Texas leads the country in construction of new housing, but the state still faces a housing shortage. It needs to build about half a million homes to keep pace with demand, according to a new report from mortgage company Freddie Mac.
Steve Brown is real estate editor for The Dallas Morning News, who’s been reporting on the shortage.
“We have so many people moving here. I mean, over the last 10 years, the Texas population has grown by 4 million-plus people. … We just can’t keep up,” he says.
High housing costs are the result of limited housing supply, Brown says.
“In the last five or six years statewide, we’ve seen prices go up by 50% or more in the metro areas. And if you really get down to affordable houses, say $200,000 or less — the kind of thing a first-timer would buy — there’s virtually no inventory,” Brown says.
Statewide, Texas has about a three-month supply of houses for sale when about six months is considered normal. It’s worse in metro areas. Brown says that the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a two-and-a-half month supply, and Austin only has only a one-and-a-half-month supply. What’s more, most of the houses for sale in these metro areas are more expensive, upwards of about $400,000.
Brown says the limited housing stock problem started over a decade ago.
“Single-family homes [construction] really never recovered from the Great Recession,” Brown says. “Back before the recession, we were building, like, 170,000 single-family houses a year in Texas. Last year, which was the best year we’ve had in over 10 years, we only built 130,000 houses.”
Brown says that efforts to remedy the shortage are moving at a “glacial pace.”
Written by Morgan Kuehler.