The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) produced a real estatereport in November that indicates the Austin area real estate has been appreciating, even though most areas of the country are still experiencing a troubled real estate market. The OFHEO (Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) uses the report to show that the Austin area was number 1 in the list of US cities that are appreciating. The reported 5+% appreciation (35+% over the last 5 years) in 2008 is in part a result of the local economic successes of job growth and the long term plan to create 72,000 jobs in the area. Having a vision is great, and having a plan that is being implemented is even better.
The 5 parts of the Austin plan are: Capitalize on Existing Strengths, Recruit and Target Diverse Sectors, Stimulate Entrepreneurship and New Enterprises, Market Austin Effectively, and Improve Regional Competitiveness. These are good topical headlines, but Austin's implementation of their sub points has them well on their way to their goals. They want the Austin area to be ranked number 1 as much as they'd like to see the Texas University football team ranked number 1! They have been working the plan since September of 2003.
In the Austin area of Texas, local businesses are finding ways to succeed that the rest of the country can take as an example. With over 1/2 of the states in this report showing decreases any good example of success is an attention grabber. The Austin Texas area has added 3366 jobs in 2008, according to the Austin Chamber. This is significant because 1 job can result in 4 to 10 other "support" jobs which follow the newly created one. When a job is created, that new employee will need a plumber, a mechanic, an electrician, etc. As more jobs are created, existing companies will expand, and new companies will be formed to meet the needs of the growing community. The Austin Texans have applied their plan so that their job growth in 2008 comes from over 60 companies rather than just one or two. And the newest jobs are in many different industries. This means that if one part of the economy has problems it will have less of an effect on the whole economy of the Austin area.
The latest version of the FHFA report only covers the third quarter of 2008. The next report, which will summarize the whole year, should be even more interesting. In the past is has provided interesting statistics for review.