Austin Property Management Blog

Austin, Texas Leasing Market Update | November 2020

System - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The markets in Austin & the Central Texas area are still going strong. We were not sure how COVID-19 would affect the housing market and more importantly the local economy, but we keep getting surprised.

The rental market has slowed as we enter the tail end of the year, but we believe it to be seasonal. We are still leasing homes every week and our economy is strong in Central Texas. In September, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) stated that our unemployment rate for Texas is 6.8 percent and 5.5 in the Austin-Round Rock MSA. “Texas is below the national seasonally adjusted rate of 8.4 percent" and the rate has been slowly dropping and is now the lowest since March 2020.

The market for homes for sale has not slowed down. The demand for housing in greater Austin is fueled greatly because we don't have the inventory to meet the demands of everyone trying to move to the area. Affordable houses are being sold well over asking prices after a bidding war and often without inspection periods. Our brokerage and sister company, Central Metro Realty, has had consecutive record months since July. People are still flocking to the Austin area from states like New Jersey, New York, Arizona and California where the cost of living is higher than here, at least for now.

Many housing experts and economists point to the virus as a potential reason for the surge in the suburbs for both sales and leasing. People are looking for more space, have less commuting to do and this has driven them to suburbs in droves. They are ditching their high-end, expensive apartments and seeking single-family homes for accommodation which is driving an increase in rents for single-family rentals across the country. 

All the while, we are pleased that people are paying their rent. Less than 5% of our tenants are in delinquency status, which is significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, yet still indicative of a relatively strong residential rental and job market.  This is in spite of the ban on evictions being in place until the end of the year. 

We are fortunate to be in a market that is able to experience growth like Austin, as the influx of people to the city continues to drive the strong market. With Tesla bringing their new factory to the area and Apple building their new campus right up here by Stone Oak's offices, we feel strongly about the Austin housing market going forward.

If you have any further questions about the leasing market or property management services for Austin rental homes, please don't hesitate to contact our team at Stone Oak Property Management. 

Stone Oak Property Management
512.617.6766
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Stone Oak Owner Update | October 2020

System - Friday, October 23, 2020

If you haven’t already taken a look at our recent post regarding the news interview and article about evictions you can view it by visiting the link below.

Eviction Protections in Austin, TX Hurting Landlords

We have been notifying our tenants of any available rent assistance programs and encouraging them to participate if they are delinquent.  We are seeing an uptick in delinquent accounts of which most are setting up payment plans and complying. However, it is a much higher delinquency rate than we’ve seen before.  The current rate is about 5% of tenants, that number has grown from less than 1% previously.  

Politics aside, hopefully after the election we’ll see some action on taking the burden off of landlords that was created by the CDC order protecting tenants but doing nothing for landlords.

We also want to give you a quick update about tax protests. Our contact with the firm we use recently notified us that due to the pandemic the hearings are being scheduled much further out than normal, and many accounts will be heard after the tax bills are mailed this year.  Normally tax bills are mailed in October, however, we have some hearings scheduled for the first week of November while other accounts have not been given a hearing date yet.

Since the hearings are after the normal mailing date the process this year is going to be a bit out of the ordinary.  If we do succeed in getting a reduction in the taxes they will mail a new bill, but there is no guarantee it will be received by the tax due date. Depending on your county you should pay the bill on time regardless of the protest to avoid late fees and penalties.  After the new valuation is processed they will generate a new bill, and if you’ve already paid they will send you a refund.  

As usual, once we have the results of the hearings we will notify you. Keep in mind this may be after you receive the bill for the full amount.  

If you have any questions about this give us a call or send a message.

Austin Market Update September 2020

System - Thursday, September 17, 2020

We have made it through yet another very busy summer season. Air conditioners were broken, appliances were placed on back order and all the while, our staff held it together. We truly appreciate your patience and trust in us in these difficult times.

This being said, we wanted to share a few updates with you. If you haven’t heard yet, there is a ban on evictions through the end of the year. This hasn’t been terrible for us as a company, as we have been very diligent about asking people to leave or setting up payment plans where it makes sense. Follow the link if you'd like to send a note to Congress requesting they enact rental assistance for housing providers.

The good news is that Austinites are still working. We are experiencing growth with new businesses coming to town. I am pleased to state that Tesla has officially broken ground on their new facility for the Cyber Truck and we are excited to have them.

Rents have remained stable in most areas and the inventory of homes for sale is still in short supply. These are two key indicators that keep our leadership team optimistic about the market in Central Texas.

As you may have noticed we have brought on more staff and we are working to better serve you. We are working to continually improve our processes and can’t thank you enough for your patience and loyalty. You may be getting calls from new voices, so I just thought I would let you know.

Lastly, we are in the process of partnering with a large insurance company that we think has fantastic rates for landlords. They have already saved me money while upping my coverage, so I am a believer. More details to come in the next couple of months, but this should be a huge win for all of our clients.

We appreciate your trust in us. Call or email any time.

Thank you,

Jason Huval, MBA
Broker and Partner
Stone Oak Property Management

Austin Market Update August 2020: Rents, Jobs & COVID-19

System - Monday, August 17, 2020

I’m sure you may have heard or read about Texas being a hotbed of activity for COVID-19, but many Austinites are still working and people are still definitely spending money. My children go to school in Pflugerville and the parent survey that Pflugerville ISD recently sent out showed that nearly 60% of households that answered the survey were not financially affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Austin area. As of now, our schools are remote for the first three weeks. Once that time has passed the district will take a better look at the situation and decide on allowing the kids to return to their classrooms. I bring this up because we have many properties in the Pflugerville area and other similar suburbs all over town that are experiencing the same thing. 

Stone Oak Property Management is still being very careful as a company and most of our staff continue to work remotely. However, our production and level of service have not faltered, in fact, many of the staff seem happier and more productive. This is great news for everyone as we want everyone to enjoy the work they do. We have expanded our staff by adding a couple of new team members to better serve our clients and their properties. 

For the most up-to-date and accurate info on the Austin MSA COVID-19 cases visit the link at the end of this paragraph. This data comes directly from the City of Austin. You can sort by cases, deaths and it has a great break down by age and other various factors. You can check out the Austin COVID-19 Data for yourself.

In my previous posts, I had mentioned how large companies were being attracted to Austin and moving operations to the area. Well, the hiring has now begun. There is a brief article below from our local news station stating that Tesla has officially started posted jobs! We are thrilled to have them here and the positive economic impact they will have on our beautiful city. 

We're also becoming a part of the military-industrial complex on the tech side.  On August 11th BAE Systems announced an expansion of their footprint in Austin by building a $150M campus that will double their workforce here.  BAE is categorized as a tech company but they are really military contractors. 

Last of the pretty big economic news that I wanted to share is that Amazon announced a few weeks ago that they're expanding operations in Central Texas by opening a new facility in Kyle. They have a new large facility that is currently under construction in my neck of the woods, Pflugerville. 

Lastly, rents haven’t shown signs of weakening. We have been collecting rents at nearly normal rates and most tenants that have found themselves in tough financial positions have either made payment arrangements with us or voluntarily moved out. We do have pending evictions, but most can’t be filed until September due to the moratorium on residential evictions filed by the City of Austin.

I will leave you with this - wash your hands, don’t panic, and don’t believe nearly anything on social media. My favorite quote that sums it up was sent to me by my wife from her Facebook and was: “Don’t believe everything on the internet - Abraham Lincoln”

Please don't hesitate to contact our Austin property management team if we can be of assistance to you in any way. Our team can be reached directly at 512.617.6766 or you can use the form on our site to contact us.

Author:

Jason Huval, MBA
Broker and Partner
Stone Oak Property Management

Central Texas Leasing Update | July 2020

System - Monday, July 13, 2020

Central Texas Leasing Market Update

There are still many unknowns in our market and what may be happening in the economy in the coming months. There were millions of dollars that were disbursed to businesses to assist in employee retention through the “Paycheck Protection Program”. These funds were enough to cover a companies’ entire payroll for two months lasting through June. We anticipate that many markets will suffer if the economy can’t recover in the coming months should another lockdown be required in Texas or across the country.

However, Texas and more importantly Central Texas is still very strong. We have a large tech industry and government jobs that are helping to keep many people employed. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) has released its plans for reopening for classes this Fall. They will be moving to 40% capacity in classrooms and offer 3 models of classes: Online, Hybrid, and In-Person. Due to this plan, we feel campus housing and the surrounding economies it affects should remain reasonably strong as students will be returning to campus until at least November 23rd.

Otherwise, in most parts of town and as of this writing, things are great and much better than expected. Tenants are paying rent nearly as normal and our vacant listings are moving even faster than normal this time last year. We are seeing slight dips in the outlying suburbs near Liberty Hill and Kyle. This could all be changed in a few short weeks, but we won't be able to really tell until we see if large employers keep people on staff or what their plans are for staffing as COVID remains around.

As a company, Stone Oak Management has done our best to retain tenants by offering payment plans where applicable and work with people that have never been in this situation before. Many good-paying and hard-working individuals are in a position that they have never known. Unemployed. Upper management must make some tough choices on behalf of our owners, but as always, we treat our clients’ properties as if they are our own and we treat everyone as we would want to be treated.

For all you data junkies, I have the full report that I have requested from the Austin Board of Realtors. This shows both sales and leasing data. Sales appear down, but we are still having an inventory shortage in the greater Austin area.

FULL AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORS REPORT

Additionally, I have listed a few articles with some positive news about growth in the Austin area below. These may help to further understand our strong market in Central Texas. With the recent announcement that Travis County has approved Tesla's plans for a Gigafactory and Apple bringing their new campus to the area, we expect Austin to continue its rapid economic growth in the coming years. 

Tesla Gigafactory deal approved by Travis County

Amazon expected to open delivery station in Round Rock

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions' Round Rock location on track to open in November 2020

Hutto chooses new developer for $800 million baseball field project

Lastly, we are a full-service Brokerage and our partner Matt Teifke is a Broker Associate with our firm and expert in Investment real estate. Matt holds a Master’s degree in real estate from Texas A&M. Feel free to contact him if you are considering purchasing or selling your property with us.

Author:

Jason Huval, MBA
Broker and Partner
Stone Oak Management

Have further questions about the market or Austin property management? Please don't hesitate to contact our team!


Contact Us

Stone Oak Property Management
13497 N Highway 183, Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78750

Phone: 512.617.6766
New Accounts: 512.615.7737
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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