Austin Board of Realtors declares Austin housing stock ‘critically limited’

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A shortage of housing in Austin has significantly increased the cost of living, according to a recent report by the Austin Board of Realtors. The high cost of Austin’s rent is a hinderance for graduates who are considering staying in Austin.

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

Austin’s housing stock is “critically limited,” according to a report by the Austin Board of Realtors released last week.

According to the board’s monthly Central Texas Housing Market report published on Sept. 17, increasing cost of living, created by an imbalance between the supply and demand of housing, will be a pattern in the months to come. 

While it’s normal for housing stocks to decrease at the end of the summer, board president Kevin Scanlan said the continued decrease of supply between years is evidence of a lack of housing. Single-family home sales increased 3.3% in August, and the median price of homes rose 2.7% while new housing listings dropped 10.3% in August, according to the report.

“Increasing the supply and variety of housing is the only way to ensure a more balanced market,” Scanlan said in the report.

 

Austin is the second most expensive city in Texas to rent apartments, with a one-bedroom monthly average of $1,210 and a two-bedroom monthly average of $1,530, according to a September study conducted by real estate and research site Zumper. The cost of living increase in Austin will affect students searching for homes for the next several years, said Susan Horton, board member and Austin realtor.

“The rising cost of living is continuing to go up, and it’s going to go up again,” Horton said.

NorabLinares-Moeller, executive director of nonprofit HousingWorks Austin, said the solution to the housing shortage and lowering the cost of living is increasing the available housing options. She said in the report that Austin needs more duplexes and multiplexes to provide more affordable options at different price points.

Elementary education sophomore Isaac Estrada, who lives in North Campus, said he has concerns about the future of students after graduation.

“If (a student) wanted to remain in Austin after graduation, it would be very difficult to do so, even with a job straight out of the gate,” Estrada said.

For students searching for housing for next year, Horton said looking away from housing near campus might be the most affordable option.

“There are not a lot of apartments downtown that are going to be in a place where students can live,” Horton said. “I see students having to go out of the downtown area in order to find housing where they can live in the same facility together and save money.”