Renting Vs. Buying in Austin, TX
Guest Post by Catherine Joy Clemente
Apartment rentals in Austin have been at a 96% occupancy rate for months now. A combination of new tech jobs, slowed new-building growth and a rising population within the city has increased the demand for apartments, causing rental rates to rise and making landlords and investors as happy as can be.
People from all over the nation and the state continue to move to Austin for a variety of reasons:
- The Austin lifestyle offers a warm climate, live music and a variety of local cuisine.
- In the midst of a recession, it is cheaper to be unemployed in Austin than it is to be unemployed in San Francisco, New York, Miami or Detroit.
- Austin has been listed as one of the best places to live in the nation by multiple publications over the past few years.
- The city offers culture, education and plenty of outdoor activities.
- Austin businesses are known for hiring telecommuters.
Others Austin newcomers are students in the city, there to earn a degree at one of the many colleges and universities that call the city home, so their time (and budgets) are limited and best spent in a rental property where maintenance is not their concern and where they are free to move at any time. The same holds true for government officials from around the state who only converge at the capitol when they aren’t in their home territories.
While the city continued to grow, the recession halted the construction of new apartment complexes and made home loans more difficult to get. That, combined with retired couples downsizing from single-family dwellings to multi-family communities, has made finding an apartment more competitive than ever. The average apartment only stays on the market 7 to 10 days before being leased again, making lease applications vital and lease renewal deadlines unbreakable.
The Austin rental market has even gained the attention of property management investors as far away as Maryland. In a location where apartments are hard to come by despite the rising cost of rentals, investors see an opportunity. They are looking to purchase existing Austin high-rise residences or to build new ones, feeling confident the market would enable them to easily find occupants.
Some takeaway points:
- If you’re looking for a new place to live, Austin ranks as a highly desirable location.
- If you already live in the Austin area and are looking to rent, be ready to move quickly as most property owners will not hold a spot for long, knowing there are plenty of others who will rent it.
- If you are already renting a residence in Austin, don’t drag your feet about renewing the lease or your place might get rented out from under you.
- If you’re a developer, Austin is worth looking in to.
- If you’re an investor, consider purchasing some property in Austin to lease to those looking for a place to rent.