As the Austin area’s population continues to boom, builders in Central Texas started construction on 40 percent more homes in the first three months this year than in the same quarter last year, the latest figures show.
Builders ramped up starts to 3,570 homes in the first quarter, compared with 2,549 starts in the same quarter in 2015, housing tracker Metrostudy said. The first-quarter tally was up 32 percent from the 2,702 starts posted in the fourth quarter of 2015, Metrostudy said.
“The past few quarters in Austin has been marked by ‘starts and stops’ in the new home market,” said Steve Plevak, regional director of the Austin office of Metrostudy. “Weather had a large effect in 2015, and most starts were squeezed into the third quarter, which led to a retraction in the fourth quarter. We have now seen starts surge again in the first quarter of 2016 to serve healthy sales so far in the year and put inventory on the ground for the spring selling season.”
On an annual basis, starts increased 9.2 percent in the 12 months that ended in March over the prior 12-month total — 12,590 starts compared with 11,528.