If you think new apartment buildings have been popping up nonstop all around the city within the last couple of years, you’d be right. The Austin-Round Rock metro area is experiencing one of the biggest apartment construction booms in the nation, in an effort to alleviate an ongoing affordability crisis.
But while increasing multi-family housing is solving part of the problem, long term it keeps homeownership out of arm’s reach for younger Americans. That’s according to a new report from apartment rental “matchmaker” and marketplace Apartment List.
Austin has spent decades building more housing for its residents, and 2022 saw the highest number – 18.3 – of new unit permits being issued per thousand residents. Austin’s rate is three times larger than the average rate in 50 of the largest American metros.
The top five cities that had highest number of new unit permits issued per 1,000 residents in 2022 include:
- No. 1 – Austin (18.3)
- No. 2 – Raleigh, North Carolina (14.9)
- No. 3 – Jacksonville (14.1)
- No. 4 – Orlando (10.7)
- No. 5 – Houston (10.5)
In Apartment List’s comparison charts, 2021 saw the biggest-ever leap in Austin-Round Rock area housing units permitted for the year, with 24,000 single-family permits and 26,000 multi-family permits issued.
2022 saw a dramatic decrease in both housing options with 3,000 less multi-family permits being issued for the year, and 4,000 less single-family home permits.
Furthermore, a majority of those housing permits issued last year were not in the city, but in the surrounding area. Only 43 percent of 2022’s housing unit permits were issued in Austin proper, which is a six percent increase over 2021. This spells out the struggle for affordability the inner city has experienced in recent years.
The year that had the most housing permits issued in Austin proper versus the surrounding area was 2013, at 57 percent. Those percentages have dwindled into the 40s since then, with 2021 being the lowest in the last decade.
Austin’s apartment construction boom has not shown signs of slowing, even with concerns about single-family home buying, according to the report. The city has topped the per-capita permit activity ranks for six consecutive years, and has never been outside the top three since 2006.
The full report can be found on apartmentlist.com.