According to a recent story in the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin metropolitan area is, for the eighth year running, the fastest-growing large metro region in America in 2019. The Austin-Round Rock metro area now has a population of 2,168,316, representing a 2.5% increase from 2017, and some experts predict the total population could reach 3.2 million in the next decade.
As might be expected, this remarkable growth is fuelling a housing boom the like of which has not been seen in Texas in decades: in Round Rock alone, 900 new single-family homes were built in 2018, and Hays County and Williamson County are also seeing a huge surge in demand for single-family homes.
Much of this growth is being driven Austin’s exploding job market, including the many new high quality jobs that have been created by the growth the tech industry in Silicon Hills.
As housing costs skyrocket in large cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, many skilled workers are being lured by the promise of good wages and lower costs of living. Professionals are trading in shoebox apartments in coastal cities for suburban homes in the municipalities surrounding Austin, and this incredible influx of capital has been a gold mine for the local real estate industry.
Naturally, this has been a huge boon to property owners. But it isn’t just people with land assets who are benefiting from this huge influx of newcomers. Many Texans are taking advantage of the white-hot housing market by getting into the real estate industry themselves as real estate agents.
In Texas, it is relatively easy to become licensed as a real estate agent: all you need to do is take an online course familiarizing you with Texas real estate practices and law, and to pass the final exams (you can read this information to find out what the Texas real estate license requirements are). Once you are licensed, you can apply to work with a broker and start handling sales right away.
This means that ordinary Texans who want to benefit from the opportunities that come with the Austin housing boom can get into the real estate market as agents in a matter of months. Because the course is taught online, you don’t even need to quit your day job to get started: you can begin the licensing process today.
And it isn’t just Austin that is booming: of USA Today’s list of twenty-five fastest growing cities in America, six are located in Texas. Because real estate agents are licensed by the state, they can operate in any of these lucrative markets.
The kind of growth that Texas is currently experiencing places a lot of strain on existing infrastructure, and as the cost of living rises to keep pace with the influx of new citizens, long-time residents can sometimes be at a disadvantage.