Here are the top 5 real estate trends to know in Southwest Austin

According to industry experts, real estate trends in Southwest Austin include low housing inventory, eco-friendly home additions and more.

According to industry experts, real estate trends in Southwest Austin include low housing inventory, eco-friendly home additions and more.

Area real estate experts say trends in Southwest Austin include housing inventory shortages, mixed-use developments and energy-efficient homes.



1. Housing stock shortage still an issue in Southwest Austin


Low housing inventory continues to drive up Southwest Austin home prices, according to Marc Warshawsky, market manager for Realty Austin Southwest.


Over a 12-month period beginning in May 2016, the average price for a home in the area was $325,371 according to data from the Austin Board of Realtors.


The average months of inventory for the same time period was 1.9 months. Months of inventory measures how much time it would take for the market’s current inventory of homes to sell if no additional homes were added. A balanced market has an inventory supply of about six months.


Still the area is inching toward gaining more inventory in the near future. The availability of land means builders are looking to the area to develop residential properties, Warshawsky said.







2. Area developers migrating toward mixed-use zoning


Area developers are beginning to favor mixed-use zoning, which opens up more options for development, said Jorge Rousselin, CodeNEXT project manager for the city of Austin.


Mixed-use zoning combines residential, commercial or industrial uses within one property.


When deliberating the approval of a zoning change, Rousselin said, City Council also considers the area’s neighborhood plan. Most rezoning in Southwest Austin is happening along the major corridors and at the Y in Oak Hill, he added.


Mixed-use developments currently underway in the area include Lantana IV and Belterra Village.







3. Builds thrive on sensitive land


Due to the area’s position over the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, developers face harsher impervious restrictions when building in Southwest Austin, said Chuck Lesniak, the city’s environmental officer.


However, Lesniak said the lower allotment for human-made surfaces that do not absorb rainfall, ranging from 15-25 percent of the development, does not discourage builds in the area, where available tracts are in “high demand.”







Source: Austin Energy/Community Impact Newspaper[/caption]

4. Southwest Austin sees rise in eco-friendly home trends


Energy-efficient, or green, additions to homes are gaining traction in Southwest Austin, statistics show.


Heidi Kasper, energy efficiency services manager with Austin Energy, said over 3,300 single-family homes in Southwest Austin have earned a “green building” rating since 1993. To gain the designation, a single-family home must meet a number of requirements, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning efficiency.


To save on electric bills, homeowners are installing solar panels, said Travis Jennings, client manager for Self Reliant Solar, a Southwest Austin-based business offering consultation, design and installation of solar panels for residential and commercial clients. Several options for installation exist, but he most cost-effective choice is roof installation, Jennings said.







5. Homebuyers looking to master-planned communities


Some Southwest Austin residents are opting to reside in master-planned communities to avoid commuting to the city’s central core, real estate experts say.


“It’s a built-in social life—they can get anything a true urban environment offers,” said Marc Warshawsky, Realty Austin Southwest market manager.


Across Southwest Austin, communities such as Belterra, Goodnight Ranch and Circle C Ranch offer quick and convenient access to amenities, allowing residents to avoid the city’s traffic dilemma.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

Burnet Road at West Braker Lane
Corridor projects along South Lamar Boulevard, Burnet Road will break ground by early 2021

Two corridor roadway projects approved in the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond are moving forward after recently receiving environmental clearances.

Screen shot of a Zoom board meeting
Dripping Springs ISD Superintendent Todd Washburn resigns; Brett Springston is named interim replacement

Less than a year after he was hired, Superintendent Todd Washburn is departing Dripping Springs ISD.

An "I Voted" sticker is left outside the Northwest Recreation Center in Austin, one of 37 early voting polling places open in Travis County. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than half of all Travis County voters have cast their ballots, exceeding early voting turnout percentage in 2016

More than 448,000 votes have been cast in Travis County. Early voting closes on Oct. 30.

Austin ISD trustees met Oct. 26, discussing in-person learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Twice as many Austin elementary students have returned to campus compared to first day of in-person instruction, district says

Austin ISD will open its campuses to accommodate all students who request in-person instruction beginning Nov. 2.

Capital Metro released new renderings Oct. 26 of its proposed Project Connect expansion, which voters will decide Nov. 3. This rendering shows a Blue Line light rail train at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
In final week of early voting, here is what Austin residents should know about Project Connect

The proposition appears as a 237-word block of text near the end of the ballot but boils down to a simple question: Are voters for or against a significant expansion of local public transportation, paid for in part with property tax funds?

Photo of the facade of the Dripping Springs ISD administraton building
Dripping Springs ISD to discuss superintendent's potential resignation

An item on the board of trustee's Oct. 26 meeting agenda indicates consideration of a resignation agreement for Superintendent Todd Washburn.

Alex Wu (left) and Kevin Tran stand, social distanced, outside of Bao'd Up in Sunset Valley. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bao'd Up owners hope to make the traditional Chinese steamed buns a household name in Austin

The local chain has four locations, including one in Sunset Valley. Owner Alex Wu said as the franchise continues to grow, he hopes in a few years he will no longer have to explain what bao is.

Scott Friedeck, owner of The Graphic Guitar Guys, started working with guitars in 2011. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs small business owner Scott Friedeck got his big break in the music industry from George Strait

Friedeck's business, The Graphic Guitar Guys, creates custom wraps for guitars for artists to sell as merchandise.

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

A screen shot of Elon Musk speaking into a microphone
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms 2021 opening for Travis County gigafactory

Musk said construction is moving apace at the new electric auto factory east of Austin.