Is the Austin housing market healthy?

There are many homes for sale in Austin, and several local real estate experts recently noted that they anticipate more property buyers to pursue homes in this city and other Texas metros.

The Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University reports that real estate is currently the second-largest industry in Texas, behind only manufacturing. Other figures support experts' claims that Texas' housing market is improving, including the present value of the state's real estate market - $1.6 trillion, or $65,432 worth of real estate for each resident.

Austin's economic health
Many real estate professionals evaluate the health of a housing market based on various data, including the number of property sales in a given time frame and the value of buildings in an area.

According to the Orlando Business Journal, Austin ranked second in On Numbers' November 2012 list that classifies U.S. metros with populations of 500,000 residents or more based on economic health. Austin received an overall score of 90.349 that was based on its strong private-sector growth, lower-than-average unemployment rate, high earnings per worker, earnings appreciation and house appreciation.

However, Austin's spot on the list might not be surprising to many housing market experts, as the city also finished second in the On Numbers' rankings in October 2012.

Austin is attractive for businesses
One of the reasons the Austin housing market has been successful is the opportunities people see in this area. Businesses and researchers are embracing the chance to come to Austin, and the city's residents are benefiting from their endeavors.

For example, KHOU-TV reports that residents in Austin's Mueller neighborhood are participating in a program designed to study how electric cars impact the power grid. General Motors officials noted that this neighborhood has the highest concentration of electric cars in the nation, and those who are participating received a $7,500 rebate they could use to purchase an electric car, the Chevy Volt.

Researchers anticipate that they will compile data from these Austin residents over the next five years.

"My hope is that we are the tip of the iceberg; and that other communities, other states and other countries learn from what we are learning here," Carole Mick, a Mueller neighborhood resident who owns an electric car, told the news source.