Archives for January 2012

2011 Recap of Downtown Austin Condo Sales

2011 Recap of Downtown Austin Condo Sales

Challenged to articulate a narrative around 2011 downtown Austin real estate data, I’ve been keeping this post under wraps for a couple of weeks.  Data is useful to me and my clients, but these numbers have little meaning without context and history.

How do I convey that the best news is no news at all?

Stability in the downtown condo market continues to be the story. Stability attracts the timid buyers from the sidelines. Those additional buyers embolden timid sellers to enter the market.

What forces are creating stability downtown? Low interest rates, shrinking inventory, and multi-generational demand for urban lifestyle. We can see the outcome of stability in the chart below: the gradually upward sloping trend line.

downtown austin condos - 10 years of resale data

downtown austin condos - 10 years of resale data

In 2011, if you were a seller in downtown Austin, then you did slightly better than sellers in 2010.  If you were a buyer in downtown Austin in 2011, then you were more focused on lifestyle and proximity, rather than the post-bust discount pricing found in 2008-2009.


Looking back on the downtown Austin condo market in 2011, we see $77,688,824 in total resales over 200 resale transactions.  Combined with an estimated $120,000,000 in downtown new construction sales from another 200 transactions, 2011 reflects a healthy real estate market, gradually trending up. [Read more…]

New Rainey Street Apartment Tower Proposed: The Austin Skyhouse

New Rainey Street Apartment Tower Proposed: The Austin Skyhouse

According to an administrative site plan application filed with the city, the Austin Skyhouse is a proposed downtown Austin mixed-use apartment tower at 47 Rainey Street.  If built, the tower could deliver 15,000ft of retail and 320 apartments to downtown Austin’s red hot rental market.

The ~1.4 acre site, shown below, is directly north of the Legacy apartments (187 units), and across the street from the Milago Condos (240 units).  The CBD zoned property has long been expected to be developed into a tower, so this shouldn’t be received with much surprise.

According to the application: “The applicant is proposing to construct Apt. Tower/Retail and Garage/Retail with associated improvements.”  The applicant is familiar to downtown Austin development – Novare/Andrews Urban – the same team who developed the successful 360 Condos.

Since Milago has the dominant lake and city view for the first twelve floors, we’ll hopefully see a tall tower over podium design where most of the units’ views would clear Milago’s roof.  Given the parking challenges in the Rainey Street district, perhaps we’ll see extra parking included in the design which could be available to visitors to the neighborhood.

This is the latest of several proposed downtown Austin high rise projects catering to renters.  Riverside Resources is under construction of their 20 story building at 3rd Street & San Jacinto.  7 Rio looks like it is being repurposed as a rental product and could break ground this year.

(UPDATE 1: Novare is building the Skyhouse concept in Atlanta on what looks to be a similarly configured site.  UPDATE 2: we’ve confirmed the tower will be 23 stories and could break ground as early as May.)

[Read more…]

Waller Creek Update Reveals Actual Tunnels!

Waller Creek Update Reveals Actual Tunnels!

Today the City of Austin released the latest issue of Waller Creek Tunnel Project Updates.  Don’t yawn – just check out the pics of real tunnels – under downtown Austin!

OK, so the massive middle-earth boring machine shown on page two is stock footage, but I confirmed with Carolyn Perez that the other photos are indeed from Waller Creek improvements, which is great to see.  

Combined with the parallel Sabine Street promenade effort and earnestness of the eponymous Conservancy, the Waller Creek District is becoming the most exciting part of downtown Austin to watch.

You can download the newsletter here: Waller Creek – winter 2012 newsletter (pdf)