A Historic Housing Construction Boom

Currently, there is a construction boom throughout the country for new housing. This year, the number was even higher than last year’s houses built — almost 1.7 million in September.

According to The Idaho Capital Sun, among the arrivals to Austin in the past decade is K.N., a single father who asked to be identified only by his initials because he doesn’t want his children’s schoolmates to hear about his problems. K.N., a tech programmer who moved from San Francisco a decade ago, said his increasingly high rent may force him to move.

The landlord for his two-bedroom townhouse has asked for annual $100 rent increases in recent years, and just asked for another $200, K.N. said, upping his monthly housing costs with utilities to around $2,500.

“It would reduce my disposable income to basically zero, and that’s not wise with all the extras kids need in school,” K.N. said. “I’d have to pinch pennies to the point that it would cause anxiety. Being housing poor is something I’m trying to avoid.”

Despite a good income, K.N. said, he might have to move farther from his children’s school, which now is within walking distance. He moved to Texas in the first place partly to save money on rent in hopes of buying a house. But he says he sees apartment construction everywhere in Austin.

His observations match reality: Last year, Austin built 24 million square feet of apartment buildings alongside 8.7 million square feet of single-family housing, according to city records.

It’s a similar story nationally, with nearly 1 million apartments under construction as of September. By comparison, there were 914,500 apartments under construction in 2022 and 736,900 in 2021.

The number of single-family homes being built is also high, though the pace has slowed in the past two years. There were about 694,000 homes under construction in September, down from about 736,000 at the end of 2022 and 750,500 at the end of 2021. The last time construction was so high was in 2006, when about 748,000 single-family homes were under construction during the housing bubble before the Great Recession.

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