TxDOT to waive millions in late fees for toll drivers

TxDOT to waive millions in late fees for toll drivers tollroad

An additional $2.1 million in collection fees were paid by drivers in January and February before a law capping late fees for TxDOT toll drivers went into effect March 1. Now, the outstanding balance is being waived as the state agency hits “reset.”

TxDOT pointed out that “the lion’s share” was not expected to be collected. It will be easier for the agency to operate using only one late fee structure rather than having to collect fees using both the previous and new fee structure, it said.

TxDOT’s new fee structure will be implemented with late fees at $4 per invoice and capping the fees at $48 for a 12-month period. The previous law allowed administrative fees up to $100 for each unpaid toll.

“The decision has been made that we are only moving forward with the current one, so all of the earlier late fees are no longer being pursued,” a TxDOT leader said Tuesday during a Texas House Committee on Transportation.


Williamson County Market Update – March 2018

Williamson County Market Update
March 2018

Where Did All the Inventory Go? 

Round Rock, Texas – 17 April 2018 –  Home sales in Williamson County increased 7.2 % in March 2018. Additionally, home prices increased (when compared year over year), according to the March 2108 Williamson County Housing Market Report released today by the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.

According to the March 2018 Williamson County Housing Market Report, the median home price for all residential properties was $275,000, an increase of 4.2% when compared to March 2017. The median price in Williamson County is hovering about $25,000 less than the Austin MSA Median Price of $300,000.

“On paper, everything looks fantastic,” said Victoria Reviel, 2018 President of Williamson County Association of REALTORS®. “While most parts of Williamson County are seeing an increase in sales and prices, Cedar Park, Hutto, Taylor, and Leander all saw double-digit inventory drops during March.”

Based on the numbers in the Housing Report, 26.7% of Williamson County sales reported in the MLS were new construction. This number is higher than the Austin-Round Rock MSA (22.4%) and the state of Texas (15.3%). Without the new home builders, Williamson County would be experiencing a much tighter housing market.

Furthermore, the new construction market is showing a median price of $318,000, 20.0% more than the median price for existing homes sales ($265,000) in January. Currently, there are 935 active new construction listings reported across Williamson County, compared to 1,076 existing home listings.

Speaking of inventory, during the month of March, Williamson County had a total of 2.1 months of inventory and a 1.0 % decrease in listings compared to last March. Based on these numbers, Williamson County is still in a strong seller’s market; the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes are balanced. Even though the number of listings and the total days on market has increased, it has not greatly affected the market conditions.

During March, existing homes spent an average of 64 days on the market, as compared to a new construction home which averaged 106 days on the market.

 Quick Stats for March 2018 – All Residential Properties

  • 953– Homes sold, 7.2 percent more than March 2017.
  • $275,000 – Median price for homes, 4.2 percent more than March 2017.
  • 2.1 – Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 2,011 Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

Quick Stats for March 2018 –Existing Home Properties

  • 699 – Homes sold, 5.0 percent more than March 2017.
  • $265,000 – Median price for homes, 6.0 percent change from March 2017.
  • 1.5 – Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 1,076 –  Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

Quick Stats for March 2018 –New Construction Properties

  • 254 – Homes sold, 13.9 percent more than March 2017.
  • $318,000 – Median price for homes, 4.1 percent more than March 2017.
  • 3.9– Monthly housing inventory in March 2018.
  • 935  Active home listings on the market in March 2018.

“Each city in Williamson County has their own mini real estate market. In March, Sales in Cedar Park plummeted 26.4%, whereas right next door in Leander, sales skyrocketed by 33% and prices also rose 22.2%,” said Reviel. “Consult with a REALTOR®, a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, before making your next major move, and make sure whoever you decide to work with know the market in which you are looking.”


About the data in this report
Certain information contained herein is derived from MLS listing data provided by Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service as well as the Central Texas Multiple Listing Service through the Texas REALTOR® Data Relevance Project, a partnership among local REALTOR® associations and their MLSs, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Infographics of individual cities are available through the WCREALTORS Website

New 10,000 seat amphitheater to be built in Hutto

The Hutto City Council has approved spending $3.4 million to build a 10,000-seat amphitheater in a city park that will host multiple events, including a series of country music concerts.

The city is paying for the construction with certificate of obligation bonds approved by the council in September.

The City Council also agreed, at its April 5 meeting, to let City Manager Odis Jones negotiate a contract with alternative country radio station KOKE-FM for four to six events per year at the new venue, in addition to the second annual KOKEFest. Information was not available Wednesday on whether a contract had been negotiated.

Construction on the amphitheater will start this month at a park at 1001 County Road 137 in Hutto and is expected to take about four months, said Eliska Padilla, the city’s communications director.

A representative for FTWoods Construction, which is building the amphitheater, declined to comment Wednesday on the project.

The park where the amphitheater will be located has not yet been formally named by the City Council but is known as Hutto Park at Brushy Creek, Padilla said.

The amphitheater will be able to seat 4,000 people in its VIP circle and 6,000 people in its outer circle, she said. A shade structure will cover the VIP area and a temporary shade structure will cover the stage, Padilla said.

The amphitheater area also will include a pavilion; eight electrical hookups for RVs; a park bathroom with three stalls for men and three for women; paved roads to accommodate RVs and three new entrances, Padilla said. Two of the entrances will be off County Road 137 and one will be off County Road 163.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board will consider allowing camping at the park as it is developed, she said.

KOKE-FM is excited about the new amphitheater, said Kristina Killingsworth, the marketing director for Austin Radio Network, also known as Genuine Austin Radio, which owns the station.

The radio station had its first KOKEFest at another location in Hutto last year and people “came in droves,” she said.

“Over the years, as Austin’s population has grown and traffic has become an issue, it occurred to us that people aren’t coming into Austin on a regular basis to see live music because the traffic is just so bad,” she said. “When we put together KOKEFest last year we said, ‘Let’s take live music out to a smaller community and see if they respond.’”

The second KOKEFest will be at the amphitheater area Aug. 10-11, even though the project might not be finished, Killingsworth said.

The Hutto City Council has approved using $250,000 in hotel occupancy taxes to pay Genuine Austin Radio to host this year’s KOKEFest, Mayor Doug Gaul said.

Source: https://www.mystatesman.com/news/local/000-seat-amphitheater-built-hutto-park/dh6hIfFy11SWzwzwwCCmoL/


Austin named best place to live in America for second year


For the second year in a row, Austin has been named the best place to live in America by U.S. World and News Report. The publication ranked cities based on five indexes: job market, value, quality of life, desirability and net migration. Unsurprisingly, Austin scored highest on net migration with a 9.4. Nine other Texas cities were included on the list but did not make the top 10. It’s not all sunshine, however, in America’s best city. U.S. World and News Report mentioned Austin’s high housing costs.

Source: https://www.statesman.com/news/local/austin-named-best-place-live-america-for-second-year/u6mfMHBMART1QqMGe3NQkO/