From 2000 to 2015, the population of Texas’ four major metro areas — known collectively as the “Texas Triangle” — soared by a staggering 41 percent.
At the outset of the 21st century, the combined population of the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio metro areas stood at 12,838,417. Fifteen years later, in 2015, the Triangle’s population skyrocketed to 18,144,678.
Of course, those 5.3 million extra bodies needed roofs over their heads. To meet that demand, home construction shot up. But can you guess how more single-family homes were added from 2000 through 2015 in the Triangle?
We were curious, so we analyzed data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to find the answer.
Explosion of Permits
The data shows the number of building permits issued for single-family homes from 2000 through 2015 in each of the four metro areas. When you add up all the numbers, you find that during that period, 1,306,231 building permits were issued for single-family homes in the Texas Triangle.
Here’s the 2000-15 breakdown for each metro area:
- Austin — 158,216 permits.
- Dallas-Fort Worth — 466,696 permits.
- Houston — 552,600 permits.
- San Antonio — 128,720 permits.
Here are the permit numbers for 2015 compared with 2014:
- Austin — 11,558 in 2015 vs. 11,561 in 2014.
- Dallas-Fort Worth — 28,044 in 2015 vs. 22,759 in 2014.
- Houston — 36,865 in 2015 vs. 38,123 in 2014.
- San Antonio — 6,295 in 2015 vs. 6,076 in 2014.
Here are the peaks and valleys of 2000-15 permit activity:
Peak: July 2007 — 3,682
Valley: January 2010 — 473
Peak: May 2006 — 5,462
Valley: February 2009 — 1,430
Peak: November 2005 — 5,190
Valley: January 2009 — 863
Peak: December 2005 — 1,456
Valley: October 2010 — 317
DFW Leapfrogs Houston
Paige Shipp, Dallas-Fort Worth regional director for Metrostudy, which researches U.S. housing markets, says the new-home trends observed in the Texas Triangle from 2000 through 2015 are on track to change. As of the first quarter of 2016, Dallas-Fort Worth slipped past Houston as the country’s busiest market for new-home construction.
“I anticipate DFW will remain in the number position for the foreseeable future as Houston’s market recovers from the downturn in energy,” Shipp says.
In the DFW metro area, Metrostudy expects about 30,000 new-home starts in 2016, which would be a 12 percent increase from 2015. On the other hand, Metrostudy forecasts new-home starts in 2016 will fall to 26,500 in the Houston metro area, which would be a 5 percent decrease from 2015.
Metrostudy predicts new-home starts in the San Antonio metro area will remain flat in 2016, with about 9,300 new-home starts this year and last year. Meanwhile, Metrostudy is projecting 12,250 new-home starts for 2016 in the Austin metro area, which would be an 11 percent increase from 2015.
“All four markets remain strong in the sense that demand continues to outpace supply,” Shipp says. “However, diminishing affordability and the lack of new homes below $200,000 is a concern. If new home prices continue to increase, many buyers will not be able to afford a new home.”
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