December 3rd, 2020 by Johnna Crider
In a new video by the Giga Texas Quad Squad, a group of drone flyers who capture the ongoing construction efforts of Tesla’s newest Gigafactory being built on American soil, you can see a roof is now up. In the video captured by Jeff Roberts, you can see more steel going up as well, and giant beams are getting a roof as groundwork picks up the pace.
Possible Impacts On The Austin Housing Market
The Statesman reports that the Central Texas housing market is defying the pandemic and posted a strong showing in October. Homes were sold at higher price points than ever before according to the Austin Board of Realtors. October was marked by an increase in sales and the highest median home sales price on record. Both of these were for the region as a whole as well as inside Austin’s city limits.
Kirk Silas, a market research analyst with Aquila Commercial, pointed out that the rising home prices could be a concern but noted that many employees are possibly moving to Austin from far more expensive cities. “However, because many employees are relocating from far more expensive cities like Seattle and San Francisco, home prices in Austin are still vastly more affordable than what these employees are used to,” Silas said.
Silas noted that the increased demand for housing is being driven by Tesla employees relocating to the area, since Tesla just so happens to be building its latest Gigafactory on the outskirts of Austin. “Tesla executives had already started searching for homes only weeks after Tesla announced it would be building a factory in Austin, and with an estimated 5,000 new jobs being created it’s likely that many of those employees will be participating in Austin’s residential market soon,” Silas pointed out, “With numbers like these, it’s clear to see that the Austin area’s residential market has actually heated up as a result of COVID-19, at least compared to 2019.”
Don’t Rush To Blame Tesla For The Cost Of Housing Just Yet
Although it is only natural for a well known company to impact a city it is moving into, in many ways, Tesla isn’t really at fault for the cost of Austin’s rising housing prices — Austin isn’t the only city having this issue. Earlier today, Mansion Global shared that US housing prices are expected to rise another 5.7% in 2021 as the nation’s median home price is “on track to reach new peaks over the next 12 months.”
Even as the economy faces a long road to recovery, a forecast from Realtor.com economists shows that the US housing market will drive home prices up more than 5%. This is due to strong demand fueling a burst of home sales across the country despite the ongoing pandemic, which is projected to drive total sales up 7% in 2021. That’s not all — interest rates are also projected to rise up to 3.4%
Danielle Hale, Realtor.com‘s chief economist pointed out that even though there may be a better selection of homes to choose from, buyers will face the challenges of affordability. “Buyers may finally have a better selection of homes to choose from later in the year, but will face a renewed challenge of affordability as prices stay high and mortgage rates rise.”
In Texas, Tesla’s new Gigafactory is encouraging economic and environmental growth, which surely has an impact on the housing market in the Austin area, but not to the extremes as mentioned above.
Earlier last month, the Austin City Council held a meeting and approved a resolution for the development of East Austin — where Tesla’s Giga Texas’ ecological paradise would be a perfect fit.
“(This resolution) brings some much-needed focus to a long-neglected part of East Austin that’s basically on the precipice of really experiencing considerable growth,” said Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison. “This is our opportunity to really get it right and get ahead of unfettered growth with more proactive action in this area.”
The Council sees a lot more growth opportunity, which means commercial, industrial, and residential growth. The key is simply to keep a good balance. The Council already has plans to develop a 195-acre plot of land into a mixed-use technology park called Velocity and has approved plans to make improvements to Walter E. Long Park.
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