Starts rise 21% over same time last year

Hous­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Con­tin­ued from B Con­tact Shonda No­vak at 445-3856. Con­tact Lori Hawkins at 912-5955.

of de­mand for all our five com­mu­ni­ties,” where sales are up 44 per­cent this year over last.

In March, Street­man will launch the first phase of its sixth com­mu­nity, Grey Rock Ridge (also in Cir­cle C), where it plans to build 388 homes dur­ing the next five years. Jack­son said Street­man has a list of more than 150 prospec­tive buy­ers in­ter­ested in Grey Rock Ridge cur­rently.

At Barstow Court, homes will range from about $270,000 to about $360,000, with the av­er­age price of $310,000.

Street­man now has 64 homes un­der con­struc­tion in the Austin area, and ex­pects to build and sell about 175 homes in 2013.

El­don Rude, a lo­cal hous­ing ex­pert, has pre­dicted that home starts in 2013 and 2014 in Cen­tral Texas could re­turn to pre-re­ces­sion lev­els, with builders po­ten­tially start­ing on 8,000 to 11,000 new homes dur­ing each of those years.

“The com­bi­na­tion of in­creas­ing de­mand, few fin­ished new homes in in­ven­tory, in­creas­ing pric­ing, and greater buyer con­fi­dence are all com­bin­ing to re­sult in more new home sales this year com­pared to the last sev­eral years,” Rude, di­rec­tor of the Austin mar­ket for the na­tional hous­ing data and con­sult­ing firm Met­ros­tudy, said re­cently.

In Cen­tral Texas, home starts were up 21 per­cent in the 12 months that ended in Septem­ber com­pared with the 12month pace at the end of Septem­ber 2011. Job and pop­u­la­tion growth are among the fac­tors driv­ing de­mand, along with low mort­gage-in­ter­est rates and ris­ing apart­ment rents.

But the re­gion is fac­ing a short sup­ply of in­ven­tory, and com­pe­ti­tion among builders is fierce for land and lots to build on.

At Barstow Court, John Capez­zuti and his wife, Chelsee, were first in line to re­serve a lot.

The cou­ple, both of whom are teach­ers at West­lake High School, have a 1-year-old daugh­ter, Hope, and an­other daugh­ter due in June. The Capez­zutis, who al­ready live in Cir­cle C, will be mov­ing to a larger house in Barstow Court. The $365,000, two-story house they are buy­ing will have four bed­rooms, 3½ bath­rooms and 3,200 square feet of space.

“We were very ex­cited to be in­cluded in the first group for sure,” John Capez­zuti said. “We were No. 1 and got first pri­or­ity.” China their ‘sec­ond home coun­try’ and are mak­ing big in­vest­ments in the world’s fastest grow­ing con­sumer econ­omy of scale.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­search firm Gart­ner, the mo­bile app mar­ket has nearly dou­bled in 2012 with smart­phone users world­wide down­load­ing more than 45 bil­lion apps this year. Gart­ner es­ti­mates that by 2016, 300 bil­lion apps will be down­loaded an­nu­ally.

Ap­p­con­omy has 100 em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing about 20 in Austin, and plans to add to both its Austin and Chi­nese work­forces next year, Magier­ski said.

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