Real Estate

Austin home sales calm

A house for sale in South Austin.
A house for sale in South Austin. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

Some good news for prospective homebuyers: September home sales slid nearly 5% compared to the same month last year, per new data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Why it matters: Have you tried buying a home lately? Bidding wars this past year have meant homes go for hundreds of thousands of dollars over listing prices as frenzied hopeful owners try to secure their piece of the American Dream.

  • Austin homebuying has reached grim comedy: To the ESPN prompt, "Name something that isn't an Olympic sport, but feels like an Olympic sport," the Austin Twitter account Evil MoPac answered: "Buying a house in Austin."
Asher Price
Oct 20, 2021 - Real Estate

Boomers quashing millennials in Austin homebuying battles

Illustration of a "for sale" sign with a digital clock counting down from 5 seconds, then showing the blinking word "sold."
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The newest cage-match venue for young'uns and old folks: that piece of property down the street that's for sale.

Driving the news: Elbowed out by Americans 60 years and older, young people are making up a smaller share of recent homebuyers than in previous years, per a new Zillow analysis.

  • Because baby boomers are more likely to be homeowners who can use money from the sale of their current home to buy their next one, they have a built-in advantage in a bidding war against younger buyers, who are often buying their first home.

Cheaper real estate lures Californians to Texas

A for-sale sign outside an Austin area home.
A for-sale sign outside an Austin-area home. Photo: Ed Lallo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just as it seems every Californian and her brother are moving to Central Texas, a recent study compares the economic policies of California and Texas and how they affect quality of life.

Why it matters: The two most populous states in the country have long epitomized contrasting ideas about government, including policies on taxes, regulation and, more recently, pandemic response.

Asher Price
Oct 14, 2021 - Real Estate

Prime property picks for Tesla execs starting at $5M

2705 Island Cove Dr.
2705 Island Cove Dr. Photo courtesy of Bridget Ramey/Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Last week, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk announced he was moving his company's headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin.

Between the lines: We examined Tesla's recent SEC filings and found that — wait for it — Tesla's management makes a lot of money.

  • The CFO, head of Tesla Heavy Trucking and senior VP for energy engineering each earned roughly $46.5 million in 2020.
  • Of those, only the head of the truck division currently owns a home in Travis County under his name, per an Axios review of appraisal district records. In December, he purchased the property, valued at $2.4 million, near the Barton Creek resort.
  • Oh, and by the way, Musk, who calls himself "Technoking" in company filings, is now the world's richest person, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Austin slammed by skyrocketing rents

Illustration of apartment doorbells with an intercom shaped like a dollar sign.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The cost of rent in Austin has spiked 25.8% over the last year as the housing squeeze trickles down, an October market report by ApartmentData.com shows.

Why it matters: Central Austin home-buying was already a pipe dream for most teachers, nurses and other middle-of-the-road earners. Now, there's a risk that rents will grow out of reach for more people, accelerating the middle class departure to the 'burbs and adding to Austin's inequality gap.

Asher Price
Oct 11, 2021 - News

Austin real estate tech firm targets Zillow

The Zillow website is a common way for people to find real estate for sale.
The Zillow website is a common way for people to search real estate listings. Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A battery of former aides to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is behind an antitrust lawsuit against Zillow.

The big picture: Zillow is the go-to site for home listing searches, but Austin-based REX, a tech-based real estate broker, alleges Zillow unfairly marginalized its listings, harming its business, homebuyers and sellers.

  • REX's listings, along with others that don’t list with a realtor — such as sale by owner — are now found on an obscure "other listings" tab on the Zillow website, rather than the default tab.
  • Zillow officials say they are complying with National Association of Realtors rules that call for the separation of agent-listed homes from those not represented by agents. The NAR is also a defendant in the REX lawsuit.
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