Since the spring of 2021, when the lines for open houses were famously wrapping around city blocks, the real estate market in Austin has seen a crazy amount of change—with homeowners watching their equity drop and buyers grappling with the rising tide of interest rates. But 2023 is now strongly outperforming 2022, with the total amount of homes under contract up 13 percent. Things are changing by the minute, and it’s hard for buyers and sellers alike to keep up.
That’s why we asked Rick Orr, a local broker for over 25 years in Austin, owner of Vince Realty, and CEO and Co-Founder of proptech startup RealSavvy, to walk us through what he’s seeing in this ever-changing market. Here are the trends he is watching right now.
Favorable Seller Terms Are Making a Comeback
Although we aren’t back to the crazed feeding frenzy of a couple of years ago, things are starting to look up for sellers. In the ever-popular neighborhood of Circle C, for instance, well-priced homes are moving almost as quickly as they did in 2021. “I had a recent Circle C listing go for above ask with multiple offers within one day of listing,” Orr says. “Those highly favorable seller terms have a feeling that’s much more like 2021 than 2022.”
Bouldin Creek Is Going High-End
“Bouldin Creek is trading at and above $1,000 per square foot for high-end finishes,” Orr says. “Check out 814 W James, for example. This gorgeous modern build has a finish level you don’t often see outside of maybe Westlake, Tarrytown, or Pemberton Heights. It was completely retrofitted under the stewardship of renowned interior designer Joel Mozersky, who famously built out the W among many other notable commercial spots like Uchiko. The story in Bouldin Creek is one of rapid redevelopment from traditional cottages to top-end luxury listings setting new records for price per square foot luxury even during a noted slowdown nationally. The sky is the limit for a neighborhood like this where location location location meets lifestyle, entertainment, walkability and, as with 814 James, top-of-market luxury builds.”
Rainey Is Shifting From Beer Pong to Luxury Living
Perhaps no little strip of Austin reflects the pace of change and development in Austin quite like Rainey St. “Downtown luxury is really evolving,” Orr says. “Rainey now boasts 4-star restaurants and high-rises packed with amenities. It keeps setting records for the price per square foot when you look at Downtown Austin. While The Modern and numerous new luxury apartment buildings are on the horizon, no building better represents the future of luxury in and around Rainey than 44 East. Higher units offer panoramic, unobstructed lake views like none other in Austin, and the finish level is second to none. It will be interesting to see how the battle for luxury condo dominance plays out between Rainey and Seaholm districts. With the sheer mass of luxury development ongoing from apartments to condos and restaurants, as well as the exciting future for adjacent Waller Creek, one can imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when the Rainey District is known more for its luxury living, retail, and dining options than as haven for nightlife as was its founding vibe. For me, as the founder of TabbedOut (now Union POS) back in 2009, the Rainey Street district was THE story for Austin nightlife. Somewhat ironically now, with my focus on selling luxury real estate, it’s fascinating to see the same area reborn as the new bastion for luxury living downtown.”