Webb Report: San Francisco creeps on Austin home listings, study finds

Feb 11, 2018
American-Statesman Staff
Would you give up this view to move to Austin? Eric Webb/American-Statesman

Pennybacker for Golden Gate: a fair bridge trade, apparently, since Bay Area residents are filling up Austin more than any other newcomers, according to a recent study.

Real estate website Redfin crunched some numbers in the last quarter of 2017 and examined “migration” patterns between U.S. metro areas. Actually, what the company examined were searches for homes among users of its website, which as any daydreamer knows is less a sign that you’re about to rent a U-Haul and more a sign that you’re bored at work.

San Francisco is the top origin point for people looking for homes in Austin, according to the study. Houston came in at No. 2 and Los Angeles came in at No. 3, with Dallas and Seattle rounding out the top five cities whose residents are creeping on our cribs. Austin also ranked tenth on the study’s “Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users” list.

Houston might not have the land of Rice-A-Roni beat when it comes to folks looking at homes in Austin. However, Austin was the top destination for Houstonians looking to get the heck outta town. Or maybe they just like wistfully looking at our home listings online! We’ve got some snazzy-looking houses.

The study’s methodology, according to Redfin, was based on a sample of more than 1 million users of the site’s home-search service, looking at 75 metro areas. And those users searching for homes outside their own metro area account for 22 percent of Redfin users, according to the study. So as far as sample size and reliability of data go … well, we’re not talking the U.S. Census, here. But these lists are fun, and you’re probably looking for another reason to defame the hordes of Californians despoiling Austin’s vibe. So, here we are.

Where are all those new Austinites going to go? There’s a real estate website study for that! According to Redfin, the “hottest” neighborhoods in Austin are South Lamar (not really a neighborhood, more a section of a street), North Lamar (um) and North University (OK, that’s fine). That’s based on visits to home listings and people marking those listings as “favorities” in December, according to a study published Jan. 29.

Enjoy your hot neighborhoods, you lucky people. Hope you like sourdough bread bowls.

But can you be breadcrumbed by a zombie?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, some cheerful news: Men in Austin are the worst. Hey, Match.com said it, not us.

According to the dating website’s annual “Singles in America” study, the worst-behaved singles in the country live right here in Austin. Disclaimer: Match didn’t say how they conducted the study — we’ve reached out to them for more information — so take this with a grain of salt.

According to the study, men in Austin are 400 percent more likely to breadcrumb a date, 549 percent more likely to ghost somebody and 297 percent more likely to come back as a zombie.

A quick glossary: “Breadcrumbing” means to lead somebody on even if you aren’t interested in dating them by dropping little breadcrumbs to keep them just interested enough. “Ghosting” means a person has completely stopped talking to a person they’re dating, usually by not texting them back. Being a “zombie” means the person who ghosted you has emerged from the grave (usually by hitting you up on social media or via text after weeks or months of not hearing from them).

Sixty-five percent of single people in Austin have admitted to breadcrumbing somebody, 75 percent have admitted to ghosting somebody and 59 percent have admitted to coming back as a zombie.

Here’s the thing, though: According to the study, if you’ve been ghosted, zombie’d or breadcrumbed, you’re 64 percent more likely to find a sexual partner this year, and you’re 124 percent more likely to go on a date than other singles. There’s always a silver lining, folks.

Where are all the good men, then? According to the study, men in El Paso are least likely to breadcrumb a date, and men in Seattle are least likely to ghost a date. If you don’t want to be visited by a zombie, head to Fort Worth.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

— Katey Psencik, American-Statesman staff

In his Orbit

How would you like to join the Houston Astros as they defend their World Series crown?

I know, right? Put me in coach: centerfield, batting cleanup, pitching ace …

No. Sorry, it’s more of a motivational/support role. You know the mascot? Well, you can’t be him either. But you can be the person who holds his stuff.

Chances are, there are plenty of Astros fans who would jump at the chance to be the assistant to Orbit. The Houston team is currently advertising for the position, and the Houston Chronicle has confirmed it is still a current listing.

“Mascot handler” is a part-time job with Major League responsibilities, including accompanying Orbit and serving as his “eyes, ears and voice” while assisting with pictures and autographs. You’ll get to help execute on-field skits and routines, but you’ll be tasked with “awareness of … potential hazards,” so if Orbit takes an unplanned fall, you’ll probably be fired.

Furthermore, the Astros are seeking “incredible interpersonal communication skills” and say strong improvisation skills are “a plus.”

Predictably, you’d be required to work nights and weekends and you’ll need “basic knowledge of Major League Baseball.” So if you get an interview, don’t ask if you get a break at halftime.

— Dave Thomas, American-Statesman staff

Rum: the official drink of Gen X?

We just learned that the most popular cocktail in Texas is not the margarita, according to one study. But did you know that a lot of tequila drinkers are millennials? Or that whiskey is most likely consumed by manufacturing professionals? Or that beer is most often consumed by drinkers who earn more than $100,000 a year?

All of those fun facts are according to Four Loko, which recently surveyed 2,000 drinkers about their favorite alcohols and then mapped out the demographic results.

Some of the results might appeal to stereotypes (women are 80 percent more likely to pick wine as a drink of choice; men are 82 percent more likely to feel the same way about beer), and other results are a bit harder to believe (that above stat on $100,00 and beer; flavored malt beverages, like Four Loko, are most consumed by … health care professionals).

Other fun facts: Republicans prefer wine, independents prefer tequila, Democrats prefer gin and Gen X apparently loves rum.

An outlier in the study is cider. It is most popular with millennials, most popular on the West Coast, best described as “understated” and most often consumed by “nurturer” personality types. More than 80 percent of cider drinkers describe themselves as “introverts.” And yet, when respondents were asked to describe an “epic party” where cider was present, words like “Vegas,” “wedding” and “weird” were used.

— Jake Harris, American-Statesman staff