Austin’s mansion market is booming

Prices for luxury homes in the Texas capital have soared 33% in the past year

Austin, Texas (Credit: iStock)
Austin, Texas (Credit: iStock)

Sellers of luxury homes in Austin, Texas, are feeling like they struck oil.

That’s because prices for mansions in one of the hottest markets in the country have skyrocketed over the last year, rising nearly 33 percent over 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Demand in and around the city, where East and West coasters are flocking thanks to a lower cost of living, an emerging tech sector and the Covid-era ability to work from home, has soared. In the ultra-luxury market, many high-priced homes are being sold without ever being seen on multiple listing services.

“When people come to town looking for big houses, they’re not going to find them clicking on Zillow,” Cord Shiflet, the incoming president of the Austin Board of Realtors, told the Journal.

Located in the Texas Hill Country, the hot market is helped by the city’s perceived laid-back atmosphere, trendy music scene and beautiful location.

Sweetening the pot is the fact that Big Tech is making a move into the area, with Apple planning to open a $1 billion campus nearby next year; Oracle making the jump from Silicon Valley to the so-called Silicon Hills of Austin; and Tesla moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin — and planning to build a factory there.

With all the émigrés from the coasts, it doesn’t hurt that Austin is considered a little bit of blue in a giant red state.

Developers are now trying to catch up to demand that was uncertain when Covid hit last year.

The Grove, for instance, is located about three miles from downtown and is selling single-family homes within its mixed-use development of restaurants, shops and a park for $2.15 million to $2.4 million, according to the Journal.

Further afield, the Driftwood, a private community on a golf course about a half-hour from Austin, has sold half of its 315 homes priced between $3.5 million and $6 million, the publication reported.

[Wall Street Journal] — Vince DiMiceli