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Industry Updates

Austin Home Sales Hit Seven-Year High

(RECON, 12/20/13) – November marked the 30th straight month of existing single-family home sales volume increases in the area, the Austin Board of Realtors reported yesterday.

The report showed that 1,899 homes were sold last month, a 14 percent increase over a year ago and the most November sales since 2006.

The median price was $219,530, which is 10 percent more than the same month in 2012.

Inventory remained at an historically low level of 2.3 months, more than half a month less than November 2012. Homes spent an average of 51 days on the market, a decrease of 16 days from last year.

The total dollar volume of single-family properties sold was roughly $555.8 million, 24 percent higher than the same month last year.

The market had around the same number of new listings, 11 percent fewer active listings and 2 percent more pending sales in November 2013 than a year ago.


More Luxury Living for South Austin

(RECON, 12/17/13) – Irving-based TDI Real Estate is building a new luxury apartment complex.

Construction on the $50.8 million project is due to start early next year.

Located on 18.2 acres at 5100 South Congress Ave., the community, which is named after its address, will add 352 units to the area. First units are expected to open in late summer 2015.

Williamson Creek runs through the center of the property. Sixty percent of the land will be left undisturbed. There will be 162 residential units on the north side of the creek and 190 units on the south side.

Each side will have its own set of amenities.


New Year Bringing New Office Space to Southwest Austin

(RECON, 12/10/13) – HPI Real Estate Services & Investments will ring in 2014 with the groundbreaking of the first significant office project on the city's southwest side since the recession.

The firm said it will start work on Jan. 1 on a 250,000-sf office building in its San Clemente development at Capital of Texas Highway and Westlake Dr.

Locally based Spiceworks has already signed a long-term lease for 96,000 sf — almost 40 percent of the five-story building.

A May 2015 opening is targeted for the more than $70 million building.


Quez Capital Parts with Las Colinas Multifamily

(RECON, 12/10/13) – The Las Colinas apartment community has been sold as a value-added property.

San Diego-based Quez Capital sold the 178-unit, 97 percent occupied property at 1500 Reagan Hill Dr. to a private Minnesota-based buyer.

Quez Capital completed renovations during its ownership, but intentionally left a number of the units “as is” to provide the new owner the opportunity to finish rehabbing the property.

ARA represented the seller.


Texas Condo Sales Soar in 2013, New Report Shows

(RECON, 12/3/13) – The single-family home market isn't the only market going strong in Texas this year. Condominium sales are doing just as well according to the 2013 Texas Condominium Sales Report.

The report, which was released yesterday by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR), shows double-digit growth in condominium and townhome sales among the state's four major markets. Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio had an average 26 percent jump in condo sales between January and September 2013. Individually, Dallas condo sales jumped 38 percent, followed by Houston at 25 percent, Austin at 24 percent and San Antonio at 18 percent.

In Dallas, 4,468 condos were sold between January and September 2013. Compared with the same period in 2012, the median price increased 10 percent to $153,000. The number of new listings also increased 10 percent to 6,311. Active listings dropped 26 percent to 1,607 listings, and pending sales jumped 33 percent to 4,077 year-over-year. Days on the market dropped to 67, down 28 percent from the previous year.

In Houston, 5,067 condos were sold during the first nine months of the year. The median price increased 7 percent over last year to $140,000. New listings increased 3 percent to 7,552, active listings dropped 31 percent to 1,737, and pending sales increased 17 percent to 2,827 year-over-year. Days on the market dropped to 61, a 27 percent decrease from last year.

Meanwhile, in Austin, 2,450 condos were sold between January and September. The median price increased 7 percent to $192,420. New listings increased 8 percent to 3,306, active listings dropped 28 percent to 635, and pending sales jumped 22 percent to 2,706 year-over-year. Units spent an average of 52 days on the market, a 30 percent decrease from 2012.

Finally, 469 condos were sold in San Antonio between January and September. The median price increased 6 percent over last year to $98,900. New listings decreased 3 percent to 776, active listings dropped 22 percent to 379, and pending sales increased 11 percent to 415 year-over-year. Average days on the market dropped to 113, down 23 percent from a year ago.

“Inventory is at an all-time low for both condominiums and single-family homes, but the development of new condos and townhomes has lagged behind that of single-family homes through the housing recovery," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. "As a result, we’re at least a year or two away from delivering the condos that are currently needed in Texas’ metro areas.”


Investcorp Doubles Up in Austin

(RECON, 12/3/13) – Investcorp has purchased two Austin apartment complexes totaling 846 units.

The subsidiary of Investcorp Bank BSC of Bahrain bought the University Village and University Estate apartments on Crossing Place in southeast Austin.

Largely populated by students, the complexes were previously owned by entities formed by the Preiss Co. of North Carolina, according to county records.

The Travis County Appraisal District values University Village at $36.1 million and University Estates at $28 million.


Austin Airport Hotel Taking Off Under New Ownership

(RECON, 11/22/13) – A joint venture has purchased Hampton Inn Austin Airport.

Hostmark Hospitality Group and Pendo Investments acquired the property at 7712 E. Riverside Dr.

The 102-room property will undergo extensive renovations. Hostmark, which manages Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, IHG, Wyndham and Choice, will manage the hotel.


Austin Home Sales, Prices Up 9 Percent in October

(RECON, 11/22/13) – Area existing single-family home sales and prices last month were 9 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released yesterday by the Austin Board of Realtors.

The report showed 2,145 single-family homes were sold in October, while the median price was $217,000.

Inventory dropped to a historically low 2.5 months, one month less than October 2012. Homes spent an average of 48 days on the market, a 20-day drop from a year ago.

The total dollar volume of single-family properties sold was roughly $600.5 million, 11 percent higher than last October.

The market had 14 percent more new listings, 12 percent fewer active listings and 8 percent more pending sales this October than last.


Bee Cave Abuzz About New Class-A Apartments

(RECON, 11/22/13) – Locally based Oden Hughes LLC has broken ground on a 240-unit Class-A apartment complex on the city's southwest side.

The Landmark Conservancy is slated to open in early 2015 at the corner of Old Bee Cave Rd. and SH 71.

Although most of the site falls outside Austin's city limits and jurisdiction, Oden Hughes said it will comply with many of the city's stringent water quality and environmental protection ordinances. More than 16 acres of the 22-acre site will be preserved as open space.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will range from 526 to 1,350 sf and rent from $800 to $1,900 a month.

This will be ninth project for Oden Hughes, which will serve as general contractor. Kelly Grossman is the architect.


Austin's Tallest Luxury Tower in the Works

(RECON, 11/19/13) – A $100 million luxury apartment tower is planned at Trinity St. and East Cesar Chavez.

World Class Capital Group is planning the project, which, at 39 stories, will be the tallest apartment building in the city and the fourth largest tower overall.

The project will have 14,000 sf of shops and restaurants on the ground floor, parking on the second through eighth floors, and apartments starting on the ninth floor.

No zoning change is needed for the site, and a demolition permit is in hand to tear down the warehouse currently on the site.

The locally based real estate investment firm expects to break ground in early 2014 and complete the project the following year.