Tesla workers start Austin home search as Texas home prices surge

  • In July, Tesla in July picked Austin, Texas, as the site for its eventual Cybertruck factory. 
  • The company’s broken ground on the project, and one real-estate agent said employees are already looking for homes in the city. 
  • Unlike San Francisco or New York, home prices haven’t dipped much in Texas. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Any Tesla employees relocating to Austin for the company’s upcoming Cybertruck factory won’t be met by the same reprieve in real-estate prices that’s hit many other areas of the country.

Home prices in the Texas Capital are still surging, despite some markets seeing a dip due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated unemployment rates. But now, would-be buyers have increased competition: Tesla employees.

One real-estate agent told the Austin Business Journal she knew of least two Tesla employees on the hunt, often seeing multiple homes a day for a string of days as the company begins work on its newest factory.

Unlike the company’s home base in the San Francisco Bay Area, where deserting workers left a glut of homes for sale and rent, median home prices in Austin rose 10% in July over last year, according to the local board of realtors. Total active listings, meanwhile, dropped 32% while closed sales surged 21%.

Tesla plans to hire up to 5,000 workers at the new factory, where it will build its futuristic-looking Cybertruck. The company pledged to make many local hires for the largely low-skill positions, but didn’t say what percentage of overall workforce might eventually relocated to Texas. However, CEO Elon Musk has voiced interest in moving the company’s main headquarters out of California.

“If people are interested in designing new lines and trying to do things different, Tesla’s got a job for you,” Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s president of automotive, said in July. “And now we’ve got jobs everywhere. It’s not only in California. Now we’ve got jobs in China, in Berlin, in Austin, Texas, and in California.”

On Friday, the National Association of Realtors said existing US existing home sales surged a record 24.7% in another sign of a housing-market recovery. It’s the second month in a row that sales and home prices have increased after an initial slowdown from the pandemic.

In Austin specifically, unemployment rates have also fared better than the national average. Just 6.7% of workers in the Texas capital were out of work in July, the Texas Workforce Commission said, compared to a national average of 10.2% — another good sign for Tesla’s choice.

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