Austin, Texas #2 – In your face Mr. Down Housing Market

Georgetown, Texas is part of the larger Greater Austin area and has been well protected from this recent real estate fiasco. I ran across some encouraging news from Builder Magazine in an article written by Boyce Thompson entitled The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009. In it, Austin is ranked #2:

austin2. Austin, Texas
2008 Total Building Permits: 14,250

Nine years ago, during the tech bust, some builders felt that Austin was too crowded and left. The bloom is back on Austin’s yellow rose now; it moved up the leader board to become the sixth largest home building market last year. Job creation explains the move. While other markets lost employment, Austin added 17,400 jobs last year, 2.31 percent growth rate. It helps that Austin is home to both a major university, The University of Texas, and the state capital. Existing homes cost a little bit more in Austin than other Texas markets, roughly $190,900, but that’s still below the national average. Also, Austin is one of the few metro areas in the country where median prices actually rose in 2008–1.4 percent through the first three quarters of the year. Amazingly, Austin now generates more home building activity than Chicago, which has six times more people.

Busiest builders: D.R. Horton, Lennar, KB Home, Centex Homes, Meritage Homes. Courtesy: Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

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