Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Austin Traffic 13th Worst in the U.S.

Some lists Austin would rather not make, and ranking 13th on a list of the most congested cities in the country is probably one of the few places Austinites would be glad to give up.  The Austin American Statesman reports on the new findings by INRIX, a transportation analysis firm.  

The report analyzed congestion in over 1,000 cities around the world and found that Austinites spent 47 hours on average and 12 percent of their driving time in traffic in 2016.  That puts Austin as the 13th worst city in the country and the 42nd worst in the world for traffic congestion.  

Austin’s designation as capital of Texas doesn’t help either.  The report found that the cities that see the biggest traffic jams are capital cities because they usually have the most dense network of roads plus lots of residents, commuters, and visitors.

However, it could be worse. Los Angeles took the top spot for the entire world.  Those who reside in LA were in traffic for an average of 104 hours last year.  

IH 35 was number six on the study’s list of the Top 10 Worst U.S. Corridors.  23.4 mph is the average speed for the stretch of 35 between Airport Boulevard and Slaughter Lane during the most congested times of the day.  That translates into 63 hours of delayed travel.

There is an upside to traffic, though.  Traffic means that people are living and working in a city and the economy is thriving.  

Ready to find an apartment closer to work so you can avoid Austin’s dreaded traffic congestion?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find a fantastic new home base!  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A New Type of Housing Community for Renters

A new type of community for renters is breaking ground in the suburbs of Austin, the Austin Business Journal reports.

The communities will be set up like apartments, but will feature free-standing single family homes for rent rather than apartments.  

Constructed by AHV Communities, one community is called Legacy and will have 83 homes in Pflugerville. The other is in Georgetown and is named Rivers Edge.  The houses at both communities will be three or four bedrooms and between 1,440 square feet and 1,882 square feet.  The first units are forecast to be ready by late summer.

Rent will start at more than $1,600, which is similar to new two and three bedroom apartments in the neighborhood with the extra benefit of being a three-bedroom home with an attached two car garage.

Legacy and Rivers Edge will operate like an apartment community, with home and lawn maintenance taken care of by the community’s management.  The communities will have shared amenities like a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a dog park.  The homes themselves will have high-end finishes like granite counters in the kitchen, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting.

The company began building the single family rental communities after the 2008 financial crisis.  The demand for the combination of the convenience of an apartment community with the space of a single-family home is very popular at its community near San Antonio, the only other one in Texas.

The company plans more projects for New Braunfels and San Antonio and is looking to do more projects around Austin as well.  

The company places new developments in areas with a healthy rental market, jobs, good schools, and family friendly attractions nearby.  

AHV has had a lot of success with their unique model in areas where normally neighbors and government would be against apartments.  However, by building single-family homes, they are able to get approval.  

Need help finding an apartment that works for you and your family?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call today at 512-231-1400.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rents Down in Parts of Austin Last Quarter

According to the Austin Business Journal, apartment rents are down in some sections of Austin as the number of apartments reaches the number needed.  This trend is particularly pronounced east and southeast of downtown.

In the southeast central submarket, which includes the East Riverside Corridor, occupancy rates were dramatically lower in the last three months of last year.  They were also significantly lower in the east central submarket, which is north of Lady Bird Lake and includes the area east of IH-35  between Cesar Chavez Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, as well as Mueller.

For the Austin area in general, occupancy rates stayed the same.  However, the last quarter usually sees the most activity in the apartment market and the number of empty apartments was up for the first time in three years.  

The Domain is going against that downward movement with hundreds of high-end apartments coming to market in the the last few years and more in the pipeline.  The Domain adds more stores and restaurants constantly, leading to the apartments there seeing a quarter increase in inventory, but still having occupancy and rental rates increase.  

However, Austin continues to get national press about its economic success, so it’s possible that these disappointing numbers are a temporary anomaly in Austin’s robust growth story.  

The numbers definitely aren’t keeping developers from continuing to build more apartments and the amount of people moving to Austin is forecast to increase for the time being.

Eight new apartment projects with a total of 2,345 apartments broke ground at the end of 2016.  10,000 new units are set to be built over the next decade.  

As far as rents, they went down about 1 percent in the last three months across the city.  The average is now $1.40 per square foot. The highest rents are downtown in the new luxury apartments, in South Austin, and near UT.  Average rent for new apartments downtown is about $2.62 per square foot.

Incentives are the best in new apartment communities in the southeast, southwest, east central, west and south submarkets.  

The most sought-after apartment floor plan is the efficiency, (also called studios and micro-units). Rent for these smaller dwellings are up 10 percent to an average of $990 a month.  
Ready to take advantage of a slight downturn in the market to nab a sweet deal on an apartment?  We have up-to-the-minute knowledge of vacancies and incentives at all of Austin’s best addresses!  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and we’ll help you find your dream apartment in no time!