With the closing of the first quarter, here’s a look at the highs and lows of residential construction in Texas.
HBW subscribers working with leads in Texas are already aware of the more than 15,000 new residential construction permits on file in the first quarter of 2016. From Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, there was about a 2% drop in activity in comparison to Q1 2015, yet areas like Dallas and Austin were on the rise with increases in housing starts of 12% in Dallas and 20% in Austin.
According to the latest report in Dallas Business Journal, home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth are up 22% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2016. The same article attributed the strength in the market to more favorable weather conditions in comparison to 2015, noting that the figures could be even higher if the labor shortage wasn’t still an issue in the industry.
When reviewing HBW’s latest Building Trend Report for new residential construction, the increase in housing starts was evident in the Dallas area with more than 4,700 new permits on file in the first quarter (up 12% in comparison to Q1 2015); just over 10% (500 homes) of the housing starts in Dallas were for homes valued over $500k.
The greatest number of housing starts on file was found in the Houston area, with more than 6,600 new residential permits in the first quarter. Although the area saw a 16% decrease overall in new residential construction in comparison to the same time last year, the County of Brazoria experienced a massive 89% increase in housing starts. The area also reflected more affordable housing as less than 3% of new residential construction was for homes with values in excess of $500k.
As previously mentioned, Austin was up in the first quarter with a 20% increase and more than 2,400 housing starts. The majority of new residential construction took place in Travis and Williamson counties, and approximately 5% of new homes were valued greater than $500k. Just behind Austin was the San Antonio area with nearly 1,500 housing starts. San Antonio experienced a 5% increase in activity in comparison to Q1 of 2015, and less than 3% of new residential construction was for homes valued over $500k.
Taking a look at the counties with the highest concentration of housing starts in the first quarter, there are areas in Houston, Dallas and Austin that take the lead. Harris County (Houston) was #1 for total starts with 3,303 new residential construction permits on file. Harris County was also one of the top areas (third highest) for total starts of homes valued over $500k (102 homes). In Dallas, Collin County was second highest in the state with 1,514 housing starts, an increase of 14% in comparison to Q1 2015. Collin County was also second highest for homes valued over $500k as more than 7% of starts (113 homes) were in the higher value bracket. In the third spot, we look back at Houston and the county of Fort Bend. Although Fort Bend was third highest for total starts (1,434 permits), it had a 27% decrease in total new permits in comparison to Q1 2015. Of course, this is just the first quarter, and since 2011, Fort Bend has consistently had a pattern of growth in new residential construction year after year.
Two other areas that have continued a pattern of growth over the last five years are Travis County (Austin) and Tarrant County (Dallas). Travis County is already on the upswing in the first quarter of 2016 with a 33% increase in comparison to Q1 2015 and 1,325 new residential construction permits on file. Tarrant County (Dallas) was fifth highest for total housing starts with 1,153 new permits on file in Q1.
Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest building activity in Texas and beyond, please contact HBW for details.