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This hot Austin ZIP code is the toughest place to build a new home

This hot Austin ZIP code is the toughest place to build a new home

Austin home house 1011 E. 15th St. 78702 2015 exterior 1
Building in East Austin is tough. Courtesy of Skout

If you’re hoping to find a new home, condo, or apartment in East Austin, you might find it a bit tough.

New data from BuildZoom, an online platform that helps people hire general contractors, shows East Austin’s 78702 ZIP code is the toughest place to build new housing — homes, condos, and apartments — in the Austin metro area.

“The toughest-to-build ZIP codes are those that combine very little increase — or even some decrease — in the number of housing units with a large increase in housing prices,” says Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom. “Intuitively, you can think of these as the areas that saw the greatest increase in people’s willingness to pay for living there, with the least response as measured by new housing.”

BuildZoom says that across the country, the toughest-to-build places tend to be gentrifying neighborhoods or inner suburbs.

“The toughest places to build are not downtown. It is expected and accepted that U.S. downtowns be dense, and once density is accepted in an area, it is easy to build more there,” BuildZoom says.

In a July 20 presentation during the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin’s midyear housing forecast, attendees heard that shortages of labor and increases in costs for things such as construction materials and permitting are hampering homebuilding in areas like the 78702 ZIP code.

Vaike O’Grady, regional director of MetroStudy, a provider of data about the new home market, told the crowd: “Builders who can provide homes below $300,000 seemingly can’t build them fast enough.”

In descending order, here are the 10 ZIP codes in the Austin area where it’s toughest to build new housing, based on BuildZoom’s analysis of data from 2000 to 2015.

Representative neighborhoods: Govalle, Holly, Riverside

Representative neighborhoods: Hancock, North University

Representative neighborhoods: Hyde Park, North Loop

Representative neighborhoods: Bouldin, Travis Heights, Zilker

Representative neighborhoods: Cherrywood, French Place

Representative neighborhoods: Clarksville, Enfield, Tarrytown

Representative neighborhoods: Allandale, Crestview, North Shoal Creek

Representative neighborhoods: Arboretum, Austin Hills, Jollyville

Representative neighborhoods: Mueller, Windsor Park, University Hills

Representative neighborhoods: Barton Creek West, Rob Roy, Seven Oaks