Austin homebuilders scorching pace in 1Q2016Austin homebuilders scorching pace in 1Q2016https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=129222016-04-21T05:00:00Z2016-04-21T21:00:00Z

​​​​AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK - Builders in Central Texas started construction on 40 percent more homes in first quarter 2016 than first quarter 2015 than in the same quarter last year, the latest figures show. 

Builders ramped up starts to 3,570 homes in 1Q2016 compared with 2,549 starts in 1Q2015, housing tracker Metrostudy said. 

The 1Q2016 tally was also up 32 percent from the 2,702 starts posted in 4Q2015.

For several years running, the Austin area has seen strong demand for housing as the region's job growth and population surge. But a low supply of housing continues to drive up prices.

"The past few quarters in Austin has been marked by 'starts and stops' in the new home market," said Steve Plevak, regional director of Metrostudy's Austin office. ​

On an annual basis, starts increased 9.2 percent in the 12 months that ended in March over the prior 12-month total—12,590 starts compared with 11,528.

A significant jump was seen in home starts between $200,000 and $300,000, but homes in those price ranges are still in short supply, Plevak said.

Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, said 2015 finished with homebuilding concentrated in the entry-level price points below $300,000. 

However, builders in all price ranges—including the $300,000 to $600,000 move-up market—reported strong sales in 1Q2016, giving them confidence to increase their starts pace during the quarter, Rude said.

Austin American-Statesman
Austin-Round Rock
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