Austin’s Economy – Reading the Tea Leaves

A recent article in our local paper, the Austin American Statesman, had forecasts from many local economic gurus who gave their opinions on what to expect in 2019. In sum, this year should be similar as 2018 but perhaps not quite as robust as the national economy (look at the stock market this first week of 2019) is showing signs of sagging a bit. Yet Austin is predicted to weather the stormy weather. Here’s why the tea leaves bode well for our august area.

Andrew Glover, a UT economic prof predicts that Austin for 2019 should continue with low unemployment and a high growth rate.

Major players in our area are expanding. Apple will add 5,000 additional jobs to a new north campus. Samsung will add 550 new jobs. Indeed, an online job search firm will be adding as many as 3,000 new jobs as will Oracle.

Eldon Rude, a long time fixture on reading the Austin economic tea leaves stated that there may be a retreat in home building because of higher interest rates and higher home prices. This coupled with the scarcity of affordable lots makes it difficult to build an affordable house. The median price of an average home in our area has increased 40% in the past five years.

Remember when I blogged back then that it was a good time to buy Austin area residential real estate? Well it still is.

Rick Ebert / Austin, Texas / 4 January 19