In many metro areas, a 4.3 percent decrease in the pace of home sales might sound pretty routine. But, in the Austin area, a slow down, year-over-year, in sales has become relatively rare.
But it happened in September, according to the latest market update by the Austin Board of Realtors.
That slow down in sales, however, represents stabilization — not a true downturn. That’s because September’s 2,433 home sales in the Austin metro area is being compared to last September, which were exceptionally high with 2,576 sales logged.
In the last 12 months, 30,078 homes have sold in the metro area, continuing an upward trend over the past several years.
“Austin has had one of the fastest job growth rates in the country over the past decade and consequently one of the strongest housing markets with rising sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors. “But steady depletion of housing inventory is resulting in a fast rise in home prices and affordability challenges.”
In Austin, which has seen several of its highest paying companies, including Google, Facebook and Amazon, hire thousands of new employees and announce plans to continue expanding, that means builders have to keep pace.
“The construction of single-family homes as well as condominiums needs to ramp up higher in order to fully satisfy housing demand and maintain housing affordability,” Yun said. “Otherwise, job growth could stall and bring less dynamism to the local economy.”
Price Appreciation Continues
Austin home prices continued to climb in September, reaching a median price of $355,000. That’s a 4 percent increase from last September. The median price in the city of Austin over the past 12 months has climbed to $371,000.
As prices climb, calls for more affordable housing continue. The City of Austin is currently grappling with a overhaul of land use regulations that are viewed key to how quickly developers will be able to add new homes, condos and apartments.
“There’s still a long way to go to create a code that ensure all types of housing at all price points throughout our great city,” ABOR President Brandy Guthrie said. “True housing affordability will never be achieved until we have a land development code that allows this type of healthy, balanced and diverse housing stock.”
Local Housing Statistics
Here are a few other key stats from the Austin Board of Realtor’s housing report on the Austin metro area in September 2017.
- Median Price for Single-Family Homes in the Austin Area — $291,464
- Single-Family Homes Sold in the Austin Area — 2,433
- Average Number of Days on the Market — 53
- Total Dollar Volume of Homes Sold in the Area — $881M
- Months of Housing Inventory Available — 3
- New Listings — 2,940
- Active Listings — 7,588
- Pending Sales — 2,462