AUSTIN (KXAN) - The steady growth in population is putting a strain on Austin's housing supply and limiting the ability of many people to purchase a home, representatives of the real estate and construction industries said Wednesday.
Pete Dwyer, a veteran real estate developer, said at Leadership Austin's Engage Breakfast that the city's supply of available housing is the lowest in years. With more people moving in each month, demand for housing is growing fast.
That means higher prices, he said. And that means people with higher incomes are buying homes that would ordinarily be available for people of more modest incomes.
"Austin is everybody's darling right now," he said.
Dwyer was on a panel with Paul Hilgers, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, and Frank Fernandez, who runs a nonprofit geared to bringing in more affordable housing to Austin.
"The cost of housing has gone up 10 percent since last year at this time," Hilgers said. "The pressures are obvious. When people put their home up for sale they're getting four and five offers that day."
All agreed that the city should work toward keeping development costs as low as possible, but declined to elaborate on which city regulations should be re-examined. Hilgers said that more requirement cost developers more money, and the added costs are passed on to home buyers.
"Give certainty to the development community," Hilgers said.
Fernandez said that every $1,000 added to the sale price of a home reduces the pool of potential buyers by about 17,000.
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