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To rent or buy in Austin's Circle C neighborhood

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The Circle C Communities (including Circle C Ranch, Circle C West, Circle C Park Place, Vintage Place, Circle C Muirfield and Circle C Meridian), are located in Southwest Austin in parts of 78739, 78737 and 78749. It spans (roughly) from State Highway 45 on the south side to Davis Ln. on the north and from FM 1826 on the western edge to Mopac Expressway in the east.

Circle C is loaded with amenities such as the 462 acres of Circle C Park, seven soccer fields (associated with the Lonestar Soccer Club), sand volleyball courts, hike and bike trails, a tennis complex, the Veloway and of course - the Circle C Swim Center which offers the only heated outdoor pool in Central Texas. And don't forget the Circle C Golf Club.

The Escarpment Village shopping center is right in the middle of it all and includes an HEB, Waterloo Icehouse, Starbucks, Wells Fargo and the very tasty Mangieri's Pizza, among other businesses.

A quick recap of the the Agents For Change Price vs. Rent Ratio: We look at very local real estate markets in and around Austin, and we will use ACTUAL sales price and rent price data - not just the list price for each*.

Doing our best to compare apples to apples, let's take a look at three- and four-bedroom homes that have sold or been rented in the past 6 months (between September 9, 2010 and March 10, 2011) in Circle C:

There were 38 houses rented in Circle C for an average monthly rent of $1,970 - or $0.78/sqft. These 38 houses were on the market for an average of just 29 days.

There were 40 houses sold in Circle C for an average sales price of $312,926 - or $101.46/sqft. These 40 houses were on the market for an average of 105 days.

This puts the price-to-rent ratio for Circle C over the past six months is 13.23, meaning that it is less expensive to own a home than it is to rent one in Circle C. Of course, every house and every situation is different for each person.

As of today (March 10, 2011) there are 40 homes for sale and only 6 homes for rent available in Circle C. To see for yourself what homes are currently for sale in Circle C or anywhere in Austin - and what homes have sold in the past three months (including their sales price!) - click here for an Agents For Change Market Snapshot. If you are thinking of living here - buying OR leasing - we would be happy to help you find the best home for you and your family's situation.

*Methodology for The Agents For Change Price vs. Rent Ratio

Agents For Change calculates their price-to-rent ratio using the average sales price for homes sold and the average monthly rent for homes leased over the previous 6 months.

Sample price-to-rent calculation:
Average sales price: $312,926
Average rent: $1,970
Price-to-rent ratio: $312,926 / ($1,970 x 12) = 13.23

Interpretation Key:

• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 1-15: Owning a home is less expensive than renting a home in this area.
• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 16-20: Owning a home in this area is more expensive than renting, but it might still make financial sense to buy depending on the situation.
• Price-to-Rent Ratio of 21+: Renting in this area is much less expensive than owning a home.

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