Enjoying a lower-than-average rate of unemployment, the housing market in Texas hasn’t been impacted in the same way as less prosperous areas of the country. Healthy job growth in the state has allowed for a near full recovery of real estate activity in places like San Antonio and Austin, as well as major cities like the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Houston. In 2013, real estate in central Texas was robust, and real estate experts suggest that 2014 will continue in that same vein of growth and prosperity.
Residents of Austin have seen their economy buoyed by the revival of tourism to the area while homeowners in San Antonio have enjoyed sustained growth due to the proximity of the military and its service members. Additionally, large companies have taken note of the healthy Texas economy and have started to build manufacturing facilities around San Antonio and other central Texas locations.
Since 2010, the Austin area, which includes the communities of Round Rock and San Marcos, has seen housing prices rise each year, with a steady upward trend into 2014. The median price of a home in the Austin area in late 2013 was about 13 percent higher than the end of 2012. Additionally, housing sales have also risen each year, with significant gains seen from 2012 to 2013. For example, in September 2013, there were 34 percent more houses sold than a year previous.
Likewise, in the Austin area, 2013 experienced a jump in home sales from numbers seen in 2012, which is likely to continue into 2014. In September of 2013, sales of homes were 20 percent higher than the same period in 2012. The median price also grew by around 7 percent by late 2013 versus numbers seen in 2012. Healthy employment growth during 2013 helped fuel these gains in real estate and new job openings show no signs of slowing down in 2014.
One of the interesting features of real estate in Austin is that it’s become common for “bidding wars” to erupt over certain properties. According to local real estate agents, homes routinely sell for 5 to 15 percent over the asking price, which means some homes are receiving multiple bids from enthusiastic buyers. When bidding wars start to occur in a housing market, that’s usually a sign of significant recovery and confidence of buyers who feel that spending more to acquire a property makes good financial sense.
In the Killeen area, real estate growth has mirrored the progress in Austin and San Antonio, with average values of new housing starts seeing a rebound since the Great Recession. After reaching an incredible high of over 3,300 units in 2005 and sinking to just under 1,800 units in 2008, the housing industry has grown or remained steady in each of the following years. By the end of 2012, there were over 2,000 new housing starts and 2013 also saw additional, positive growth.
New job opportunities, corporate growth, and buyer confidence will help promote expansion of the central Texas real estate market in 2014. Tens of thousands of new residents are expected to move to the major metropolitan areas of Austin and San Antonio, as well as places like Killeen. Rural areas may also experience growth; however, the bulk of new housing activity will likely remain in densely populated cities.
Scott Felder Homes is a premier home builder in Central Texas, having won numerous awards for homebuilder of the year. Click here for more information.