Austin News

General Austin Area News

Found 110 blog entries about Austin News.

Austin is planning to make a bid on becoming one of the sites for the ultra-fast broadband network that is being considered by Google Inc and that will significantly increase the speed of Internet access throughout the city.

Earlier this month, Google announce plans to build one or more high-speed networks in an effort to demonstrate the advantages of having fast Internet access. Through the proposed project, the system would be 50 to 100 times faster than the fastest commercial broadband services typically available in the United States. By offering this super fast service, the company hopes to jumpstart the development of next-generation online services while also demonstrating how to build and operate such a network.

Many within the Austin community think…
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According to the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in central Texas increased by 5% in January when compared to home sales from just one year ago. In fact, the median sale price of homes rose by 1% to $179,250.

Seeing an increase in the median price of homes is certainly good news, as it is a positive sign that the economy in Austin is working toward rebounding as real estate prices start to move in an upward direction. Or course, the increase in prices is also an indicator that those who were looking to take advantage of the fall in prices may have lost out on the opportunity to purchase properties at their lowest price. Still, it is not too late to pick up a piece of Austin real estate at a much lower price than it would have been just a couple years…
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Snow is a rare event for Central Texas, but the Austin area recently had some of the best snow we have seen in years.  This last Tuesday the snow started to fall in the morning and by the end of the day some areas had up to two inches of snow on the ground.  The northwest side of Austin saw the most accumulation.  Here are some pictures:

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According to McGraw-Hill Construction, construction activity is expected to pick up some momentum in 2010, with the city of Austin enjoying the greatest growth. In fact, the 2010 Texas Construction Outlook predicts that construction starts will increase in value by 16 percent this year, with a total statewide value of $52.5 billion. Austin will nearly double the statewide prediction, with the report forecasts indicating that the city's construction starts will increase in value by 30%.

Austin isn't the only city that will surpass the statewide predictions, but some other major Texas cities are predicted to fall short of the state average. Some of the other predictions include:

•    Houston - predicted to grow by 17%
•    Dallas - predicted to grow by 16%
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According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment levels within the Austin and Round Rock area fell by 6.9% in November. While this is still up from the 4.9% rate that the area was experiencing just one year ago, it does represent a decline in unemployment when compared to the previous month.

Previous data indicated that the unemployment rate in the Austin and Round Rock area was 7.2% in October. Compared to the state average of 7.9%, the Austin and Round Rock area is doing quite well with its 6.9% rate. This pattern remains true to the rates from the previous month, with the statewide unemployment rates being at 8.1% in October compared to the 7.2% rate of the Austin and Round Rock area. Similarly, the state had a 5.4% unemployment rate one month

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According to the most recent Beige Book survey to be released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, economic conditions in the state of Texas are showing signs of improvement. In fact, the report found that economic conditions through November had "firmed" and that a number of industries are showing signs of improvement.

The Beige Book survey, which is conducted on a periodic basis and evaluates the economic conditions of the Federal 11th district that includes Central Texas, found that the paper, high-tech manufacturing, housing, staffing, energy and petrochemicals industries are all showing signs of improvement. Furthermore, the Dallas Fed's Index of Leading Indicators is also showing that an economic recovery is starting to develop in Texas.

"The only

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Austin and Central Texas are at the top of many lists in terms of educational attainment, quality of life, low crime rates, economic growth potential and many other areas. Here's a look at a few of the honors that Austin and the Central Texas area have received over the past year:

  • Austin was ranked number one by the Milken Institute for creating jobs, with the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA ranking second.
  • Austin was ranked #2 out of 100 metro areas for employment potential and for having the highest metropolitan growth potential (MGP) by Business Week and The Brookings Institute.
  • Austin was ranked #9 by CNN-Money as being one of the best places to start a business
  • Portfolio.com ranked Austin as #1 out of the 100 largest cities for job creation
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According to Mark Dotzour, who is the director of Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center, it looks as if the state of Texas may have reached the bottom of its housing market a few months back. As such, he is ready to proclaim the inventory of homes through Texas - both unsold new homes and existing homes - are in a promising position.

“I feel now is the time to buy a house in most Texas cities,” said Dotzour through RECON, which is the center’s online newsletter “Housing affordability has never been higher, and I never thought I would see 5 percent mortgages in my lifetime. If you plan to live in the house for at least two or three years, now is the time to buy.”

Dotzour isn't the only one who sees a positive upswing in the economy's future. In fact,

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By now, everyone looking at Austin real estate is well-aware of the first time homebuyer's tax credit incentive. Through the program, first time homebuyers can enjoy a tax credit of up to $8,000 when purchasing a home, with the total amount of the credit being equivalent to 10% of purchase price of up to $80,000. While this tax credit has certainly helped inspire many to purchase new homes and has also given the real estate market a bit of a boost, the unfortunate reality is that homebuyers are running out of time to take advantage of the credit.

According to a survey conducted by Realtor.com, 10.8% if homebuyers have cited the tax credit as the most important reason for buying right now. In addition, approximately 1.4 million people have already filed

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The recent stimulus package included a great deal of funding that is to be used toward the development and implementation of renewable energy initiatives. For Texas residents, however, this new push toward the use of renewable energy is nothing new. In fact, according to the American Wind Energy Association, the state ranks number one in terms of new wind power generation capacity.

Thanks to the fact that the state added 454 additional megawatts of wind energy to its generating capacity in the second quarter of 2009, the state is now able to generate more than 8,000 megawatts of energy. According to the American Wind Energy Association just 1,210 megawatts of new wind power has been added nationwide, but even this amount is able to power 350,000 homes.

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