There has been a lot of news lately about the housing market and about the U.S. economy in general that should be of concern to anybody who considers him or herself a realist. I have written for a very long time about the strength of the Austin/Central Texas economy, about our employment picture, about the continuing migration of employers and their employees to the Austin area, about how our culture, environment, climate, etc. continue to make Austin a desirable place to live, and about how our real estate market has been largely insulated from the effects of the recession and housing downturn that have affected other areas so severely — California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida in particular. (Michigan, too, although their difficulties began long before the 2007/2008 downturn.) I remain confident in all the positives that the Austin area has to offer, but we are not an island, and if the national economy remains soft we will feel it here, too.
That said, I noted an article in today’s Austin American-Statesman about a significant investment in the belief in Austin’s continuing economic strength:
Road and utilities preparation could begin this year, and the entire development could ultimately include 5,000 homes and townhomes, 2,600 apartments, 2 million square feet of office and retail space, and 700 acres of parks and open space. Obviously, that doesn’t happen all at once, but planning for this kind of development is a major vote of confidence for Austin and Central Texas.