Earlier today I posted an update on www.AustinMarketInfo.com about the interaction between home prices and availability and the rental market in the Austin area:
"The increasing affordability of homes will likely entice some renters to buy homes in the coming months ...." More: http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/11/09/daily1.html
As I have commented previously, home values in the Austin area have generally not taken much of a hit during the downturn that has affected other parts of the country very dramatically. (See www.AustinMarketDashboard.com.) Nonetheless, housing affordability here is attractive relative to other cities (Housing Affordability Index of 1.56 in Austin vs. 1.33 U.S. average).
Austin remains a target for in-migration from other states. Our great location and climate, the Austin lifestyle, one of the healthiest local economies in the United States, and continuing employment growth are attracting new residents, many of whom will buy homes. Couple those natural growth factors with government incentives for homebuyers, and it will put pressure on apartment investor-owners over the next 12 to 18 months. This should be a very good time to become a Central Texas homeowner.