Austin – Condo City??

Is it just me or is there a crazy amount of development going on in Austin right now?

Here are a few of the latest I have heard of:

Can Austin really support all this growth?
How many 200K+ Condos can Austin fill?

Do you think that developers are overestimating what Austin needs/wants?

Let me know your thoughts.

11 Comments so far

  1. omit (unregistered) on February 1st, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

    You’d be surprised. I think the urban people are coming from the coasts. I covered this a little in this post.

  2. wae (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 12:20 am

    There’s also spaces2525, which is nearly sold out in spite of its name. Richard Coons’ higher end development on Kinney, along with over a dozen more properties, are on display at Austin Urban Digs.

    It’s hard to say that developers are overestimating at a time when new projects are virtually booked before breaking ground. If “a lot” of condos are being bought up by speculators / investors there’s the potential for more volatility, but by and large I’m guessing this is probably the meat of the growth curve.

    That said, it’s not hard for me to imagine oversupply in the mid-high end as everyone rushes in to build out the luxury condo craze. Maybe it’s the crowd I run in, but I just don’t see persistent demand for $350-$500k boxes. There will always be someone paying $1.5 million to look at down on everyone, and the sub-$250k market is a gimme, but is living downtown really worth a $150k premium over close-in single-family housing?

    That segment could also get hit when Phoenix Properties brings their central apartments on line at the old Goodwill building and Binswanger Glass on S. Lamar.

  3. M1EK (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 7:59 am

    Anything that builds more housing capacity downtown and in the center-city is a good thing for the city, even if they’re empty at first and very very expensive. Eventually, this makes us all much better off financially – tax burden per property can be lower (infrastructure for these condos is a LOT cheaper than for the same number of houses in Circle C; but the city will get a lot more back in taxes; meaning that everybody else benefits).

  4. sub-$250k market demographic (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 9:05 am

    I must have missed the bulletins about the loft conversions in the old Goodwill and Binswanger Glass buildings. When do the Centennial Liquor Lofts or the Villas at Texas Showdown go online?

  5. Pat Offender (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    I’ve owned one of those quaint close-in single family homes for 10 years. I’m selling it and have reserved a unit at the Spring. My house is 93 years old and still stands plumb and solid, but I’ve had to put well over $70k of restoration and remodeling work to keep it that way. Many of the homes close to downtown, especially those built during the 40s boom, are often in such bad disrepair that the cost of maintaining one into the future is just becoming too expensive for many residents. I hate to see it, but the land prices are such that many of these old homes are seeing their last days among the new super duplexes and McMansions of central Austin.

  6. M1EK (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    What would be nicer than McMansions and super duplexes is some small-scale multifamily sprinkled in, you know, like all real urban neighborhoods in real cities have. But our local neighborhood nazis won’t allow it, so the market demand squeezes through in unforeseen ways – like the superduplexes.

  7. wae (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    And as of last night, there is a super-luxo version of the Gables on the way as well, complete with taxpayer-subsidized road improvements and Pfluger bridge extension.

  8. Francis (unregistered) on February 6th, 2006 @ 12:07 am

    Well the median Austin home price has been rising steadily for the past 5 years. From $100,000 to $136,000 from 2000 to 2005. I base this assertion on information from the House Almanac. Five to ten years form now a $200,000 house could be the norm in Austin?

  9. M1EK (unregistered) on February 6th, 2006 @ 7:43 am

    Those “taxpayer-subsidized roads” will be paying for themselves many times over in property taxes. Note that unlike our friendly local mega-employers, the developer of the Gables will be paying the full property tax rate (for AISD, county, and city).

    It’s still a huge win overall. And it’s a road project that needed to be done anyways – Sandra Muraida as it exists today is a freeway offramp in the middle of an area where we’re trying to slow cars down, not speed them up.

  10. Brian (unregistered) on February 7th, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

    Does anyone know how to determine if the $/sqft of Austin’s new condos is above/below the national average for new condos? I am seeing Austin’s condos (new ones Spring, 360, Milago) are average $275/sqft? Is that overpriced, affordable? Thanks Brian

  11. Brian (unregistered) on February 7th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    Does anyone know how to determine if the $/sqft of Austin’s new condos is above/below the national average for new condos? I am seeing Austin’s condos (new ones Spring, 360, Milago) are average $275/sqft? Is that overpriced, affordable? Thanks Brian

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