HAS AUSTIN REAL ESTATE BECOME UNAFFORDABLE?

Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The population in metro Austin jumped to 2,115,827 in 2017, up from 2,060,558 in 2016. This surge is a result of people relocating from other areas to Austin and the surrounding area, in part, to take advantage of Austin’s booming job market. While this is great news for local businesses, tourism and the economy, this growth may not be the greatest news for those looking to rent or buy Austin real estate. As a result of real estate being so desirable in Austin TX (and limited in supply due to the growing population), market demand and competition between buyers will continue to drive up prices, and an Austin home search can at times seem overwhelming. But it’s not as discouraging as it sounds.

Let’s Look at Some Real Estate Statistics

According to Harvard University’s 2017 “The State of The Nation’s Housing” report, Austin is one of the top metro areas where appreciation has caused home prices to jump (up to 30.4 percent). The other metro areas experiencing an increase in home pricing include Denver (up 41.6 percent) and San Francisco (up 37.6 percent).

Austin real estate is the second-most expensive real estate market in Texas for those seeking to purchase a large home for their growing needs. The average price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Austin is $369,509.67. However, in comparison to similar homes in other major cities, the average price in Austin is considerably lower. In Los Altos, CA, for example, the average cost is about $1.96 million, while the price for such a home in San Francisco and Boston will cost you $1,294,250.00 and $628,550.00, respectively.

On the Plus Side for Austin Real Estate

Austin TX is one of the top markets in the state for issuing the most building permits; Dallas issued the largest number (55,800), followed by Houston (44,700) and Austin (21,900). That means the city is trying to keep up with the growing demand for real estate. In comparison, New York issued 43,200 permits, while Los Angeles issued 32,100.

In addition, Austin was among the list of top metros showing growth in multifamily rentals in 2013–2015, where new construction added significantly to the lineup of available units.

So, has Austin real estate become unaffordable? Affordability is a matter of perspective. While statistics show that the cost of Austin real estate in this metro area has gone up, it’s important to factor in all that living in this area has to offer. As is so often said, “You get what you pay for.”

Austin Is Named Best Place to Live — Again!

Austin frequently makes U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Places to Live in the United States.” In fact, Austin ranked number one in 2018 for the second consecutive year. There are many perks to living in Austin, but the primary ones outlined in U.S. News & World Report include the booming job market, schools, low crime and entertainment. The unemployment rate in Austin (3.2 percent) is lower than the national average, and the average income is just above the national average $50,830 compared to $49,630. To accommodate the large population, Austin has 94 public elementary, middle and high schools and 113 private schools. Six colleges and/or universities are also located in Austin. When compared to other similarly sized cities, Austin has a lower crime rate.

Finally, when it comes to things to do, Austin has a lot! Saying there’s something for everyone is not an overstatement. Austin is home to music (we are, after all, referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World), art, expansive outdoor spaces and culinary destinations. There are also ample flea markets, farmer’s markets and plenty of festivals to attend.

When looking to buy or rent Austin real estate, but find the prices to be out of your budget, consider extending your search and moving a bit further away from central Austin. You can also consider taking on a fixer-upper. This is an especially great choice for those who are handy and can do a lot of their own renovations.

If you can afford to buy Austin real estate, doing so can turn into a profitable investment. With the current growth in population and the higher demand for real estate in this area continuing in its lightning speed path, buying sooner rather than later could be a smart investment in the long run should you decide to sell down the road.

If you’d like to experience for yourself why Austin has been voted the number one city to live in the last two years in a row (and counting!) contact one of Habitat Hunters’ experienced real estate agents to help you find your “home sweet home” that’s within your budget.