Austin Economic Outlook looks Good

Author/source: Mark Sprague, Mission Mortgage of Texas, Inc.

We wouldn’t change places with anyone.  The good news about the economy continues to be local!

The Austin metropolitan area added 15,500 jobs, or + 2.0%, in the 12 months ending in August according to the latest release of preliminary payroll job numbers by the Texas Workforce Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the best rate of growth that Austin has seen since year-over-year growth returned to positive in March 2010. Among major Texas metros, Houston does best with year-over-year job growth of 2.6% and Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio also rank in the top 10 nationally.

There were 12,726 active listings during this same week in 2010. Today there are 9,994 active listings! That is a 22+% decrease from last year. New listings are down 11.71% this week compared to the same week last year. Pendings are up this week 19.06%. Current number of pendings is 2,829 with an average list price of $247,821.

There is less finished new home inventory in Austin than at any time in the last ten years. Locally and nationally there is less available product.

Although it may appear differently, there are no more finished lots available, and it takes 2.5+ years to get anything approved and finished in Austin.

Austin apartments occupancy is around 96% occupancy. There are only 2800 apartments scheduled to be built in the 5-county area over the next 2 years. Again, it takes 2.5+ years to get anything approved and started in the Austin area.

Mortgage and interest rates are the lowest in 70+ years.

Values in Austin have remained positive for a couple of years. Individual exceptions exist, but as a whole market we have remained stable. As a market we turned positive over a year ago.

There is not a more affordable time to buy! We watch material futures, labor, etc. and they have been kept artificially low the last few years. When the market turns, and it will, costs will go up 20+% or more.

There were over 10,000 single family rentals in the Austin area last year. There are fewer than 470 available the last time we looked. Most leasing agents/management groups will tell you, ‘The apartment you look at today will be gone tomorrow!’

With the continued tightness of the apartment and single family market, it is going to get interesting. On top of that you have fewer listings and listing vacancies (42%, I believe it was over 50% last month) than you have seen since 06/07.

According to the US census bureau, there are over 58,000 people moving to the Austin area each year.  That’s 158 people a day.

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