Ranking It

Austin declared the No. 1 real estate market to invest in right now

Austin declared the No. 1 real estate market to invest in right now

Easton Park development Austin home house java sign
Austin is the third consecutive Texas city to top this list. Photo courtesy of Easton Park

The hottest real estate market to invest in 2017? It's Austin, of course. That's according to the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from PwC US and the Urban Land Institute, which includes interviews and surveys from more than 1,800 leading real estate experts to determine the top markets to watch.

Austin, which was No. 2 for 2016 is the third consecutive Texas city to top the list. The Capital City flip-flops with Dallas-Fort Worth, which was No. 1 for 2016 and comes in second on the new survey. Houston (No. 1 for 2015) sits at No. 40 on the latest report.

"Viewed as a fluke when it hit the study's top 10 list five years ago, Austin’s rise to the top of the list signals the durability of the city’s long-term appeal to investors," says Mitch Roschelle, PwC partner and real estate research leader, in a release. "Austin, along with many of this year’s top 10 cities, boasts attractive, niche neighborhoods and a vibrant, diverse economy."

The Capital City "has consistently ticked the majority of the top boxes related to recent real estate market attractiveness," notes the report. It has a diverse economy, only minimally affected by the global financial crisis; a growing population that boasts an educated labor force; and, of course, that "undeniable 'hip' factor."

Despite being a relatively small market for investment opportunities, Austin tops many domestic investors’ wish lists, making it highly competitive. Even so, local, regional, and national real estate participants operate in relative harmony, says the report.

Those who call Austin home may wonder about the city's growing affordability and transportation concerns. While the uptick hasn't gone unnoticed, the report notes that costs are still competitive with those seen in other top secondary markets, and the 2017 outlook for major property sectors remains good.

"The housing market, both multifamily and single-family, appears to be making adjustments to match supply with the requirements and locations desired by the changing population base," states the report. "To address transportation concerns, the market is likely to continue to see more mixed-use development not only to bring compatible uses together, but also to enhance the experiential feel of developments."

Where should investors looking outside Texas consider plunking down cash? Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and Los Angeles round out the top five.