(Getty Images)

Realtor.com writes, "This year’s housing market is off to a strong start.

Sales of existing homes, which exclude new construction, jumped 9.5% from January to February, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. That was the largest month-over-month increase in a year.

However, sales did dip a little annually, coming down 3.3% from February 2023.

The surge in monthly closings is likely due to the drop in mortgage rates, which began declining last fall. This brought more buyers into the market and, importantly, might have persuaded more homeowners to sell their properties. As most sellers are also buyers, many have been reluctant to trade a low mortgage rate for a higher one.

Mortgage rates averaged 6.87% for…

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A glimpse at one of the more impressive homes that have sprung up in the hills of Austin. ARNOLD WELLS / ABJ

Austin Business Journal shares, "Austin’s millionaire population has grown by 110% over the past decade.

London-based investment consultancy Henley & Partners has determined that roughly 32,700 millionaires now call Austin home, rising from about 15,500 in 2013.

The Texas capital has seen the largest leap in wealth than any other city in the nation, according to the company's 2024 USA Wealth Report that relied on data from New World Wealth, a global wealth intelligence firm based in South Africa.

Henley & Partners found Austin, which ranked 10th in its total population of millionaires, is home to 92 centi-millionaires — people with a net worth of more than $100 million. That would include billionaires such as Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk and Dell…

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Flora will eventually be home to around 2,800 residences. EMPIRE CONTINENTAL LAND

Austin Business Journal writes, "Thousands of homes are headed to Hutto, where Houston-based Empire Continental Land LP is building a sprawling new neighborhood.

Empire Continental Land, the Texas land division of residential builder and developer Empire Communities, announced March 18 that work had begun on the project. Flora, as it is called, will rise on more than 800 acres and have nearly 3,000 homes once complete. It’s yet another example of massive neighborhoods sprouting in largely rural areas of the metro as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Tesla Inc. and other companies expand in the region and spur population growth.

“Hutto is in a period of dynamic growth for both businesses and residential communities,” said Steve Sellers, president of…

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GABE HERNANDEZ | SABJ

Austin Business Journal shares, "Homebuilders around Texas are optimistic that new home prices will ramp up in 2024 and that construction rates will grow as well.

Zonda analyst Bryan Glasshagel presented the company's findings for the final quarter of 2023 at the housing data firm's quarterly event on March 20.

The company surveyed homebuilder division presidents around Texas, 64% of whom expect home prices to increase between 1% to 5% this year. A majority of the respondents are also anticipating increased activity in 2024, with 75% of builders surveyed expecting starts to increase an average 10% this year.

"Consumer confidence is still driving builder activity," Glasshagel told the crowd that was gathered at the Greater San Antonio Builders…

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HOUSINGWIRE reports, "2023 was a consequential year for real estate. The market grappled with low inventory and mortgage rates that gave many homebuyers a reason to pause. According to Altos Research, 2023 inventory bottomed in April at 406,206 active listings. 

Today, there are 100,000 more homes on the market than there were in March of last year — that’s 21% inventory growth. HousingWire reports that housing inventory is on pace to grow 40% in 2024, bringing the market slightly closer to a healthy equilibrium. 

Each year, RealTrends Verified identifies the country’s most successful residential real estate brokerages, teams and agents – verifying transaction sides and closed sales volume for top-performing real estate brokerages — to give you the…

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This rendering offers an example of one of the larger floorplans that will be available from Taylor Morrison in the Longview development. TAYLOR MORRISON

Austin Business Journal reports, "Bond financing has been secured for a long-anticipated public improvement district that will support more than 1,400 new homes in far East Austin.

Located on 427 acres east of Del Valle High School between State Highway 71 and Pearce Lane along Kellam Road, the Longview 71 PID is expected to result in 1,461 new homes from homebuilder Taylor Morrison (NYSE: TMHC) in the coming years. During a March 19 meeting, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved a service and assessment plan for the site, in addition to an estimated $10 million bond to support it. The land is not far from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Tesla Inc.’s gigafactory.

Christy Moffett, the county’s director of economic development,…

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(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Realtor.com reports, "The numbers: Construction of new U.S. homes rebounded 10.7% in February to an annual pace of 1.52 million units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That is the biggest gain in nine months. Despite the increase, starts are still below December’s level.

Economists on Wall Street were expecting a 7.4% rise in housing starts in February to 1.43 million. All numbers are seasonally adjusted.

The number of housing starts in January was revised slightly higher, to a drop of 12.3% to 1.37 million, from an initial reading of a 14.8% drop to 1.33 million. It is still the biggest drop since May 2022.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, rose 1.9% in February, also reaching a 1.52 million annual rate. That’s the…

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Austin American-Statesman writes, "Like several big-name developers, a New York real estate firm has ambitious designs along a southern stretch of Austin's premier Congress Avenue.

The three high-profile projects by New York-based Related Companies are in a rapidly emerging waterfront area that is transforming the south shores of Lady Bird Lake across from downtown.

Related is a privately owned global real estate company with more than $60 billion in assets owned, managed or under development. It has major projects in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., West Palm Beach, Abu Dhabi, and London.

Its Austin projects are planned along and near South Congress Avenue.

Two are south of the Ann W. Richards Congress…

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New listings for homes for sale in the Austin metro climbed in February. BRANDON LAUFENBERG

Austin Business Journal shares, "New listings for homes for sale in the Austin metro surged in February, a rise driven largely by lower-priced homes that are considered affordable for first-time homebuyers, according to data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

February saw 3,915 new home listings in the metro, according ABOR’s latest market report. That’s up from just 3,064 in January, and an increase of more than 40% year-over-year from the 2,764 new listings reported in February 2023.

ABOR housing economist Clare Losey said many of the new listings are for homes priced under $400,000.

“Higher home prices and mortgage rates have diminished affordability for first-time homebuyers over the past few years, but February provided encouragement for…

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Driving the majority of the metro's growth are cities north of Austin in Williamson County — Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park and others, according to new data. NICK SIMONITE

Austin Business Journal writes, "About eight out of every 10 people added to the Austin metro during a recent 12-month period settled outside of Travis County — which roughly mirrors the Austin city limits. Travis County added an estimated 7,400 new residents in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, which is not far off of what Oklahoma City can expect for annual population growth these days.

It's perhaps a sobering comparison for many Austinites and especially Texas Longhorn fans, but a deeper dig into the latest U.S. Census Bureau data reveals what may be a more disturbing fact: More people are moving away from Travis County than to it. If it wasn't for babies, Travis County would be shrinking.

Travis was the only county in the…

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