The Texas economy is synonymous with oil, but despite the recent decline in gas prices, Austin’s economy remains strong. The Brookings Institute Global Metro Monitor, which ranks the world’s top 300 metropolitan economies on change in employment and gross domestic product gains per capita, ranked Austin 38th worldwide for 2014. Austin’s growth is spread across several industries and shows no signs of slowing. A vibrant housing market and ever-increasing demand for single-family homes make Austin a prime target for real estate investors in 2015.
Oil isn’t everything
For investors outside Austin, it’s easy to assume low gas prices have gutted the local economy, but that supposition ignores the area’s incredible economic diversity. Technology is the biggest industry in Austin right now, and organizations ranging from software companies to aerospace firms bring a young and tech-minded population to the city. In a report released this month, The Brookings Institute pegged Austin’s share of U.S. advanced industries jobs at 12.1 percent. That statistic reflects a 6.6 percent jump in the number of advanced industries jobs between 2010 and 2013 in the Austin area. A combination of government incentives and demographic shifts drives the city’s rapid tech industry growth.
Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas has aggressively courted tech firms from other states. At one point, Perry bragged that around one-third of the companies that moved to Texas were from California, The New York Times reported. These organizations came to Texas to take advantage of tax incentives and other programs that cut their costs of operation.
Austin is particularly welcoming to early-stage companies. Venture Beat noted the prevalence of tech company incubators in the area, and these organizations attract the startups that will fuel the regional economy in the years to come.
While tech is the biggest mover in the Austin economy, the city also contains vibrant pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Together, these industries feed into the highly educated and growing workforce in the Austin area.
Growing opportunities for investors
It’s clear that declining oil prices will not destroy the Austin economy, and that means investors can capitalize on the area’s continued expansion. As more companies move into Austin and more professionals flock to the excellent job market, the demand for rental housing is likely to improve. This trend is already well underway, with demand for single-family homes driving up prices and inventory. During 2014, the median selling price of a single-family home increased 10 percent, and listings of single-family homes grew 10 percent, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. Demand in the single-family market is ahead of supply, and investors can capitalize on these increases by purchasing Austin-area rental properties.
If an investor is unsure where to start with investing in Austin real estate, he or she should register with HomeUnion. HomeUnion provides investors with prevetted single-family real estate investment opportunities through deep data analytics and on-ground research. The company locates properties, provides building and tenant management, and assists investors with financing options. HomeUnion will also assist investors with selling their investment properties when ready. Real estate provides a great way to expand any investment portfolio, and this is a great time to purchase property that leverages Austin’s incredible growth.