Your Weekly Pulse on the Housing Market
With no shortage of opinions about the market, it's important you have an in-house expert who can cut through the noise and give an accurate perspective of our region's housing market and economy.
That's why we created Driving it Home, a new weekly housing market update with ABoR Housing Economist Dr. Clare Losey.
Every Tuesday morning, we'll release an interview with Dr. Losey explaining the week's need-to-know trends. You'll be caught up on the market before you finish your morning drive!
November 28, 2023
In this episode of Driving It Home, Dr. Clare Losey and Kelea Youngblood discuss the impact of higher mortgage rates on new home construction. Dr. Losey explains that increased mortgage rates discourage builders due to higher borrowing costs and the potential decrease in demand from buyers challenged by affordability. Despite this, the Austin market has seen a slight rebound in new single-family home construction permits, suggesting a cautious optimism among builders who anticipate a normalization of mortgage rates.
Comparatively, the Austin market is doing slightly better than the national average in terms of new construction. This discussion transitions into the broader topic of homebuilder confidence, which has been declining in the face of rising mortgage rates, reflecting a pessimistic outlook on the new home market. However, Austin's year-over-year increase in new single-family permits indicates a relatively stronger market performance.
The podcast also addresses the costs of construction goods and services, which have risen significantly over the past several years. Despite a recent flattening of these costs, they remain high, which, coupled with higher mortgage rates, further constrains the affordability of new homes. The need for affordable housing is particularly acute in Austin, and both Dr. Losey and Kelea stress the importance of advocacy efforts to manage development fees and costs to ensure housing availability for all income levels. They conclude with a brief update on the weekly real estate statistics for Central Texas, noting a significant decline in closed sales and leases due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but with active listings remaining stable.
Download an episode transcript here.
ABOUT DR. CLARE LOSEY
In her role as Housing Economist, Dr. Clare Losey helps unpack complex data and keeps REALTORS® up to date on the latest trends in the Austin housing market and broader economy. She’s passionate about providing accurate, timely, and relevant analysis & commentary on the Austin economy and housing market that allows REALTORS® to better understand current conditions in the market and optimize their business practices accordingly.
Prior to joining ABoR, Clare worked at the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University for seven years as an Assistant Research Economist. In her role, she provided analysis and commentary on the Austin economy and housing market using econometric and statistical models. Very similar to her role here at ABoR, she conducted research and analysis on Texas housing markets and housing affordability for cities, communities, and nonprofit organizations across Texas.
Clare earned her Bachelor’s at the University of Texas Austin, her Master’s in Land Economics and Real Estate from Texas A&M University, and her Doctorate in Urban and Regional Sciences from Texas A&M University. And if that wasn’t enough, she served as the President of the Urban and Regional Sciences Student Organization during her time at Texas A&M!