While many Austin area real estate observers have anticipated a slight cool down in the local housing market, the metro area is off to a hot start in 2018.
The pace of single-family home sales climbed by 8.5 percent year-over-year in January, new data from the Austin Board of Realtors show. It happened while prices continued their years-long upward climb. The median price of a home in the Austin-Round Rock MSA was $290,000 during the month. Meanwhile, inside Austin city limits, prices soared by 10.2 percent year-over-year, with a median price of $347,000.
Looked at with a longer view, the average price of a home in Austin was $353,919 in 2016. The average price over the past 12 months is now $372,710 — a 5.3 percent increase. In those same time frames, the number of houses sold grew from 29,805 in 2016 to 30,378 in the past 12 months.
“In 2018, Central Texas’ housing market will continue to see an increase in both sales and price, despite inventory levels remaining low,” said Jim Gaines, the chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “The housing demand and lack of inventory is so great, that if supply does not increase, we could see a upwards of 5 percent growth in median home prices within the Austin-Round Rock MSA. Inventory will be a determining factor in the direction of this year’s market.”
The Austin Board of Realtors believes Austin’s overhaul of housing and land use regulations, dubbed CodeNEXT, will play a major role in housing inventory and prices in Austin’s near future.
“More housing capacity is necessary to offset the aggressive price increases we’re seeing in and around the city of Austin,” said Steve Crorey, the 2018 president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “Getting CodeNEXT right gives Austin the opportunity to manage our growth responsibly by providing more diverse housing choices and more housing overall without sacrificing the unique character of our neighborhoods.”
Regardless, Austin’s remarkable growth continues to boost home sales in neighboring cities and counties. In Williamson County, sales increased by 10.3 percent. The median price of a single-family home, meanwhile, increased by 1.4 percent to $270,215.
The lower price points, when compared to Austin, are attractive to many first-time buyers. A similar dynamic is playing out to Austin’s south in Hays County. There, sales increased 14.5 percent year-over-year, with 198 total sales. Median prices also grew — by 13 percent year-over-year to $259,743.
Here’s a look at other Austin metro area home sales stats from January 2018.
- Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $290,000
- Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 1,655
- Average Number of Days on the Market — 68
- Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $594M
- Months of Housing Inventory Available — 1.9
- New Listings — 2,316
- Active Listings — 4,876
- Pending Sales — 2,365