The roofs are on fire

Austin declared one of top 10 hottest housing markets in U.S. for 2019

Austin declared one of top 10 hottest housing markets in U.S. for 2019

Home for sale sold sign
Buying or selling, Austin real estate is still red-hot iStock

As we cope with the painful reality that local home prices keep creeping up, the Austin metro area has been identified by real estate website Trulia as one of the 10 hottest U.S. housing markets for 2019.

Based on five factors — strong job growth, low vacancy rates, high starter-home affordability, home searches on Trulia, and share of the under-35 adult population — Austin unlocks the No. 5 position on Trulia’s list of the top 10 housing markets for next year. In all, Trulia crunched data for the country’s 100 largest metro areas.

Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, notes that Austin made the top 10 for the second consecutive year. She says the share of adults under 35 (24.4 percent), strong annual job growth (2.5 percent), and low vacancy rate for homes and apartments (3.4 percent) have positioned Austin for growth in 2019.

“While many in Austin might feel the market is already hot, the metro area continues to [hold] appeal,” Young says.

For each metro area, Trulia looked at:

  • Job growth over the past year, as a measure of a robust economy. 

  • Vacancy rates, as an indicator that housing supply doesn’t exceed demand. 

  • Good starter-home affordability, as a signal that first-time homebuyers have a shot at making a purchase.
  • More inbound than outbound home searches on Trulia, as a gauge that more people are gravitating toward a market than are seeking to leave it.
  • A large share of the under-35 adult population, representing a deeper pool of prospective first-time buyers. 

In the Austin market, Trulia pinpointed an area in Southeast Austin just west of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as the region’s hottest neighborhood. The neighborhood is bounded by State Highway 71, East Stassney Lane, Burleson Road, and State Highway 183. To come up with this designation, Trulia measured the year-over-year change in home values, the median number of days that homes stayed on the market, and the change in days on the market since last year.

Although Austin fared well in nearly all areas of Trulia’s report, it dwells in the basement in one regard. It ranked 79th among the 100 metro areas for the affordability of starter homes. In the top 10, only one market — Fresno, California — ranked lower.

At No. 9, El Paso was the only other Texas market to break into the top 10.