The latest death knell of old Austin is happening on Barton Springs Road right now. Developers are chopping down 200 year old pecan trees on two waterfront parcels of land to build you guessed it, MORE CONDOS that look just the same as everything else built in the last five years. This is absolutely crazy. The traffic on Barton Springs is already terrible, how bad will it be when another 1000-2000 people are living there?!? The icing on the cake it so much of it is generic design and cheap construction.
I don't know about anyone else, but my clients that want to be in 78704 want single family homes, not condos or duplexes parading as condos. Where will it all end???
1) Bank Lending: Nowadays, there is a lender on every corner, and most of them have a big presence-even national. Part of the big runup back in the 1980's was all that oil money sitting in banks. Bankers were chasing projects, looking for a place to loan. Since all the banks were local, the money stayed local. Nowadays, if you are a millionaire and you deposit in Citibank, B of A, or another bank like that, they may loan out that money in Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, or whereever they do business. Banking has diversified that way.
2) Diversification: Put simply, city and business leaders have gotten smarter about putting all their eggs in one basket. In the 1990's we were all tech. Then tech busted. So we began to think outside the box. Things like "Opportunity Austin" got started.
3) TV shows glamourized downtown living. You've seen them. "Friends," "Will & Grace," "Frasier," "Sex and the City." The list goes on and on. Todays yuppies and young folks are plugged in and intrigued by the prospect of downtown living. It's "cool." It also works for the "Green" crowd, and my gosh, with gas prices seeing no end in site, I may sell the ranch and buy a condo myself!!
Austin is not immune to a slow down, but we are in much better position than we were in the last two decades. In addition, we haven't had a bubble swelling and ready to burst like other parts of the country.