Loosened Requirements, Job Growth will Continue to Drive Austin’s Housing Market

I just attended the 2016 Mortgage Forecast with Supreme Lending’s John McLellan. If you don’t know John, he is one of the top lenders here in Austin, perhaps even Texas, and his research on the data he presented is some of the most intense, comprehensive data I’ve seen collected. Here are some of the highlights from his presentation:

  • The rise in Fed rates DOES NOT equate a rise in mortgage interest rates. Historically, this actually means rates will drop. He expects a flat or downward trend over the next few months. Today’s extremely low rates are proof he is correct!
  • Another misconception is that interests rates drive the housing market. Not true. Interest rates affect affordability, the job market affects the housing market. Here in the Austin area, we are at an extremely low unemployment rate of 2.9% – which is much lower than the national average. The job growth continues to rise in Austin, giving no signs that the housing market will take a down turn. You can expect that if the jobs keep coming along with our population increase, the housing market will continue to stay strong.
  • 5% Jumbo loans are back! Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean we’re headed for another stated-income crisis — Dodd-Frank will keep that from happening.
  • Fannie Mae has been loosening their restrictions. For instance, they no longer require that you have 30% equity to convert a primary residence into an investment. Also, investor-concentration in a condo complex will no longer be a barrier for most situations. Another huge change: they have also reduced the 2-year self-employment history requirement to 1-year (good credit required, of course). These all show Fannie Mae’s confidence in the market. Even Freddie Mac is getting more investor-friendly.
  • Based on Austin’s population growth, we have a housing shortage. Again, our statistics are lower than the national average, so when you hear housing bubble, know they are talking about other areas of the US, not Austin!
  • Landowners, from whom builders buy land to create subdivisions, are wise to the value in their land, thus making it more expensive (less desirable) for builders to build. This means, new home prices will increase (think, $400s-$500s, no more low entry points) and it means there will be less communities popping up. The higher prices will mean this will be a sector you can see oversupply in – opposite of the shortage you see in strictly resale communities.
  • Austin is seeing wage inflation, whereas other parts of the US are not. This means, people who are earning at least in the average income bracket will be able to keep up with the rise of the average house prices — they aren’t being out-priced, even with the housing shortage we have.

All in all, the housing market is looking very solid here in Austin. With no indication of rising interest rates, our strong job market, and the government’s loosening on mortgage restrictions, the market is going to continue strong and you can ignore any rumors of an over-inflated market here in Austin!

To read John’s article, which includes all of the statistics he used in his class, click here: “Is Austin, Texas, in a Housing Bubble?


We SOLD 1015 E 45th St, Austin, TX 78751!

Are you looking to live in Austin like a true Austinite? Interested in a hot area with easy access to downtown? Look no further than this charming bungalow in Hancock we just listed for sale at 1015 E 45th St.  Property details for this remodeled single-story home include 918 sqft (per TCAD), 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and .1471 acres of land.

Built in 1950, this adorable home in Central Austin has the warmth and coziness of the old, but the style and amenities of the modern day and is situated on a large lot with mature trees, covered patio, outdoor storage shed, and even a fire pit.

Constructed of stone masonry on all sides, this home has its original hardwood floors, is bright and open, and is sure to please with its custom remodeled kitchen! In the modern cooks kitchen, check out the custom solid wood cabinetry, farm sink, stainless steel appliances, and custom tile backsplash all complimented by a solid surface silestone countertop and updated ceramic tile flooring.

Exposed ducts and piping add character to this adorable Austin home and complement the tasteful choices in finishings.

This house is conveniently located just a short walk to the UT Shuttle and Metro bus stops.

Photo Gallery of 1015 E 45th St

MLS 2478117

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We Just SOLD 700 S 1st #207, Austin TX 78704!

We just listed SOLD a remodeled condo for sale with spectacular downtown views at 700 S. 1st St #207. Located atop a hill and less than 1 mile to downtown, this 2 bedroom 2 bathroom unit in Viewpoint Condos includes 2 reserved parking spaces (1 covered parking space underneath the building and another spot anywhere in the parking lot), 2 balconies (one overlooking the pool, and the other overlooking an unobstructed view of downtown Austin), 976 sqft (per TCAD) and a completely remodeled interior.

This is one of the best units in the complex due to it’s location and floor plan. The over-sized balcony was just resurfaced by the HOA (new waterproof membrane as well) and boasts incredible views of downtown.

Photo Gallery of 700 S. 1st #207

For a sneak peek of this amazing unit before it goes live in the MLS, please contact us today!

Familial Relationship Disclosure: The seller and I have a familial relationship.


We Just SOLD 14713 Fairland Dr, Pflugerville TX 78660!

We just listed SOLD a showcase home for sale in Pflugerville at 14713 Fairland Dr. Located in Lakes at Northtown, this 2,486 sqft (per TCAD), 4 bedrooom, 2.5 bathroom home is wonderfully upgraded and move-in ready! This stunning home is located on one of the best lots in the neighborhood — a spacious greenbelt lot near a cul-de-sac with private access to the hiking and walking trails, complete with raised garden beds for growing your own organic fresh herbs, vegetables and spices.

Video Virtual Tour of 14713 Fairland Dr

The interior upgrades of this luxurious 2-story home include an extended screened-in porch that seamlessly doubles as an extension of the indoor living area — simply perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing with your family — and for enjoying the outdoors with the comforts of being indoors too! Additional interior upgrades include: a water softener system, a reverse osmosis water system, laminate flooring throughout, a gorgeous kitchen including quartz counters, upgraded back splash and stainless steel appliances.

Upstairs, you’ll be pleased to discover that the homeowner decided to split the enormous game room into two separately defined and more usable spaces: a 4th bedroom, complete with a spacious closet, and a flex space that can easily be utilized as a play area, a flex / loft-style space, or a reading nook, for example.

Lastly, the epoxy-coated garage floor is the ultimate finishing touch to this beautiful one-of-a-kind home!

Photo Gallery of 14713 Fairland Dr

MLS 2767003

This home has so many upgrades and features, that you simply must see it to appreciate it.  If you are looking for a stylish home in the greater Austin area at a sub-$300k price point, this home definitely needs to be on your short list. 

To learn more about homes like this one, please contact us today!