Across the country, housing starts are down dramatically.
During 1998, Austin builders started construction on slightly more than 8,000 houses last year. This was the lowest number in 11 years.
According to Metrostudy, a Houston-based research firm, ustin has experienced a 66 percent decline in housing starts from its peak in the third quarter of 2006 to the end of 2008. This 2/3 drop represents a mammoth market shift. The drop, both in Austin and nationally, is the result of reduced demand for new units, restricted credit for buyers and developers, and falling prices which have made speculative projects unattractive.
Incredibly enough, this 66% drop ranks Austin #1 of the 81 markets studied by Metrostudy. Austin’s relatively strong economy, continued inbound migration, steady home values, and lack of a bubble run up have helped to limit housing market erosion during the current credit and financial crisis.
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