New homes in Mueller. Photo courtesy of Matthew Rutledge.
Get ready for another sizzling year for Austin’s housing market! As the numbers from 2013 roll in, experts are predicting that 2014 will be another spectacular year for Austin real estate. According to the figures announced at the 2014 Austin Housing Forecast event, Austin real estate will continue to boom in 2014, but could face growing pains at the same time. Before we dive into 2014, let’s take a look at the figures from 2013. More than 30,000 homes were sold last year, which are the most home sales Austin has seen since 2007. Furthermore, the supply of available homes in the Austin area reached its lowest level since 2000. Home prices also rose 10% during 2013, with the average price at the end of the year ringing in at about $280,000.
Austin's growth is only expected to continue in 2014. Between 2006 and 2013, about 340,000 new residents moved to the area to take advantage of the low unemployment rate and new jobs. Austin builders will have to increase their production this year in order to meet the demands of Austin homebuyers. In 2013, only about 8,900 building permits were issued. That’s much lower than the 17,000 building permits issued in previous years. As building becomes more expensive in the Austin area, we could see more homebuyers taking advantage of the lower building costs in areas like Kyle, Buda, San Marcos, Manor and Elgin. The amazing growth of suburban cities like Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown and Leander is expected to continue in 2014 as well. About 15,000 building permits are currently in the works in Leander alone!
So what problems could Austin real estate face in 2014? Rising home costs are the number one problem affecting potential buyers. As real estate and other professionals work to keep Austin homes affordable, buyers should be prepared to move quickly once they find a great deal. Buyers should also consider looking in areas outside of Austin like Round Rock, Leander, and even Buda and Kyle. In addtion, potential Austin residents could be deterred by increasing traffic headaches this year. The city already has plans in the works to improve major thoroughfares like Mopac and Interstate 35 through the Austin Mobility Project. It’s hard to say how much these factors will affect home sales, but there are plenty of good reasons to be optimistic about 2014. Without a doubt, this year will be one of the hottest and most successful years for Austin real estate.