Thursday, October 12, 2017

Great Hills Mixed Use Transformation

A shopping center in North Austin on the edge of the Arboretum may soon be transformed into a mixed use development, Community Impact reports.

The current development is Great Hills Market and is zoned as general retail and limited office, but the developer’s case for changing it to general commercial services-mixed use is to be heard by the Zoning and Platting Commission on October 17th.

The hope is to transform the underutilized shopping center into 362 apartments, 10,200 square feet of retail, 11,200 square feet of restaurant space, and 5,000 square feet of space for fast food restaurants with drive-thrus.

The redesign would happen gradually over several years as leases of the current tenants expire and based on market demand. The Regal Arbor 8 at Great Hills movie theater and Manuel’s restaurant would be transformed first.  

Great Hills Market’s other businesses include Petco, TJ Maxx, Pier 1 Imports, Macaroni Grill, and a branch of Wells Fargo.

Looking to the make the move to the Arboretum, Great Hills, the Domain or any other fantastic area in Austin? A Plus Apartments can help you find a fantastic apartment no matter where you want to live! Give us a call today at 512-231-1400!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

South First Named One of the Best Places to Visit in the US

Lonely Planet named the South First Street area in Austin one of the ten best places in the country to go right now, Austin 360 reports.

Lonely Planet cites Bouldin Creek Cafe and Torchy’s Tacos as destinations and applauds the casual, easy vibe of South First Street in direct contrast to the trendiness of South Congress.

They also suggest taking the CapMetro Bus 10 or renting a B-cycle to spend a day exploring the boutiques, vintage shops and bakeries along the street, and of course recommend a stop by the ubiquitous “Greetings from Austin” mural at the corner of Annie and South First.

For lodging, Lonely Planet recommends South Congress Hotel or a local house or room rented via Air BnB or Home Away.  

The other destinations in the country that Lonely Planet said were must visits are East Liberty and Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh; Avondale, Chicago; Point Loma, San Diego; East Nashville, Nashville; Capitol Riverfront and Yards Park, Washington D.C.; Montavilla, Portland; and River North, Denver.

Started out a tourist, but ready to put down roots in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your perfect apartment in no time!  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Austin Tops for Commercial Real Estate Investment

Austin was named the best “non-gateway city” for commercial real estate investment, the Austin Business Journal reports.  (Non-gateway is any cities other than New York and Los Angeles.)

DLA Piper’s Annual State of the Market named Austin the best city for commercial real estate investment in the country.  They asked 220 executives in the real estate biz from the best real estate firms in the country where they thought the best city was for investment and 45% of them said Austin.  That puts Austin on top, tied with Seattle.

Denver and Nashville tied for the next spot with 33% of the respondents naming them a great investment city.

Chinese investors are the biggest foreign investor in the US market.  In Austin, a Chinese firm is partnering with a domestic one on the construction of 70 Rainey.

Looking for an apartment to give you your own little peace of mind?  A Plus Apartments can help! Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your dream apartment in no time!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Austin's GDP 2nd in the US

Austin’s Gross Domestic Product was the 2nd highest in the nation, the Austin American Business Journal reports.

The Gross Domestic Product measures the total amount of all the goods and services that come out of the Austin metro area and was $125.8 billion in 2016, up 4.9 percent from 2015’s $119.9 billion.

The San Francisco Bay area beat out Austin in the rankings of metros with a population of at least 2 million.

Austin’s growth was strongest in the professional and business services sector, as well as finance and real estate.  Construction, trade and information were also robust.  The biggest drop in GDP was in the energy and durable-goods manufacturing industries.

Out of the United States’ 382 metropolitan areas, 267 saw an increase in their real GDP.  The average rise was 1.7 percent.

In Texas, GDP in Dallas was up 3 percent in 2016, but Houston’s was down 3 percent due to slowdowns in the energy industry.

Austin may have had the best growth in the country last year, it was the smallest increase in Austin since 2012.  The Austin Metro Area’s growth has been fast since 2011.  GDP was $93.4 billion that year.

Looking to get in on Austin’s strong economy? A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your dream apartment in no time with our free service!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Austin Named the Most Fun City in Texas

Austin came in as the top fun city in Texas in WalletHub’s new study, the Austin American Statesman reports.

It’s probably not surprising to most Texans that we beat out other cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.  However Austinites who like to have a good time may be surprised by the fact that Austin was listed as just the 18th most fun city in the country.  

Austin did okay in the Nightlife and Parties category, coming in at number 17, and slightly worse in the Entertainment and Recreation category, snagging the 24th spot, its ranking was tanked by its showing in the costs category: 50th.  

Wondering where the most fun is to be had in the US?  That would be Las Vegas, Orlando and New York.  The least fun cities?  Brownsville and Oxnard, California.

Looking to join the fun in Austin?  We can help!  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find the apartment perfect for your lifestyle and budget!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ardent Residential Continues to Build Hip, New Apartments in Austin

Ardent Residential continues building new apartment projects in Austin, the Austin Business Journal reports.

Ardent’s projects are all over town, and they are committed to creating cool, hip projects that appeal to young buyers.  They also like to preserve as many trees as possible in projects such as Groves South Lamar, located near South Lamar Boulevard and State Highway 71.

In general, Ardent likes to build projects, get them leased, and then sell the development to another company.  They recently sold 7East to a company from Colorado.

Ardent’s projects are often the first of their kind in an area.  Gibson Flats was the first vertical apartment community on South Lamar and Burnet Flats was the first in the Burnet Road area, which is now teaming with restaurants and nightlife.

They’ve also built apartments as far south as IH-35 and Slaughter Lane and Southwest Austin near ACC’s Pinnacle Campus.  The company is always on the hunt for great parcels of land where they can build a project at their desired cost with the features they want to add.  Partnering with an Austin-based architecture firm, Davies Collaborative, on many of their projects helps them get a modern vibe.

Looking for a cool, modern apartment of your own?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call at 512-231-1400 to find your next apartment fast!  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Austin's Real Estate Market Stacks Up

After years of being the “golden city” on many national best of lists, Austin may be losing its crown, Culturemap Austin reports.

WalletHub ranked 300 US cities using their real estate market and affordability and economic environment to determine the best real estate markets in the country.  Last year, Austin ranked at the 5th spot, but this year it was down to number 68.

Dallas suburb Frisco came in at number one on the list, followed by other cities in North Texas including McKinney at number 2, Allen at number 3, Richardson at number 5 and Carrollton at number 8.  Dallas proper was at the 57th spot.

Other big cities in Texas came in even lower.  Houston was number 206 and San Antonio was number 215.

Looking for an apartment in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Majority of Austin Renters Want to Relocate to Other Cities

A large number of current renters in Austin plan to move to other cities, Culturemap Austin reports.

65 percent of Austin renters who were surveyed by Apartment List have plans to move elsewhere.  Across the country, this figure is about the same.  Renters in 50 metro areas were asked about their moving plans for the survey.

Many Austin renters have their sights set on other Texas cities, with Houston as the number one choice.  For those looking at out-of-state locations, Denver was the top destination.  Seattle and Miami came in 2nd and 3rd.

Even though Austin may be losing those renters, Cleveland renters listed our fair city as their number one out-of-state choice for relocation.

35 percent of renters point to the high cost of living as their reason for moving, 32 percent say jobs, and 7 percent blame the weather.  

San Antonio renters top the list for the highest percentage of renters who want to remain in their current location. 45 percent want to stay there, even though 57 percent are worried about jobs, the affordability, weather, and social prospects are enough to make them want to remain in San Antonio.

Looking for an apartment in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Austin Rental Market Leveling Off

Our very own assistant manager, Ingrid Evens, was interviewed by the Austin American Statesman about Austin rents which, after being on the rise for the last several years, are finally leveling off.  Ingrid said that even though rent normally shoots up a lot in the summer, this year “it has stagnated.  It hasn’t gone up as much as recent summers.”

Rent was $1,246 in June in the Austin-Georgetown area, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year.  Between 2011 and 2016, rent went up about 5.8 percent annually, for a total increase of 32.5 percent.  

The slowdown is due to the fact that supply has increased to the point where it approximately equals demand, which results in monthly rents increasing very little if at all.  

The occupancy rate was down a little to 93.3 percent.  In just the first half of this year, 4,136 apartments became available.  

This trend of slower increases in rent is expected to continue for the next 12 to 18 months, but rent should eventually go up, especially if Austin adds 60,000 new jobs in the next two years as forecast.  Those new workers will gobble up the new apartment stock, causing demand to outpace supply once again shortly.

Austin’s occupancy rate for high end apartments, (86 percent), is the highest of any of the state metro areas.  Average rent for a high-end one bedroom is $1,561, also the highest rent for high end apartments in the state.  In addition, Austin offers the least concessions of anywhere in Texas.

The number of new apartments under construction and due to be delivered in Austin are on a downward trend.  However, developers are still building new units, confident that Austin’s popularity will not wane anytime soon.  Construction is especially hot in the East Riverside area.

Looking to make the move to Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your dream apartment, in your dream neighborhood, for your dream price!  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Austin Rents Holding Steady

Austin rent prices aren’t climbing as quickly as they once were, Culturemap Austin reports.

In January through July, rent across the country remained at essentially the same level, although there was some fluctuation along the way.  Nationally, median rent for a one bedroom was at $1,016 in both January and July.

Texas has an average rent for  a one-bedroom of $871 for the first 6 months of the year, which is substantially less than the average for the nation.  There weren’t any cities in Texas that landed on the list of the highest rent in the country, but Houston saw some of the biggest rent growth, with rent increasing 3.8 percent monthly on average.  Currently $1,053 is the average rent for a one bedroom there.  

On the low end, both Lubbock and El Paso saw average rent drops of 2.6 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, some of the biggest drops of the cities studied.

Austin’s rental market seemed to be more steady during the first part of the year, even though Austin’s rent is still high compared to other cities in Texas.  The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,124 and the median rent for a two-bedroom is $1,407.

Looking to take advantage of Austin’s lower rents?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call at 512-231-1400 to find your dream apartment quickly and easily!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Most Expensive Zip Codes in Austin

Austin is home to the most expensive zip code in the entire state, the Rent Cafe Blog reports.

78701, which is the Austin zip code that includes downtown, has an average rent of $2,475 per month.  That’s over $1,000 more than the national average, which is $1,316. Rent in all 50 of the most expensive zip codes in Texas exceeded that national average.

78703, which is just west of downtown and includes Tarrytown, was the 2nd most expensive zip code in the state with an average rent of $2,393.  78705 took the 4th spot at $2,102.  This zip code includes the area around the University of Texas, including West Campus.   

The next Austin zip code to make an appearance on the list is 78702, which nabbed the 12th spot with an average rent of $1,711.  This zip code includes East Austin north of Lady Bird Lake to Martin Luther King Blvd, and east to Airport Boulvard.

78704, the area West of IH-35, north of 290, east of the Barton Creek Greenbelt and south of Lady Bird Lake, had an average rent of $1,513, making it number 27 on the list.

78732, which includes Steiner Ranch, had an average rent of $1,486, 78746, which has West Lake Hills and Rollingwood, was at the 32nd spot with average rent going for $1,477 and 78751 was 33rd with $1,461 as the average rent.  This zip code includes the North Loop and Hyde Park neighborhoods and is located south of Koenig, west of IH-35, north of 38th Street, and east of Guadalupe.

Austin had two more zip codes in the 30’s range on the list: 78735 was at 35 and 78738 was at 38 with average rent of $1,448 and $1,416 respectively.  78735 is the area around Barton Creek and Southwest Parkway and 78738 includes Bee Cave and the area just south of Lakeway, the Hills.  It was the lowest charter on the list for Austin zip codes.  In all, Austin had 9 zip codes that made the list.

Looking to find an apartment in Austin?  Whether it’s in one of the most expensive or the cheapest zip codes, A Plus Apartments can help find that perfect home that fits your budget!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How Much Income is Needed to Afford an Apartment in Austin

A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that an Austin resident would have to earn $22.98 per hour to afford a two bedroom apartment, the Austin American Statesman reports.

That’s over three times the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.  The report found that around the country, even in areas with a higher minimum wage, there is nowhere a minimum wage worker could afford a two bedroom apartment.

The study used the standard measure of affordability for rent, which is that the cost of rent and utilities shouldn’t be more than 30% of a person’s gross income.  

The study used $1,195 a month for the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Austin metro.  A person would need to earn $47,800 to pay for that apartment.  

If you earned $7.25 an hour, you’d need to work over 3 full time jobs to pay for a two-bedroom apartment.

Texas came in at the 22nd slot in the most expensive cities for renters.  You need to earn $18.38 per hour to pay for a two bedroom in the state.  In the US, workers have to earn $21.21 per hour to swing rent on a two bedroom unit.

Worried about finding an apartment that will fit your budget?  A Plus Apartments is here to help.  Give us a call at 512-231-1400 to use our absolutely free services to find you the apartment of your dreams for less!  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Austin Swimming Holes

Austin may not be near the coast, but there are tons of fun places to swim in the city limits and beyond.  We’ve got a round-up of some of the best pools and swimming holes in the area!

Deep Eddy Pool has been a destination for Austinites looking to cool off since the 1930’s.  Located in the heart of Austin just off Lake Austin Boulevard near Mopac, its spring-fed waters offer a refreshing respite from the heat of the summer.  There is also a concession stand offering Jim Jim Ices and other snacks just in case you need an extra jolt of cold refreshment.

Hamilton Pool Preserve is quite possibly the most beautiful swimming hole in Austin, if not the entire state.  This gorgeous natural pool has a waterfall and is part of a collapsed grotto. Reservations are required and sometimes the bacteria levels in the water are too high to swim.  If that happens, you can still enjoy hiking on the nature trails surrounding the pool.

Looking to swim “au naturel”?  Austin’s famous nude beach, Hippie Hollow, welcomes visitors age 18 and over to toss aside their clothing and sunbathe, swim or boat in their birthday suit. It’s the only clothing-optional public park in the state of Texas.

Lake Pflugerville Park gives you the experience of a beach without the four hour plus drive to the Gulf of Mexico.  The beach has pebbles, so be sure to bring water shoes.  You can swim, fish, picnic, hike, jog or just soak up some rays on and around this man-made 180 acre reservoir.

Looking for an apartment with a stellar pool so you don’t need to leave home to cool down?  A Plus Apartments can help! Give us a call today at 512-231-1400.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Austin Neighborhood Named Best for Families

One area of Austin made a list of the best places in the country for families to live, Culturemap Austin reports.  

A report by HomeUnion put the 78717 zip code at number 19 out of the best 30 areas in America for families.  The ratings included the most affordable zip code in the 30 metro areas with an average school rating in the 80th percentile or higher.  

78717 is in Williamson County and has a school rating of 84.9 and the median home price is $375,000.  It includes Avery Ranch, a golf community, and also has easy access to both 183 and State Highway 45.  

Two other Texas areas made the list. The 12th spot belonged to 77450 in Katy, north of Houston, and number 15 was 78255 in Cross Mountain, a suburb of San Antonio.

Blue Springs, Missouri, which is near Kansas City, topped the list for the 2nd year in a row.  

The middle of the country is providing a lot of opportunity for first-time homebuyers as coastal areas, especially on the west coast, see skyrocketing home costs.

Looking to make your home in the 78717 zip code or anywhere else in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help find your dream apartment in no time!  Call us today at 512-231-1400!