Austin Real Estate

Austin, Travis County and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC. The area's earliest known inhabitants lived during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age) and are linked to the Clovis culture around 9200 BC (11,200 years ago), based on evidence found throughout the area and documented at the much-studied Gault Site, midway between Georgetown and Fort Hood.
When settlers arrived from Europe, the Tonkawa tribe inhabited the area. The Comanches and Lipan Apaches were also known to travel through the area. Spanish colonists, including the Espinosa-Olivares-Aguirre expedition, traveled through the area for centuries, though few permanent settlements were created for some time. In 1730, three missions from East Texas were combined and reestablished as one mission on the south side of the Colorado River, in what is now Zilker Park, in Austin. The mission was in this area for only about seven months, and then was moved to San Antonio de Béxar and split into three missions.

Early in the 19th century, Spanish forts were established in what are now Bastrop and San Marcos.[24][26] Following Mexico's independence, new settlements were established in Central Texas, but growth in the region was stagnant because of conflicts with the regional Native Americans.

In 1835–1836, Texans fought and won independence from Mexico. Texas thus became an independent country with its own president, congress, and monetary system. After Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic's capital, then in Houston, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River near the present-day Congress Avenue Bridge. In 1839, the Texas Congress formed a commission to seek a site for a new capital to be named for Stephen F. Austin. Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the newly formed Republic of Texas, advised the commissioners to investigate the area named Waterloo, noting the area's hills, waterways, and pleasant surroundings. Waterloo was selected and the name Austin was chosen as the town's new name. The location was seen as a convenient crossroads for trade routes between Santa Fe and Galveston Bay, as well as routes between northern Mexico and the Red River.

An 1873 illustration of Edwin Waller's layout for Austin Edwin Waller was picked by Lamar to survey the village and draft a plan laying out the new capital.[29] The original site was narrowed to 640 acres (259 ha) that fronted the Colorado River between two creeks, Shoal Creek and Waller Creek, which was later named in his honor. The 14-block grid plan was bisected by a broad north-south thoroughfare, Congress Avenue, running up from the river to Capital Square, where the new Texas State Capitol was to be constructed. A temporary one-story capitol was erected on the corner of Colorado and 8th Streets. On August 1, 1839, the first auction of 217 out of 306 lots total was held. The grid plan Waller designed and surveyed now forms the basis of downtown Austin.

In 1840, a series of conflicts between the Texas Rangers and the Comanches, known as the Council House Fight and the Battle of Plum Creek, finally pushed the Comanches westward, mostly ending conflicts in Central Texas. Settlement in the area began to expand quickly. Travis County was established in 1840, and the surrounding counties were mostly established within the next two decades.

Initially, the new capital thrived. But Lamar's political enemy, Sam Houston, used two Mexican army incursions to San Antonio as an excuse to move the government. Sam Houston fought bitterly against Lamar's decision to establish the capital in such a remote wilderness. The men and women who traveled mainly from Houston to conduct government business were intensely disappointed as well. By 1840, the population had risen to 856, of whom nearly half fled from Austin when Congress recessed. The resident Black population listed in January of this same year was 176. The fear of Austin's proximity to the Indians and Mexico, which still considered Texas a part of their land, created an immense motive for Sam Houston, the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, to relocate the capital once again in 1841. Upon threats of Mexican troops in Texas, Houston raided the Land Office to transfer all official documents to Houston for safe keeping in what was later known as the Archive War, but the people of Austin would not allow this unaccompanied decision to be executed. The documents stayed, but the capital would temporarily move from Austin to Houston to Washington-on-the-Brazos. Without the governmental body, Austin's population declined to a low of only a few hundred people throughout the early 1840s. The voting by the fourth President of the Republic, Anson Jones, and Congress, who reconvened in Austin in 1845, settled the issue to keep Austin the seat of government as well as annex the Republic of Texas into the United States.

Statue of the Goddess of Liberty on the Texas State Capitol Grounds prior to installation on top of the rotunda. In 1860, 38% of Travis County residents were slaves. In 1861, with the outbreak of the American Civil War, voters in Austin and other Central Texas communities voted against secession. However, as the war progressed and fears of attack by Union forces increased, Austin contributed hundreds of men to the Confederate forces. The African American population of Austin swelled dramatically after the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas by Union General Gordon Granger at Galveston in an event commemorated as Juneteenth. Black communities such as Wheatville, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville were established with Clarksville being the oldest surviving freedomtown ‒ the original post-Civil War settlements founded by former African-American slaves ‒ west of the Mississippi River. In 1870, blacks made up 36.5% of Austin's population. The postwar period saw dramatic population and economic growth. The opening of the Houston and Texas Central Railway (H&TC) in 1871 turned Austin into the major trading center for the region with the ability to transport both cotton and cattle. The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (MKT) line followed close behind. Austin was also the terminus of the southernmost leg of the Chisholm Trail and "drovers" pushed cattle north to the railroad. Cotton was one of the few crops produced locally for export and a cotton gin engine was located downtown near the trains for "ginning" cotton of its seeds and turning the product into bales for shipment. However, as other new railroads were built through the region in the 1870s, Austin began to lose its primacy in trade to the surrounding communities. In addition, the areas east of Austin took over cattle and cotton production from Austin, especially in towns like Hutto and Taylor that sit over the blackland prairie, with its deep, rich soils for producing cotton and hay.

In September 1881, Austin public schools held their first classes. The same year, Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute (now part of Huston-Tillotson University) opened its doors. The University of Texas at Austin held its first classes in 1883, although classes had been held in the original wooden state Capitol for four years before.

During the 1880s, Austin gained new prominence as the state capitol building was completed in 1888 and claimed as the seventh largest building in the world. In the late 19th century, Austin expanded its city limits to more than three times its former area, and the first granite dam was built on the Colorado River to power a new street car line and the new "moon towers". Unfortunately, the first dam washed away in a flood on April 7, 1900.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Austin launched a series of civic development and beautification projects that created much of the city's infrastructure and many of its parks. In addition, the state legislature established the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) that, along with the city of Austin, created the system of dams along the Colorado River to form the Highland Lakes. These projects were enabled in large part because the Public Works Administration provided Austin with greater funding for municipal construction projects than other Texas cities.

Bob Bullock Texas History Museum in Austin. Its mission is to "tell The Story of Texas".
During the early twentieth century, a three-way system of social segregation emerged in Austin, with Anglos, African Americans and Mexicans being separated by custom or law in most aspects of life, including housing, health care, and education. Many of the municipal improvement programs initiated during this period—such as the construction of new roads, schools, and hospitals—were deliberately designed to institutionalize this system of segregation. Deed restrictions also played an important role in residential segregation. After 1935 most housing deeds prohibited African Americans (and sometimes other nonwhite groups) from using land. Combined with the system of segregated public services, racial segregation increased in Austin during the first half of the twentieth century, with African Americans and Mexicans experiencing high levels of discrimination and social marginalization.

In 1940, the destroyed granite dam on the Colorado River was finally replaced by a hollow concrete dam that formed Lake McDonald (now called Lake Austin) and which has withstood all floods since. In addition, the much larger Mansfield Dam was built by the LCRA upstream of Austin to form the flood-control lake, Lake Travis. In the early 20th century, the Texas Oil Boom took hold, creating tremendous economic opportunities in Southeast Texas and North Texas. The growth generated by this boom largely passed by Austin at first, with the city slipping from fourth largest to 10th largest in Texas between 1880 and 1920.

After the mid-20th century, Austin became established as one of Texas' major metropolitan centers. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau reported Austin's population as 14.5% Hispanic, 11.9% black, and 73.4% non-Hispanic white. In the late 20th century, Austin emerged as an important high tech center for semiconductors and software. The University of Texas at Austin emerged as a major university.

The 1970s saw Austin's emergence in the national music scene, with local artists such as Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and iconic music venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters. Over time, the long-running television program Austin City Limits, its namesake Austin City Limits Festival, and the South by Southwest music festival solidified the city's place in the music industry. The most southerly of the capitals of the contiguous forty-eight states, Austin is located in Central Texas, along the Balcones Escarpment and Interstate 35, 150 miles (240 kilometres) northwest of Houston. It is also 160 miles (260 kilometres) south of Dallas and 75 miles (121 kilometres) north of San Antonio. Its elevation varies from 425 feet (130 m) to approximately 1,000 feet (305 m) above sea level. In 2010, the city occupied a total area of 271.8 square miles (704 km2). Approximately 6.9 square miles (18 km2) of this area is water.
Austin is situated on the Colorado River, with three man-made (artificial) lakes within the city limits: Lady Bird Lake (formerly known as Town Lake), Lake Austin (both created by dams along the Colorado River), and Lake Walter E. Long that is partly used for cooling water for the Decker Power Plant. Mansfield Dam and the foot of Lake Travis are located within the city's limits. Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis are each on the Colorado River. As a result of its straddling the Balcones Fault, much of the eastern part of the city is flat, with heavy clay and loam soils, whereas, the western part and western suburbs consist of rolling hills on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Because the hills to the west are primarily limestone rock with a thin covering of topsoil, portions of the city are frequently subjected to flash floods from the runoff caused by thunderstorms. To help control this runoff and to generate hydroelectric power, the Lower Colorado River Authority operates a series of dams that form the Texas Highland Lakes. The lakes also provide venues for boating, swimming, and other forms of recreation within several parks on the lake shores.

Austin is located at the intersection of four major ecological regions, and is consequently a temperate-to-hot green oasis with a highly variable climate having some characteristics of the desert, the tropics, and a wetter climate. The area is very diverse ecologically and biologically, and is home to a variety of animals and plants. Notably, the area is home to many types of wildflowers that blossom throughout the year but especially in the spring, including the popular bluebonnets, some planted in an effort by "Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of former President Lyndon Johnson.

A popular point of prominence in Austin is Mount Bonnell. At about 780 feet (238 m) above sea level, it is a natural limestone formation overlooking Lake Austin on the Colorado River, with an observation deck about 200 feet (61 m) below its summit.
The soils of Austin range from shallow, gravelly clay loams over limestone in the western outskirts to deep, fine sandy loams, silty clay loams, silty clays or clays in the city's eastern part. Some of the clays have pronounced shrink-swell properties and are difficult to work under most moisture conditions. Many of Austin's soils, especially the clay-rich types, are slightly to moderately alkaline and have free calcium carbonate.

Austin has several rock climbing locations. Rock climbing can be found at three Austin parks: Barton Creek Greenbelt, Bull Creek Park and McKinney Falls State Park. The sport-climbing routes at Barton Creek Greenbelt–with its many vertical to overhanging walls–offer challenges to both the beginner and advanced climber.

Austin's skyline historically was modest, dominated by the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas Main Building. However, many new high-rise towers have been constructed since 2000—Austin's ten tallest buildings were completed after 2003.[citation needed] The city's tallest building, The Austonian, was topped out on September 17, 2009. Austin is currently undergoing a skyscraper boom, which includes recent construction on the now complete 360 Condominiums at 563 feet (172 m), Spring (condominiums), the Austonian at 683 feet (208 m), and several other office, hotel and residential buildings. Downtown's buildings are somewhat spread out, partly due to a restriction that preserves the view of the Texas State Capitol from various locations around Austin (known as the Capitol View Corridors).

At night, parts of Austin are lit by "artificial moonlight" from Moonlight Towers built to illuminate the central part of the city. The 165-foot (50 m) moonlight towers were built in the late 19th century and are now recognized as historic landmarks. Only 15 of the 31 original innovative towers remain standing in Austin, and none remain in any of the other cities where they were installed. The towers are featured in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused.

The central business district of Austin is home to the tallest condo towers in the state, with the under construction Independent (58 stories and 690 feet (210 metres). tall) and The Austonian (topping out at 56 floors and 685 feet (209 metres). tall). The Independent will supplant The Austonian as the tallest all-residential building in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River when completed in 2018.

In 2005, then-Mayor Will Wynn set out a goal of having 25,000 people living Downtown by 2015. Although Downtown's growth did not meet this goal, Downtown's residential population did surge from an estimated 5,000 in 2005 to 12,000 in 2015. The skyline has drastically changed in recent years, and the residential real estate market has remained relatively strong. As of December 2016, there are 31 high-rise projects either under construction, approved or planned to be completed in Austin's downtown core between 2017 and 2020. Sixteen of those are set to rise above 400 feet (120 metres). tall, including four above 600', and eight above 500'. An additional 15 towers are slated to stand between 300' and 399' tall.

Downtown growth has been aided by the presence of a popular live music and nightlife scene, museums, restaurants, and Lady Bird Lake, considered one of the city's best recreational spots. The 2nd Street District consists of several new residential projects, restaurants, upscale boutiques and other entertainment venues, as well as Austin's City Hall. Across 2nd Street from Austin's City Hall is the new ACL Live @ the Moody Theatre where the long-running PBS program Austin City Limits, is filmed. It is located at the base of the new 478 feet (146 m) W Hotel. The South by Southwest is a music, film and interactive festival which occurs over five days each March in downtown Austin, and includes one of the world's largest music festivals; with more than 3,000 acts playing in more than 100 venues.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Austin has a humid subtropical climate. This climate is typified by very long, hot summers; short, mild winters; and warm transitional seasons in between. Austin averages 34.32 inches (872 mm) of annual rainfall and it is distributed mostly evenly throughout the year, though spring and fall are the wettest seasons. Sunshine is abundant during all seasons, with 2,650 hours, or 60.3% of the possible total, of bright sunshine per year.

The summer season in Austin is very hot, and average July and August highs frequently reach the high-90s (34–36 °C) or above. Highs reach 90 °F (32 °C) on 116 days per year, of which 18 days reach 100 °F (38 °C). The daytime high averages 80 °F (27 °C) or warmer every day between April 14 and October 24. The highest ever recorded temperature was 112 °F (44 °C) occurring on September 5, 2000, and August 28, 2011. Humidity is inconsistent and fluctuates frequently depending on the shifting patterns of air flow and wind direction. Humidity rises when the air drifts inland from the Gulf of Mexico, but decreases significantly when the air is channeled through the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas.
Winters in Austin are mild with cool nights. January is the coolest month with an average daytime high of 61 °F (16 °C). The overnight low reaches or exceeds freezing 19 times per year, and sinks below 45 °F (7 °C) during 88 evenings per year, including most nights between mid-December and mid-February. Lows in the upper 30s also occur commonly during the winter. Conversely, winter months are also capable of occasionally producing warm days. On average, eight days in January reach or exceed 70 °F (21 °C) and one day reaches 80 °F (27 °C). The lowest ever recorded temperature in the city was −2 °F (−19 °C) on January 31, 1949. Roughly every two years Austin experiences an ice storm that freezes roads over and cripples travel in the city for 24 to 48 hours.[76] When Austin received 0.04 inches (1 mm) of ice on January 24, 2014, there were 278 vehicular collisions. Similarly, snowfall is exceptionally rare in Austin. A snow event of 0.9 inches (2 cm) on February 4, 2011, caused more than 300 car crashes. A 13-inch (33 cm) snowstorm brought the city to a near standstill in 1985.

Typical of Central Texas, severe weather in Austin is a threat that can strike during any season. However, it is most common during the spring. According to most classifications, Austin lies within the extreme southern periphery of Tornado Alley, although many sources place Austin outside of Tornado Alley altogether. Consequently, tornadoes strike Austin less frequently than areas farther to the north. However, severe weather and/or supercell thunderstorms can occur multiple times per year, bringing damaging winds, lightning, heavy rain, and occasional flash flooding to the city. The deadliest storm to ever strike city limits was the twin tornadoes storm of May 4, 1922, while the deadliest tornado outbreak to ever strike the metro area was the Central Texas tornado outbreak of May 27, 1997.

According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Austin is:

White: 68.3% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 48.7%)
Hispanic or Latino: 35.1% (29.1% Mexican, 0.5% Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban, 5.1% Other)
African American: 8.1%
Asian: 6.3% (1.9% Indian, 1.5% Chinese, 1.0% Vietnamese, 0.7% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Japanese, 0.8% Other)
American Indian: 0.9%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 3.4%

At the 2000 United States Census, there were 656,562 people, 265,649 households, and 141,590 families residing in the city (roughly comparable in size to San Francisco, Leeds, UK; and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). The population density was 2,610.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,007.9/km2). There were 276,842 housing units at an average density of 1,100.7 per square mile (425.0/km2). There were 265,648 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.7% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 37.1% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 105.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was US$42,689, and the median income for a family was $54,091. Males had a median income of $35,545 vs. $30,046 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,163. About 9.1% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over. The median house price was $185,906 in 2009, and it has increased every year since 2004. The median value of a house in which the owner occupies it was $227,800 in 2014, which is higher than the average American home value of $175,700.

A 2014 University of Texas study stated that Austin was the only U.S. city with a fast growth rate between 2000 and 2010 with a net loss in African-Americans. As of 2014, Austin's African-American and Non-Hispanic White percentage share of the total population is declining despite the absolute number of both ethnic groups increasing. Austin's Non-Hispanic White population first dropped below 50% in 2005. The rapid growth of the Hispanic and Asian population has outpaced all other ethnic groups in the city.

According to one survey completed in 2014, it is estimated that 5.3% of residents in the Austin Metropolitan area identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender. The Austin metropolitan area had the third highest rate in the nation.

The Greater Austin metropolitan statistical area had a Gross Domestic Product of $86 billion in 2010. Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech. Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the University of Texas at Austin provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin's technology and defense industry sectors. The region's rapid growth has led Forbes to rank the Austin metropolitan area number one among all big cities for jobs for 2012 in their annual survey and WSJ Marketwatch to rank the area number one for growing businesses. By 2013, Austin ranked No. 14 on Forbes' list of the Best Places for Business and Careers (directly below Dallas, No. 13 on the list). As a result of the high concentration of high-tech companies in the region, Austin was strongly affected by the dot-com boom in the late 1990s and subsequent bust. Austin's largest employers include the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin, Dell, the U.S. Federal Government, NXP Semiconductors, IBM, St. David's Healthcare Partnership, Seton Family of Hospitals, the State of Texas, the Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.[98] Other high-tech companies with operations in Austin include 3M, Apple, Amazon, AMD, Apartment Ratings, Applied Materials, ARM Holdings, Bigcommerce, BioWare, Blizzard Entertainment, Buffalo Technology, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Dropbox, eBay, PayPal, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Hoover's, HomeAway, Hostgator, Intel Corporation, National Instruments, Nvidia, Oracle, Polycom, Qualcomm, Inc., Rackspace, RetailMeNot, Rooster Teeth, Samsung Group, Silicon Laboratories, Spansion, Troux Technologies, United Devices, and Xerox. In 2010, Facebook accepted a grant to build a downtown office that could bring as many as 200 jobs to the city. The proliferation of technology companies has led to the region's nickname, "the Silicon Hills", and spurred development that greatly expanded the city.
Austin is also emerging as a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the city is home to about 85 of them. The city was ranked by the Milken Institute as the No.12 biotech and life science center in the United States. Companies such as Hospira, Pharmaceutical Product Development, and ArthroCare Corporation are located there.

Whole Foods Market (often called just "Whole Foods") is an upscale, international grocery store chain specializing in fresh and packaged food products—many having an organic-/local-/"natural"-theme. It was founded and is headquartered in Austin.
Other companies based in Austin include Freescale Semiconductor, GoodPop, Temple-Inland, Sweet Leaf Tea Company, National Western Life, GSD&M, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Golfsmith, Forestar Group, EZCorp, Tito's Vodka and YETI.
In addition to national and global corporations, Austin features a strong network of independent, unique, locally owned firms and organizations.

"Keep Austin Weird" has been a local motto for years, featured on bumper stickers and T-shirts. This motto has not only been used in promoting Austin's eccentricity and diversity, but is also meant to bolster support of local independent businesses. According to the 2010 book, Weird City, the phrase was begun by a local Austin Community College librarian, Red Wassenich, and his wife, Karen Pavelka, who were concerned about Austin's "rapid descent into commercialism and overdevelopment." The slogan has been interpreted many ways since its inception, but remains an important symbol for many Austinites who wish to voice concerns over rapid growth and irresponsible development. Austin has a long history of vocal citizen resistance to development projects perceived to degrade the environment, or to threaten the natural and cultural landscapes.
According to the Nielsen Company, adults in Austin read and contribute to blogs more than those in any other U.S. metropolitan area. Austin residents have the highest internet usage in all of Texas. Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006, and No. 3 in 2009, and also the "Greenest City in America" by MSN.

According to Travel & Leisure magazine, Austin ranks No. 1 on the list of cities with the best people, referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens. In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch.
In 2015, Forbes listed Austin as #1 Boom Town because of its economic strength, including jobs among other appealing attributes.

South Congress is a shopping district stretching down South Congress Avenue from Downtown. This area is home to coffee shops, eccentric stores, restaurants, food trucks, trailers and festivals. It prides itself on "Keeping Austin Weird", especially with development in the surrounding area(s).

Old Austin is an adage often used by the native citizens in Austin, Texas when being nostalgic to refer to the olden days of the capital city of Texas. Although Austin is also known internationally as the live music capital of the world and its catch phrase/slogan Keep Austin Weird can be heard echoed in places as far as Buffalo, NY and Santa Monica, CA - the term Old Austin refers to a time when the city was smaller and more bohemian with a considerably lower cost of living and better known for its lack of traffic, hipsters, and urban sprawl. It is often employed by longtime residents expressing displeasure at the rapidly changing culture.

Construction barrier on South Congress with sentiment towards growth of the city.
The growth and popularity of Austin can be seen by the expansive development taking place in its downtown landscape. Forbes ranked Austin as the second fastest-growing city in 2015. This growth can have a negative impact on longtime small businesses that cannot keep up with the expenses associated with gentrification and the rising cost of real estate.

The O. Henry House Museum hosts the annual O. Henry Pun-Off, a pun contest where the successful contestants exhibit wit akin to that of the author William Sydney Porter.

Other annual events include Eeyore's Birthday Party, Spamarama, Austin Gay Pride in August, the Austin Reggae Festival in April, Kite Festival, Texas Craft Brewers Festival in September, Art City Austin in April, East Austin Studio Tour in November, and Carnaval Brasileiro in February. Sixth Street features annual festivals such as the Pecan Street Festival and Halloween night. The three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival has been held in Zilker Park every year since 2002. Every year around the end of March and the beginning of April, Austin is home to "Texas Relay Weekend."

Austin's Zilker Park Tree is a Christmas display made of lights strung from the top of a Moonlight tower in Zilker Park. The Zilker Tree is lit in December along with the "Trail of Lights," an Austin Christmas tradition. The Trail of Lights were cancelled four times, first starting in 2001 and 2002 due to the September 11 Attacks, and again in 2010 and 2011 due to budget shortfalls, but the trail was turned back on for the 2012 holiday season.

As Austin's official slogan is The Live Music Capital of the World, the city has a vibrant live music scene with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city. Austin's music revolves around the many nightclubs on 6th Street and an annual film/music/interactive festival known as South by Southwest (SXSW). The concentration of restaurants, bars, and music venues in the city's downtown core is a major contributor to Austin's live music scene, as the zip code encompassing the downtown entertainment district hosts the most bar or alcohol-serving establishments in the U.S.

The longest-running concert music program on American television, Austin City Limits, is recorded at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Austin City Limits and C3 Presents produce the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual music and art festival held at Zilker Park in Austin. Other music events include the Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos In Tejas and Old Settler's Music Festival. Austin Lyric Opera performs multiple operas each year (including the 2007 opening of Philip Glass's Waiting for the Barbarians, written by University of Texas at Austin alumnus J. M. Coetzee). The Austin Symphony Orchestra performs a range of classical, pop and family performances and is led by Music Director and Conductor Peter Bay.

Austin hosts several film festivals including SXSW Film Festival and Austin Film Festival, which hosts international films. In 2004 the city was first in MovieMaker Magazine's annual top ten cities to live and make movies.

Austin has been the location for a number of motion pictures, partly due to the influence of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film. Films produced in Austin include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Songwriter (1984), Man of the House, Secondhand Lions, Chainsaw Massacre 2, Nadine, Waking Life, Spy Kids, The Faculty, Dazed and Confused, Wild Texas Wind, Office Space, The Life of David Gale, Miss Congeniality, Doubting Thomas, Slacker, Idiocracy, The New Guy, Hope Floats, The Alamo, Blank Check, The Wendall Baker Story, School of Rock, A Slipping-Down Life, A Scanner Darkly, Saturday Morning Massacre, and most recently, the Coen brothers' True Grit, Grindhouse, Machete, How to Eat Fried Worms, Bandslam and Lazer Team. In order to draw future film projects to the area, the Austin Film Society has converted several airplane hangars from the former Mueller Airport into filmmaking center Austin Studios. Projects that have used facilities at Austin Studios include music videos by The Flaming Lips and feature films such as 25th Hour and Sin City. Austin also hosted the MTV series, The Real World: Austin in 2005. The film review websites and Ain't It Cool News are based in Austin. Rooster Teeth Productions, creator of popular web series such as Red vs. Blue, and RWBY is also located in Austin.

Austin has a strong theater culture, with dozens of itinerant and resident companies producing a variety of work. The Church of the Friendly Ghost is a volunteer-run arts organization supporting creative expression and counter-culture community. The city also has live performance theater venues such as the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Vortex Repertory Company, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Rude Mechanicals' the Off Center, Austin Playhouse, Scottish Rite Children's Theater, Hyde Park Theatre, the Blue Theater, The Hideout Theatre, and Esther's Follies. The Victory Grill was a renowned venue on the Chitlin' circuit. Public art and performances in the parks and on bridges are popular. Austin hosts the Fuse Box Festival each April featuring international, leading-edge theater artists.

The Paramount Theatre, opened in downtown Austin in 1915, contributes to Austin's theater and film culture, showing classic films throughout the summer and hosting regional premieres for films such as Miss Congeniality. The Zilker Park Summer Musical is a long-running outdoor musical.

The Long Center for the Performing Arts is a 2,300-seat theater built partly with materials reused from the old Lester E. Palmer Auditorium.
Ballet Austin is the fourth largest ballet academy in the country. Each year Ballet Austin's 20-member professional company performs ballets from a wide variety of choreographers, including their international award-winning artistic director, Stephen Mills. The city is also home to the Ballet East Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble, and the Tapestry Dance Company which performs a variety of dance genres.

The Austin improvisational theatre scene has several theaters: ColdTowne Theater, The Hideout Theater, The New Movement Theater, and The Institution Theater. Austin also hosts the Out of Bounds Improv Festival, which draws comedic artists in all disciplines to Austin.

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Austin - Town vs. County Stats

Avg Price in Austin: $1,055,200 / County Avg $985,200


Avg Taxes in Austin: $14,000 / County Avg $13,100


Avg Sq. Ft. in Austin: 2,176 / County Avg 2,257


Avg Price per/sqft in Austin:$485 / County Avg $436


Avg Walkscore in Austin: 39 / County Avg 32


Avg Year Built in Austin: 1994 / County Avg 1998


Avg Days on Website in Austin: 46 / County Avg 49


Austin Real Estate Market Health

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Apache Shores
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Austin City Lofts Amd
Austin Lake Estates Sec 02
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Austins Colony
Austins Colony Ph 02
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Austins Colony Sec 13
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Avery Ranch
Avery Ranch East Ph 01
Avery Ranch Far West Ph 3 Sec
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Barton Creek Ph 04 Sec H
Barton Creek West
Barton Hollow
Bartonplace Condo
Battle Bend Spgs Sec 01-A
Bauerle Ranch
Beaconridge 04-B
Beaconridge I
Bellingham Meadows Sec 4
Belterra Ph 3 Sec 11A
Belterra Ph 4 Sec 18
Benchmark Condo Amd
Bills Add Sec 01
Black A K 01
Blue Bonnet Hills
Bouldin Creek
Bouldin James E Add
Bradshaw Crossing
Bradshaw Crossing Sub Sec 9
Bratton Hill 40s
Brinwood Sec 01
Brinwood Sec 03
Brinwood Sec 04
Buckingham Estates Ph 04 Sec B
Buckingham Estates Ph Iii Sec
Buckingham Ridge Sec 05
Buratti & Cherico
Canterbury Trails Sec 04
Canyon Creek Sec 21
Canyon Mesa Ph 01
Canyon Ridge Ph A Sec 03
Capital Heights
Cardinal Hills Estates Unit 12
Cardinal Hills Unit 03
Cardinal Hills Unit 05
Cascades at Onion Creek
Cedar Ridge Estates
Cedar Valley
Century Park Condo
Chamonix Condo Amd
Chaparral Crossing Condo Amd
Chappell Hill
Chernosky 04
Chernosky 09
Chernosky 17
Cherry Creek Ph 03 Sec 04
Cherry Creek Ph 06 Sec 02 Amd
Cherry Creek Ph 06 Sec 03
Cherry Creek Ph 07 Sec 02
Cherry Creek Ph 08 Sec 03
Cherry Creek Sec 09-A
Cherry Creek Sec 14
Cherry Hills
Cherry Meadows
Chestnut Commons A Condo
Cima Homes
Circle C Ranch
Circle C Ranch Ph B Sec 02
Circle C Ranch Ph B Sec 03
Circle C Ranch Ph C Sec 08-B
Colonial Place Amd
Colony Park Sec 01 Ph 02
Colorado Crossing
Colorado Crossing 03 Sec 05
Columbia Oaks Condo
Comanche Trail
Condominium De Saligny Amd
Cooper Oaks Sec 01
Coronado Hills Sec 01
Cottages At Lake Creek Condo
Country Club Gardens Sec 04
Country Club Gardens Sec 07
Courtyard Condo Amd
Covered Bridge Sec 06
Creekside at Pioneer Crossing West
Crestview Add Sec 01
Crestview Add Sec 05
Croix Condo Amd
Crossing At Bouldin Creek The
Crossing At Onion Creek Sec 3&
Davis Lane Condominiums
Deep Eddy Heights
Delwood Sec 04
Delzell Sec 02
Dittmar Crossing
Division B
Division O
Dove Spgs Sec 01
Driving Park Add
Dunlap Add
East Parke
Eastgate Condominiums
Easton Park
Easton Park Sec 1C
Eastwood At Riverside
Eastwood-Riverside II Condos
Edgecreek Condo Amd
Edgewick Condo
Edinburgh Gardens Sec 01
Edinburgh Gardens Sec 02
Emerald Forest Sec 05
Enclave at Estancia
Enfield E
Esquel Ph 01 Sec 03
Estates Bauerle Ranch
Fair Grounds Add
Fairview Park
Falconhead West Ph 1 Sec 2 &
Far West Skyline Condo
Field House
Fiset Place
Five Fifty 05 Condo Amd
Flintrock At Hurst Creek Ph 02
Flournoys Eastern Hills Sec 4
Forest Bluff Sec 6
Forest North Estates Ph 4
Franklin Park Amd
Galileo At 25 Condo
Garden Oaks Sec 01
Garden Villa Estates
Gaston Park
Glenlake Ph 02
Goodnight Ranch
Goodnight Ranch Ph 1 Sec 2
Goodnight Ranch Townhomes
Gracywoods Sec 01
Grandview Place
Great Hills 01
Great Hills 23
Great Hills Sec 10
Great Hills Sec 25
Greenbriar Sec 03
Greenview On Barton Creek Condo
Greenwood Forest Sec 01
Greenwood Forest Sec 02
Greenwood Hills Sec 04
Greenwood Hills Sec 06
Greenwood Towers Amd
Greggs J W Resub Of A Pt Of Cr
Grey Rock Village At Anderson Mill
Gullett Gardens 02
H A Add
Habidad Condo Amd
Harris Branch Ph 01-A Sec 03
Harris Branch Ph 01-B Sec 02
Harris Branch Ph 01-D
Harris Ridge Ph 04 Sec A-1
Heights At Loma Vista
Hielscher Sec 01
Highland Oaks Sec 02
Highland Park West
Highpointe Ph V Sec Two
Highway Add
Hillcrest Sec 02
Hills Lost Creek Sec 04 Ph A
Hillside Oaks
Holton Tillery Acres
Homewood Heights
Horseshoe Bend Sec 02
Hudson Bend Colony 01 Resub
Hudson Bend Colony 02
Hunters Chase Sec 02
Hunters Chase Sec 05 Amd
Huntland Heights Sec 01
Huntland Heights Sec 02
Hyde Park
Hyde Park Add 01
Independence Park Condo Amd
Industrial Add
Isaac Decker League
J C Tannehill Surv 29 Abs 22
J Jett
Jefferson Village
Jester Estate Sec 01 Ph 02
Jester Point 02 Sec 04
Johns C R
Jones I P
Key Ranch Sec 2
Kitty Site Condos
Kramer Heights Condominiums
Lake Pointe Ph 02
Lake Pointe Sec 09
Lake Ridge Heights
Lake Shore Add
Lakeland Park
Lakeline Center Condos
Lakeview At Steiner Ranch
Lakewind Estates Sec 03
Lakewood Village
Lambies R C Resub Voss
Lamplight Village Sec 04
Lamplight Village Sec 06
Lary Add
Las Cimas Sec 01
Laurelwood Estates
Legacy-St John Condos Bldg 1
Legend Oaks Ph A Sec 04 & Ph B
Legend Oaks Ph A Sec 05B
Lincoln Gardens 01
Loma Linda
Lopez & Sons Sec 01
Los Indios Ph A
Lost Creek Sec 03-A
M K & T
Madrone Ranch
Madrone Ridge at Sweetwater
Malaga Condo Amd
Manor Hill Sec 02
Manor Road Add
Maple Run
Maple Run Sec 01
Maple Run Sec 02-A
Maple Run Sec 03
Maple Run Sec 05-A
Maple Run Sec 08
Mckinley Heights
Mckinley Heights 02
Mckinney Park East Sec 02
McKinney Park East Sec 03 Rep
Meadow Creek Sec 01
Meadowbrook Sec 01
Meadowlawn Add
Meadows At Double Creek
Meadows At Trinity Crossing Ph
Meridian Sec C Ph 01
Messinger Village
Milago Condo Amd
Milestone Southpark Condominiu
Milwood Sec 22
Milwood Sec 26b
Milwood Sec 29
Milwood Sec 31A
Milwood Sec 34
Milwood Sec 35
Milwood Sec 36
Milwood Sec 40b
Montebello Condo
Montevista Condo Ph 01 Amd
Montevista Condo Ph 02 Amd
Natiivo Austin
Neighbors A H Add Sec 03
North Meadows
North Park Estates Sec 02
North Park Estates Sec 03
Northway Crest Sec 03
Northwest Hills Mesa Oaks Ph
Northwest Hills Northwest Oaks
Northwood 04
Northwood 05
Nuckles Crossing Sec 01
Oak At Twin Creeks Sec 04 The
Oak Brook Sec 1
Oak Forest Sec 02
Oak Lawn Sec 03
Oak Plantations
Oak Ridge Heights Sec 01
Oak Springs
Oaks At Lakeline
Oldham Add
Olympic Heights Sec 02
Olympic Heights Sec 03
Onion Creek
Onion Creek Add
Orange Tree Condominia Amd
Pamela Heights
Park at 51 East
Park At Spicewood Spgs Ph
Park Ridge
Park West Condo
Parke At Anderson Mill
Parke Sec 06
Parkwood Sec 01 Amd
Parkwood Sec 02
Parkwood Sec 05
Parmer Village Condo
Parten - 65ft. lots
Parten Ranch 65s
Parten Ranch Ph 1
Parten Ranch Ph 2
Pecan Park Garden Estates
Pecan Valley
Pedernales Condo Amd
Peppertree Park Sec 03
Pioneer Crossing East Sec 04
Pioneer Crossing East Sec 05
Pioneer Crossing West Sec 07
Pointe Condo Amd
Post Road
Prado Ranch Ph 1
Preservation Ranch
Presidio Station
Preston Village
Quail Creek Ph 04 Sec 01
Quail Creek West Ph 02 Sec 01
Quail Creek West Sec 01
Quail Creek West Sec 04
Quail Hollow Sec 01
Raceway Single Family Sub Sec
Ravenscroft Twnhms Amd
Regents Sec 02
Reserve At Hudson Bend
Reserve At Southpark Meadows I
Residential Condo Amd 360
Retreat At Tech Ridge Sec 3
Reunion Ranch
Reunion Ranch Ph 2 Sec 3
Reunion Ranch Ph Three Sec Five
Ridge At Alta Vista
Ridgetop Annex
Ridgetop Condo
Ridgewood Village Sec 01
Rio Robles Sec 02
Rio Vista Add
River Bend
River Place Sec 07B
River Place Sec 08
River Place Sec 15
Rob Roy
Rob Roy Ph 02
Robertson George L
Rocky Creek
Rodrigues Willie G
Rollingwood Park Estates Sec 2
Rosewood Village Sec 08 Amd
Rough Hollow
Royal Orleans North Condo Amd
Sabine On 05 Residential Condo
Sage Meadow Condo Amd
San Gabriel Place Condo Amd
Santa Monica Park Sec 02
Scofield Farms Meadows
Scofield Farms Ph 07 Sec 01
Scofield Farms Ph 08 Sec 04
Scofield Farms Ph 10 Sec 03
Scofield Ridge Condo Amd
Seaholm Residences Residential
Searight Village Condo
Serene Hills Sub Ph 2w
Seven Oaks Sec 05
Shady Hollow Sec 02-A Ph 02
Shady Hollow Sec 03-A Ph 03
Sheldon 230 Sec 2 Ph 6
Shinoak Valley Sec 01
Shoal Village Sec 02
Shore A Condo Amd The
Sierra Vista 01
Sierra Vista 02
Sierra Vista Amd
Skyview Sec 01
Smiths J W Western Oaks 1-B
South Heights
South Park Sec 02
Southampton Sec 01
Southampton Sec 02
Southampton Sec 03-A
Southland Oaks Sec 03-C
Southland Oaks Sec 04 Ph C
Southwood Sec 02
Spanish Oaks
Spicewood At Balcones Villages
Spicewood Estates Sec 03
Spillman Ranch
Spillman Ranch Ph 02 Sec 01
Springfield Ph B Sec 01
Springfield Ph B Sec 02
Springfield Sec 2
Spyglass at Barton Creek
St Anthony Oaks Sec 02
St Johns College Add
St Tropez
Starlite Lofts
Steiner Ranch
Steiner Ranch Parkside
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 01
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 04E
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 05A
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 05c
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 06b
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 06f
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 08
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 09
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 10a
Steiner Ranch Ph 01 Sec 7b
Steiner Ranch Ph 1 Sec 10D Rs
Stirling Bridge Sec 01
Stirling Bridge Sec 5
Stoneleigh Condo Amd
Sunchase Condo Amd
Sweetwater Glen Condo Amd
Sweetwater Ranch Sec 1 Village
Sweetwater Ranch Sec 2 Village E1
Sweetwater Sec 1 Village G-1
Swisher Add
Tanglewood Forest Sec 02 Ph B
Tarrytown Oaks
Texas Oaks
Texas Oaks 05
Texas Oaks 10
The Grove
The Heights at Vista Parke
The Independent
The Linden Residences
Thornbury Ii Sec 6
Thornbury Sec 01
Tiffany Condo
Tobin & Johnson
Town Lake Residences Condo
Travis Country
Travis Country West Sec 02
Travis Heights
Travis Landing
Travis Landing 02 Ph 05
Travis Southwest
Treadwell Add Sec 01
Truman Heights
Tyndall-Robertson Hill Condos
University Hills Sec 01
University Hills Sec 03 Ph 02
Valley View Acres Rev
Verrado Condos
VESPER Zoppp Add
Victoria Glen Amd
Victorian Oaks
Viewpoint At Williamson Creek
Village 01 At Anderson Mill
Village 19 At Anderson Mill Ph 02
Village 20 At Anderson Mill Ph 02
Village At Ledge Stone Condo
Village At Quail Creek
Village At Western Oaks 06
Village At Western Oaks Sec 12
Village At Western Oaks Sec 13
Village At Western Oaks Sec 18
Village Park 4 At Travis Count
Village Sec 01
Village South Ph 01
Villas Anderson Mill Condos Unit 1054a Bl
Vista Grande
Vista Hills Condo
Vistas of Austin
Walnut Crossing Sec 01
Wells Branch Ph A Sec 03
Wells Branch Ph D Sec 01
Wells Branch Ph D Sec 02
Wells Branch Ph G
West End Condo Amd
West Rim
Western Hills At Cherry Creek
Westfield A
Westfield B
Westlake Highlands
Westlake Highlands Sec 02
Westover Hills Sec 03 Ph 03
Westview On Lake Austin Ph C
Westwood Sec 02
Wheeler Creek Village
Willbert Add
Williamson Creek Sec 01-A
Williamson Creek Sec 02
Williamson Sec 02
Willow Run Sec 01
Willow Run Sec 04
Willow Run Sec 10-A
Windmill Run Sec 02-A
Windridge Sec 01
Windsor Hills Sec 01
Windsor Park 03 Sec 02
Windsor Park 03 Sec 03
Windsor Park Hills Sec 06
Windsor Village
Windy Cove
Woodhaven 02
Woodland Village Anderson Mill Sec 02 Ph 01
Woodland Village Anderson Mill Sec 03 Blk
Woodlands Sec 01 The
Woodlands Sec 06
Woods Brushy Creek Sec 02 Ph 02
Woods Brushy Creek Sec 02 Ph 04
Woods Century Park Sec 01
Woods Of Greenshores Sec 01
Woodstone Village Sec 03
Woodstone Village Sec 04
Woodstone Village Sec 06
Wooten Terrace Sec 02
Zachary Scott Sec 01
Zachary Scott Sec 02
Zoppp Add