Trying to close the housing supply and demand gap in Austin metro? Here’s where homes are being built

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LIBERTY HILL (KXAN) — Nearly 5,000 people officially became homeowners in the Austin metro area between April and June. That’s according to a new report released by Metrostudy.

The report said the region set a new record for new home closings in the 2nd quarter with 4,912 closings.

In comparison:

  • Q2 2018 saw 4,318 closings
  • Q1 2019 saw 3,760 closings
  • Previous peak was at 4,615 closings in Q3 2016

“That’s indicative of how strong the demand is in Austin these days,” said Vaike O’Grady, Metrostudy’s Regional Director.

Liberty Hill expected to boom

According to O’Grady, Pflugerville, Kyle/Buda and Liberty Hill top the list as the fastest growing submarkets. They had the highest numbers of new home starts in Q2 2019.

  • Pflugerville: 1,687 starts
  • Kyle/Buda: 1,433 starts
  • Liberty Hill: 1,305 starts

“The interesting one is Liberty Hill because it’s grown so quickly from a sleepy town to really a bustling suburb,” explained O’Grady.

She attributed the rapid growth to the 183A toll road, making commuting easier, and the city’s school system.

O’Grady said the gap between the housing supply and the demand in the Austin region isn’t going to close any time soon. When builders develop more lots to add more homes to the market, she’s expecting a lot of that activity to take place in Liberty Hill.

“What Liberty Hill is lacking is a grocery anchored retail opportunity. Otherwise, they’ve got everything else going for them,” she said.

How Liberty Hill is preparing

At Santa Rita Ranch, Marketing Director Regina Spurlock told KXAN the master planned community is already experiencing people’s interest in Liberty Hill first hand.

“We just passed 1,000 sales. We’re averaging at least a sale per day,” she said. “[And] we get 7,000 visits to our website.”

She said she’s also noticed how quickly Liberty Hill has grown. “It’s just amazing to see what pops up literally overnight,” Spurlock said.

Lance Dean, Executive Director of Liberty Hill’s Economic Development Corporation, said while growth has been anticipated, the rate of it has been surprising.

According to Dean, the number of buildings permits issued within the city limits skyrocketed in recent years.

  • 2016: 48 permits
  • 2017: 412 permits
  • 2018: 747 permits

When you look at the city’s population:

  • 2000: 15,781
  • 2010: 26,328
  • 2019: 38,706
  • 2024 projection: 42,769

Dean said the city is preparing for even more growth by taking the following steps:

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