Austin makes headlines in a recent report by industry website Rent.com
What’s New in Austin’s Housing Crisis? On a very thin positive note, the Austin Business Journal reports that the market is “showing signs of cooling”, with the highest available housing stock (2.1 months) since 2019. In contrast, local nonprofits HousingWorks cites a recent National Association of Realtors study showing that more than 40% of homes sold in Travis County last year were purchased by companies and companies paying in cashclearly exceeding the abilities of many first-time buyers to take a break.
And of course, the extreme housing inflation over the past year has been experienced in different ways by different groups of people. For tenants it just meant increased costs – a recent study by Rent.com showed Austin with the largest year-over-year increase in single-bedroom rent prices in the nation, at a staggering 108%, more than double the rate of any other city. Owners have also seen significant cost increases in their property tax bills, although these are mitigated by various exemptions and offset in the long run because their property appreciates in value. Investorshowever, get the best of both worlds: their property goes up in value, and they don’t have to pay for the cost increases, because that’s built into the rental prices, so tenants also pay for the cost increase. Operating Expenses.
Meanwhile, the city’s efforts to eliminate non-owner occupied housing Short-term rental type 2 (STR) – a decision that could potentially make thousands of rental units available to Austin residents – has failed in the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals. As a result of this 2019 court ruling, the city now allows existing Type 2 licenses to be renewed in residential and commercial areas, but will only issue New Type 2 license in commercial zone. Last I heard, the case was still awaiting final judgment, with lawyers for the STR investors insisting the decision requires the city to also issue new Type 2 permits in residential areas. (Rules for Type 1 DOSwhere owners rent their own homes or other units on a homestead, were never in question and remain unchanged.)
Then there are the DOS type 3which are apartments in multi-unit buildings. For residential buildings in commercial zoning areas, the city still inexplicably allows up to 25% of apartments be withdrawn from the market as full-time STRs. In residential areas, that number is capped at 3%, so it’s a mystery why the city thinks a 25% giveaway is still good policy in commercial districts, especially amid a largely housing crisis. recognized.
How many units are we talking about altogether? A 2019 city-contracted study found nearly 11,000 STRs in Austin, less than a quarter of which are licensed to comply with city regulations or deliver hotel tourist tax dollars. While these numbers weren’t broken down by type, missing HOT funds are a big deal. Not only do they help support local arts, music, and cultural efforts, but a city memo from the same year estimated that STRs cost the city $2.9 million just to regulate and enforce, of which nearly 36,000 man hours. And unit counts for STRs may actually be an undercount. The Hostaway website, which specializes in a practice it calls “rental arbitrage,” claims there are more than 9,000 STRs in central Austin zip codes alone. Meanwhile InsideAirbnb.comwhich collects data on dozens of cities and countries around the world, lists more than 15,000 units in Austin, as well as at least five “hosts” with well over 100 units each, and about 40 outfits that have at least minus 20 units.
But if it makes you feel better, it’s not just the people of Austin who are forced to fight market forces beyond their control. A recent report shows that New York City now has more STRs than apartments for rent, with Airbnb making up the majority of rentals in the city. Good luck, residents.
All the attention at City Hall is on the budget, but there’s also an extra-long 167 point agenda for the Council meeting next Thursday, July 28, which includes the placement of a $300 million affordable housing bond proposal on the November election, creating a East Sixth Street Local Historic District which would cover the properties that Stream Realty wants to redevelop there, and the second and third readings on the Statesman POUD at 305 S. Congrès, which is among the 40(!) case of zoning on the agenda, each including a public hearing.
The call for applications is now open for Austin Green Awards 2022 — in its seventh year of showcasing “outstanding achievement in the broad field of sustainable design and innovation” in the Central Texas Five Counties region. See more information and submit an application until September 16 at atxgreenawards.org.
Austin F.C. and Q2 are organizing a blood drive to benefit We Are Blood at Q2 Stadium at the Captain Morgan Club on Wednesday August 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Donors receive a personalized t-shirt and a chance to win game tickets every hour. Pre-register on weareblood.orgalthough walk-ins are also welcome.
Send gossip, dirt, innuendo, rumors and other useful information to nbarbaro at austinchronicle.com.