HBA Austin Mid-Year Housing Forecast

by HBA Austin

Tim Sullivan of Meyers Research, a Kennedy Wilson Company, presented his analysis of the Greater Austin housing market, concluding that the region is still trending upward in the market cycle. Solid job growth, particularly higher paying salary jobs, will continue to put pressure on affordability with prices expected to be on the incline for the foreseeable future.

“Differentiation is the key factor for the new home market,” says Sullivan. “New home prices in the Greater Austin area are just 5 percent above the cost of a resale home; compare to markets like Dallas where the difference is 46 percent,” he says. “The challenge for builders in Austin is differentiating new homes from resale homes.”

Sullivan says the region is building homes at 2.5x the rate (16.7 vs 6.85) of the U.S., but that builders here are not overbuilding. “We don’t have a supply problem,” says Sullivan.

“The Greater Austin market has just three months’ supply of available inventory where six months is considered healthy,” says Sullivan. “The best-selling product right now includes “Active Adult” and the lower price ranges,” he says. With tight supply comes higher prices—good news for the  region’s wealth building, bad news for affordability.

And while Sullivan says Austin is in a good position for new home building growth, restrictions on funding will likely keep new projects from coming to fruition—putting additional pressure on supply—a hindrance to addressing housing affordability.

According to Sullivan, the region’s demand ratio of employment to permits is 1.7—implying a balance between buyers who can buy and the number of homes being built. Analyzing home prices to income also results in good news for the average sales rate per project at 2.1. “Austin is one of the top five markets in the U.S.,” says Sullivan.

Sullivan expects job growth in Austin will slow over the next few years, but is still expected to top an average of 20,000 jobs created per year (down from 30,000 to 40,000 in recent years). “Austin’s strong combination of healthcare, education and tech sectors of the job market will insulate Austin from an expected economic slowdown     nationwide,” says Sullivan.

Baby on Board

Jenny Owen, Marketing Assistant for Key Insulation, and her husband will be welcoming a baby girl in  September! Key threw a very pink shower in honor of mom-to-be and miss Kamdyn Mae. We are excited for them as they prepare for their first baby and for the new addition to Key!

San Antonio Young Marines Camo Fun RunPictureB

Albert Salas, a former USMC sergeant and employee of Builders Energy Rater, dedicates a great deal of time helping teach discipline and hard work to a group of Young Marines. But every now and then they get to have a little fun! This year they held their annual 5K Camo Cool Down Fun Run at Lady Bird Johnson Park.

What’s In Your Walls?

Summer Home Energy Saving Tips

by cellulose.org

As the globe turns toward summer on the North American Continent the sun changes the equation for home energy efficiency. The number one way to save energy, money and the environment this summer: Manage The Thermostat.Walls

The best way to save energy is to use less of it and in summer for homes that means managing the thermostat as the number one item on the checklist of home maintenance. Cooling a home in summer is the single biggest energy expense.  Here are some easy ways to lower cooling bills:

  • Install a programmable thermostat. These are widely available, inexpensive and easy to install for most home-owners. If you have a second home, go with one of the new wifi models so you can remotely control a distant home.
  • Set or program your thermostat to save by keeping it at or above 78 degrees.
  • Use ceiling fans when in rooms and set thermostat even higher (buy Energy Star rated ceiling fans to save even more on energy.) And turn off the fans when no one is in the room – they cool people not places.
  • Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance. This can be a DIY project. However, for climates where the A/C unit has been off all winter it may be best to have this done by an HVAC professional. Either way, chances are most homeowners will spend less on HVAC expenses with a clean unit cooling their homes.
  • Keep heat sources away from the thermostat. Lights or other sources of heat near the thermostat will cause the A/C to run more frequently.
  • Seal air leaks. This is just as true for summer cooling as winter heating.  Outside air leaking into the home around doors, windows and other areas raises energy bills. Sealing around obvious visual leaks is easy. For a complete assessment have a blower door test done by a qualified professional.
  • Lower the water heater temperature. The warmer summer weather makes people feel warmer (unless their home A/C is set too low!) and allows hot water to stay warmer from the heater to the faucet. Change the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees.


There are many more ways to lower cooling bills but these quick fix items will make a big difference in most homes.  However, the majority of older homes in the U.S. are under insulated. Retrofitting attics and walls with cellulose insulation is affordable and offers one of the fastest returns on investment for major home energy improvements.  Learn more on the CIMA website.

Children’s Hunger Fund Volunteer Day

Key Insulation and Builders Energy Rater were glad to be part of such a great cause as we spent a Saturday morning helping the Children’s Hunger Fund pack food boxes for those in need!


Fitbit Winners!

We decided to make two categories, Field and Office, otherwise Carl (left) would be the sole winner every week! He walks A LOT!! He came in first with a whopping 109,415 steps and the office winner is Mary (right) with 73,830 steps.


Words of Wisdom: Feel Free

We citizens of the United States are pretty big on FREEDOM. This month we celebrate our country’s birthday, which was founded on declaring ourselves free from oppressors. Our Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution outlining how the new country was to function. But it did not get ratified until there was a guarantee of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, which spelled out what freedom looks like.

What does spiritual freedom look like? The Psalmist would say, actually did say, “I will walk about in freedom, for   I have sought out your precepts.”.(Psalm 119:45). The apostle Paul wrote “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) Jesus  said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). A long line of believers will affirm that to be really, really free is to line one’s self with the written, spoken, and living Word of God. And His freedom leads to contentment with life even beyond situations or borders. Corrie Ten Boom was a believer who was imprisoned along with her sister by the Nazis in World War II. Life was tough and only Corrie survived those squalor conditions. Yet often Corrie would come to testify, “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”

Freedom is not found in a list of regulations. True freedom is found in a relationship with Jesus.

David Eaton,                                                                                                                                                               Area Team Leader



Job Opportunities

Assistant Superintendent- We are looking for an Assistant Superintendent in Austin. Recent  college grads with a construction degree are encouraged to apply! Click here to apply!

Quality Assurance Inspector- We are looking for a Quality Assurance Inspector to do pre and post inspections at each job site in   Austin. Click here to apply!

Austin Sales Representative– Key is looking for a Sales Rep to sell various types of insulation. Click here to apply!

Inside Sales Representative- Looking for a part-time or full-time Inside Sales Rep provide direct support to the Sales Managers in the ongoing development of prospective Key Insulation customers. Click here to apply!

Upcoming Events

August 11th—12th    Global Leadership Summit

September 24th          Children’s Hunger Fund/Chik-fil-a 5K

September 29th          Texas State Job Fair