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Tuesday, November 25 2008

Austin Business Journal highlighted the rise in stock prices of Austin businesses After Monday's announcement of the $20 Billion bail out for Citigroup.  In our very own backyard the following companies saw a jump in numbers:

  • American Campus Communities Inc. (NYSE: ACC) up 12 percent to $18.60.
  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) up 6 percent to $9.85.
  • Forestar Real Estate Group Inc. (NYSE: FOR) up 17 percent to $4.25.
  • HealthTronics Inc. (Nasdaq: HTRN) up 12 percent to $1.15.
  • Pervasive Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PVSW) up 7 percent to $3.80.
  • Valence Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: VLNC) up 14 percent to $1.74.
  • Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFMI) up 15 percent to $9.42.

    This trend was shared with others on the market.  The Dow gained an average of 300 points after the announcement!

  • Posted by: Joa Realty AT 07:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, November 21 2008
    Scents of pumpkin pie and cinnamon sticks signify people gearing up for the holiday season- the gift giving season.  So portable, so flexible: gift cards are available for almost all retailers, from you favorite designer clothing store to your local hardware warehouse!  This season, please be use caution before buying gift cards from stores that may be offering awesome end of the year sales only to close in the beginning of 2009. 

    With the economic woes squeezing the retail sales numbers tighter, many retailers have announced store closures or even company shut downs.  *The following companies may not be at the usual location you are used to seeing them at:

    Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)

    Ann Taylor 117 stores nationwide closing

    Lane Bryant
    , Fashion Bug, and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide

    Eddie Bauer to close 27 stores and more after January

    will close all stores

    Talbots closing down specialty stores

    J Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots),

    Pacific Sunwear
    closing 154 demo stores and CA distribution center(also owned by Talbots)

    Gap closing 85 stores

    Footlocker closing 140 stores, more to close after January

    Wickes Furniture closing down

    Levitz closing down remaining stores

    Bombay closing remaining stores

    Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January

    closing all stores

    Piercing Pagoda closing all stores

    Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January

    Home Depot closing 15 stores

    to close 9 stores after January

    Linens and Things
    closing all

    Movie Gallery
    closing all stores

    Pep Boys closing 33 stores

    JC Penny closing a number of stores after January

    Wilsons Leather
    closing down all stores

    Sharper Image
    closing down all stores

    KB Toys closing 365 stores

    to close some stores

    Dillard's to close some stores

    Please verify with other stores that may not be on this list. 

    Malls of America will have a new look, just don't let it be at your expense!

    How do you feel regarding these closures?  We'd love to get some feedback!

    *Joa Realty recommends doing the research concerning these retailers and the plans of the stores in your neighborhood.  Joa Realty is not responsible for the accuracy of the status of these companies.  Companies may change their plans, and they may not reflect the statements of this article. 

    Posted by: Joa Realty AT 11:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, November 17 2008
    Everything is big in Texas, except for in this case, the biggest thing is the idea!  Brad Kittel was recently featured in the Austin American Statesmen as the man behind Tiny Texas Houses.  This innovative company constructs prefab homes ranging from 100-500 square feet. 

    Based out of Luling, TX, Tiny Texas Houses joins the ranks of similar pint-sized, specialty builders like California’s Tumbleweed Tiny House and Iowa’s Small House Society.  Kittel’s homes range from $40,000- $90,000 and are composed of salvaged materials.  He was inspired to use vintage materials when he spent time rehabbing homes in Austin’s French Place neighborhood. 

    The simplicity and resourcefulness of the homes are impressive.  They are easily modifiable, they have customizable kitchens/bathrooms, they reuse durable old wood that is resistant to termites, and they are energy efficient. 

    In a slower economy and a time when “green” is the hot button issue, an idea like Tiny Texas Houses may be the beginning of a new housing revolution.  Keep your eye on Kittel!

    Posted by: Joa Realty AT 04:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, November 13 2008
    Austin Board of Realtors reported Oct 2008 Austin Regional Market Updates. The closed sales in Oct 2008 compared to one year ago was down in the following:
    Austin-Central: -26.7%
    Austin-East: -21.8%
    North Central: -24.1%
    North West: -23%
    South: -18.8%
    South East: -32.3%
    South West: -12.6%
    West/West Lake: -26.2%
    Cedar Park/Leander: -12.1%
    Georgetown: -16%

    Email at for any questions.
    Posted by: Joa Realty AT 12:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, November 12 2008

    Austin Board of Realtors reported for Oct 2008 Real Estate Market Indicators.

    • The year to date days on the market in Oct 2008 was 68 days compared to one year ago at 56 days.
    • The year to date median sales price in Oct 2008 was $189,000 compared to one year ago at $183,000, which as up 3.3%
    • The year to date average sales price in Oct 2008 was $245,876 compared to one year ago at $246,276, which was down 0.2%

    In September 2008, there were 1717 pending sales, but in the month of October, only 1,188 transactions closed.  That is about 500 transactions that are still pending or failed to close.  Even in this buyers' market, economic uncertainties may sabotage a real estate transaction.  Overall, Austin Real Estate Market is still stronger compared to the national real estate market. For more info, see the original October 2008 Austin Market Indicator report and send email to Susie at for any questions.

    Posted by: Joa Realty AT 04:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, November 10 2008

    The Austin City Council has voted and the decision reached was one that includes the compromises of groups such as the Austin Board of Realtors and Keep Austin Affordable.  As part of the city’s ongoing Climate Protection Plan, home sellers will be required to get their home audited by Austin Energy to assess the energy use and efficiency of their home.

    This is a departure from the original intentions to have the improvements suggested from the point-of-sale audits be a mandatory fixes.  There were many outcries regarding the effects of such a mandate, especially on the prolonging of the sales process due to the limited amount of inspectors and the potential to increase the sales price by more than what the market would be able to absorb. 

    On 01 June 2009 the energy efficiency audits will be mandatory.  By 2015 the city hopes to have all the Austin homes to be zero net energy capable.   

    Posted by: Joa Realty AT 10:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

      Susie Kang, CCIM, CIPS, CRS
      Joa Realty

      800 Newman Dr.
      Austin, TX 78703
      Office: 512-480-8384
      Cell: 512-695-1481
      Fax: 512-428-8119

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