Real estate growth trending westward

Jul 10, 2014
Community Impact

For the first time in history, in 2013 the Austin metro area experienced more construction starts on homes than San Antonio. A lot of that growth is being directed at the north and west parts of the Austin area, said Madison Inselmann, regional director of Metrostudy Austin, a company that tracks housing market information

The Lake Travis area—stretching from River Place and Westlake west to Spicewood—has prepared for major growth the past two years, according to statistics provided by Metrostudy Austin. Total housing starts—the number of privately owned new houses on which construction has begun—in the first quarter of 2013 increased by 47.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012. The numbers increased an additional 4.8 percent year-over-year for the first quarter of 2014, resulting in 1,123 new housing starts

Bee Cave City Manager Frank Salvato agrees with Mitchell that LTISD’s accolades have been driving families to the area. However, he also cites retail and commercial development—including the Hill Country Galleria—as reasons for the area’s increasing popularity

Roughly 80 percent of the housing starts during the first quarter of 2014 for the Lakeway area are priced at $300,000 and above, according to Metrostudy. Nearly 15 percent are above $500,000

“The Austin market, apartment-wise, is at a tipping point,” Inselmann said. “As apartments typically do, they are under-built and then catch up.”

Inselmann said the Austin metro area is expected to complete 12,132 new apartment units in the next year, 10 percent of which will be in the Lake Travis area

About 60 percent of the new home construction in the Austin metro area takes place at least 15 miles away from downtown, Inselmann said

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