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2017 set to be strong year for greater Austin housing market

The Austin housing market doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. The Austin Board of Realtors and the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin predict continued growth in 2017.

Market experts believe despite a slight slowdown in job growth in our region, lasting demand from years prior will keep the market from sliding.

Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, said consumer confidence is one of the biggest indicators of growth.

"When people are confident about their jobs and financial situations, they're going to buy cars and houses," said Rude. "And that is what we are seeing in Austin."

The median price for single family homes in 2016 hit a record, $284,000. That is up 7.2 percent over 2015.

Ari Alvillar and her family recently bought a home in Hutto, based on its affordability and amenities. She built the home and was able to customize it to her liking.

"Austin is a little bit more expensive out there now," said Alvillar.

Experts like Rude say Alvillar's property value is likely to rise this year, as more people spread out to the suburbs.

Rude said builders are also reporting a strong year ahead, despite increased regulations.

"Higher costs translate into higher home prices, so it's kind of going against the grain of trying to have more affordable housing," said Rude.

Builders project building about 5 percent more homes in 2017, compared to 2016.

Experts say the higher-priced, luxury home market has softened some. However, Rude says that is because of an increase in competition. While there are more people building homes, plenty of people are still buying.

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