KILLEEN, TX — New home permits in Killeen are exploding, the figure reaching 888 to build single-family homes last year, the highest since 2013.
Throughout the state, you see this demand for construction. The price of materials has gone up quite a bit, which causes an increase in the prices for homes,” said Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra.
Local home builders say low-interest rates are largely driving the market.
“We are still super busy because interest rates are low and the demand is so high,” said Heart of Texas Home Builders Association Jim Patterson.
“If I buy the house even the price is not up the interest rate is low enough that my mortgage rate is going to be cheaper than renting a house,” said Patterson.
Mayor Segarra said Killeen had around 100 homes available last week. He said typically it’s around 1,000 homes available.
Segarra said despite the market, it’s taking far longer to build homes due to low supply.
“It used to be where you can build a house in 3-6 months now, we’re looking at a year or longer,” said Segarra.
“Where we used to have a week or two-week turnaround on windows, now it can now take 16 to 17 weeks to get here. As a builder we ordered stuff as things go along you just have to plan ahead now,” said Patterson.
Local builders say that many suppliers were impacted by COVID-19 and the winter storm which delayed production. Along with competing with investors and out-of-state companies, homebuyers are now having to put more money down to buy houses.