As reported in the Austin American Statesman, Austin added a whopping 5,000 new jobs in May.  The unemployment rate for this period was reported at 2.9%.  To back up this statistic I have seen “Help Wanted” signs every time I pull into a shopping center and park in front of a business.  Add it looks as if this trend is going to continue in the near future.  A recent study of local businesses stated showed that 25% of those surveyed plan to add more staff in the third quarter of 2016.  On the flip side, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Austin trails in wages, and that the middle class type of jobs is losing ground.  That means to me that although you can have a job in Austin that you may not be able to afford a house in Austin.  This is a thread that we at the Austin Board of Realtors® have been tracking for about 2 years.  There is no solution in sight.  This means that for us investors in Austin area residential real estate that we have a product that is in demand; and that demand will seem to keep growing for the foreseeable future.  Even with these affordable housing issues the Austin area is still below the national average when it comes to both owning and renting a house.  Many of these new immigrants to Texas are coming from California’s tech cities such as my former hometown of San Jose which has a house average hovering around $900,000 on average.  A 2 bedroom 1 bath home of 832 square feet recently sold for $650,000 which is well below the average price for a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Austin.  The average price for a home selling through the Austin MLS system in April was $278,000.  And for this reason alone a lot folks in California are eager to move to Austin.


Rick Ebert / Austin, Texas / 17 June 16