The Austin area housing market has been so hot for so long that nearly everyone has been wondering when it might cool down. The closest we’ve come is a few months of relatively flat months in terms of sales.
That was the case in February when the Austin metro area saw just under 1 percent growth in the pace of home sales, according to the Austin Board of Realtors’ latest housing report. And, in the case of some of Austin’s neighboring communities, sales even slowed a bit year-over-year.
The slight slowdown could be seen as a slight market correction. But it’s also a relatively subtle development given Austin’s exceptionally hot housing market in the past decade.
In Austin, housing sales were up 6.4 percent to 617 home sales compared to February 2016.
“Home sales growth in the city of Austin is currently being driven by the sales of single-family homes priced $750,000 and higher, particularly within the luxury housing market,” said Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of Realtors.
It’s all about perspective.
“The Central Texas housing market is just now beginning to catch up to itself after years of unprecedented sales growth,” Guthrie said. “It’s important to remember that current figures are being compared to very strong housing market activity in 2016, so a decline in home sales growth does not automatically mean that the market is softening.”
Meanwhile, the city’s affordability debate rages on as local and state lawmakers look for ways to provide more options for low- and middle-income residents who want to say in the city as prices rise.
“The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise U.S. interest rates yesterday could dissuade some local homeowners from listing their homes on the market, or potential homeowners from buying a home,” said Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title. “Even with this increase, however, there’s still no better time to buy than now. Interest rates are likely only to increase over the next few years. Central Texans will not be able to buy a home for as low of a price and as low of an interest rate as they can today.”
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 February.
- Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $287,000
Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 1,829
Average Number of Days on the Market — 61
Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $652,000,000
Months of Housing Inventory Available — 2.1
New Listings — 2,897
Active Listings — 5,077
Pending Sales — 2,361