Austin's real estate brokers predict the hottest areas and trends for 2015.
One of the hottest housing markets in the country is right here in Austin, with a diverse array of residences, including modern downtown high-rise condos, sprawling lakefront homes, and ranch-style Hill Country abodes. A panel of prominent local real estate brokers discusses what’s next—from buying trends to which areas will soon be sizzling and why.
“Turnkey homes in high-demand areas will continue to draw in premiums, but in return, discerning buyers will expect perfection. I’m seeing a downward trend in demand for larger homes and an increased interest in ‘jewel-box’ homes. This term refers to homes on a much smaller scale that offer quality and luxury, little upkeep, and close proximity to downtown. We have a void in the market for those who want to downsize without sacrificing sophistication and luxury. Their best option at present is a downtown high-rise. Looking ahead, I’m expecting an increase in luxury property inventory.” 512-589-6090
“Being able to leave your car behind makes downtown attractive to a lot of buyers. The Rollingwood neighborhood is home to the Eanes school district and has a great family neighborhood feel while still being so close to everything that makes Austin cool. Old West Austin’s charm, character, and proximity to downtown also make it desirable. The general theme here is that traffic is getting bad, so living close to the action is important whether you are single, married with kids, or empty nesters. People are willing to give up space for place. Scarcity of available sites in Central Austin will continue to cause prices to increase. Austin is now a diversified city that is on the map globally. I do not see this trend ending anytime soon.” 512-848-8722
“Austin’s real estate market is well positioned for the next several years. The market heated up very quickly this year. We’ve seen a slight cooling as more inventory has become available. We will continue to see appreciating values; however, I believe it will be at a pace that does not put us in a situation where we have a bubble that bursts.” 512-330-1031
“Austin, unlike many other markets, isn’t suffering from lack of job opportunities. The numbers indicate that we will be in growth mode and in a strong housing market for the next eight years or longer. As long as inventory remains low, we will continue to see sellers driving the market. Given our population increasing on a daily basis, we’re expected to face low inventory over the next three to five years. Average days on the market continue to decline.” 512-659-9329
“Some of the hottest higher-end neighborhoods include Pemberton Heights, Tarrytown, Bryker Woods, Travis Heights, Westlake Hills, and Rollingwood—Zilker and Lake Travis, too. The East Side is booming as well. These neighborhoods are close to downtown, and the closer they are, the higher the price per square foot. Families want to feed into certain schools, so they are willing to pay a premium for the location. Some buyers want to go downtown for the lifestyle. Others who are moving into Austin want to fulfill their Texas dream of owning land, so they purchase in the Hill Country.” 512-968-6419
“We’re seeing interest in teardowns, new homes, and nicely remodeled homes. Teardowns in certain neighborhoods, such as Rollingwood, are selling for $500,000 to more than $1 million, while new homes and remodels are going for more than $2 million. In Tarrytown, properties are selling in less than a week. In both areas, schools are a big draw as well as proximity to downtown and area lakes. In these two areas, as well as the Bryker Woods neighborhood, I believe prices will continue to climb. Prices seem to have stabilized for now in the downtown condo market, although they are still in more demand than the Hill Country.” 512-944-5977