New data from Metrostudy, an online real estate data provider, shows that Austin new home building is off to a strong start in 2019. Housing starts in the Austin area in the first quarter of this year are up 7 percent over last year, based on a report about the numbers from Statesman.com. Strong housing starts in the first part of the year indicate strong housing demand that may last throughout the end of 2019.
Mark Sprague, a housing market and financial analyst with Independence Title in Austin, said the latest starts figures “continue to show the strength of the market.
“Other metros, nationally and regionally, are not having as robust numbers,” Sprague said. “The national housing market may have plateaued for a while, due to lack of job creation. However the regional (Texas) and local housing market will continue to be significantly undersupplied due to stronger job creation. There remain enormous levels of demand in the lower to moderate price ranges.”
More than half of the first-quarter starts were in the $200,000 to $300,000 price segment, the figures show.
The median price for single-family starts in the first quarter was $291,107, up slightly from $290,379 in the same quarter last year.
Annual housing starts also look strong. For the 12 months that ended in March, builders started work on 16,674 houses, which is up 1 percent from the prior 12-month period. In 2018, Metrostudy’s revised figures for the calendar year came in at 16,398 starts, up from 16,385 in the preliminary count. The highest-ever housing starts for a calendar year was in 2006, with 17,784 starts.
Eldon Rude, principal of the Austin-based consulting firm 360° Real Estate Analytics, indicated his optimism for construction this year. “Our monthly survey of production builders showed year-to-date sales through March were up 13 percent over last year. If the first three months of the year prove to be a good indicator for the balance of 2019, builders will be in for a better year than they expected.”
New homes have been growing in popularity and are a great housing product for homebuyers. Opting for a newly built home is a great way for a homebuyer to avoid costly obstacles like multiple offers on a property or costly repairs that need to be negotiated during a home purchase on a resale home. There are also home warranties with new homes that can help new homeowners avoid the cost of repairs after moving into a new home.
However, buying a new home requires a level of insight and strong negotiation skills. Homebuyers who choose to go with a new build over a resale home need to be aware that the sales rep in the sales office represents the best interest of the developer rather than the buyer. That can be tricky for a buyer when it comes to negotiating small changes to a home during construction or closing costs. That’s where a licensed Realtor with experience negotiating new home purchases can help ensure that the best interest of the buyer are being represented.
To find out more about new home communities in the Austin area, reach out to an Austin real estate strategist today.
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