The El Paso Housing Bubble

The Central Appraisal District tells us that house values are up 7.6 percent this year.

While the U.S. Census Bureau estimates tell us that population growth has flatlined since 2012.

Here, I made a chart to help you understand the data the Census Bureau gave us:

Note that El Paso has grown less than one half of one percent in four of the last five years.

Economics tells us that prices are determined by supply and demand. And you would expect, since people live in houses, that demand for housing would follow changes in population. Obviously, since our population growth has flatlined, yet house prices have increased, something else must be going on here. But what?

Are family sizes dwindling? Are children leaving the nest but not the city?

Is it speculation? Are Kool Aid aficionados buying houses in anticipation of a population boom that’s not happening?

Or are people who don’t live here buying houses? As investments, or summer homes, perhaps. I understand that mountains and beaches are unbearably temperate in the summer.

Or maybe there are some shenanigans going on.


  1. Folks living in Central and Lower Valley are being offered low rates on loans on new homes. Plus the incentives offered by the City to first time, new home buyers. Plus incentives offered by NGO aid agencies and the City to buy a home and establish residency- offered to those newly arrivals who are having difficulty in producing documentation.
    Folks who owned in Central moved or died. Houses sit empty while folks who squatted or rented, now explore the new homes in Northeast and Far East.
    Tremendous amount of construction on West Side and I haven’t seen new industries pop up, just folks to buy those homes.

  2. Appreciation of property value can still go on, even after demand has flattened, you know. I would think a more pertinent stat would have to do with actual sales of new homes, rather that relative value, no?

  3. In my opinion, the EPCAD “appraised value” is not a true market value, it is reverse engineered in order to meet the local budgets. This lopsided tax is a disincentive to homeownership and unsustainable over the long term.

    1. Gosh, Mr. Will, that’s awfully cynical.

      Is it because you’ve been paying attention?

  4. We sold our 2000 sq foot house in the YISD two months ago. It was on the market for 8 months. We lowered the price twice. We had to compete with numerous foreclosures being offered for sale and the property taxes. The housing market in El Paso sucks.

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