Austin June 2016 Real Estate Report: Home Sales and Prices Climb as Williamson County Booms

Homebuyers are looking north of Austin to find more affordable homes.

Even though Williamson County has less than half the population of Travis County, it logged almost as many home sales in May, according to new data from the Austin Board of Realtors. Single-family home sales in Williamson County were just 424 sales short of all the activity in Travis County.

“Housing demand continues to be at an all-time high in the Central Texas region, with properties priced under $500,000 selling rapidly,” said Aaron Farmer, President of the Austin Board of Realtors. “Williamson County homes are among the most popular in the region due to the county’s highly-rated school districts, access to major thoroughfares and proximity to major employment hubs in Austin.”

Home sales in Williamson County climbed by nearly 20 percent in May, compared to May 2015. The county logged 1,028 total sales. And that was part of a broader trend of strong sales figures across Central Texas.

Region-wide, home sales climbed by 13 percent in May, compared to the same month last year.

“Austin-Round Rock unemployment recently hit a 16-year low, largely thanks to Austin’s booming tech sector,” according to Eldon Rude, a principal at 360 Real Estate Analytics. “Tech companies such as Apple Computer continue to fuel employment growth in Northwest Austin and in turn, are driving home sales growth in southeast Williamson County where homes are less expensive and new home development continues to be strong.”

Sales in suburban Austin areas have been climbing steadily for months as home prices inside the city have climbed at a rapid pace. Those high prices may be why home sales within the city held steady at 884 sales, compared to the same period last year.

The median price for a home in Austin is now at $355,000, a 1.6 percent increase from last year. The hot sales in suburban areas led to a faster increase in median prices. Central Texas prices climbed 4.8 percent to $288,085. And Williamson County median prices reached $261,822 — or about 5 percent higher than May 2015.

Austin’s housing inventory remains extremely tight. But pending sales increased by more than 20 percent in May.

“Strong gains in both pending sales and active listings both in Austin and regionally indicate a strong summer selling season could be ahead,” Farmer said.