Before invading space, Elon Musk - the world's richest man seems to be conquering Texas first after he expressed interest in building a wholly new city in "The Lone Star State" called "Starbase."
Musk's soon-to-rise community will be built around Musk's SpaceX facility in Texas. In a Twitter post, he encouraged his 50.3 million followers to consider migrating to Texas as his company will need a bigger workforce for the new facility.
"Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!" Elon Musk wrote.
"SpaceX's hiring needs for engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel of all kinds are growing rapidly," the SpaceX founder added.
But after encouraging his followers to move to Texas, Musk noticed one thing in the city. Over the weekend, the CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors said that Texas, particularly in the city of Austin, needs more real estate development.
"Urgent need to build more housing in (the) greater Austin area!" Musk wrote on Twitter.
When the 49-year-old billionaire's tweet went viral on Sunday, realtors in Austin are quick to echo his statement as they are witnesses to the real estate status in the area.
Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
SpaceX’s hiring needs for engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel of all kinds are growing rapidly.
Urgent need to build more housing in greater Austin area!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2021
Austin Housing Supply and Demand
According to broker and realtor Socar Chatmon - Thomas, Musk was right when he said Austin needs more housing inventory.
"He is right. We do need more housing in the greater Austin area," Chatmon-Thomas told KVEU-TV.
"It would be awesome if we could snap our finger or wave a wand, and then all of the housing is there. But housing takes time," the owner of Elegant Estates By Auction said, adding that houses in Austin could not be built fast enough.
She explained that the coronavirus global pandemic interferes with the supply chain due to the construction process's delays.
"There's a backlog of permitting. A lot of builders are limiting the number of houses that their on-site sales agents can sell. People are being told if they go under contract today that they're not going to be finished with their house until February," Chatmon-Thomas added.
The Austin-based realtor said that the city currently has less than a month's worth of housing inventory.
Austin Housing Boom
Despite the lack of inventory, Austin has shown a red-hot housing market even before the pandemic. In fact, Chatmon-Thomas revealed that homebuyers pay between 20 to 30 percent above the city's asking price for properties.
The realtor said that multiple offers are a common thing in Austing housing, and the offers could go as high as 96 potential buyers. One house in the Brushy Creek area in Round Rock was sold for $504,000, which was $134,000 above the asking price.
As per the Austin Board of Realtors, last February, the median sale price of houses in Travis Country (including Del Valle) land at $470,000, which is up by 25% from last year's record.
But Chatmon-Thomas warned that the pricing in the area is still pretty much the same for the entire Austin metro.
"I've heard $100,000, $150,000 and $175,000. I've heard 20% and 30% above asking price," the realtor said.
"So if something is on the market for $500,000, it's nothing to have it sell for $600,000," she added.