Connect with us

Austin, TX

Texas chef's Old West Austin home hits the market for $1.65 million

Published

on

Texas chef's Old West Austin home hits the market for .65 million


More Texas homeowners and renters than ever are struggling with high housing costs — and the state’s high home prices have potentially put the dream of owning a home out-of-reach for a growing number of families.

That’s according to a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which also found that home prices and rents remain well above where they stood before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texas housing market has cooled amid high interest rates after steep increases brought on by the state’s recent red-hot economic growth. So would-be homebuyers now need to make more money than ever before in order to buy a home in Texas’ major urban areas. The number of Texas homeowners and renters who struggle to keep a roof over their head also now sits at an all-time high.

“The costs of buying a home have left homeownership out of reach to all but the most advantaged households,” says Daniel McCue, a senior research associate at the center.

Advertisement

Outpacing income growth
The growth in Texas home prices has dramatically outpaced income growth, pricing many households out of the market and all but wiping away the state’s once-heralded housing affordability.

It’s now common for buyers to have to make at least six figures in order to purchase a home in major urban areas where the state’s job opportunities are largely concentrated. A family needs to make more than $100,000 if they want to buy a typical home in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston regions, according to the center. In the Austin area, a buyer needs to make more than $140,000 to afford a home at the median sales price.

Renters have increasingly little room to put money away for a future down payment and make the transition to homeownership. A record 2.1 million renter households — more than half of those in the state — are “cost-burdened,” meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. Of those, nearly 1.1 million put at least half of their income toward rent and utilities, which means they are “severely” cost-burdened.

Homeowners, too, have felt the pinch from rising homeowners insurance and high property taxes. Nearly a quarter of the state’s 6.9 million homeowner households spend too much on housing, according to Harvard’s analysis.

The state’s high housing costs and a shortage of housing affordable to the poorest Texans fueled a 12% increase in homelessness last year, according to federal estimates. More than 27,000 Texans did not have a permanent roof over their heads in 2023, according to an annual estimate of people experiencing homelessness. About 11,700 Texans experienced unsheltered homelessness — meaning they slept in their cars, under bridges or in other places not fit for human habitation.

Advertisement

Housing shortage
Still, in some parts of the state, the cost of housing is on the decline.

Home prices in Austin, where the typical home fetched more than half a million dollars at the height of the state’s pandemic-era housing market, have fallen for 16 straight months, according to Zillow data. San Antonio has also seen months’ long decline in home prices.

High interest rates have dramatically slowed the pace of homebuying, contributing to lower home prices. That slowdown has allowed homes to sit on the market for longer periods of time than during the highly competitive days of the hot pandemic housing market and boosted the supply of homes available to prospective buyers. More supply means buyers have more leverage to negotiate lower prices with sellers.

“Buyers are still very much contending with elevated home prices, and of course, mortgage rates,” says Clare Knapp, housing economist for the Austin Board of Realtors. “But with that uptick in active listings, they do have more negotiating power. So it is certainly providing a boost to them amid a more challenging environment.”

At the same time, high interest rates and home prices have discouraged homeowners who otherwise may have put their homes on the market from giving up their low interest rates, according to the Harvard report — fueling the country’s shortage of available housing.

Advertisement

Steady job growth also has kept home prices elevated. In places like Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth that saw home prices decline last year, prices have begun to creep up again.

“It’s really difficult for you to see a significant correction in prices,” says Luis Torres, senior business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.”

Rising rents
Soaring rents driven by the state’s robust economic growth put record pressure on tenants. But a boom in apartment building not seen since the 1980s has bought them at least some temporary relief from rising rents.

Asking rents have fallen over the last year in the Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio regions, figures from the firm MRI ApartmentData show, as new apartments open their doors and force existing landlords to compete to keep new tenants.

“For renters, it’s a better situation,” says Bruce McClenny, industry principal at MRI ApartmentData. “It doesn’t make up for all that crazy rent growth that we had in ’21 and ’22. But it’s starting to make a difference.”

Advertisement

It’s only a matter of time before rents surge again, the Harvard report found. Builders have pulled back on new projects amid high borrowing costs and as property owners see lower revenue growth from rents and increased operating costs like property owners’ insurance, wages, and property taxes. Meanwhile, the state’s steady economic growth coupled with growth in Generation Z households will ensure demand for apartments remains strong. McClenny says larger rent increases like those seen in 2022 could return by the end of next year after tens of thousands of apartments under construction in the state’s major metro areas come online.

Still at risk is the state’s supply of cheap housing stock, housing experts say. Texas has lost hundreds of thousands of low-cost rental units over the last decade, exacerbating an already dire shortage of housing affordable to lower-income families.

The state had about 753,000 housing units with rents below $600 near the start of the last decade. As the state’s economy boomed and demand for rental housing grew, that supply decreased as landlords simply raised rents or renovated their property to attract higher-income renters.

By 2022, the supply of cheap rental housing had shrunk to less than half a million units.

Housing experts expect more of those units to disappear in the coming years. Dallas has a shortage of about 33,000 units affordable to families making 50% or less of the area median income, according to an analysis by the Dallas-based Child Poverty Action Lab. That shortage is expected to balloon to more than 80,000 by the end of the decade, the organization projects.

Advertisement

The Dallas-Fort Worth region “has been and likely will continue to be a really hot housing market that makes (naturally occurring affordable housing) more vulnerable,” says Ashley Flores, the organization’s housing chief.

Local and state leaders are increasingly trying to solve the state’s housing affordability crisis.

Texas lawmakers, including some of the state’s top Republicans, have increasingly signaled that one way they will look at combating the crisis is by loosening city rules that determine what kind of housing can be built and where. Housing advocates have increasingly targeted city zoning restrictions, like how much land a single-family home must sit on and how many homes can be built on a given lot, as a root cause of the nation’s affordability woes. Those rules, they say, have limited how many homes can be built and led to higher housing costs as a result.

“In a lot of ways, the current zoning laws that we have don’t reflect the wishes of the people,” McCue says. “So it’s good to revisit those.”

Advertisement

This story was originally published by The Texas Tribune and distributed through a partnership with The Associated Press.



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Austin, TX

Chipotle is 're-emphasizing generous portions' after social-media complaints

Published

on

Chipotle is 're-emphasizing generous portions' after social-media complaints


A customer pays for their food at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Austin, Texas. Chipotle says its portion sizes have not shrunk, despite complaints shared on social media.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Getty Images North America


hide caption

Advertisement

toggle caption

Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Getty Images North America

No, Chipotle’s servings have not shrunk as TikTokkers have suggested. But yes, Chipotle is reminding its workers to give customers big scoops.

Advertisement

That’s how the chain’s CEO began his address to shareholders on Wednesday, referring to “portion concerns” from a recent swirl of videos and Reddit posts that allege that Chipotle workers are skimping on fillings for its normally hefty burritos and bowls.

“There was never a directive to provide less to our customers,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told investors in prepared remarks. “With that said, getting the feedback caused us to relook at our execution across our entire system with the intention to always serve our guests delicious, fresh custom burritos and bowls with generous portions.”

Chipotle has assessed its 3,500 restaurants to focus on those where consumer services delivered “outlier portion scores,” Niccol said. The company is bringing more “training and coaching” to those locations to make sure its bowls and burritos are consistently correct in size.

“We have also leaned in and re-emphasized generous portions across all of our restaurants, as it is a core brand equity of Chipotle,” he said. “It always has been, and it always will be.”

This comes a month after the CEO drew side-eyes for his earlier attempt to address the smaller-portion accusations, in which he denied the idea but also suggested that people could get “a little more rice or … a little more pico” with a slight nod and a knowing look at the worker fixing the meal.

Advertisement

Overall, the company on Wednesday reported an 11% increase in sales during the latest quarter, with higher profits attributed to stores running faster and more efficiently plus the popularity of its limited-time chicken al pastor.

The chain had raised prices in recent years, and executives on Wednesday said they have “no plans” for further hikes this year.





Source link

Continue Reading

Austin, TX

Texas football's defensive backfield could have hometown Austin feel | Sporting News

Published

on

Texas football's defensive backfield could have hometown Austin feel | Sporting News


The level of elite high school football played in the Austin area has always been solid, if not spectacular. While perennial powerhouses Westlake and Lake Travis have continually cranked out top high school prospects, other programs have tended to wax and wane, leaving the Central Texas hub behind other prospect rich markets like Dallas and Houston (and often nearby San Antonio as well). 

For a school with the drawing power of Texas, that isn’t a major hindrance. Still, as the Longhorns have resurrected national hopes and dreams, that rise has coincided with a new influx of talent from the school’s backyard, with a number of contributors from the Austin area now dotting the team’s roster. 

That critical mass in turn could lend the field a very Austin flavor this fall, with at least one potential defensive backfield formation comprised of three of five members who hail from Texas’ capital city. 

Here’s how that setup might look, as broken down by On3 Sports’ Inside Texas: 

Advertisement

Boundary corner: Malik Muhammad
Boundary safety: Michael Taaffe
Field safety: Andrew Mukuba
Star: Jahdae Barron
Field corner: Gavin Holmes

The three middle contributors in that set up are all Austin natives. Taaffe starred at aforementioned Westlake before joining Texas in a preferred walk-on role (and later playing a key role in the recruitment of quarterback Arch Manning). Jahdae Barron has been one of Texas’ most stalwart leaders since joining from Pflugerville Connally, where he was a standout star on a middling team. And Mukuba is Texas’ most recent Austin (re)addition, transferring back home after three years at Clemson following a standout career at Austin LBJ. 

The trio make for a unique feel for Longhorns, with all members of the trio expected to contribute to Texas’ defense extensively, whether together or separately. For some hometown fans, the ability to integrate that much hometown flavor on a team expected to contend for everything in the year ahead could make the chase all the more exciting and impactful. 



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Austin, TX

South-Central Texas Weather: Heavy Rains and Thunderstorms Expected This Week

Published

on

South-Central Texas Weather: Heavy Rains and Thunderstorms Expected This Week


Austin, TX – Heavy rains and thunderstorms are forecasted for South-Central Texas through this weekend, bringing below-normal temperatures and potential flooding. The National Weather Service (NWS) Austin-San Antonio office has issued alerts for the area, with scattered storms and locally heavy rainfall expected to persist.

According to the NWS, rounds of showers and storms will continue through Monday, affecting areas including Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding cities. Thursday through Sunday will see temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, with overnight lows in the low to mid 70s. Thunderstorms are expected to be most intense on Thursday and Friday, with a 55% and 45% chance of rain, respectively.

The weather hazards associated with these storms include heavy rainfall, which may lead to localized flooding, particularly in low-lying and poorly drained areas. Residents are advised to stay alert for potential flash floods and to avoid driving through flooded roadways.

The forecast suggests a slight easing of conditions by Monday, with isolated showers and storms mainly affecting the Coastal Plains. Highs on Monday are projected to reach the low 90s, with minimal impacts expected.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending