Who is buying all of the new downtown condos? A recent survey commissioned by the Downtown Austin Alliance and conducted by Charles Heimsath, president of Capitol Market Research, sheds new light on this very important question. The survey reveals five interesting facts about downtown Austin Condo buyers:
1. Only 13% of buyers are buying for investment reasons. While most new buildings are capping the number of investors at 25 percent, the vast majority of buyers are owner-occupants.
2. For the high price range, buyers tend to be young: 27 percent are younger than 30; 35 percent are ages 30 to 44; 26 percent are 45 to 60; and 12 percent are older than 60.
3. Out of town buyers are flocking downtown. While 68% of downtown buyers are from Austin, an amazing 32% are out-of-town buyers.
4. Of the 32% of buyers from out of town, 13% come from other cities in Texas and the remaining 19% come from outside the state. Based on AustinTowers data, the largest number of out-of-town buyers comes from California.
5. A survey of a subset of projects concluded that 70 percent of condo buyers work someplace other than downtown.
Here is the summary from the Statesman:
Most downtown condo dwellers are young people.Many downtown dwellers work downtown.Many people buying downtown condos are investors from outside of Austin.Wrong, wrong and wrong, according to a survey of Austin’s downtown condo market to be released today.The Downtown Austin Alliance, an organization of downtown property and business owners, commissioned the study by Charles Heimsath, president of Capitol Market Research, an Austin-based real estate consulting firm.Heimsath said the group sought to dispel some myths about the local condo market.Heimsath will present his findings to the group’s Economic Development Committee today. He obtained sales data and buyer-demographic information from six condo projects: the 360 and Spring towers, Bridges on the Park, the Four Seasons Residences under construction, the condos planned for the W Hotel downtown and Sabine on Fifth .Heimsath said he was surprised by the broad age range of buyers: 27 percent are younger than 30; 35 percent are ages 30 to 44; 26 percent are 45 to 60; and 12 percent are older than 60.Heimsath also found that downtown condos are selling well.About 818 condo units will be finished this year, and 90 percent (736 units) are under contract or sold. Tighter credit stemming from the subprime fallout “absolutely” will cause some pending contracts not to close, Heimsath said, “But I don’t think that it’s going to be a serious problem.”Heimsath gave the example of the 44-story tower called 360, where 430 units are spoken for, with a waiting list of 140, its developers say.