June 11, 2018
Though the housing market in Texas is, on the whole, relatively affordable, that trend is in danger of eroding. According to a recent study released by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, a shift from lower-priced, entry level new homes to more expensive ones is reducing housing affordability for lower-income families in some of the state’s metros.
The question then becomes why developers aren’t turning out lower-cost housing. The TAMU analysts note that “economic factors such as high land values, high construction costs and more stringent financing” are driving developers to build “larger, expensive homes, rather than lower-priced entry level homes.” The end result of that has been what the analysts call “continual erosion of affordability,” especially from the bottom of the income distribution curve, on up.
The report ends by suggesting that alleviating affordability pressure for potential lower-income buyers will depend on incomes catching up with home prices, and/or more entry level housing being built. The other option is to return product from the rental market to for-sale status.
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