Housing construction up in Austin and so are prices

Homes in the Mueller development under construction (KXAN Photo/Kylie McGivern)
Homes in the Mueller development under construction (KXAN Photo/Kylie McGivern)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time in nearly 9 years the Austin Board of Realtors says the market is changing because of new home construction — but don’t expect to see a significant drop in prices.

Right now the Austin Board of Realtors says there is 2.9 months’ worth of housing inventory in Austin. That refers to how long it would take for the homes currently available to sell at the market’s present pace. Most cities have an average of six months’ worth of housing.

According to Metrostudy, a local company that tracks new home construction, buyers should see more homes on the market in 2018. Between Sept. 2016 and Sept. of this year, 14,263 new homes were built. That’s up almost 8-percent from the year prior when 13,229 homes were built. Come 2018, a record-breaking 15,000 new homes are expected to be constructed because of more lots becoming available and current homes already under construction.

For buyers this may mean they don’t have to make an offer on a new home the first day it hits the market.

“There are still locations when something comes on the market there are multiple offers,” says Steve Crorey, Austin Board of Realtors 2018 President. “But, I think overall compared to two or three years ago you can probably wait a little bit — they aren’t going the first day, but it’s still a very aggressive market for buyers.”

And often the aggressive buyer’s market is reflected in the price.

For example in October the average cost of a home was $290,000, that’s up nearly 3 percent from this time last year when homes were priced around $282,000.

“The builders are cranking these out as fast as they can around the city and county area but because of the job influx and the quality of life we have here the price has not really dropped that significantly so buyers have more options but I don’t think it’s being reflected in the price.”

In an effort to keep prices more affordable, according to Metrostudy, developers are starting to build more homes and town homes priced between $200,000 and $300,000. They are able to do that since these homes are smaller and easier to build.

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