Official: Population growth, demographic changes expected to affect housing in Williamson County

The housing market continues to be strong in Travis and Williamson counties.

The housing market continues to be strong in Travis and Williamson counties.

Williamson County's population is expected to reach almost 2 million by 2050, and local Realtors recently heard how that and other factors may affect local and state housing.

James Gaines, chief economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, spoke with Williamson County Association of Realtors Thursday to give them a midyear economic outlook.

According to Gaines, Williamson County is expected to continue to see population growth through at least 2050, going from a population of about 600,000 today to almost 2 million people by 2050.

Texas leads the nation in new home construction, with Austin in the top 25 ranking.

Gaines said a large number of people moving to Texas are young people looking for work.

“If you’re in your 20s or early 30s, do you buy a house? Eighty percent of them don’t,” he said. “That’s why the rental market has been so good. That’s why probably we’ll continue for another few years. It’s going to take a while to run that through.”

Looking at demographics, about 22 percent of the population are people who are 20-34 years old while about 12 percent are 65 years old or older.

“We are the third-youngest state in the country. Our median age in Texas 34.2 years,” Gaines said.

Some areas that Gaines said may affect the market looking forward include lifestyle difference between the various generations, increasing racial and ethnic diversity and affordability. Based on 2015 income, Gaines said 42 percent of households in Texas cannot afford a house priced higher than $150,000.