July 20, 2017

Affordable price points for new homes shrinking

Labor shortages, construction materials cost increases & regulation contributing to problem

Austin, Texas (July 20, 2017) Today, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin held its annual Mid-Year Housing forecast at the Phillips Event Center for a sold-out crowd of over 350 HBA members and industry partners. The program gives the HBA’s members a snapshot of how the industry is shaping up and insights on what to expect for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. Vaike O’Grady of MetroStudy, presented her analysis of the Greater Austin housing market, concluding the industry is generally optimistic, as evidenced by the number of lots being delivered. “The Austin housing market is benefiting from continued strong demand and that has resulted in near-record housing starts,” says O’Grady. Results are being tempered though, by pressures on home prices, caused by labor shortages, construction materials cost increases, permitting and regulatory costs

“While job growth is slowing, we have been undersupplied for some time, especially at key price points,” says O’Grady. She goes on to say, “builders who can provide homes below $300,000 seemingly can’t build them fast enough.”

O’Grady sees the most potential for growth outside the City of Austin’s urban core — with high prices pushing residents to the outskirts where more affordable housing prices exist, for now. A market reality that clashes with the City’s vision for a more compact and connected Austin, rising costs continue to make the Northwest and South/Southwest areas of the region more appealing. “We see continued growth opportunities in the Northwest in the immediate term, and in the middle and long-term, the South/Southeast has great potential,” says O’Grady.

Vaike O’Grady is the Austin regional director for Metrostudy, the nation’s leading provider new home market information, housing analysis, and consulting. She is a real estate veteran, with prior experience in both homebuilding and residential development in multiple states and in a variety of market conditions. 

About the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin

Since 1953, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin has served as the leading not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to residential construction and remodeling in Central Texas. The HBA works in six counties (Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Hays, Lee and Burnet) to advance the practice and professionalism of the home building industry in our community. For more information, visit www.hbaaustin.com.