Buyers Look to Suburbs as Austin Prices Climb
Fast-rising home prices within Austin’s city limits are leading many buyers to hunt for their future homes in neighboring suburbs.
That’s the broad theme shown across a variety of metrics revealed in the latest data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors.
The contrast of prices in Austin to those in nearby communities has grown increasingly pronounced. In March, the median price of a single-family home sold in Austin reached $375,000. That’s 2.8 percent higher than it was during March 2018.
Meanwhile, the median price for a single-family home south of Austin in Hays County hovered around $259,950. To Austin’s north in Williamson County, median prices reached $279,300 in March —– a very slight uptick year-over-year.
Austin’s nearly $100,000 premium is being driven by unrelenting demand as the city continues to generate new, high-paying tech industry jobs. Meanwhile, on the city’s outskirts and beyond, more new homes are being built at lower prices, helping supply more affordable homes to the larger Central Texas region.
“Austin is growing rapidly and as we look ahead to accommodate existing and future Austinites, there needs to be a plan in place for a more affordable and sustainable city,” said Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance.
According to the latest data, rising home prices resulted in only a 1% increase in home sales in Austin in April. New listings were down 3 percent to 3,890 listings.
“Because Austin’s economy is thriving and the city continues to remain one of the most popular living destinations in the country, the housing market remains extremely tight,” said Kevin P. Scanlan, 2019 president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “We need a solution to the ongoing affordability and inventory crisis, which is why a more a more flexible land development code that allows for more housing at affordable price points is imperative.”
Looked at through a different lens, the average sales price in the Austin area was at $372,492 in 2017. That’s up to $388,916 in the most recent 12- month period. Meanwhile, 30,572 homes were reported sold in the area in 2017, compared to 30,982 in the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Austin’s housing inventory remained at about 1.5 months. That’s compared to the six month supply that cities need to have a balanced housing market, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Here are additional Austin metro area home sales figures from March 2019.
Looking back at the last 12 months, Austin home prices average out at $388,916. That’s up from $388,786 in 2018 and $372,492 in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of days homes are on the market, on average, has climbed from 54 days in 2017 to 57 last year, and has remained constant at 57 in the past 12 months. The number of homes sold climbed from 30,867 in 2018 to 30,982 in the past 12 months. Month over month, the number of closed sales was up by 1% in April.