The Birth of the New Williamson County
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin
20 Years. 7,307 days (do not forget the leap days). Things have changed so much in Williamson County over the past 20 years. How many of you have lived in Williamson County since 1996? That is one of the first indications of changes within the WC. According to the US Census Bureau’s population estimates, if you get a group of 10 friends (or clients) together, less than four have lived in Williamson County twenty years or longer. Of those six that have not, approximately two of them have been here less than 5 years.
The most drastic change we have seen is growth. According to the US Census Bureau, the July 1996 population estimate of Williamson County was just 195,548 residents; slightly more than the current estimated population of Round Rock and Cedar Park combined. The most current population estimate of Williamson County is just over 500,000 residents. This means the population of Williamson County has increased over two and a half times in just 20 years.
The early 2000s was a time of unprecedented growth within Williamson County. A lot of that due to the tech boom and the idea of suburbanization, which denotes population shift from rural areas into urban centers. During suburbanization, many residents of a metropolitan area still work within the central urban area, however, choose to live in satellite communities called suburbs and commute to work. This is one of the many reasons why the WC continues to have explosive growth.
Another big change we have seen is median home prices. The median price of a home in Williamson County has risen over 142% since 1996. According to the data in the ACTRIS MLS, the media price of a home in Williamson County was only $102,500 in 1996. The most recent release of data has the median price around $250,000. The number of homes selling (according to the MLS) has soared to 9,675 homes sold in 2015, compared to 1,451 in 1996. According to The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the number of building permits in 1996 was 3,685 with a median value of $102,000; 2015 saw 3,747 permits approved with a median value of $257,900.
What does this mean? It means that with the population of Williamson County near tripling, the law of supply and demand has come into play. The population has increased, but the amount of land has remained the same. The price of land has increased radically, along with the price of homes. More people, less inventory, higher prices.
With this growth, the county commissions, city leaders, and the residents of Williamson County have done an outstanding job trying to update the infrastructure to keep up with the growth. Roads have been widened, extended and build to help ease the congestion within the county. Thanks to the 45 Toll Road, one can get from Lakeline Mall in Western Williamson County to East Round Rock in a 15 minute non-stop trip; a task that used to take over 30 minutes and include endless red lights and windy roads. Parmer Lane has been widened, and extended north all the way to Jarrell and 1460/AW Grimes/Grand Avenue/2243 (all the same road, just many different names) extends from North Leander into Austin for a simple trip through the heart of Williamson County. In just the past 10 years, FM 1431 through Cedar Park has been widened and redesigned twice, to help the residents.
Williamson County is a wonderful place to live, and it is our job as REALTORS® to help those looking to relocate to Central Texas realize the beauty of Williamson County and to help your new neighbors in the adventure of making The WC their new home. The Association has developed a tool to assist you in assisting your clients with their relocation. www.WCLife.org was created with the vision of being THE website about Williamson County. Take a couple minutes out of your day and experience WCLife for yourself; please reach out to the Association staff with any feedback you have on the site; it’s there for you to use and to help you do your job.
About the Author:Shavonne Martin currently served as the 2016 President of WCREALTORS. Since 2008 Shavonne has been very active at Williamson County Association of REALTORS®. As soon as her membership was active she served on the Community Service and Scholarship Committees. Shavonne was the Chairman for the Marketing and PR Committee in 2010. In 2011 Shavonne served as the Chairman of Community Service, and was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for WCREALTORS in 2012. One year later, in 2013 Shavonne was installed on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and also serving as Chairman of the Finance Committee.