If you need more proof of a changing Austin, try this: average prices for a new “luxury” condominium downtown passed $1 million for the first time last year.
That’s according to Charles Heimsath, whose company, Capitol Market Research, compiled the numbers. He says prices are high because supply is limited to only four buildings – the Four Seasons Residences, the Austonian, the W Residences, and the Spring Condominium tower– with no new ones under construction.
Heimsath says there are no downtown condo projects currently under construction, because it’s hard for developers to borrow money.
“The national housing decline in condominium sales has made funds available for condo construction almost nonexistent – and certainly not a 100-million-dollar tower in downtown,” he says. Couple that with a rental market that’s even hotter than the sales market, and you’ve got the recipe for a condo crunch.
Who’s buying these units? Heimsath says it’s a mix of retirees, empty nesters, second-home buyers, young professionals, and foreigners looking to park some money in the U.S.
Two-bedroom condos at the Austonian right now are listed on the building’s website at prices ranging from 1.2 million to 2.4 million dollars.
But you don’t have to be a millionaire to live downtown. There are used condos on the market under $300,000 – just be prepared to live in a one-bedroom or less.