Luxury real estate booms as buyers from both coasts flock to Austin: ‘COVID has set our market on fire’
Welcome to austonia.com, a new local news site for Austin. We're an authentically local company—Austin stories, Austin people, Austin advertisers. News, trends, media, topics, people. No paywalls. We cover the changes that are reshaping our city. To get connected, sign up for our free daily AM newsletter update.
When businesses closed their doors in March, Austin realtor Cord Shiflet did not think he would sell another house this year.
To his surprise, this has been the busiest month he has ever seen for well-funded buyers moving to Austin.
"In my 23 years of doing this, the last month has been the craziest, most active market I've ever seen, with big buyers moving into Austin," said Shiflet, who works for Moreland Properties. "COVID has set our market on fire."
Austin realtors say business is booming in luxury real estate, which is a pleasant surprise after expecting sales to plummet due to coronavirus.
The majority of his big buyers have usually come from California, Shiflet said, but now he is seeing a drastic increase in New York executives and business owners who want to move to Austin.
After months of stay-home orders and working remotely, people from both coasts seem to be reevaluating where they live.
"We've just been seeing New Yorkers coming out here in droves," Shiflet said. "They can work from really anywhere in the world, and these people don't want to live in the tight spaces that they're currently in."
Texas has long appealed to people living in more regulated states due to a business-friendly climate and lack of state income tax. Shiflet said realtors are struggling to keep up with the increased demand from new buyers, many of whom are shocked to see how much further their money can go in Texas.
"We're going through our Rolodexes and knocking on doors, trying to find the quality product that these people want," Shiflet said. "They have a hard time believing they can have so much house and so much space and land around them as opposed to the apartments they're coming out of in New York."
Michelle Dolch, a realtor from Austin Luxury Group, said she has experienced the same thing—she even has a few buyers who are looking in the range of $20 million and above.
"We don't really have a lot of real estate in that market," Dolch said. "Our inventory is really stressed."
In addition to those from California and New York, Dolch has seen an increase in buyers coming from Seattle and Chicago, citing complaints about coronavirus and taxes.
"It just seems that a lot of people that have been considering moving here over the years are now coming here all at once," Dolch said. "A lot of people have always considered Austin as a place they'd like to live in. They're not considering it anymore—they're moving forward with it."
Want to read more stories like this one? Start every day with a quick look at what's happening in Austin. Sign up for Austonia.com's free daily morning email.
- Austin's high-rise dwellers say density is not a problem ... ›
- An Austin builder challenges her industry, and the industry responds ... ›
- City of Austin home sales down 33% in April, but prices rise sharply ... ›
- What $10 million or more can get you in Austin luxury homes - austonia ›
- Austin housing market rebounds but apartments struggle with COVID - austonia ›
- Elijah Wood's Victorian Austin home goes on the market - austonia ›
Rumors are circulating that podcast comedian Joe Rogan is moving to Austin, an idea he's floated on his show.
- 12 Austin podcasts you can't miss - austonia ›
- Austin's Hodgepodge Media rethinks its plan for a new kids podcast ... ›
- 17 perfect porches—where to get a drink outside in Austin ›
- Joe Rogan moving to Austin, Texas next month says Joe Diaz - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan says he's moving to Texas 'soon' - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan buys Lake Austin home for new studio, HQ in Austin, Texas - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan posts podcast studio as he makes move to Austin - austonia ›