Real estate trends to watch in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

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See trend one here.

Rental prices up in Pflugerville, total tenants down in Round Rock and more: rental trends to know in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the area’s separate markets are currently experiencing different trends in their multifamily rental markets.

While Round Rock has seen its median monthly rent price slowly climb since 2103, Hutto has watched its median rent prices dip in the last two years, for example.

The different markets appear to experience fluctuating levels of renter demand as well. According to the 2106 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the overall total of rented units in Round Rock has fallen by approximately 200 units, though the city’s rental vacancy rate dropped by 2.5 percent.

In Hutto, however, the rental vacancy rate nearly doubled, climbing from 12.8 percent in 2012 to 25.1 percent — one quarter of all units in Hutto — in 2016.

Pflugerville’s vacancy rate remained level from 2012 to 2016, according to census data.

While the total number of rented units in Round Rock has dropped over the last five years, renters are paying more for their units. The median price of an average monthly rent payment in Round Rock rose by approximately $100 from 2012 to 2016, settling at $1,104.

More than 40 percent of renters in Round Rock pay between $1,000-$1,499 in average monthly rent. In all 36.6 percent of Round Rock renters pay 35 percent or more of their monthly income solely on the cost of rent.

That number is much more stark in Pflugerville where it remains a challenge to find affordable rental units. In 2016, 46 percent of renters spent 35 percent or more of their monthly income on the cost of rent. That percentage did not change much—only 2 percent—from 2012. From 2012 to 2016 the median price of rental units in Pflugerville rose by $100 and now sits $1,221 per month.

Pflugerville experienced a growth of 500 additional rented units inside the city since 2012. Data shows that 4,016 rental units were occupied in Pflugerville in 2016, up from 3,773 the year prior.

Monthly rent payments have remained relatively stable in Hutto, and the median monthly rent payment in 2016—$1,357—was lower than it was in 2012—$1,378.

Hutto is set to see its number of available rental properties climb in the next one to two years. The North Creek Apartments complex, part of the Carmel Creek development, is currently leasing its first set of available spaces. The Co-Op District, a mixed-use project currently in development, will feature approximately 230 multifamily units at full build-out. Another mixed-use development in Hutto—The Landing—will add 1,400 units of mixed, single-family and multifamily residential property by its completion.

Solar panel installation prices to drop in Travis, Williamson counties

Households with installed photovoltaic solar power systems in Central Texas are likely to see increased energy cost savings over the next several years.

According Ben Zientara, lead researcher and policy analyst for Solar Power Rocks, homeowners are seeing installation costs mitigated through a combination of federal grants and incentive programs offered by local electricity distributors.

“Between the two programs you can reduce the cost of your system to half of what other people in other states pay,” Zientara said.

Oncor offers its Residential Solar Program, an incentives package for homeowners in the Oncor service area, which is already fully reserved for 2018.

Austin Energy customers can earn up to a $2,500 rebate on their solar panel installations through a “solar education course” offered by the company. Some households may also be eligible for property tax exemptions, according to the Austin Energy website.

Zientara commented the price of solar panel installation materials will continue to drop, and battery systems will continue to improve capacity at a lower overall cost.

Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto apartment rent Fluctuates

Over the past two years the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto area has seen effective rent prices fluctuate between $1,086 and $1,145 per month, according to Apartment Data Services.

While prices have gone up and down, the annual growth
trend has seen a 0.43 percent decrease in rates from July
2016 to June 2018.

Bruce McClenny, the president of ADS, said the Austin area
as a whole is seeing this trend in fluctuating rental prices.

“It’s kind of like you’re sailing a sailboat where you’re tacking, you’re going out and coming back,” he said. “As an operator [landlord] you’re testing if you can get these rents, so you might pop them up a bit, but you might bring them down next month because people responded to that rent increase.”

McClenny said apartment rental rates have not changed dramatically in the last two years because of the number of apartment units coming online. According to ADS, the total number of apartment units in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto increased from 20,105 in July 2016 to 23,745 in June 2018—an increase of 3,640 units. Currently those units are seeing an occupancy rate of 90.8 percent.

Area sees uptick in residential construction permits

Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto have seen an increase in the number of residential building permits issued between May 2017 and May 2018. Although the total has dipped and spiked over the past year, city reports show an overall increase in the number of permits issued.

The total number of residential permits issued tends to spike during months in which a builder receives several permits at one time, according to Ashley Lumpkin, executive director of business and development services for the city of Hutto.

Lumpkin said the residential growth in the city has been steady, but she expects to see it pick up.

“Three builders just submitted their master plans, so it’s going to go up really quickly,” Lumpkin said.

Lumpkin said Hutto has seen an increase in the number of commercial building permits issued by the city, which has gone up from four in May 2017 to eight in May 2018, the highest number of commercial building permits issued in one month the city over the past year.

In 2016 Hutto issued permits for 212,517 square feet of new commercial space followed by 66,576 square feet in 2017. This year Hutto has already permitted 260,113 square feet of commercial space. Lumpkin said those numbers do not include the Co-Op District and other projects in the pipeline.

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