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A Snapshot of the Austin Market

Posted by Richard Soto on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 11:03am.

Okay, so you already know that Austin is booming, particularly with young people who are flocking to the millennial generation’s “it” city. But can you guess which end of Austin is growing the most?

If you said East Austin, good for you. According to the Austin Business Journal, fast-rising sale prices and overall home values are driving the economy in Central Texas, and East Austin is getting the biggest share of the boom. The area south of East Cesar Chavez Street between I-35 and Springdale Road, the journal notes, has seen median home values rise 44 percent to $241,400. That’s up from $159,000 and is by far the largest increase in the entire Austin area.

In addition, in the area bound by East Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Airport Boulevard, Oak Spring Drive, Webberville Road, Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Avenue, East 12th Street, and the Capital Metro tracks, the paper states, median home values rose 39 percent to $174,600, which is up from $116,800, the third greatest gain in the Austin area. And just outside of Austin, in the Central San Marco section, median home values rise 34 percent, from $89,000 to $127,300. According to the journal, median home value in the four counties that make up the U.S. Census Bureau's Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos area rose, on average 4.76 percent between 2010 and 2012.

As it is in other booming parts of the country (such as other Texas cities like Dallas and Houston), the reason behind the Austin boom is high demand for urban living combined with growing tech sector jobs, small inventory of available homes, and competition among buyers to find a home on short notice. The sellers market, as it has done in Dallas, has created a situation in which buyers are sometimes making offers above asking prices in an effort to secure a home from the competition.

However, it is worth noting that, according to the journal, most growth is happening in the suburbs, in areas such as Leander, Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Georgetown, despite the growth downtown. And apartment living is the preferred choice among the young, and rates more than doubles between 2012 and 2013. Apartment space in downtown Austin was about $1.18 per square foot, the ABJ reported. Now they are about $3 per square foot, on average

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