- In an event that hosted likely the most famous visitor to Austin this year and the cause of the most traffic gridlock in one day, President Obama visits SXSW in March to talk tech and how that industry can help solve some of our nations problems (LINK). First Lady Michelle Obama also was there to talk female empowerment and to promoter her “Let Girls Learn” initiative (LINK)
- In the most publicized local political story of the year, Uber & Lyft leave Austin in May after losing the Prop. 1 Referendum. This allows numerous Austin start-ups to take over the unregulated ridesharing market in town (LINK) Uber & Lyft met with city council staffers in August as a first step towards trying to bring their services back to town but no resolution has happened yet (LINK)
- In probably the most controversial Austin story of the year, local Austinite, Jordan Brown, drew national attention when he sued Whole Foods for allegedly writing an anti-gay slur on a cake he ordered from its bakery. Whole Foods responded swiftly denying Brown’s story and releasing a video contradicting his claim. Brown quickly dropped his suit and the grocer dropped its counter-suit (LINK).
- Odds are pretty good you know someone directly affected by this next piece of news. Dell merges with EMC in September in a deal worth $58 Billion. The now combined companies are Central Texas’ largest private employer with some 140,000 employees (LINK)
- The most recurring piece of news for Austin this year (and the last number of years) is the 157 people per day who moved to the Austin area mid-2014 to mid-2015 (LINK). Austin’s growth ranks No. 2 nationwide for cities of at least 500,000 people, but the suburbs are actually growing much swifter (LINK)
- In news that matters more than anything else to a lot of people in Austin, Tom Herman becomes the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Charlie Strong is Fired (LINK).
- Perhaps the saddest news of the year was the tragic death of 16 people in a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart (LINK)
- Water levels in local lakes continue to rise and recover from lows during the recent drought. In November, Lake Travis was the highest it had been in 8 years (LINK) and some lakes had to close to recreational boating because they were too high (LINK)!
PS: I started a new YouTube channel called Real Estate. Real Answers. which gives honest answers to real estate questions. PLEASE take a moment to check it out and SUBSCRIBE because I guarantee you’ll come across someone in 2017 who is thinking of buying or selling and could use these answers!