For us investors in Austin area residential real estate 2014 was as good as any fine wine. The harvest for 2015 is proposed to be equally as good according to those folks that make a habit and a good living by reading the tea leaves and animal entrails. A recent article in our local paper the Austin American Statesman, recently published the results of the …local fortune tellers and all looks good for us for 2015. Brian Kelsey of Civic Analytics of Austin predicts that the unemployment rate will fall from 3.9% (and this is a great number) to 3.1%. Wow! That figure represents full employment. Every time I go to a shopping plaza I see signs that positions are open. Kelsey quoted a report that stated that the area economic growth would be 4.7% in 2015 up from 3.9% in 2014. The retail sector continues to expand with retail space occupancy rate over 95% and no ease up is in sight. As I’ve stated in previous columns, a lot of retailers are following the traffic to the Austin area because of the vast number of emigrants moving here. The article also quoted Eldon Rude, a local real estate forecaster, who stated that home prices on the average increased 34% in the last four years. This is great news if you own a home but not so good news if you are a renter wanting to buy a home. This means that many renters will remain renters and that is good news for those of us owning Austin area residential rentals. Keep in mind that many of the emigrants to our area fall into the well paid millennial category who don’t want to be tied down to homeownership. Good! Just another reason why owning Austin area residential rentals is a great idea!