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Austin Eclectic on South Lamar - 01/31/11 02:18 PM
For Austinites and visitors alike, the 6th Street entertainment district and SoCo (South Congress Avenue) are common attractions, but a short stretch of South Lamar Boulevard
has developed a thriving culture -- emphasizing the kind of eclecticism that makes Austin Austin. Check out this variety among 100 businesses just south of downtown Austin:
The Austin American-Statesman summarizes: "The once-gritty row of used-car lots and repair shops has evolved into a dense collection of locally owned businesses, many of which have sprung up in the past 10 years."
Dynamic, entrepreneurial, and fun ... the essence of (1 comments)
Housing Bubble? Glad I missed it! - 01/29/11 02:50 PM
A few days ago I posted some brief thoughts about the latest release of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: Quick comparison -- Austin vs. Case-Shiller Index Texas generally, and Austin/Central Texas specifically, have bucked national trends throughout the housing crisis, and in that post I pointed out that even after significant adjustments in recent months, the 12-month average residential sale price in Austin reached all-time highs in November and December 2010. Today I decided to assemble a more complete comparison of home prices in the Austin area and in the Case-Shiller indices (10-city and 20-city composites). The result? Here's what a (2 comments)
Growth and employment continue in Austin and Central Texas - 01/28/11 10:36 AM
I have been writing for a long time about the strengths of Austin -- not only economically, but as a wonderful place to live. Two important articles in today's local newspaper validate that view: Austin's job market, cool factor make city top draw for young adults This chart says a lot:
It's also a great place to be long past that 25-34 demographic, and to raise a family. So much to recommend this community. And it looks like it will continue to be a strong employment market as well: Forecasters see Austin economy picking up speed, jobs "Our population (2 comments)
Austin and Case-Shiller - a quick contrast - 01/26/11 11:23 AM
I'll have more to say over the next couple of days about the latest report on the S&P Case-Shiller Index, but I just want to offer a quick note this morning. First, this article appeared in the Austin American-Statesman this morning: U.S. home prices 'bouncing around' bottom, Case-Shiller economist says The article notes that only one city in Texas -- Dallas -- is among the twenty used in the index, and that they saw a year-to-year decline in home prices in December 2010. Most of the other indexed cities suffered tremendous declines in prices over the past couple of years, so (0 comments)
Austin keeps adding jobs - 01/21/11 09:26 PM
I have reported a number of times over the past year that Austin/Central Texas is one of the relatively few areas that has continued to attract growth and create new jobs. Here's an update from today's Austin American-Statesman: Austin area had 2 percent annual job growth in December I have not yet reviewed or analyzed the details from the original data, but the fact that growth may have slowed during the 4th quarter doesn't surprise or bother me. The fact that we were still growing is very encouraging. Also encouraging is the fact the venture capital investment in new companies is up: Venture (0 comments)
Okay, so there is one thing ... - 01/21/11 09:11 PM
Those who follow me know that I frequently brag about the Austin area. I have lived here for a very long time, I love almost everything about Austin, and I keep finding more and more great news and forecasts to report from a business/economic perspective. I am unabashedly bullish. There is this one little thing, though ... traffic. I have driven in major cities all over the country, and I don't personally find Austin traffic all that serious except at the peak of rush hour. Others seem to find otherwise, however: Austin's traffic third-worst in U.S., report says Even data in (2 comments)
Q & A re Austin Area Building Permits - 01/19/11 04:19 PM
A couple of days ago I received some questions on one of my blogsites about my Austin Market Dashboard. It strikes me that others may have the same questions, so I am pleased to post the following:
QUESTION: I am a financial analyst for a ... company considering entering the Austin market. I have been conducting my own research on the state of housing and non-residential markets in Austin. I came across your article through a google search and I am fascinated by the thought put into the dashboard statistics. Thanks for sharing your research. I am puzzled by the (2 comments)
Duck! They're going to help us some more! - 01/18/11 09:46 AM
Several weeks ago I read that the financial regulation bill passed last year (Dodd-Frank) requires, among other things, that the Good Faith Estimate and the Truth In Lending disclosure forms must be "unified." That really hasn't had much visibility so far, but this article appears today: Simpler mortgage form is early goal of new consumer finance agency The article begins: "The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will soon begin writing and testing a simplified mortgage-disclosure form aimed at making it easier for borrowers to compare deals from different lenders." As I recall, that was the stated purpose of the new GFE (0 comments)
Austin/Central Texas Foreclosures -- really all that bad? - 01/14/11 10:48 PM
Earlier today I posted an article at AustinMarketInfo.com about the increase in foreclosure postings for the February 1, 2011 auction in the Austin Metro area (Austin area foreclosures jump 14 percent in February ). Last month I wrote about the contrast in the Austin-area foreclosure rate (10%) compared to the national average (25%), and compared to the U.S. cities with the highest foreclosure rates (27% to 54%) for the first three quarters of 2010. (See Comparison: Foreclosure sales in Austin vs. U.S.)
Those reported figures are the percentage of total home sales that were foreclosed properties. That is an important (2 comments)
Real Estate Professionalism ... This Is Important! - 01/13/11 12:53 PM
On my website (www.CentralTexasHomeSearch.com) I have dedicated a page to the NAR Code Of Ethics because I take it seriously and I believe my clients should as well. Yesterday I attended a day of Legal and Ethics updates that are required every two years as part of Mandatory Continuing Education for every licensee in Texas. I actually take these courses more frequently ... "just because." Although I also attend required training every year in order to continue serving on our Professional Standards committee, and every ethics hearing I sit in on is an education in itself, I find that discussion of (1 comments)
"Home Ownership Matters" - New Facebook page - 01/10/11 01:10 PM
In a world of confused and confusing reporting about the state of the housing sector of our economy, the National Association of Realtors® has launched a new Facebook page to help: http://www.facebook.com/homeownershipmatters Of course, I will continue to read and watch and listen to as much reporting as possible from as many sources as possible -- and keep AustinMarketInfo.com updated frequently. But the "popular" media tends to present columnists and talking heads that may or may not have any specific experience or expertise in the real estate business. At least you know that NAR "lives" in the business every day. (1 comments)
New foreclosure ruling ... What a mess! - 01/08/11 09:54 PM
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Friday that two large mortgage firms had foreclosed on homes without sufficient proof that they had the right to foreclose: Court rules against banks in pivotal mortgage case Picture yourself in this situation: You purchased a home months ago, moved, enrolled the kids in school, faithfully made your mortgage payments and went happily on with your life. Oh, yes, the house you bought was being sold by a mortgage servicer who took possession through foreclosure. One day your life is interrupted by a notification that the bank you bought your home from may not (0 comments)
Austin growing jobs ... in the news - 01/08/11 11:08 AM
CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured Austin on Friday, January 7. In case you missed it, click here. This is really a good feature about the state of employment and unemployment in the United States. The segments before and after the discussion of Austin are well worth your time. That said, in my humble opinion, it is not a coincidence that five of the top job-creating cities in the country are in Texas. Austin in particular has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit that fosters the creation of new companies and the growth of existing firms, and continues to attract corporate relocations. Mild winters, (0 comments)
Texas Brokerage Services - whose side is "your" agent on? - 01/07/11 11:21 PM
So ... you saw a sign last weekend and called the agent's number ... and now he's driving you to see a couple of houses. Is he really your agent? Not unless you took steps to formalize the relationship -- i.e., to hire him. Since 1996, the State of Texas has required real estate agents to discuss this Information About Brokerage Services with customers and clients -- at the time of the first "substantive" discussion of a property: - - - - - - - - - Information About Brokerage Services Texas law requires all real estate licensees to give (0 comments)
Job growth in Austin - 01/07/11 09:43 PM
I haven't tried to reconcile the different rankings in these reports, but they're both great news: Austin, Texas Leads the Nation in Job Growth Austin 3rd best job market in U.S., Forbes says There is an entrepreneurial ethic in Austin that you don't find everywhere. There's a high tech foundation, and still a lot of growth in that sector, but whether it's advertising/marketing or game development or outdoor activities -- it seem that almost anything is ripe for a business venture. Sure, venture capital has been available for many years for a wide variety of ventures, but most of these businesses (0 comments)
Does the Thought of Working With a Realtor Make You Cringe? - 01/06/11 10:38 PM
A fun post and great advice. Over the past few years, the real estate business has gotten more and more complicated. With more ways to be surprised than ever, why would you go it alone? Via Craig Rutman Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor (Home Buyer and Seller Specialist): Does the Thought of Working With a Realtor Make You Cringe? Attention home buyers in the Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area of North Carolina!
You're looking to purchase a new home. You've been on Realtor.com and a thousand other Real Estate web sites. You drive around endlessly and call every number on the (4 comments)
Austin on CBS Evening News -- Friday 1/7/2011 - 01/06/11 10:09 PM
Over the past year or so I have posted many articles featuring Austin at or near the top of various rankings among U.S. cities. The trend has caught national attention. Tune in at 5:30 PM on Friday, January 7: Chamber, Austin to be Featured on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric Austin takes on Katie Couric - blog I'll update with details after the broadcast ... (0 comments)
Texas still attractive for relocation - 01/04/11 10:46 AM
For the sixth consecutive year, Allied Van Lines reports that Texas enjoyed the highest level of net in-migration in the United States. Especially in Austin, there are a lot of folks who view this as a mixed blessing -- the growth, employment, and housing demand that comes with it are great, but it is more and more difficult to preserve the less metropolitan atmosphere that makes Austin Austin. That said, "it is what it is," as they say, so I went to Allied Van Line's source data and found the strength of Texas' attraction even more impressive than the report sounded. (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.