Elon Musk issues 'urgent' plea for more housing in Austin, Texas, as Tesla and SpaceX look to fill hundreds of jobs

GettyImages 464172224Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesTesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called for more housing in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.
  • Musk’s companies have hundreds of job openings in the state.
  • Housing prices continue to climb as more companies and people move to the state capital.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Sunday issued an urgent plea for much-needed housing in the Austin, Texas, area. “Urgent need to build more housing in greater Austin area,” Musk tweeted.

The tweet was part of a thread in which Musk simply tweeted “Austin++.” The initial tweet led several of his followers to question whether the CEO was planning additional projects in Austin.

Since the pandemic started, Austin real estate has boomed, causing a housing crisis as several West and East Coast companies look to build up or move their headquarters to Texas to avoid the high costs of living and taxes associated with California and New York.

Companies from Oracle to Hewlett Packard announced plans last year to move their headquarters to Texas. Musk has also been driving the move to Texas.

Just last week, he called for people to consider moving to Texas to work for SpaceX.

In March, Musk announced that he is trying to form a new city called Starbase at SpaceX’s launch facilities in Texas, about a five-hour drive from Austin.

Several of Musk’s portfolio companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Neuralink, all have job openings in Texas. Tesla is also working to complete a massive factory near Austin.

The move to Texas is fueling a housing crisis in Austin

In response to the rising interest in Texas – particularly Austin – the city saw record housing sales in 2020, according to Norda Real Estate, a property investment company.

In February, housing prices in the Austin area hit an all-time record, leaping over 24% from the previous year, according to a report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

The Austin area, including Travis County, has an average housing price over $800,000 and a median price over $500,000, according to March data from the National Association of Realtors. The median housing price in all of Texas for March was nearly half of Austin’s price at $277,900, while comparable cities like Dallas, clocked in at $336,200.

Musk is not the first to call for more housing opportunities in Austin. Redfin real estate agent April Miller told a local NBC news channel in March that East and West Coast transplants are driving out locals by continuing to raise housing prices in the Austin area.

“Nearly every offer my clients make faces competition, and most homes are going for more than 20% over asking price,” Miller told NBC news.

Redfin said that nearly three times as many people from outside Austin looked to move to town versus the previous year. Of the people moving to Austin from out of state, Redfin found they had significantly more buying power.

The average person looking to move to Austin has a $852,500 home-buying budget, according to Redfin’s report – 32% more than current Austin residents looking to buy a home.

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