How the ice storm impacted Austin’s real estate market

Ari Rastegar of the Rastegar Property Company said the ice storm greatly affected his properties.

AUSTIN, Texas — The ice storm had an effect on many aspects throughout Central Texas, including the Austin real estate market. 

Ari Rastegar, founder and CEO of Rastegar Property Company and an Austin native, said the ice storm greatly affected his apartment properties. 

“We’re a very large apartment owner here in Austin. It was just devastatingly sad to see our our tenants that we care so much about not have power for days and days, in some instances for over a week,” said Rastegar. 

For real estate agents selling houses, property tours and move-in dates had to be delayed, and cleanup or damage to houses and apartment complexes are still being taken care of. Rastegar said with all the booming construction going on in Austin, the ice storm made it hard for construction workers to do their job.

“Throughout the city we have all this other booming construction going on that makes it so hard for the workers to do their job, in some instances impossible. A lot of them were out of pay during that time because it wasn’t built into the budgets for a lot of construction sites to further pay these construction workers. So it put a burden on the home, on the landowners that were developing. That just trickled downwards,” said Rastegar. 

Rastegar said it’s the responsibility of the local government to make sure that Austinites are safe and have basic human needs and that this last ice storm and the outages were unacceptable. 

“This is a big issue, not to mention the damage that a lot of the houses that these Realtors are looking to sell had in addition to the damage to commercial properties that the landlords had to had to endure,” said Rategar. 

Rategar said moving forward he would like to see improvements to infrastructure within the city and renovations to the power grid.

“Austin is not really a city; it’s a town on steroids. And so the growth has really been, you know, has been exponential, which has really outgrown some of those issues. And we have done a good job of keeping up with it, maintaining it. But it’s really been Band-Aids on issues, and now it’s time to do full-on surgery,” said Rategar.

The real estate investment expert said he feels like government finally got the message this time and it’s going to go into overdrive to correct the issue.

The camaraderie he saw during the ice storm in Austin he said was remarkable. 

“I was really proud of the community in Austin, to see how much they really care about their fellow neighbor. So the silver-lining within this tragedy was an unbelievable amount of hard value and inclusion and caring, all the way from our homeless, all the way to the neighbors directly next door. So that was really amazing to see that, and I don’t think many cities in the United States have that blessing and have that gift. So the heart of Austin is truly strong,” said Rategar.

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