After weather-related delays for the first two quarters of 2015, new home starts in central Texas jumped 7.9 percent in the third quarter, according to an Austin American-Statesman article based on Metrostudy’s findings. This equated to breaking ground on 3,530 houses in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties in the third quarter.
In the second quarter, new home starts were down 5% compared to the second quarter of 2014, but strong sales of new construction homes still were reported. For existing homes, sales grew 3% during the second quarter, and average and median prices continued to increase.
Builders began work on 11,555 houses during the 12 month cycle that ended in September, a 7.6 percent increase from the prior 12-month period, according to Metrostudy.
“The remainder of 2015 will be marked by builders working through their existing backlog of sales from a strong spring and improved weather will allow them to catch up on starts from a damp beginning to the year,” stated a Metrostudy release. It said a strong finish to 2015 is expected if the weather continues to cooperate.
While over the past three years home prices “have affected affordability and forced buyers to the next submarket or to an existing home in many areas,” said Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Austin office Steve Plevak, existing homes now have appreciated to a point at which “prices will become more conducive to buyers including new homes in their search,” according to the report.
In the third quarter, the median price of new homes was $267,613, according to Metrostudy, and the median price of existing homes was $263,100, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.