People moving to suburbs due to housing supply crisis

Looks interesting, but without a subscription, I can’t view the whole article.



Here you go. Just FYI, one of the more frustrating elements of the Community Not Commodity propaganda campaign has been its falsehood that “urbanists” want to increase housing prices (and are somehow “colluding” with “developers”). Not only is this false, the opposite is true: one of AURA’s explicit goals is increasing the amount of “missing middle” housing in Central Austin – the type that Jeff Jack rather curiously berated recently (I forget where - possibly on this list) as a term created by consultants. Even assuming that’s true (which is very well could be), it ignores the whole point of the term: that Austin desperately needs it.

OTOH acknowledging what it really means would also require admitting that absolutely nothing proposed by CNC or the ANC would do anything to fix the problem, least of all killing CodeNEXT.

As home prices soar, Realtors warn of deepening affordability crisis; is CodeNext the answer?
By Marissa Luck and Daniel Salazar – Austin Business Journal
Jun 14, 2018, 2:54pm

Austin’s soaring home prices are setting records and a local real estate group argues that the city’s current land code is making the affordability crunch worse.

Within Austin city limits, the median price for a single-family home reached an all-time high for the month of May at $389,000, up 4 percent from $375,000 in the same month last year, according a report from Austin Board of Realtors.

There are more people buying homes but there are fewer homes listed for sale compared to last year. In May, home sales jumped 5.9 percent year-over-year, hitting 1,037. At the same time, the inventory of homes for sale on the market dipped 6.8 percent to 1,533 active listings.

ABOR put some of the blame for the affordability crisis on the city’s current land development code, which it argues is stifling new housing construction. City Council is reviewing the third draft of CodeNext, a massive effort to rewrite the city’s land development code for the first time in 40 years.

“Our current market imbalance in Austin is made worse by an antiquated land development code that places unnecessary constraints on building the number and variety of homes our community needs,” said Steve Crorey, 2018 president of the Austin Board of Realtors, in a statement.

“Austin’s lack of housing choices disadvantages first-time homebuyers, families with children, and middle and lower-income buyers. Coupled with rapid population growth, it’s driving an affordability crisis that leaves many residents looking for homes far from job centers and essential services," he added.

The rapid rise of home prices is outpacing income growth for Austinites. In the past five years, Austin-Round Rock median family income increased 17.5 percent, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, while median homes prices increased 42.5 percent, according to ABOR.

Escalating home prices within Austin city limits continue to push homebuyers into the suburbs, such as Pflugerville, Del Valle and Manor. Last month seven in 10 homes sold within the five-county MSA were sold outside of Austin city limits, ABOR found.

“We can’t continue to export affordability beyond Austin city limits,” Crorey said.

Focus on ‘missing middle’ housing
ABOR is part of the Evolve Austin coalition, which generally supports a CodeNext process that would boost density and transit-oriented development along major roads.

Emily Chenevert, ABOR’s CEO, said she wants Council to start its CodeNext deliberations using the Planning Commission’s recommendations, which include support for accessory dwelling units and increased occupancy limits in residential areas.

The fact that Council this week started talking about trying to boost the city’s housing stock is an encouraging sign for so-called “missing middle” housing, Chenevert said.

“That middle-density product is something that we continue to strive for more of,” she told Austin Business Journal. “It’s the element that we lack the most.”

Chenevert said she’s optimistic and hopeful that Council will approve a version of CodeNext this summer.

“Our community deserves better than an out-of-date plan that doesn’t meet today’s needs,” she said in reference to the current land development code.

Here are some other key stats from May’s monthly housing report:

• Overall in the Austin Round Rock MSA, the median price of a single-family home increased 4.8 percent year-over-year to $325,000, up from $310,000 in May 2017.

• Home sales increased 4.2 percent year-over-year in the Austin-Round Rock MSA to hit 3,210 sales in May compared to 3,080 sales a year earlier.

• Inventory within Austin city limits shrunk to two months of supply — in other words, it would take two months to sell all of the homes currently listed in Austin at the current rate. A balanced market typically would have at least six months of supply.

• In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, housing inventory was 2.7 months in May, down from 2.8 months in May 2017.