Austin is in a housing crisis, and the city’s current land development code does not allow the city to build nearly as much housing as it needs, but there’s nevertheless plenty of development of multi-family housing going on.
Ryan Robinson, the city demographer, has reported that the last quarter of 2018 saw the highest number of new multifamily projects submitted for site plan review. Thirty projects were submitted, totaling “well over 5,000 units.”
To be clear, not all of these units will ultimately be created. Projects could be abandoned for any number of reason.
The site plan process typically takes about a year, says Robinson. Unless a developer pays for expedited review or the project is a part of the SMART housing program and offers income-restricted units.
As you can see, Robinson provides data going back to 1992. In his report he wrote that the last quarter of 2018 was likely the biggest for multifamily submissions since the mid-80’s.
What’s really remarkable if you look at the graph above is the enormous dip between 2009-2011, after the housing market was battered by the recession. There was also a big slowdown in 2003-04.