The Austin area home market had another record-setting year in 2016. But, at this point, that’s hardly news. This is the sixth year in a row that both median home prices and the pace of home sales have set records in Central Texas.
That said, the red hot housing market may finally be ready to normalize in 2017 after this period of rapid growth, local experts say.
“The Central Texas housing market is slowly beginning to align with long-term historical trends. Homes are spending more time on the market and the pace of both home sales and price growth is slowing,” said Brandy Guthrie, 2017 president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “This normalization does not necessarily mean a weakening housing market, but a return to less aggressive market conditions.”
In the Austin metro area, which includes the five counties, the pace of home sales increased 3.9 percent from 2015 to 2016. Overall, 29,569 home sales occurred in the area. That increase happened while prices continued to climb. The median sale price in the area climbed 7.2 percent to reach $284,000.
The city of Austin had a slightly slower pace of growth. The pace of home sales increased 1.7 percent from 2015 to 2016 — or 9,049 homes. Prices, meanwhile, climbed 5.8 percent to $340,000.
“While the region’s job growth has slowed over the last few years, overall the Central Texas economy and housing market continue to be strong,” Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital for Independence Title, said. “The 2017 housing market will likely outpace last year’s levels, but at a less robust margin. Recent increases in mortgage rates could continue the current pace of home sales growth into the first part of the year.”
The record-breaking year had a relatively slow end, however. In December, Austin home sales declined 7.8 percent while the median price for a home rose 9.2 percent to $355,000.
“The local market areas with critically low housing inventory levels have grown dramatically over the last year, and our region’s housing market will never be balanced until there is a greater influx of housing stock of all types and price points,” Guthrie said.
Here are a few other key stats from the Austin Board of Realtor’s housing report on the Austin metro area in the month of December.
- Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $290,000
- Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 2,373
- Average Number of Days on the Market — 60
- Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $859,000,000
- Months of Housing Inventory Available — 2
- New Listings — 1,604
- Active Listings — 4,921
- Pending Sales — 1,680