If you love good news like we do, this week’s Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Forecast Luncheon was the place to be. We joined around 250 other Lakeway business owners and representatives at the lovely Vintage Villas to hear what is in store for Lake South this year. Here are a few factoids that caught our attention:
- We’ll continue to see strong growth in 2018. The City of Lakeway gains about 500 new residents a year, and will continue at that growth rate this year. From its sleepy beginnings as a tiny retirement getaway, Lakeway’s population now is around 15,000.
- Property values will continue to rise. Since 2015, City of Lakeway property values have increased on average 10% per year.
- Lack of lots will impact the availability of new homes. Some 275 new home permits will be issued, in line with the last four years. “That is driven in large part by the lack of available, buildable lots,”said Steve Jones, Lakeway city manager.
- Home sales will remain robust, following five years of skyrocketing sales. Last year, the Lake Travis ISD (known as Lake South) area notched 1,662 sales totaling nearly $1 billion. “Five years ago we were doing half that number,” says Kuper Sotheby’s broker-associate Doug Land. “Real estate drives our economy.”
- With growth comes the need for more schools. The third middle school, off Vail Divide, already is under construction. When it opens in August 2019, it will ease the anticipated crowding on the horizon at Lake Travis Middle School. And, by August 2023 or 2024, a second high school will open “in some configuration to be determined” with community input, said Brad Lancaster, LTISD superintendent.
- And with growth comes … traffic. TXDOT is pursuing funding to widen 620 to six lanes from north of Lakeway to Hwy. 71 with a divided median, said Jones. The City of Lakeway has earmarked $5 million to help fund that, with voter approval, said Jones. But that project is still a few years away from reality. Ongoing focus on traffic solutions will be required to keep up with the popularity of Lakeway as a place to live, work and recreate. “People want to live here,” he said.