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Looking for a Starter Home in Austin? Good Luck With That

Startlingly low inventory

It's no secret that, like most cities in the nation, Austin doesn't have enough housing inventory to sell to eager buyers. That's particularly true of home for first-time buyers, according to a new report by real-estate website Trulia. In fact, Austin has one of the stingiest markets in the country when it comes making homes available for that particular sector of buyers.

Buyers looking for a first-time, or "starter" home, are affected by the inventory of "trade-up" homes as well, according to the quarterly Trulia Inventory and Price Watch. There aren't enough homes available for homeowners ready to move up from their first homes, in other words, which make those homes available for first-time buyers.

That kind of gridlock, as the report calls it, is caused in part by increasing prices in starter, trade-up, and premium sectors, as they make it difficult for buyers to move up from one sector to another.

According to the report, Austin's has the third largest starter-home inventory loss of all the cities studied; Salt Lake City tops the list, with San Antonio coming in second. Specifically, Austin's inventory dropped 82.9%, from 1,927 to 329, from quarter one in 2012 to the same quarter in 2016.

The report also details the amount of price increase over each sector, compares places where starter homes are within reach (spoiler alert: central parts of the country), and lots of other useful information, which you can find analyzed, along with lots of pretty charts, here at

Starter Home Inventory Drop Burdens First-Time Buyers, Report Reveals [Curbed]

House Arrest: How Low Inventory Is Slowing Home Buying [Trulia]