January 2014

There are 6 blog entries for January 2014.

Being a girl born and raised in New York, getting that email on Friday morning informing me of the cancelation of all UT classes was extremely confusing. I immediately jumped out of bed and looked out of my apartment window shocked to find the sidewalk slightly dusted with snow. I pulled up the weather app on my iPhone only to become even more surprised when the screen reads that it was only 38 degrees. If I was confused I can't imagine what people from Minnesota, Wisconsin or Chicago were thinking. This is what Austin calls a "Snow Day"? I could totally get used to this! Now with all of this free time I newly discovered I had, I started planning my day to make sure I didn't waste any of it. I called a few of my friends to confirm that this email was

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The explosive construction of apartment communities in Austin the past two years is not necessarily a signal that this market is a top pick for developers or investors, according to a new national multifamily report by Marcus & Millichap. In fact, Austin dropped down three notches in the real estate firm’s National Apartment Index from 15th to 18th place. The index measures economic and supply and demand variables for the upcoming year. Some of the factors include employment growth, vacancy rates, construction rates, housing affordability and rents. Though job growth should continue to be strong, some 11,500 units will be completed this year, about double last year’s additions. Vacancy rates should climb, but that isn’t likely to result in rent decreases.

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Big changes are sweeping through the mortgage market this year. The new rules, created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act, ban some of the lending practices that contributed to the housing boom and bust.

As of January 10, there is a new class of mortgages called "Qualified Mortgages" or "QMs". Borrowers who qualify for these loans are presumed to be able to repay the loan for many years, not just during the first few months when an initial "teaser" rate can keep monthly payments low. Additionally, many previously popular loans are banned. Those include interest-only loans; negatively amortizing loans, which can allow your loan principal to increase over time, even though you're making payments; and…
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One of the mega-trends in real estate in recent years has been a shift by many consumers from being homeowners to renters.   And for many 20 and 30 somethings, that 10 years ago at that stage of life to would be diving into homeownership for the first time, they now may well be renters for a decade or more given higher down payment and more stringent loan qualification requirements.  Not surprisingly, residential rents continue to escalate and vacancy rates decline.

AXIOMetrics, Inc., a leading provider of apartment data and market research, has just completed a study of occupancy rates in the 90 largest metropolitan markets.  Across the country, apartment occupancy has remained greater than 94 percent since 2012.  

So where are apartments most

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The top spot goes to the metro area of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, a rising technology center. Austin came in second with job growth over the last five years, due in large part to a diversified technology base. Homegrown tech companies like Dell, National Instruments, and Flextronics complement incoming companies like Apple and IBM (which both now have large bases in Austin), as well as start-ups coming out of the University of Texas Campus.

The city is extremely business-friendly with a low tax, low regulation environment that makes it attractive to out-of-state firms. All of the tech hustle and bustle has led to an influx of young professionals, which has led to a boom in construction. 

Austin looks to maintain its high-flying output over the

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Here are some Austin Real Estate Stats to chew on:

·        15,400 apartment units under construction as of Q3 plus 3,175 more started
·        10,663 apartment units scheduled to start from 9/2013 to 9/2014.
·        1,000 room JW Marriot scheduled to open in early 2015
·        50-story Fairmont scheduled to break ground in early 2014.
·        IBC Bank Plaza scheduled to be completed in July 2014.
·        220,000 square feet Champion Office Park at 6500 N. Capital of Texas Highway will be completed in October of 2014
·        221,000 square feet Domain 7 at 11501 Alterra Parkway will be completed in November of 2014


When 2013 arrived, the mood among Austin real estate professionals mostly was upbeat. The apartment market was on fire with

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