Economist Angelos Angelou delivered his 29th annual economic forecast in Austin on Dec. 12, and offered a sunny outlook for the Capital City & Austin Real Estate in 2014. Among his predictions, he anticipates that Austin would add 57,000 new residents and about 29,000 new jobs in 2014, and have a 4.8 percent unemployment rate by the end of 2015. Here are a few highlights from his talk.
Austin’s Real Estate Highlights for 2013
- The Austin metro area added 54,700 people, roughly 27,200 new jobs and had a 5 percent unemployment rate.
- It also had $27.2 billion in retail sales.
- The city’s main economic drivers included its entrepreneurs and its tech, real estate and entertainment sectors.
- Austin’s high-tech industry added 5,000 new jobs in 2013 for a total of roughly 120,000 jobs in the field.
- The real estate market remains strong with Vacancy rates have reaching record lows.
- “I cannot find any Realtor who will not tell me that homes are being bid up in Austin,” he said. “You cannot buy anything at asking price; you have to bid it up sometimes 5, 10 or 15 percent.”
- Angelou said major events such as Austin City Limits, South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals and the U.S. Grand Prix have generated an estimated $800 million annually for the local economy.
Austin’s 2014 Real Estate Outlook
- The Greater Austin area will continue to thrive in 2014 with the arrival at Google Fiber and Dell Medical School.
- Austin’s economy would experience “good, solid growth” in 2014 and 2015. With an additional 28,900 jobs in 2014 and 30,400 jobs in 2015.
- In two years, Angelou estimates that Austin’s metro area will add 150,000 people, bringing the area’s population to 1.98 million.
- Austin would add 57,000 new residents and about 29,000 new jobs in 2014, and have a 4.8 percent unemployment rate by the end of 2015.
Other Highlights of the Austin Local Economy
- Catherine Morse, general counsel for Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC, said the company employs 2,600 people and contributes $2.2 billion annually to the Central Texas economy. Samsung expects to keep the same number of employees for the first part of 2014 but hopes for growth in the second part of the year, she said.
- Greg Hartman, president of external affairs at Seton Healthcare, said The University of Texas may announce the new dean of the Dell Medical School in January. Seton will break ground on the medical school in September and the teaching hospital in October.
- Hugh Forrest, director of the SXSW Interactive conference, said that in 2013, SXSW generated $218 million of economic impact, or 35 percent of a Super Bowl’s impact.