DAB STATS – May Transaction Summary


In May, we saw at least four articles suggesting that more downtown Austin buildings are forthcoming: Block 51, Austin Energy building on West Ave, City planning a new parking garage, State capitol considering more density.  We haven’t seen that many speculative media reports about downtown development since 2006.

We’ve been hammering the point that there is no more new inventory under $400 per foot.  It’s gone.  But, don’t get caught up in the hype about new construction, at least not yet.  Even if the data suggests that there is capacity for more new attainably priced product (2bds/2ba+ for under $400k), the capital markets aren’t racing to provide financing.

Conversely, there’s a robust resale market working like a well oiled machine.  The difference between average asking price and average sale price is shrinking.  Last month, across 22 transactions, this spread was ~4%.  Timid buyers and sellers should take confidence in this stability.  To drive home the point even further, we witnessed at least two bidding wars last month.  Many buyers are longing for the days of 2008 and 2009 when 25-30% discounts were being offered.

Area “DT” – MLS defined market area for downtown Austin – has such diverse product that average numbers cannot be used without qualification.   For instance, it is necessary to qualify the age, location, and level of amenities when comparing Cambridge Tower to 360 Condos. ($226psf vs. $385psf, respectively)

Average price for area DT was $283.91 per foot, based on data collected from 22 transactions recorded in May.  That is down from May of 2009 when pricing was $303 per foot across 13 transactions; however, the spread between list price and sale price in 2009 was closer to 10% – much more volatile.

The MLS data does not include private developer sales (Spring, Austonian, W Hotel, Four Seasons).  Multiple sources have shared with us that the W entered into approximately 10 deals in May, and will not accept offers with more than a 5% discount.   The Austonian recieved their certificate of occupancy and is planning it’s first closing next week.  No news from the Four Seasons.

Registered DAB subscribers may access the complete May 2010 transaction report.


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DAB STATS – April Transaction Summary

This awesome image is from nataliedee.com

With 12 recorded transactions this past month, downtown Austin hosted 300% more transactions compared to April of 2009, when only four transactions were recorded.  For the month of April, the average sale price per foot remains unchanged between 2009 and 2010 at $276psf.

To provide a little more perspective, Q1 2010 compared to Q1 2009 saw negligible increase to $304 psf from $300 psf, respectively.  What is more interesting, IMO, last year in the first quarter of 2009 only 16 transactions were recorded; conversely, this year in the first quarter there were 33 transactions recorded!

This significant increase in recorded transactions, year-to-year, requires qualification.  Numerous unrecorded (off MLS) developer sales occurred in 2009.  Now, those buildings are sold out, and we’re seeing a surge in re-sale activity, which is recorded in the MLS.  This bodes well for transparent transaction data.  Re-sales are back, baby!  This is a trend we should continue to see for a few years.

A more detailed transaction list and statistical report can be accessed in the member area.

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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.


Downtown Austin By The Numbers: How many dwellings?

Downtown Austin By The Numbers: How many dwellings?

What’s the magic number?

This is the first in a series of three articles aimed at uncovering the number of residences in Downtown Austin.  So, how many dwellings are there?  This seems like a simple question, doesn’t it?  I’ve never been able to get a satisfying answer – one that doesn’t try to determine the number of residents using a multiplier, is not rounded up or down, and that clearly indicates what is currently being lived in or is ready for occupancy (not under construction).

You may ask, “why don’t you just search Google?”  Well, I did.  I searched Google for “how many dwellings are in Downtown Austin”.   I used other iterations and synonyms of those search terms and could not find a satisfying answer.  Much of the data available is old and/or disparate.  The last U.S. Census was in 2000.  The next is in 2010.  Because I am your loyal Downtown Austin Realtor (plug!), I am uniquely suited to discover and share with you my count, building by building, of the number of Downtown Austin condos and apartments.

The official Downtown Austin Blog count of Downtown Austin dwellings after the jump.

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