Austin, Texas has become a boom town almost overnight. Ranked as the best city for jobs according to Forbes in 2013 and the #1 Top American Boomtown by Bloomberg for the same year, it’s no wonder everyone is trying to find out what the city has to offer. Forbes also listed it as the #2 city for future job growth, which enhances the long-term appeal for the city. All of this interest in the state capital has led to an increase in home sales and a major decrease in inventory, which results in increased home prices.
Unemployment has continually been on the decline since 2010 with the current rate well below the national average at around four percent. This is the city to move to if you want to start a new company, especially if it’s a tech startup. Entrepreneur voted it as the #1 top startup city for cost and taxes. Austin is seen as the top city for young entrepreneurs and one of the top cities for women entrepreneurs.
The quality of living is better here as well with high ratings for environmental issues and cleanliness. It was rated as one of America’s Best Bike Friendly Cities by Bicycling Magazine. EnvironmentTexas.org named it as the Greenest City in Texas. (6 Reasons Why Everyone is Moving to Austin, Texas)
People of all ages enjoy life in Austin. Forbes included it in the top retirement cities while Parenting.com listed Austin as #2 for Best Cities to Raise a Family. Millennials also find plenty to interest them in the state capital. In 2012, the city ranked #3 for the lowest violent crime rate in the nation.
Austin boasts a lower cost of living than the national average while providing plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. There’s a festival almost every week and numerous cultural and arts events. Outdoor activities entice many adventurers to the city while entertainment is available with concerts, sporting events and other special events. (Infographic: Why everyone is moving to Austin, Jan 2014)
The Current Real Estate Climate
When you see all that Austin has to offer, it is not hard to understand what has happened to the real estate market. As people discovered this gem of a city, they moved here and bought up all of the available real estate. Current inventory is at just two months when the number for a balanced market is 6.5 months.
The average price for a single-family home in January 2016 was up 3.8 percent over January 2015. The average number of days a home was listed on the market went down by 7 days for the same time period. Pending sales in January 2016 was up by 16.6 percent from the previous year. There were 8 percent more new listings for the same time period, which brought the active single-family home listings up by 11.4 percent. (Austin Real Estate Report)
The result of the Austin boom has been unaffordable housing for many residents. Developers are now working to address that issue by creating projects to provide more affordable options for those who earn less than 80 percent of the median household income. One of the strategies to deal with the housing problem is rewriting the land development code. The same code has been in place since the 1980s and a new code would provide for more housing in all income categories.
The impact of the lack of affordable housing is being seen all around the city, including transportation and economic development. The city is working diligently to find solutions for these issues to ensure Austin continues attracting new businesses and residents. Are you looking for a new start? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting to talk about it. The Power Is Now offers consulting, mortgage lending, and we are your resource! The power is now!
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA
President and CEO