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DAB STATS – Downtown Apartment Occupancy

Checkout the occupancy rates (as of Tuesday) for downtown Austin apartment buildings.

Monarch @ 94% or 287 out of 305 units
Legacy On The Lake @ 92% or 172 out of 187 units
Ashton Austin @ 87% leased, 83% occupied or 214 out of 258 units
Gables West @ 92% or 220 out of 239 units
Gables Park Plaza @ 38% out of 188 units

And, it’s a very safe bet that AMLI Downtown (220 units) and AMLI on 2nd (231 units) are hovering between 95-98% occupied.

Our empirical data suggests that lease rates at apartment buildings are hovering in the ball park of $1.75 per rentable foot, on average, net of incentives.  MLS statistical reports for year-to-date downtown Austin condo leases corroborates this, reporting $1.88 per foot, on average, and ranging from $1.00-$2.40psf.  In 2008, before many of our new apartment buildings were completes, lease rates were even higher.  With no new projects on the horizon, and a strong demand for the urban life style, expect downtown lease rates to remain stable.


5 Reasons You Should Sign Up For Jude’s Quarterly Report

Just posted my review of downtown Austin residential real estate for the first quarter of 2010. This report is only available to registered DAB readers. Why should you bother?

1) You want accurate and timely information on the market
2) You live, work, or care about downtown Austin
3) You are interested in selling or buying a downtown condo
4) You want access to information (like this report) not available anywhere else
5) There’s no commitment, if you don’t like it then unsubscribe with one click

Sign up in the DAB member area, where in addition to the report, you will have access to sales data in real time. As always, we appreciate your input as to how to improve DAB. Check it out!


Latest From Downtown Austin Facts

What’s it like to be a single mom, or a married couple in downtown Austin? Take a listen…

The audio links above represent the latest radio spots from DowntownAustinFacts.com (link).  I still feel compelled to qualify their proclamation that there are only 400 condos remaining.  From one perspective, that number is insufficient to describe the number of units available for purchase.  From another perspective, that number paints an overly rosy picture of what’s available to the average buyer. To elaborate further:

First, this number (400) represents new construction and doesn’t include the approximately 175 resales that are on the market.

Second, this number represents the inventory at four buildings: the Austonian, Block 21 Residences (aka W Hotel Residences), Residences on Town Lake (aka Four Seasons Residences), and Spring condos.

Third, how many new “attainably” priced units are available?  Nearly ZERO – ok, there are five units at Sabine and two units at the Shore condos.

Let’s get this out of the way for the trolling skeptics… DowntownAustinFacts.com is a website sponsored by a consortium of builders.   That fact doesn’t change the reality that downtown Austin is facing a shortage of condos for sale over the next 5-10 years, especially priced in the 200-400k range.  THE INVENTORY IS LOCKED IN.  You will not see any new projects come out of the ground until at least 2013, perhaps longer.


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The December Discount

The December Discount

I’m sympathetic with contrarian investing practices.  You’ve likely heard that, in the real estate market, spring and summer are the “buying” seasons.  If that’s true, then there is an economic case for improving your purchasing power during the non-buying seasons.

Taking a two mile radius from downtown Austin, we show the average-discount-from-list-price ratio of sale price to list price (subtract from 1 to get the discount) for real estate sold in June and December. The data is obtained from the MLS and goes back to 2004.  On average, since 2005, you can buy central Austin property for less in December than you can in June.  Last year if you purchased in December then you saved an additional 3% from asking price.

I call it the “December Discount”.

This chart affirms, at least in part, that in recent years buyers purchasing in the “off season” are getting slightly better deals than buyers in spring and summer.  Since 2005 you can see the December Discount increasing with each year.  With the FHA loans currently filling a void in the credit markets, and a tax incentive bringing more buyers to the table, this year we might not see a continued divergence beyond 3%.