Angelos Angelou is one of the foremost economists in central Texas, and he is predicting that the Austin area could end up with a housing shortage over the next couple of years. Builders slowed down their production levels so much that they may have overcorrected, and this could lead to higher prices in the short-term.
According to an article in the Community Impact paper that came out on Friday, housing starts dropped by about 2/3 over the past couple of years, from 18,000 to around 6.000 anticipated for 2009. Couple that with an estimated 42,000 people moving into the area, and it looks like we will hit a point soon when demand will exceed supply. Clearly, this is what it normally takes to drive prices up, so time will tell, I suppose.
Angelou expects the Austin market to make a big turnaround sometime by the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2010, but he did say that we would experience slightly higher unemployment (maybe as high as 6.5%, compared to 9-10% nationally).
If this is accurate, it looks like Austin real estate will be a very solid investment, and (not to sound overly trite) but the time to buy is now! With low interest rates, the $8000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, and the prospect of tightening inventory and higher prices, this is no longer the time for sitting on the fence.
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Feel free to call or email me anytime with questions. I can be reached at 512-796-7653 (cell) or email@example.com. Thanks!
Image is from www.impactnews.com.