By Susanna Boyer • 2019 Director

Lower taxes (property, sales and work-related) influence where people want to live and where businesses will relocate! The Austin-Round Rock MSA has been declared one of the top 10 hottest housing markets in the United States for 2019. This rating is based on several factors — strong job growth, low vacancy rates, high starter-home affordability, home searches on the internet, and share of the under-35 (millennial) adult population — these have all positioned our area for substantial growth in 2019. More inbound than outbound home searches, a gauge that more people are gravitating toward a market than are seeking to leave it, shows more and more people wishing to relocate to the Austin-Round Rock MSA.

Single and multi-family building permits totaled 29,105 in the past 12 months. We had a net 35,400 new jobs. Having 1.25–1.50 new jobs per new dwelling unit is considered normal.

We have a robust demand for housing, but the supply is not there. New home starts are gaining momentum, but just not fast enough. Resale inventory is also very low. Homeowners who would like to sell and access the equity and profit in their home are stuck because they would have to spend so much more to get what they want, so they decide to stay put.

Affordability is still the elephant in the room. Lots of people (i.e., investors and developers) are talking about “tiny homes” and trying to build houses in more rural areas to make them more affordable, but talk is cheap! Too bad the housing can’t also be. The Austin suburbs to the north (Round Rock, Hutto and Georgetown) all offer homes that start in the low $200s — compared to the high $280s or even $300s that you would pay in Austin proper.

Central TX RRC is hosting an education session as part of the D.A.S.H. across Texas on March 6. The class, titled Digital Marketing: Social Media taught by Matthew Rathburn, will be held from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Keller Williams Northwest Market Center on North Research. We will have a happy hour immediately after the class ends at 77 Degrees Rooftop on Rock Rose Ave. at The Domain from 5–7 p.m. Look for Facebook postings and your email for registration information. RL