Home sales inside Austin’s city limits slowed in September as prices continued to climb, a new report by the Austin Board of Realtors shows.
Single-family home sales decreased by 4.5 percent compared to September 2015. While sales often slow in September as kids head back to school, the slowdown was one of the most significant decreases during the past few years of rapid growth.
Overall, 746 home sales were logged in Austin. Sales just outside the city, however, increased.
Across the entire Central Texas region, single-family home sales grew by 6.1 percent, year-over-year. The 2,576 sales represented one of the biggest spikes in sales in recent years.
“Housing is at the center of all economic development. Nowhere is this more evident than at the intersection of housing affordability and mobility,” Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of Realtors, said. “As more and more homebuyers look outside of Austin’s city limits to find an affordable home, our region’s infrastructure is increasingly strained and the overall costs of homeownership rise because of the increased cost to commute.”
Looked at another way, fewer than one in three homes sold in the metro area and fewer than one in five homes sold in the Central Texas region were inside Austin.
Some of that disparity is due to the increasing price for a home in the city. The median price of a home continued climbing in September, with a 10 percent increase. That puts the median home sale in the city at $345,000. The median price in the five-county metro area was $275,250, which is a 7 percent increase from last year.
Farmer said traffic congestion in the city is part of the problem, and he suggested the $720 million transportation bond Austin voters will decide on on Nov. 8 could prove pivotal.
“Austin has the opportunity next month to vote for meaningful, much-needed transportation funding that can finally bring congestion relief to our region,” Farmer said. “Solutions for Austin’s transportation challenges cannot be delayed any longer.
Austin continues to be one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation, and the demand for housing has led to a shortage of housing inventory. As people buy more affordable homes outside the city, it’s having a similar impact on inventory in suburban areas.
The metro area had about 2.7 months worth of inventory in September, which is well below the 6.5 months of inventory experts say is necessary to create a balanced market. The inventory within Austin is 2.4 months.
“Both Austin’s current housing stock and infrastructure are not sustainable for our region’s projected population growth, which is expected to double by 2040,” Farmer said.
Here are a few other key stats from the Austin Board of Realtor’s September housing report.
- Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $275,250
- Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 2,576
- Average Number of Days on the Market — 47
- Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $887M
- Months of Housing Inventory Available — 2.4
- New Listings — 2,947
- Active Listings — 6,681
- Pending Sales — 2,266