STG Design)

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Consider the elevator. Commercial ones are typically between five and eight feet square, according to the Elevator Lab, meaning only one person can be inside while also observing social distancing guidelines. In a busy office building, with rush hour elevator traffic at the start and end of the workday, this poses a challenge. During a pandemic, it gets worse.

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The view from 360 Nueces Street. (David Powell)

Welcome to Austonia, a new, locally owned news company reporting on news, business, and politics in Austin. Like what you see? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our latest stories in your inbox.

Elevator wars. Cramped life on a balcony. Darkened bars and restaurants. No deliveries to your condo. Generational differences over latex gloves, disposable wipes and social distancing. Ready to kill for a beer on a restaurant patio. Yes, those who live in Austin downtown's high-rises are stressed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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(Austonia staff)

It was already going to be a weird year at TCAD. (Austonia)

Before the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Austin, the Travis Central Appraisal District was preparing for its busy spring season, when appraisal notices are mailed and protests filed.

It was already going to be a weird year. After TCAD received a cease-and-desist order from the Austin Board of Realtors last May, preventing access to home-sales price data, Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler announced in February that the district would not re-appraise residential properties in 2020.

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Adobe

While some renters are postponing moves, others are taking advantage of lower rents and other specials offered as property owners try to adapt to the current marketplace. (Adobe)

Peter Northfelt is graduating from the University of Texas-Austin with a master's degree in advertising this May. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he planned to move to Los Angeles. Now, he's moving back to Phoenix, where his family lives, because many advertising companies aren't hiring and he's unable to support himself on unemployment benefits alone.

"I was graduating anyway, so I was going to move," Northfelt said. "It's just a matter of, the world was really big and then the world became really small."

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