With Downtown booming, what are people thinking?

Asked by Michael, Austin, TX Thu Jan 24, 2008

Seeing how Downtown is amist a huge surge in residental condos going up or at least projected, how do you feel about it? Are you thinking that we are all smoking crack? Also, my request is that with your response that you state whether or not you have lived in other major cities besides Austin. It does matter!

There are opportunities for investing but some people just seem to buck the trend and dig in their heals! Im asking from a selling point so I am curious to see how to overcome peoples objections!


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Perry Henderson’s answer
Perry Hender…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Feb 29, 2008
I can remember:
1. When I put a contract on Willow branch lofts for $179 a foot a year ago. Now it's worth $280 a ft.
2. When I sold my home at the Towers of town lake for $220K in Oct 04 and swore that it was overpriced. That buyer sold that place 4 months ago for $369K.
3. Buying at Star Riverside in December and now the prices are up 5%.

OMG - We have to stop living in fear. We have lots of new people wanting the downtown lifestyle. It's cheaper than owning a home. I curse a little bit every time I pay that $250 pool bill thinking how I had it easy at a condo. The reality is that with gas prices going up and more and more people are buying "lifestyle living" where lots of activities are packed into smaller areas.

Dena has a point to say that you should buy carefully. i like to buy projects that are unique and provide some sort of insulation against depreciation. That again is why I bought at Star Riverside. There I don't have to worry about more buildings going up next to me ruining my views of the waterfront or the city. Not to mention that it is $150K less than the W or 4 -seasons and I get more stufff. I hear that a few local celebrities are buying in the project. That'll help protect the investment too.

PS. my mother still complains about the $3200 she paid for her first house in 1971. Yes $3200
1 vote
Paul B. Perez, , Austin, TX
Fri Jan 25, 2008
I have lived in L.A. myself and know first hand that the people DT building condo's are not on crack! They are visionaries who will stay ahead of the rest of the flock forever (school #1). As a matter of fact, I spoke with a guy the other day who was actually leaving Austin because he thought things where going to bust. I told him to run fast becuase the rest of the city slickers are coming to stay! Besides, it only seems like a boom because everything is happening all at once. If you look at the numbers versus other major cities, Austin has some catching up to do. Also, when people say you are smoking crack, a good bit of info to remind them about is the fact that the city has recently approved a 2nd downtown for more skysrapers near the Far West/ Domain area. Then again, when I hear the naysayers, I just walk away and leave them behind like the rest of the world is going to do. It just means more opportunity for the rest of us forward thinking visionaries!
1 vote
Kenton, Home Seller, Austin, TX
Tue May 28, 2013
It does seem that whether its downtown or near downtown, especially Houston and Austin. The thing I've noticed is with all the near expensive condos and rental properties springing up over the past few years, this tends to drive up the business of lower-end properties.
With 40,0000+ students in either city and only half as many affordable rental listing available, one wonders how they fill up all those thousands of high-prices units.
0 votes
Dena Davis, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Feb 28, 2008
I think that they are a risk. When there were just a few-- I was ok with it. But they have permits for 4500 units.

I moved to Austin from La. I lived in LA for 10 years. LA is different. They had to build up because there was just no more land. The scarcity of land is more immediate. Some of these condos are 1200 sq. ft for 600K. You could buy a small home in Tarrytown for that. Typical condo buyer is someone without children. I just dont think that there are 4500 people high income people with no children who want to live downtown.

There is too much supply. I think the brand Name projects -- such as the W hotel, Four Seasons Residences will be "safer" investments because it will attract second home buyers. Creative types from New York and LA who want a second home in creative but more laid back Austin.

Believe me-- if I thought they were good investments,I would be pushing them through my investment group. But I see them as one of the riskier investments in town.
0 votes
Julie Nelson, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jan 24, 2008
Besides kicking ourselves for not buying downtown 3 years ago, I think there are two schools of thought right now. School #1: CRACK ... someone is on crack building all those high-end projects downtown and someone else is on crack buying them and someone else in on crack pushing the $/sqft barrier or, School #2: MONEY / ECONOMY ... they are selling and there is a lot of money coming into Austin and will continue to come in to Austin. I am more in school #2 with such a solid economic outlook for Austin. And a little side note: Google signing a lease on 6th & Congress is a big deal and, I believe, a sign of things to come. I'm obviously optimistic; not all follow suit. When buying downtown, choose carefully ... some are much better deals than others.
0 votes
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