Posted in Austin Realty

Where did the affordable homes in Austin go?

It seems the Austin area is become less and less affordable. First, there are not as many homes on the market as years past.   One factor contributing to this shortage of inventory is the increase in population:  Study’s show the Austin Metro area is adding between 50,000 and 60,000 people per year.  This continuing population growth is aggravating the already serious lack of supply and putting a strain on the affordability of rentals and homes in the Austin Metro area.  I am seeing an approx. 20% raise in rents.  Tenants could really purchase a home and have cheaper payments if they could qualify for a mortgage.  Current forecasts indicate that our population will hit the 2.5 million mark by 2020.

The lack of supply of additional homes can be attributed to a lack of new inventory coming to market coupled with a large increase in population.  So, when will we see a more balanced market in the Austin MLS?  The answer, I think, is not for at least a couple of years.  Sellers can’tsell because they have nowhere to go, and investors won’t sell because they see the current appreciation rates.  As for new supply, developers are scrambling to bring new lots to market;  however, development takes time, and they are already 18 months behind.

What, then, are my predictions for the future?  Inventory numbers are at record lows; and we are only in early spring, barely into the buying season.  Single-family home starts will NOT be sufficient to bring the needed supply to us until 2014 at the earliest.  High demand, low inventory, strong job market, and population growth—is going to test the boundaries of affordability.  Yet, affordability in the Austin Metro area is one of the things that makes it so desirable.  The amazing Austin Metro area is one of the most sought-after destination cities in the USA.  Let’s hope that we don’t change that dynamic and lose Austin’s soul.

Homes are more affordable as you move away from the Austin Center.  In some areas, you can get twice the house for an extra 20 minute drive.  But, we are waiting for the builders in these areas also.  So, if you are interested in a brand new home in Austin, now is the time to contact and lets find you an area and a builder.  If you are renting, Call Marc Contreras(512) 789-2779 and let’s see if you can qualify for a new home loan.  There are still a few area’s you can get in with no money down.