Austin February 2016 Real Estate Report: Home Prices Climb as Population Grows

After a slight slowdown in home sales in January, the Austin area’s pace of home sales bounced back in February, according to a new report from the Austin Board of Realtors. And that continued growth in sales and population is stoking conversations about whether Austin’s infrastructure can keep pace with its growth.

Single-family home sales in the Austin area increased by almost 3 percent in February, compared to the same month last year, reaching 1,783 transactions. The median price of those homes climbed even faster, reaching $269,900 — or an 8 percent increase compared to last February.

Those increases are part of a long climb for Austin area home prices and sales in recent years, and ABoR President Aaron Farmer said the city’s rapid population growth is putting a lot of pressure on local infrastructure.

“Austin-area residents are relocating farther and farther outside of Austin due to affordability issues and yet are spending more and more time stuck in traffic each year,” he said. “With the rate our region’s population is growing, this is simply not sustainable.”

But the city is pursuing a few projects that could change that. One, for example, is the city’s effort to win a $50 million government grant to build several features of a future “smart city.” That could help integrate self-driving vehicles into the city’s transportation network and use other technologies to decrease congestion throughout the city. That, however, could take years to realize, if the city can beat out several other cities competing for the money.

“We stay on top of the main mobility initiatives in Central Texas, such as the MoPac Improvement Project, and get involved as projects are planned and developed,” said David Hood, chair of ABoR’s transportation policy team. “ABoR represents a diverse group of realtors and homeowners across Central Texas, so we look at how a transportation project or proposal will impact these unique populations and the entire region in the long term.”

Meanwhile, the metro area’s housing inventory struggles to grow. It’s currently at about 2.1 months worth of housing options, significantly short of the 6.5 months required to be classified as a balanced market.

New listings climbed by 11.1 percent to 2,793 listings in February and active listings increased by 10 percent year-over-year reaching 4,871 listings.

Here are other stats from February 2016

  • 1,783 – Single-family homes sold, 2.9 percent more than February 2015.
  • $269,900 – Median price for single-family homes, 8.0 percent more than February 2015.
  • $333,011 – Average price for single-family homes, 7.6 percent more than February 2015.
  • 62 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, three days more than February 2015.
  • 2,793 – New single-family home listings on the market, 11.1 percent more than February 2015.
  • 4,871 – Active single-family home listings on the market, 10 percent more than February 2015.
  • 2,346 – Pending sales for single-family homes, 12.3 percent more than February 2015.
  • 2.1 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.1 months more than February 2015.
  • $593,758,953 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 10.7 percent more than February 2015.

Maxavenue Staff