June 2009

Found 9 blog entries for June 2009.


Although quite a few wineries have popped up in Austin over the past 10 years are so, there are also plenty of wineries that have been around for much longer.  Each of these wineries has been around for so long for one simple reason: they produce a great product.  So, whether you live in Austin or you are planning a visit, a stop at one of these tried and true wineries is certainly worth your time.

Fall Creek Vineyards

Fall Creek Vineyards has been around since 1979 and is located in Tow.  This winery’s specialty style is classic chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier, cabernet sauvignon, and shiraz that has been perfectly blended in a “New World style” with “Old World grapes.”  The showcase wine of Fall Creek Vineyards is its 2004 Meritus, which is a…
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Although the Austin metro area is fairing well than most of the country in terms of foreclosures, the city of Austin as well as the State of Texas have decided not to sit back and simply “ride out” the wave of foreclosures that have taken place throughout the state.  As such, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs recently applied for a grant from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program and won a $387,000 grant.

The grant monies will be used to help bring more stability to Texas families, including those in the city of Austin, who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.  It is also intended to bring assistance to neighborhoods as well as to help stabilize government finances.  As such, the Texas Department of Housing…
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Everyone knows that the housing market has been on the decline throughout the entire country, but according to research conducted by Metrostudy, the decline is not as rampant in the Austin area as it is in other parts of the country.  In fact, when looking at the number of housing starts in the area, Austin is doing much better than other metro areas.

According to a report released by Metrostudy, Austin has actually experienced the smallest decline out of the 81 markets that were studied.  Still, the Houston-based research group does acknowledge that the Austin area experienced a 66% decrease in housing starts when figures for the end of 2008 were compared to the area’s peak third quarter in 2006.

“South Florida’s quarterly starts declined 96.5% from…
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The General Services Administration, which is responsible for providing support to other federal agencies and for managing approximately $500 billion of Federal property, will be dispersing money to over 100 different development projects across the country.  The funding, which became available through the recently passed stimulus package, is meant to help produce new jobs while also improving government facilities throughout the country.

In all, the state of Texas will be receiving $325 million from the stimulus package, which will be used to fund 18 GSA projects throughout the state. Three of these projects will take place in Austin, which will be receiving $132 million in stimulus money from the General Services Administration.

The three Austin GSA…
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According to Forbes, the city of Austin is the 8th best place for business as well as for career.  Among the reasons for the city's high placement on the list is the fact that the projected annual job growth rate for the city is currently at 2.3%, making it the fifth fastest growing city in terms of job growth.  The city also ranked highly on the list due to its subprime mortgage exposure, which is relatively low when compared to other markets.

"The city of Austin is extremely business-friendly," said Glenn Cooper, who is the head of real estate at Charles Schwab Corp, in an interview with Austin Biz Journals.  "They have bent over backwards to accommodate us."

Charles Schwab Corp recently expanded its presence in the city after purchasing the 401(k)…
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According to a survey conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the number of new home sales, expectations, and traffic increased in January.  This is consistent with statistics for the rest of the nation, which showed that current and expected sales have increased throughout the country.  In fact, when compared to January statistics, the average net sales rose from 1.0 to 1.4.

On the national level, starts per community averaged just one unit last month.  40% of those who participated in the survey, however, reported that they saw zero starts last month.  On the other hand, 14% reported that they would be starting three or more units in February.  This figure is up from the 9% who reported that they would be starting three to four units the…
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The current economic conditions have resulted in an increase in foreclosures around the country, but new data released by the Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. located in Addison has shown that the foreclosure on higher-end homes have seen the largest gain in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.

Although foreclosures on homes valued at less than $200,000 are still responsible for the bulk of foreclosures within the Austin metro area - with 71% of foreclosed upon homes fitting within this price range - the number of higher end homes that have gone into foreclosure has more than doubled in the first quarter this year.

"Over the last year, the largest gain in first quarter postings was a 219 percent surge in notices filed on luxury homes valued at…
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Austin was the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country between 2007 and 2008.  During this time period, the population within the Austin-Round Rock area grew to 1.65 million, which represents a 3.8% growth in population.  The only other metropolitan area to post a faster population growth rate was the Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina area, which saw a 4.3% population increase during that same time period.

The United States Census Bureau statistics also showed that large metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more people were also the areas that most commonly experienced large growths in population.  In fact, 9 of the 10 fastest growing counties were areas that were home…
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According to Residential Strategies, Inc., new home starts continued to plunge within the Austin area during the first quarter of 2009.  In all, the number of new home starts was only 1,215 during the first quarter this year, representing a 47% decrease when compared to the same quarter last year.  This also drops the annual start rate to just 7,938, which is a far cry from the 17,128 annual starts seen in Austin during its third quarter peak in 2006.  Closings in the first quarter were also down when compared to the first quarter of last year, with the total number falling to 2,145 units and representing a 31% decline.

"While many may see the lower start rate as a negative situation in Austin, it should be pointed out that builders entered 2009 with…
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