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Three Florida cities—Orlando, Tampa and Miami—rank among the Top 10 Cities in Which to Own Investment Property, according to results of an analysis published recently by

The personal finance news and features website also ranked the Worst Cities in Which to Own Investment Property, with Anchorage, Alaska, taking that list’s dubious top honor.

GOBankingRates surveyed 61 out of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. for the list, analyzing such...


Austin's economy expanded by 5.3 percent in 2015, the second-fastest rate of any large metro in the U.S.

You don't have to drive far to find No. 1, either: San Antonio's economy expanded by 5.9 percent last year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Research, which released the latest numbers Sept. 30,...


Unemployment in Austin was 3.6 percent in July — even with the same month last year, according to numbers released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The Austin area's jobless rate is tied for lowest in the state with Amarillo.

The Texas capital has added roughly 40,100 jobs over the past 12 months, according to the unadjusted data. At the same time, its combined labor force grew from 1.07 million to 1.11 million.

While Austin continues to bask in an economic boom, it’s important to note that many economists consider an unemployment rate of 4-6 percent to be healthy....


California’s tax and regulatory policies have made the cost of doing business more expensive than other states and prompted about 10,000 companies over the last eight years to leave the state or shift or curtail operations to reduce costs, according to a report from Spectrum Location Solutions.

Austin has been the biggest beneficiary of the trend.

The Irvine-based company, which helps companies find places to locate their operations, issued a report titled “...


Owing to its entrepreneurial bent, the quality of its labor pool and its booming population, Austin has been ranked by CNBC as the best place in the nation to launch a startup.

The Texas capital was followed by Provo, Utah; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Charlotte, North Carolina and Houston. Conspicuously absent from the top 20: the San Francisco Bay area and New York City, both noted hotbeds for startup activity. That might give some readers pause, given...


While the Austin region...


Austin can't be beat when it comes to small business.

American City Business Journals has unveiled its nationwide ranking of the best cities in the U.S. to start a small business, and Austin came in No. 1. The enormous economic growth of the region is well documented and easy to see day to day but our new package is a bird's-eye view of just how far we've come.

As I detailed in this week's cover story, a number of factors led to the Austin area ranking atop the list, from nation-leading growth in the number of small businesses based here to a surge in the city's economic...


Austin is getting so much love these days, from so many different sources.

Consider this:

• Austin-Round Rock ranks fourth in the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities Index for 2015.

• Austin is the fastest-growing city in the US as the population shot up 2.9% during the 12 months ending July 2014, according to Census figures.

• Austin tops Forbes’ “America’s Cities of the Future” ranking of cities most likely to prosper over the next decade.

• The Urban Land Institute ranked Austin No. 2 of the nation’s top markets to watch in 2016.



It's a cliché, but things really are bigger in Texas, especially when it comes to population.

New statistics from the...


Apartment supply is barely keeping up with demand in Austin, which Zillow just named one of the 10 hottest rental markets in the nation. A slew of new buildings going up, rising rents, and competition for those units all fuel the frenzied market, making Austin the No. 8 most competitive of them all.

To compile the list, the Zillow economics team looked at the share of rental apartments built in 2011 or after, the percent of new apartment units from the last year that rented within three months of being built, and the rent appreciation of apartments over the past year....


It’s perhaps no surprise that 2015—the year the U.S. Federal Reserve began to raise interest rates—was quite a good year for the luxury second-home market. In such an environment, there’s a buyers’ impetus—even if in the mind only—to close real estate deals while money is still cheap. Last year, according to our research partner RealtyTrac, the median price of second homes above $1 million on our exclusive list of 20 luxury resorts increased 11%, to $2 million, the same percentage increase for the median price of all houses in the country. You can find our second-home table compiled by...


After being overthrown last year by Houston, Austin regains the number one spot as the fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to a new analysis by Forbes. Adding to its allure, Austin boasts booming technology, pharmaceutical and biotech industries as well as low-cost of living. compiled its annual list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities by ranking the 100 largest metro areas and their surrounding suburbs. For its rankings, they factor in population growth for 2015 and 2016, year-over-year job growth for 2015, the metro’s economic growth rate, unemployment, and...


Austin is the second-best place to live in the U.S., according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The ranking, which combines the results of a public survey with data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies, examined the job market, affordability, migration rates, educational...


Raising kids is one of life's most rewarding journeys. And if you live in Austin, you're off to a great start, as we've been named the best city for young families.

Personal finance website ValuePenguin determined the family-friendly spots by analyzing 16 key metrics that fit into five categories. Of the 156 cities studied, Austin ranks No. 1.

Austin ranks No. 3 for education/environment, our highest individual score. Contributing factors include a high percentage of kids in the...


The Austin Board of Realtors reported 29,068 single-family home sales in 2015, the most ever recorded in a year.

Total volume for the year was nearly $9.7 billion, a hefty 13 percent increase from 2014. Indeed, even the normally tepid December — when most folks are celebrating rather than buying — saw 2,390 single-family home sales, the most ever recorded in the final month of the year.

At the same time, the inventory of re-sale homes has remained unchanged as demand...


Which cities have the best chance to prosper in the coming decade? The question is a complex one, and as the economy changes, so, too, will the best-positioned cities.

To identify the cities most likely to boom over the next 10 years, we took the 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on eight metrics indicative of past, present and future vitality. We factored in, equally, the percentage of children in the population, the birth rate, net domestic migration, the percentage of the population aged...


Apartment rents in Central Texas reached record highs in 2015, despite more than 9,500 new units being built across the region, new figures show.

Austin-area tenants can expect to see rents rise again in 2016, though perhaps at a slightly slower pace, experts say.

In its year-end apartment market report, Austin-based real estate consulting firm Capitol Market Research said that rents for all apartment sizes in the Austin area averaged $1,190 a month, an all-time high for the market. The average is up 7.5 percent over December 2014, when the average monthly rent was...


A new analysis shows Austin leads the nation in residential construction.

Austin and its suburbs issued about 71,000 permits from 2010 to 2014 — an increase of 11.5 percent from its 2010 housing inventory, Forbes found from looking at construction permits for the country's 53 largest metro areas. Austin's new construction was split evenly between single-family and multifamily units.

Austin's residential construction is still below its...


The idea of Austin as a significant global hub for technology is well-established, but Austin as a tempest of real estate investment? Apparently so.

Jeff Coddington, senior vice president of capital markets for JLL in Austin, says he has the data to prove it.

According to JLL's "Globalisation and Competition: The New World of Cities" report, Austin is one of the top metros in the world for the velocity of...


Could the Austin-San Antonio corridor one day become a megaregion like Dallas-Fort Worth? That's the rough takeaway of a LawnStarter analysis of Texas Water Development Board projections for growth in the two cities – and the lands in-between – by 2030.

According to the graphic produced by the landscaping services booking website, the combined population of the 13 counties in the Austin-San Antonio corridor will grow by 34 percent by 2030, rising from a...


Austin ranked second in the nation for overall real estate prospects. That is the consensus of Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016, the annual report published by the Urban Land Institute and PwC LLP.

Released during ULI's national fall meetings, the report is considered a credible barometer for real estate development and investment across all product types.

"One of the inaugural...


Short sales of homes have offered a modest and much-appreciated shot in the arm during the economic downturn, local Realtors said.

During normal, stable conditions in the Austin housing market, short sales typically account for about 5 percent or less of homes sold by Realtors. But with more homebuyers not able to make their payments and banks wanting to avoid the time and money that foreclosure entails, short sales today account for up to double-digit percentages among some residential real estate firms.

A short sale, in which a lender allows a homeowner to sell for less than...


Local real estate professionals don’t expect 2012 to be a boom year for Southwest Austin, but they do foresee slow and steady growth with encouraging signs on the horizon.

They predict that a still-high demand for apartments will push up rents, which will in turn bring more renters into the housing market. A low inventory of new houses plus the building restrictions in Southwest Austin will cause local homes to retain their value.

Meanwhile, area homebuilders are feeling more confident and some are beginning long-term developments near the city limits, where there is more space...


Nine tips to consider before investing in rental property.

When the stock market is zooming up and down like a theme-park ride, the solidity and tangibility of real estate as an investment is increasingly appealing to many Central Texans, local agents say.

If you are considering becoming the new owner of an investment property, some things about today’s economy are in your favor. More people are renting, because it’s harder to qualify for a mortgage and because some people are genuinely scared to buy a home they might lose to foreclosure. So there is a large pool of potential...


A $3 million condo project is headed for South Lamar Boulevard.

Castle Hill Investments has secured financing to convert 28 apartments on Cinnamon Path near South Lamar and Kinney Avenue into 14 duplexes spanning most of the street.

Some of the duplexes will be available to rent, ranging from $1,100 to $1,300 a month, while condos will start at $199,000.

Units won’t have common walls, which Robert Grunnah, principal of Castle Hill Investments, believes differentiates them from most duplexes. All units will have three bedrooms and two baths or two bedrooms and two baths —...


Moreland Properties Inc. broker Cord Shiflet nabbed the top spot on the Austin Business Journal‘s annual listing of residential real estate producers.

The list, which appears exclusively in the March 11 print edition on page B9, is ranked by residential sales volume. Shiflet topped the list with $49.4 million in deals. Kathryn Scarborough Bechtol of Turnquist Partners Realtors...


Robert Grunnah is owner of Castle Hill Investments, a South Congress Avenue real estate firm that focuses on residential investment property.

Grunnah has consistently ranked among the top three producers locally, having sold more than $250 million of single-family rental homes, duplexes and fourplex

es. He was ranked No. 2 among brokers with two to three licenses on the Austin Business Journal’s most recent list of residential real estate sellers. In 2009, his team closed 127 transactions totaling $24.4 million.


When many of his fellow MBA students at the University of Texas were being courted by Wall Street investment banks and packaged-goods companies as graduation approached, Robert Grunnah was busy researching the growing trend of so-called mom and pop investors.

That was 2004 — after Grunnah had experienced firsthand as a tech executive the rise and fall of the dot-com era and decided to reset his career path. Little did he know then that he was getting in position to ride a wave of investment capital leaving California and flooding markets across the country, including...