Year In Review: Austin’s Biggest Real Estate Stories of 2015


2015 was another year of unprecedented growth for Austin, and residents can feel it; they feel it waiting in 5 o’clock traffic, trying to keep up with every new restaurant opening, and they definitely feel it waiting in longer lines for their breakfast tacos. So it’s no surprise the housing market had some crazy developments, pardon the pun.

We’re taking a look back on the year and the news that defined the Austin real estate market in 2015.  Here are the stories that really stuck with us:  
  1. Austin is Forbes’ #1 Best Buy City

When it comes to investing in property, Forbes magazine named Austin the top city to consider because of its diverse economy and relatively low housing prices. The publication also considered the city’s rapidly growing population and low unemployment rate. With all the hype as well as the planned developments both up and out, it’s safe to say that it’s best to start looking into buying your dream Austin home sooner rather than later.  
  1. “The Jenga Tower”

The renovation of the Seaholm District didn’t just bring downtown Austin a Trader Joe’s; it also brought plans for the most divisive high-rise building to grace to city’s skyline. The Independent, designed by local firm Rhode: Partners, sold 90% of its estimated 370-condo units the first week they became available. The shifty design of its 58-stories earned it the nickname “Jenga Tower,” and drew a plethora of reactions from the public. Whether you think The Independent will be eye-catching or an eyesore, one thing is for certain: Austin is growing up.    
  1. The St. Elmo Public Market

Cross Ben White and South Congress looks a little different—namely, it’s pretty undeveloped. Developers GroundFloor and Prescott Group decided to change that with the construction of the St. Elmo Public Market, 40,000 square feet of retail, event, and office space inspired by Seattle’s Pike Place and Mercado San Miguel in Madrid. However, the developers assure us that St. Elmo will have a personality that is distinctly Austin. People in the market for a house in this area would be smart to start looking now. Construction of the St. Elmo Public Market begins this year with a projected opening date in 2018.    
  1. HGTV Builds A “Smart Home” in Zilker Park

Austin’s Boomtown reputation has brought several home-improvement reality shows to town, but while most of these shows fixate on improving older homes, HGTV came in and flipped the book by building their second Smart Home in the ultra-desirable Zilker Park neighborhood. With multiple outdoor living spaces, drought-resistant landscaping, and amenities like a wet bar in the master bedroom, the house was sure to be a dream home for whoever won HGTV’s giveaway… but for winner Isabel Villarreal of Harlingen, the profits from selling the estimated million dollar home were more appealing.  The house will be hitting the market soon.  
  Want to stay on top of Austin real estate news going into 2016? Contact us for the latest updates on the developments that impact our community.