Growing local population increases demand for new housing options in Pflugerville, Hutto

At one point in mid-December, a time of year when housing demand typically slows, there were 20 offers on a resale home in Hutto, according to local real estate agent Katie Evans.

The unusually high number of vacancies at a time when experts say demand tends to decline is indicative of an emerging challenge in the area – as Pflugerville and Hutto continue to experience strong population growth, housing supply must follow, Evans said.

“Honestly, I’m a little scared of what spring is going to bring us as things haven’t slowed down to the extent that I would expect,” said Evans.

In order to address the two-pronged problem of rapidly increasing population and substantial increase in housing costs, area officials and developers are working to increase the number of housing available for residents and to continue to diversify housing options.

From single-family rental homes to apartments, condos and duplexes, housing units and options in Pflugerville and Hutto are growing, but local officials and developers are uncertain whether efforts will keep pace with demand.


TC Selman, vice president of Aspen Heights, a developer with ongoing housing projects in Hutto and Round Rock, echoed Evans’ assessment.

Selman went so far as to say he doesn’t expect the area’s housing supply to catch up for several more years.

“[Supply] is still far behind the needs for the growth of the zones ”, he declared. “By 2024, I think the volume may have returned to the level necessary for growth.”

Work to support growth

Figures from both cities paint a picture of accelerated production over the past two years with no indication that the pace is slowing.

Data from the US Census Bureau shows that from 2010 to 2020, 13,889 homes were built in Pflugerville and Hutto.

For comparison, there are about 9,000 housing units in planning or under construction in Hutto, according to Ashley Lumpkin, executive director of the city’s development services.

In Pflugerville, city data shows more than 11,000 housing units are either in the planning stage or under construction and will be completed over the next few years.

Data from the US Census Bureau suggests that the local housing supply was strong in 2020. The vacancy rate, a measure of the percentage of a city’s unoccupied units, held steady from 2010 to 2020 in Pflugerville and Hutto. .

Comparable data is not yet available for 2021, but Evans said she was unsure whether the area’s housing supply was still able to meet growing demand.

As housing production has picked up, the populations of both cities are growing just as quickly, if not faster.

From 2010 to 20, Pflugerville’s population increased 38.9%, from 46,936 to 65,191, according to figures from the US Census Bureau. Hutto’s fell from 14,698 to 27,577, or about 87.6%.

Although census figures are not yet available beyond 2020, estimates from the two cities show that in just one year, Pflugerville has grown by 16.5% and Hutto by around 45%, reaching 75% respectively. 956 and 40,000 inhabitants.

Pflugerville Deputy City Manager Trey Fletcher has said in many ways that the city is a victim of its own success. Not only does the city have a prime location on the Austin metro, but its quality of life is improving, he said.

“As a result, the demand for housing exceeds the supply of new housing construction,” Fletcher said via email.

A critical tool for the city has been its comprehensive Aspire 2040 plan, which is expected to be completed this year and includes policies and recommendations to help plan for Pflugerville’s growth, Fletcher said.

“The Aspire 2040 comprehensive plan will make recommendations for diversifying land use and housing as we continue to grow,” said Fletcher. “Different types of land use [help] to balance all the needs of our residents, including affordability.

Diversify to be affordable

According to market analyzes from the Austin Board of Realtors, in November, the median price of a home in Pflugerville was $ 400,000, an increase of 42.9% from the previous year.

At Hutto, it was $ 370,000, which is a 39.5% increase.

To address the affordability issue and ensure that potential residents can find a place to live, developers and local authorities have reconsidered the types of housing they should bring in Pflugerville and Hutto.

In Hutto and Pflugerville, the authorities agree that the diversification of housing is crucial to create greater affordability. This means zoning for more housing types which include duplexes, condominiums, and apartments.

Both cities are working to include more affordable options. In Pflugerville, city council recently rezoned land for single-family rental communities as well as more apartments.

Apartment complexes are expected to deliver more housing units in the coming years to Pflugerville, including Star Ranch with 336 multi-family units and Village at Wells Branch, which will contain 506 multi-family units.

Likewise, multi-family housing and other types of housing are on the increase in Hutto.

The Durango Farms project in Hutto is expected to bring 388 multi-family units to the city, and a project recently approved by Aspen Farms will provide additional multi-family housing.

Single family rental units are a type of housing that is trending locally and beyond. Experts in the area say they offer amenities that are not normally provided by traditional apartments and are more affordable than standard single-family homes for sale.

Selman said one of the advantages of single-family rental housing over multi-family housing is that when circumstances change in the future, single-family rental housing can provide a path to home ownership that multi-family housing cannot. .

One of those projects expected to offer a single-family home rental option is Cameron 96, a development that Pflugerville City Council approved in September. The project planned on Cameron Road will bring 300 single-family rental units to the east of Pflugerville.

A development from Aspen Heights to Hutto will bring 219 rental units to the city. Construction on the community is expected to begin in mid-2022, according to Selman.

“People have shown that they want a house to rent, but not an apartment because their stage of life requires more space,” said Todd Larue, managing director of real estate consultancy RCLCO.

As local initiatives to match housing supply with population growth continue to gain momentum, local officials also say it is important to maintain a balance between the needs and expectations of current residents and potentials.

Ashley Lumpkin, executive director of development services at Hutto, said that while the city will continue to develop new housing to accommodate future residents, its priority is to do so in a way that does not compromise what those who live. already in the city want to see.

Lumpkin said raising public awareness will continue to be a critical part of balancing housing diversity and ensuring that a wide range of people can find housing in the city.

“We have to consider where we are now and what our needs are right now for our current residents,” Lumpkin said. “We’re having a discussion with the community about what we want to look like and how we can come up with a framework to adapt it all. ”