Texas independence and musical independents are closely associated with the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area in Central Texas, the 35th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

All five counties that comprise the Austin-Round Rock MSA have connections to the road to Texan independence in the 1830s and '40s, including William Travis, who commanded Texas forces at the Alamo. The one not named for a participating soldier is Bastrop County. It honors Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, who fled a checkered past in the Netherlands to become a close friend of Moses Austin and then his son Stephen, helping them obtain the land grants that set the stage for much of the region's development.

Stephen Austin's numerous namesakes include the Texas state capital and "Austin City Limits," a 45-year-old PBS music series that alludes to the area's musical prominence. The program has long allowed this city at the center of greater Austin to claim the title of "Live Music Capital of the World."

For some time, it has also been able to lay claim to an upward trending economy that currently includes projected real estate appreciation of 5.4% over the next year.

The latest VeroFORECAST report from Veros Real Estate Solutions, which came out in March, reported that the Central Texas MSA ranks 120th out of the 342 metro areas included in the database. This quarter's report predicts changes in property values through March 1, 2019.

Austin's projected rate of a 5.4% rise in property values falls roughly midway between the report's predicted high of 11% in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA and low of -2.9% in the Atlantic City metro area. This should all be music to Texan ears, which are still ringing with the good news that unemployment in the greater Austin metro area is 2.9%, a full percent under the nation's 3.9% as of May 2018, an 18-year low.

Even with a current supply of homes that has been inching up, and now stands at 3.3 months, the rapidly growing metro area is certainly likely to keep the Lone Star state popular with lenders.

The 342 metros in this latest Veros Real Estate Solutions forecast represent nearly 1,000 counties, more than 13,600 zip codes, and SFRs, condos and townhouses that house over 80% of the U.S. population. As I have pointed out in earlier installments of this weekly HousingWire column [Get all of them here], Veros uses comprehensive historic data from its VeroHPI, or Housing Price Index platform going back a decade and a half.