Texas Has Plenty of Jobs But Few Affordable Houses

The state’s seen a huge population bump and steady job growth, but the housing market hasn’t kept up.

By Alain StephensJune 17, 2016 3:09 pm

New numbers out on the Texas workforce: after rising slightly in April, the unemployment rate was unchanged in May – holding at 4.4 percent. That’s a little better than the national rate of 4.9 percent, and a lot of people have been moving to Texas because of the job climate.

But there’s also the issue of housing affordability. Compared to much of the rest of the country, you can get a whole lot of house for a whole lot less – at least, that used to be the case. But over the past year, median home values have risen more than 7 percent and are expected to continue to rise over the next 12 months. In many of the state’s metro centers, buying a home close to town is no longer a real option.

Dr. Luis Torres, research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, says the greater demand, especially from migration from other states, and lack of supply have contributed to this housing shortage.

“After the financial crisis, available lots and financing for new lots has been strained,” he says, “so that’s affected the supply… You have this greater demand and no supply pushing up prices.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How many builders are adding to the housing market

– What’s at the center of the limited financing for new lots and developments

– The normal inventory rates of available housing versus how the state is faring now

Post prepared by Hannah McBride.