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There has been plenty of discussion of how Austin, Texas, has become less affordable due to rising land and home prices, in addition to higher mortgage rates.

Although nearly 60% of new-home starts over the past year were priced above $400,000, Zonda is still seeing new communities come to market with average base prices below $350,000. The entry-level market has contracted, but buyers can still find new options being brought to market in a variety of locations (Jarrell, Taylor, Elgin, Lockhart, San Marcos, Marble Falls, etc.) and not just from Lennar and D.R. Horton.

Among major U.S. markets, Austin recently posted the largest year-over-year gain in new-home project count.


Among U.S. metros with populations over 750,000, Austin is No. 1 for year-over-year- growth in gross domestic product. Austin ranks fifth on U-Haul's 2023 Growth Index, which measures the net gain of one-way U-Haul movers; this is the highest ranking of all Texas markets.


Among the 50 largest metros, Austin, San Antonio, and New Orleans are the only three where active listings (resale supply) are higher compared with typical pre-pandemic 2017 to 2019 levels.


Quarterly housing starts decreased 32.4% from a year ago, while the number of available vacant developed lots sits at 34,291, up 26.4% over the same quarter the previous year. In terms of supply/demand balance, the market area is 1.12% oversupplied.


New-home sales in the Austin-Round Rack-Georgetown metropolitan area decreased 6.8% year over year to an annualized rate of 16,083 units in December. Existing-home closings for the year ending in October posted a year-over-year decline of 40.9% to an annualized rate of 29,113 units.


The average list price for a new detached home in the region decreased 3.2% from 2022 to $485,723 in December, while the average list price for a new attached home decreased 36.6% over the same period to $455,952. Homes priced over $550,000 experienced the most closing activity over the past year. The new-home affordability ratio for a detached home reached 48.1% in October.


Total nonfarm employment in the metropolitan statistical area increased 2.9% year over year to 1,336,500 payrolls in November, with approximately 3,500 more jobs compared with the previous month. The local unemployment rate decreased to 3.4% in November compared with 3.6% in October. November's jobless rate is higher than it was the year before when it stood at 2.8%.


The population for the metropolitan area is approximately 2,550,980 people and is projected to increase by 1.9% this year. There are approximately 995,100 households in the region, which is up 2.3% year over year. Forecasts show that household formation is expected to increase by an annual growth rate of 11.4% for 2028. Incomes increased by 2.7% from the previous year to $101,875.