Austin December 2016 Real Estate Report: Area Home Sales and Prices On Pace to Set New Records

Austin’s housing market appears to be closing 2016 with a flurry of new activity. Single-family home sales increased 15 percent in November, new figures from the Austin Board of Realtors show.

“This end-of-year surge in home sales is an unusual and welcome surprise to what’s typically the lowest months for Central Texas home sales volume during the year,” said Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of Realtors. “Home sales throughout 2016 continue to be fueled by our region’s steady population growth. At the current pace, 2016 will likely turn out to be another record year for Central Texas home sales.”

Inside Austin’s city limits, home sales climbed by 13.7 percent compared to figures from November 2015. The wider metro region registered 15.8 percent growth.

That unexpected surge of sales may have been caused, in party, by pent up demand.

“It appeared that many buyers were waiting to see how the election turned out before deciding to buy,” Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title, said. “Rising interest rates are also likely encouraging more people to buy a home. Millennial homebuyers, who comprise 51 percent of the Central Texas market, have never experienced an interest rate greater than four percent and thus could be motivated to buy sooner.”

And, in another surprise, home prices, which have been climbing rapidly, showed slightly slower growth.

The median price of a home in the metro area reached $294,245. That’s a 7 percent increase, year-over-year. In Austin, median prices grew by 4 percent to $342,000.

Austin’s neighboring counties have also experienced strong growth. Sales climbed by 24 percent in Hays County and 14.7 percent in Williamson county, year-over-year.

The lack of affordable housing to meet demands has dominated the real estate conversation so far in 2016. And it’s likely to continue into 2017.

Housing inventories remained flat across most of the Austin area, with 2.3 month’s supply. That’s far below the 6 months of supply the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University says is necessary for a balanced housing market.

“In some local markets such as Round Rock, inventory levels have fallen below 1.0 months, which means that available housing stock is practically non-existent,” Farmer said. “It’s critical that our cities’ leaders begin to look at housing affordability not as just an Austin issue, but an issue affecting our entire region.”

Here are a few other key stats from the Austin Board of Realtor’s September housing report on the Austin metro area.
● Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $294,245
● Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 2,055
● Average Number of Days on the Market — 54
● Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $769,000,000
● Months of Housing Inventory Available — 2.3
● New Listings — 2,112
● Active Listings — 5,626
● Pending Sales — 2,151