The strange consequences of cyclical instability : housing in Austin, Texas, 1983-90




Lupton, Jonathan Jarman, 1960-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Since the early 1980's, the housing market in Austin has seen wrenching changes. Things went quickly from a surging, dizzying boom to a very dismal bust. Today, the housing market is showing signs of life, but it is difficult to sort out just what is happening because, at least on the surface, trends in housing costs are atypical and contradictory. In particular, resale housing costs have continued to decline over the last two years, implying that demand for housing is still "soft," yet the average value of new housing has virtually skyrocketed. In this study I will analyze housing costs in the Austin area from 1983 to 1990, a period starting with the peak of the boom and ending with tentative signs of recovery from the crash that followed. I will also explore housing costs and related issues in three other Texas cities, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. By comparing Austin's situation with housing in these cities, I will be able to provide further insight into Austin's housing market as well as a broader perspective on housing issues in the state of Texas