Homes at Five have room to spread out on around one acre each. Unicus Developments is building the community on Stoneridge Road, near Capital of Texas Highway. UNICUS DEVELOPMENTS

Austin Business Journal shares, "a new, gated luxury housing development is rising south of West Lake Hills.

The development itself may be small by most standards — five homes on 5.5 acres — but the size of the homes and their price point are not. The homes at Five, as the development is called, range from 6,700 to 8,900 square feet and list prices start at $12.5 million, according to Moreland Properties' Eric Moreland Group, which is marketing the homes for Houston-based developer Unicus Developments LLC.

Five isn't the sort of development that your typical Austinite could spring for, but it is the type of development that can serve a growing population of wealthy homebuyers as Austin's population continues to surge. Last year, the Austin metro…

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Compass' Robert Reffkin with Realty Austin's Jonathan Boatwright, Gabe Richter, and Yvette Flores (Realty Austin, Compass, Getty)

TheRealDeal reports, "on the heels of its first cash-flow positive quarter as a public company, Compass is taking a big bite out of the Central Texas resi market. 

The firm has acquired Realty Austin and Realty San Antonio, an independent brokerage that posted $5.24 billion in sales last year. With the purchase, Compass expands its Texas headcount by about 630 agents and absorbs one of the region’s top brokerages. The sale price was not disclosed. 

Local leadership will stay in control of day-to-day operations, according to a news release. The Realty brokerages are led by Gabe Richter and were co-founded by Jonathan Boatwright and Yvette Flores. 

The firms said they expect Compass’ technology will help Realty Austin and Realty San Antonio get…

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ARNOLD WELLS / ABJ

Austin Business Journal reports, "amendments to Austin's land development code intended to boost building density throughout the city will soon be considered in a joint public hearing between the Austin City Council and Planning Commission. The changes could have a significant impact on housing supply in the city.

A meeting date has not been yet been scheduled but is expected to occur this year. Council on Sept. 21 approved a resolution calling for the joint public hearing, which was recommended by the city’s Housing and Planning Department.

The hearing shows there is political momentum behind the city's effort to address the housing shortage and correlated affordability concerns — as well as controversy. After a previous effort to overhaul the…

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A combination of factors has created a challenging environment for homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, PAMELA MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

Austin Business Journal writes, "this year's housing market, beset by high interest rates, is on track for the lowest number of homes sold in 12 years.

Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage financing organization, projects total home sales in 2023 to be about 4.8 million, the lowest since 2011, and only slightly higher in 2024 at 4.9 million. The total amount of mortgage originations for 2023 is expected to be about $1.56 trillion, down from what Fannie Mae had originally projected to be $1.6 trillion this year.

Fannie Mae sees personal spending to be at unsustainable levels relative to American incomes and it projects a "modest economic contraction" in the first half of 2024, combined with mortgage rates hovering above 7%.

And while…

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New data quantifies just how much the experience of a real estate agent matters when buying and selling a home. OLEKSANDRA KLESTOVA VIA GETTY IMAGES

Austin Business Journal shares, "real estate agent experience levels — and how they are paid — can make a huge difference in the housing market.

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research by Sophia Gilbukh, an assistant professor of real estate at Baruch College, and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, assistant professor of finance at Yale University, studied 8.5 million transactions from 2001 to 2014. The study found homes listed by inexperienced agents were less likely to sell — and the current flat commission structure created a large number of inexperienced agents that drag down home sellers and stunt the housing market, in good times and bad.

Overall, the working paper found, listings with agents within the bottom 10% of…

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Austin American-Statesman writes, "Pearlstone Partners is doubling down on its commitment to growing in Austin.

Over the next three years, the Austin-based real estate investment firm said it plans to add three new projects totaling upwards of $700 million to its expanding portfolio. The new developments will further redefine the skyline and urban living in the city, Pearlstone officials say.

The privately held Pearlstone — one of the largest providers of for-sale housing in and near downtown Austin —already has invested about $500 million in two completed residential projects and three that are under construction.

Now, it is seeking capital partners for three future projects. The planned projects will add an additional $700 million to…

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CTECH writes, "Austin, Texas, remains the most promising city for investing in commercial real estate in the United States, according to the annual review conducted by the global law firm DLA Piper. A total of 128 real estate experts from around the world participated in the review, including CEOs, VPs of operations, real estate developers, and property managers. The report outlines the most attractive investment opportunities in commercial real estate for the upcoming year and assesses the impact of factors such as inflation, high interest rates, geopolitical tensions, and economic forecasts on investment decisions. DLA Piper has maintained a representative office in Israel since 2012. Among the respondents, the highest…

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(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Realtor.com reports, "The numbers: Construction of new U.S. homes fell 11.3% in August—falling short of Wall Street expectations—as builders scaled back new projects to focus on completions.

The pace of construction reversed course and fell as mortgage rates stayed over 7%, dampening home-buying demand. The last time construction of new homes was at this level was in June 2020.

So-called housing starts fell to a 1.28 million annual pace from 1.45 million in August, the government said Tuesday. That’s how many houses would be built over an entire year if construction took place at the same rate every month as it did in August.

Economists on Wall Street were expecting a drop in starts to 1.43 million. All numbers are seasonally adjusted.

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Tiny homes on wheels could soon be considered permanent dwellings in single-family areas by Austin City Hall. MACKENZIE FRANK | COURIER

Austin Business Journal reports, "Austin homeowners may have an opportunity to transform their backyards and other open spaces into leasable dwellings as the local government works to create new options for affordable housing.

Austin City Council on Sept. 14 asked city staffers to draft an ordinance that would allow mobile tiny homes and recreational vehicles to be used as permanent residences in areas zoned for single-family housing. The draft of the code amendment is expected to be presented to Austin's Housing and Planning Committee and to Council by the end of November.

The effort would be another piecemeal change to Austin's land development code as city leaders work to eliminate barriers to creating additional housing. Affordability issues…

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 Multiple ZIP codes in Central Austin saw an increase in home prices in August compared to last year. (Courtesy Austin Board of Realtors)

Community Impact Austin writes, "August home prices in multiple Central Austin ZIP codes increased with homes in 78752 seeing the biggest jump at 38.27% year over year, according to data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

However, there was also a decrease in August home prices in some ZIP codes, including 78701, which dropped by nearly 35%.

Seven ZIP codes in the market also saw more home sales in August compared to last year, while 78751 remained consistent with 15 home sold in both August 2022 and August 2023.

Overall, homes stayed on the Central Austin market in August for at least a month. Last August, homes averaged three weeks on the market."


Source: Community Impact Austin

Written by: Brittany Anderson

Published: September 15,…

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