Photo courtesy of Matthew Rutledge
This year, the Austin housing market has experienced tremendous growth, but not just for single-family homes. The high demand for Austin residences has motivated developers to start construction on over 12,600 new apartment units in Central Texas. These new complexes aren’t just popping up in downtown Austin, but in surrounding suburban areas as well. If this growth continues through the rest of the year, Central Texas will be home to over 170,000 new apartment units, which is double the total from the year 2000. In downtown Austin alone, 1,122 units within nine different complexes are under construction, which is a mere 13% of the total new developments in Central Texas.
What’s causing the sudden boom of apartment construction in the Austin area? Many area developers had put projects on hold during the recent recession. Austin’s economy has since recovered, however, thanks to the job growth and overall population boom the city has experienced over the past few years. While Austin’s housing market remains strong, some Austin residents are delaying their purchase of a home due to higher mortgage interest rates and stricter lending guidelines. Others are also looking to purchase apartments in order to take advantage of a less car-dependent lifestyle, mostly in the downtown and central Austin areas. Students and young professionals aren’t the only ones seeking apartments; a few empty-nesters as well as new families also prefer to rent instead of own. All of these factors have fueled the demand for Austin apartments, and developers are rushing to supply new units in all areas of Austin.
In June 2013, the average rent in the Austin area was $958 for a one-bedroom apartment, which is the ninth highest rent in the country. In the same month, the average occupancy rate was 97.3% for Austin area apartments. As Austin’s apartment supply grows, residents can expect rent prices to stabilize and possibly decrease. Downtown Austin boasts the highest rental rates, so Austinites looking for affordable living should consider searching outside the city center. South First Street, South Lamar Boulevard and Burnet Road are just some of the streets outside of downtown where new apartment complexes are already under construction. Once apartment seekers find a place they love, they shouldn't hesitate to sign a lease. Austin apartments are selling fast!
Check out a few Austin area apartment complexes that will be hitting the market soon:
- SoCo on the Lake- 260 unit complex located right next to Lady Bird Lake at 300 Riverside Drive.
- The 704 Apartments- 378 unit complex located just behind The Broken Spoke dancehall at 3401 South Lamar Boulevard.
- Corazon- 256 unit complex, coming soon to 5th street in East Austin.
- Sabina- 298 unit complex located at 3400 Harmon Avenue, which is the former site of Concordia University.
- 7 RIO- 220 unit luxury high rise with 24 stories located at 7th Street and Rio Grande. It is still under construction.
- Tree- 335 unit complex located at 3715 South First Street, which opened for residents in August 2013.
- Burnet Marketplace- 344 unit complex located at 6701 Burnet Road. Development is scheduled to begin in November 2013.