Austin’s appeal makes it a magnet for newcomers and a haven for job creation. And it also contributes to a steady rise in home prices.
Those price hikes are good from an investment standpoint but they make buying a home less affordable and force residents to leave because of escalating property taxes. That’s according to online real estate database Zillow, which expects Austin to the sixth-hottest U.S. housing market in 2018.
Austin housing market 2018-
That compares with Austin Board of Realtors data that found the median price of a single-family home in the metro was $296,500 in November, up 2.9 percent from the same month in 2016.
And of the country’s 50 largest metros, Austin’s housing market has rebounded more than any other in the wake of the Great Recession.
Zillow also pegged Austin’s population growth at 2.8 percent from 2015 to 2016. U.S. Census data from earlier this year showed that the Central Texas population is booming, but much of it is concentrated in the suburbs — driven in part by lower home prices.
San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, topped the list. California, North Carolina and Texas each have two cities in Zillow’s top 10, which is based on six variables:
- Home value and rent index forecasts for the year
- Income growth estimates
- Population growth
- Unemployment rates
- Job openings per person.
The 0.036 job openings per person in San Jose is also the most of any top 10 city although local population growth of 0.1 percent is the smallest in the list.
“High-paying tech jobs continue to keep pace with climbing housing costs,” Zillow data researcher Lauren Bretz wrote in a blog post.
On the other end of the spectrum, “housing markets that will continue to face challenges in 2018 include former industrial giants Cleveland, Buffalo, N.Y., and Milwaukee,” Zillow said, noting that “the population of all three metros is falling, and unemployment in Cleveland is 6.2 percent, well above the historically low national rate of 4.1 percent.”