Central Texas population and economic growth strikes a downside: home ownership now unaffordable, study says
Austin is the fourth-fastest growing metro area in America, according to the Census Bureau
Central Texas has seen booming population growth in recent years, but the influx of new Texans has also pushed housing costs up at a far faster pace than the rest of the state. Apple's decision to build a massive campus on Austin's northern edge, bringing in thousands of well-paying jobs, has both brought in new residents and helped push housing prices higher.
Travis County and Williamson County are now ranked third and fourth as places in the U.S. where homeownership is most unaffordable, according to a new study by MoneyGeek that examined the change in housing costs over the last three years compared to median incomes.
Austin, the state capital and seat of Travis County, is the fourth-fastest growing metro area in America, according to census bureau figures released last year. Its population has exploded 21% to nearly one million people over the past decade.
Home prices in Travis County, meanwhile, have appreciated 50.1% since 2019 to a current median home price of $456,690, according to MoneyGeek.
AMERICANS SQUEEZED BY RISING HOUSING COSTS
As Austinites have fled the city for the suburbs in search of affordable homes, many have gone to Williamson County, which is just north of Travis County.
Home prices in Williamson County have appreciated 58% over the last three years to $378,412.
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Home builders have also struggled to keep up with the demand from new residents in Austin.
"Austin’s unprecedented economic growth shows no signs of stopping, with announcements of new projects almost daily," Home Builders Association of Greater Austin President Scott Turner told Fox 7 Austin earlier this year.
"While this is great for Austin long term, our capacity to house people cannot keep up, with people having to drive further outside city limits to find a home they can afford."