As Austin sees slowest growth in years, Pflugerville rises up

Travis County

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — For the first time this decade, the city of Austin’s population growth was just a fraction of a percent.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new population estimates that show several Central Texas cities ranking high, however Austin was not one of them. Austin’s growth between 2016 and 2017 was just 0.3 percent.

Every other year since the start of the decade, the growth rate has been close to two percent, or more.

Although population growth might be down, the housing market is not.

The latest median price for a single-family home in the Austin city limits is just under $400,000.

Rising housing costs have pushed people out of the city and into other parts of Central Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau also shows New Braunfels, Pflugerville, Georgetown and Cedar Park are four of the fastest-growing communities with at least 50,000 people in the country.

In Pflugerville, the growth is evident.

Traveling down the toll roads of State Highway 130 and State Highway 45 near the city, construction sites are noticeable by the handful — everything from residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. 

“We can plow down a field in less than a day and have the basic core structure up in less than a week and you have a whole neighborhood in less than a month,” said Daemie Kennedy. “It happens that fast.”

Back in September, Kennedy moved from Austin into Highland Park, one of the many subdivisions near the highways in the process of developing. 

“I think I was the first one on this street,” she said looking around her neighborhood.

In the census data, Pflugerville is listed in the third spot out of 15. The city experienced an increase of more than six percent in population growth. And, the surge is no surprise to Kennedy who says she can understand why the city is a popular destination.

“Affordability, I think flat-out,” she said. And it’s not a surprise to the city’s mayor either.

“Our median housing average is a little over $200,000 and our median income is between $80,000 and $90,000,” he said, saving many who are moving into the area a big chunk of change.

“My little city of 272,” said the mayor reminiscing of the small-town days of Pflugerville. “It’s just totally mind-blowing and I’m excited about it.”

In the past 10 years, there have been 7,077 residential units built. There are still plans to build more than 10,000.

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