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Austin is Top Real Estate Market for 2020

by Kevin Kirkpatrick, San Antonio, October 2019


Austin ranks first in the nation for overall real estate prospects, according to a new report. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020, by the Urban Land Institute and PwC, provides an outlook on real estate investment and development trends, real estate finance and capital markets, property sectors, metropolitan areas, and other real estate issues throughout the United States and Canada.


Why Austin?


The Texas capital’s “deep talent pool, unique lifestyle, and ambitious commitment to business and real estate expansion" pushed the city to the top of the list - up from sixth place a year ago.


The study noted that in some areas, Austin is being challenged by its own success. Traffic is an ongoing issue and housing affordability pressures are rising. These could be exacerbated since Austin has the highest projected population growth rate for the coming five years among the 80 markets that were analyzed.


Top Ten Real Estate Markets for Investors












Dallas/Fort Worth






Los Angeles

10. Seattle
Source: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020



Development is booming and the landscape studded with impactful projects: Apple is building a $1 billion North Austin campus; a transit-oriented development is underway near downtown on Lady Bird Lake; the new Dell Medical School recently opened at the University of Texas; and a major airport expansion is underway.


Capital is abundantly directed toward Austin. Transaction activity is above what you would expect from a market of its size, and 2019 results are above the three-year historical average. Survey respondents rate Austin a solid “buy” for industrial, offices, and apartments for the coming year.


The Impact on Property Taxes


The local assessor is working to keep property values in line with Austin’s vibrant market. As a result, double-digit increases have been proposed recently for most property types in the metro area.


The 2020 value notices will be out next April. It’s extremely important to review these notices for appropriateness and if the value is overstated, file an appeal before the May 15, 2020 deadline.


Budgeting for taxes should include professional review and advice, particularly for office, retail, industrial and apartment properties.