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Central Texans open up about the affordability crisis in Austin

A recent MoneyGeek report shows 26 places in the U.S. where homeownership has become unaffordable. Two counties on the list are in Central Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas — For those interested in buying a house in Austin's booming market, it might come with some challenges.

Many people are realizing their money isn't stretching as far as it used to in Central Texas. 

"I moved here back in 2012 and I can absolutely remember when I first moved here feeling like it was bizarre how cheap housing was in Austin," said Austin resident Wade Redfearn.  

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That memory quickly faded for the Travis County resident. Redfearn said he used to pay $1,500 split between three roommates for a house off William Cannon Drive. Now, he's paying $2,000 a month for a two bedroom near South Congress knowing prices could go up.  

"Literally, the first thing everybody started talking about was like, are we going to get rent increases? Have you heard about other people getting rent increases? Do you know other tenants that are getting rent increases? Everyone is paranoid about it," said Redfearn. 

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In a recent report from personal finance website MoneyGeek, experts took a look at changes in home ownership costs and median incomes from 2019 to 2022. On the list, 26 counties throughout the U.S. were revealed as no longer having an affordable housing market. 

Travis and Williamson County made No. 3 and 4 on the list. 

According to MoneyGeek, the reason owning a home is unaffordable in Travis County is due to high demand for homes with few houses in supply. 

In Williamson County, it's because an influx of people moving to the suburbs, which is increasing home costs. 

"Austin has been growing at like 8% population wise year over year for like 12 years. Is that going to stop all of a sudden just because we get more expensive? No, it's just going to change who buys here that's all," said Redfearn.  

During the month of March, the median price for a home in Central Texas was more than $520,000. In the city of Austin, it was $624,000. 

For those who can afford to buy a home, that comes with a new set of struggles as according to the U.S. News & World Report the real estate market is expected to see rising prices continue throughout 2022.


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