AUSTIN (KXAN) — Housing prices near Tesla’s new gigafactory have already increased, and experts say that could continue after Elon Musk announced the company’s headquarters will also be located in the area.
Musk announced the move from Palo Alto, California, to Austin during Thursday’s annual meeting with stockholders.
Data from real estate brokerage Redfin shows in the factory’s zip code, 78725, the median home sale price is up 44.7% over last year. The company said that’s about a 10% higher average increase than the entire Austin metro between August 2020-21.
Right now, it’s unclear if Tesla’s headquarters would be located within the new gigafactory compound or elsewhere in Austin-Travis County.
Redfin’s chief economist expects prices to keep rising.
“I think there will be a premium on being close to Tesla HQ, especially since a portion of engineering jobs will have to be in person,” said Daryl Fairweather in an email to KXAN.
New Austinite Chez Bingham says he’s excited to be a part of Austin’s growth. He made the move after performing DJ gigs in the city for around six years.
“Every time I left Austin, I felt like a little piece of me was left behind. I love the people here, I love the energy, I love the way of life here,” said Bingham, who prefers to go by the name DJ Ferno.
He’s now working with Twelve Rivers Realty to move out of his apartment and into a house but is concerned Tesla’s headquarter move to the area may make his search harder.
Fairweather says a Tesla-induced price bump probably won’t be the 40%+ Austin saw during the peak of the housing market last spring, but Austin will still likely “top our lists for migration and price growth for the next decade.”
“The big trend we’re seeing is that Austin is the new Seattle, and it’s on its way to become the new San Francisco,” Fairweather explained. “It’s low taxes and warm climate are attracting highly-paid tech workers. And the more the tech industry grows in Austin, the more tech workers will want to move there.”
Ferno hopes to move into a house by the end of the year — maybe into Tesla’s neighborhood.
“Anticipating the appreciation, which could be cool, you know, in two or three years you look up, and you’ve made, you’ve made some money, so, kind of looking at it with a little bit of an investment hat as well,” he said.
Growth in neighboring counties
Bastrop County, just east of Tesla’s new gigafactory, says growth has increased since the automaker announced its new factory.
“We were seeing growth before the Tesla factory announcement, but I think that there’s been an increased interest on the east of Austin since the Tesla announcement,” said Adena Lewis, Bastrop County tourism and economic development director.
“I’m getting calls from people that I thought we might get in 10 years in Bastrop County; the caliber of developer, the caliber of product,” Lewis said.
She says the county is already retraining staff to handle another anticipated increase in demand due to Tesla’s headquarters move.
“We always knew we’d have growth to the east of Travis County, we just weren’t quite sure that it would happen this fast,” she said.