You know you’re the new “it” spot when other cities and states pit up billboards in cities like Austin, advertising for the city’s many new transplants to consider leaving their new homes in Central Texas for other locales in the Midwest.
Ohio, for example, has a billboard campaign urgining Austin to remain so weird it becomes an unaffordable place to live – a not-so-subtle hint to consider the Buckeye State as an affordable alternative to call home.
Also seen around the Texas Capital were billboards positioning Northwest Arkansas as the new Austin.
The reality is Texas is an ideal place to live, what with so many people moving to the state’s four major metropolises.
People were relocating to Texas, even before the COVID pandemic. Many people were moving away from dense urban and expensive areas on the East and West coasts to places with a more attainable and sustainable standard of living, as the 2020 census data showed. Central Texas was a popular destination, and continues to be the place to be. Not only did Austin and its surrounding suburbs experience rapid growth in the past few years, but major corporations either expanded or relocated wholly to the Texas Capital.
Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Oracle, and Tesla, to name but a few international conglomerates, were among those expanding or relocating to Austin.
The combination of people and companies relocating to Austin – and Texas, in general – means there is a demand for human capital … and an even greater demand for real estate.
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This means new and existing companies have a deep pool of talent to choose from for its human resources, and people taking on new jobs need places to live.
There is no better time than now, accordingly, to invest in Texas, be it as an entrepreneur or in multifamily real estate.
Texas’s population grew almost 16 percent between 2010 and 2020, with a little more than 1.9 million people migrating into the state during that period. That makes Texas the third fastest growing state in the U.S.. In fact, six of the country’s ten fastest growing counties were in Texas. And within Texas, the three fastest growing areas are Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Houston, and Austin-Round Rock and the surrounding towns and suburbs.
As mentioned, business migration and people migration mirror each other. The qualities drawing people and companies to Texas are simple. Unemployment is low, median incomes are high, and the cost of living and housing are affordable. The influx of companies and people are bringing greater racial diversity. And the risks from climate change are relatively lower than in coastal areas. Companies like the business-friendly regulatory environment, and everyone likes tax rates that are lower. It’s a combination that makes the economic and lifestyle environments dynamic and energetic.
There are, of course, challenges. With more than half of Texas’s population between 18 and 65 years old, all the growth means an increasing need for quality affordable multifamily housing. Around 40 percent of housing is renter-occupied.
Apartment vacancy, however, is at 6%, which means there is capacity for renters to move around, but not so much that multifamily owners struggle to fill empty apartments. The single-family market saw a decrease in homes for sale and an increase in median prices, so people moving into Texas are more likely to rent before they find the right house at the right price.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that continuing migration will stretch the capacity of Texas’ current multifamily properties. Although new multifamily projects are in development, it will take years to complete them and for the rental market to absorb the new units. This creates the investment opportunities that American Ventures® takes advantage of with its value-add approach.
How do I spot my next best area for investing? I use several sources:
- Census data
- Journalistic reviews of lifestyle trends
- Annual best-places-to-live surveys
- Metropolitan area market reports from HUD and companies like CBRE.
You can use these sources to gain insights into demographic and business trends in counties and communities around the country. Multifamily investing opportunities, like those in Texas, driven by population growth in metropolitan areas exist in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and several other states. You only need to do a little information mining to find them.
I always say whether the economy is up or down, multifamily ground up developments or value-add investment projects provide a great return. My company, American Ventures®, is positioned to realize such returned with the multifamily projects we’re on the verge of executing.
With the kind of business and population growth occurring in Texas right now, I see continued best-in-class performance.