A year and a half into the pandemic, Austin is strengthening its position as a hot market for investment, attracting out-of-state corporate relocations and reinforcing its high-tech hub status. Paired with robust demographic expansion, the multifamily market continued to expand, with rents rising 2.1 percent on a trailing three-month basis through September to $1,620, surpassing the $1,558 U.S. average. Meanwhile, the occupancy rate in stabilized properties increased a solid 160 basis points in the 12 months ending in August, to 95.2 percent.
Austin’s unemployment rate improved to 3.8 percent in August, outperforming the 5.9 percent Texas rate and the 5.2 percent U.S. figure. In fact, the local employment market ranked first among major metros, rising 5.0 percent in the 12 months ending in July, double the 2.5 percent national rate. Austin’s largest sectors—professional and business services and trade, transportation and utilities—expanded by 13.0 percent and 7.7 percent. In this context, moves such as Tesla’s headquarters relocation both fuel and underpin an already decade-long trend.
Developers delivered 7,838 units in 2021 through September and had another 38,489 units under construction, with the primary focus on Lifestyle projects. Meanwhile, the transaction volume surpassed $1.9 billion, with the price per unit climbing another 18.5 percent year-over-year, to $184,701.