Housing

Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The Texas General Land Office says far fewer Bastrop fire victims have applied for federal housing aid than anticipated.

Friday is the deadline for Bastrop fire victims to apply for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Aid to fix or rebuild their homes.

So far, only about 85 homeowners have applied — although some 2,100 homes were destroyed in the fire.

“Definitely that is one of the drawbacks of federal funding is that it takes a long time to get down to the people and so the state didn’t have that available to them until just a few weeks ago to even put this application out. And so some people, when a year has passed, they’ve found other ways to recover on their own because they just can’t wait," says Katy Sellers, the land office's  Liaison Manager for Disaster.

flickr.com/yewenyi

Having trouble finding a place to rent? You’re definitely not alone.

A steady stream of people moving to Central Texas has made finding an apartment more difficult. U.S. Census Bureau data released in June ranked Round Rock second and Austin third on a list of the fastest-growing large cities in the country.

Capitol Market Research, which studies the area’s rental market, says there are barely enough apartment units in the Austin-area to keep up with demand. It says the average rent on a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment is now about $1,100 a month.

Photo by Matthew Rutledge http://www.flickr.com/people/rutlo/

Slowing construction and rising employment will push average Austin rent prices four percent higher this year, according to real estate analyst Marcus and Millichap.

In its 2011 annual apartment forecast, the firm says only 1,000 rental units will be constructed across the entire metro area this year, compared to 2,900 units in 2010. At the same time, the company predicts local employers will add 21,000 positions this year, up from the 14,400 jobs created last year.

Foreclosure sign
Jeff Turner/Flickr

 

Austin foreclosures increased 10 percent so far this year, according to a report from Foreclosure Listing Service. The Austin Business Journal took a look at the numbers.

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