Austin a backcountry city?

The oft-quoted Yale economist Robert Shiller is reported opining in today’s NYT that Austin is among the smaller cities that he categorizes in that fashion (“backcountry,” says he); he is discussing smaller cities spared the worst excesses of the national rise and fall in residential real-estate values. Also quoted are an Austinite who has bought and sold his house in about a year’s time and two local real-estate agents. There’s quite a bit of analysis of the Austin market specifically, and people I’ve talked to aren’t sure that it’s accurate. See what you think: “Some Cities Are Spared the Slide in Housing,” (byline Clifford Krauss and Ron Nixon, 2/15/08 business section). It is entertaining to see Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Austin discussed as peers. Should we expect a statement from the mayor’s office?

2 Comments so far

  1. AC (unregistered) on February 15th, 2008 @ 9:57 am

    I didn’t think it was accurate. He compared Austin to small towns in places like North Dakota, which is a joke.

    Also, I think it’s silly to portray Austin as relatively affordable.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on February 15th, 2008 @ 10:27 am

    I was wishing that the article had employed both median and average prices. It’s a fairly good bet that some of the statistics were drawn from the SMSA, which includes, I believe, not just all of Travis County outside Austin, but also Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, and Lee counties.

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