Austin Real Estate Report: Home Values Soar, A Push For Property Tax Relief

The Austin area economy continues to run strong, pushing demand for homes up as people keep choosing the metro area as a place to find great jobs and start families. That trend has prevailed for the past couple years. And, again in August, area home values reached record levels.

The latest figures from the Austin Board of Realtors show that single-family home sales and prices hit an all-time high for the month of September. And the pace of home sales increased by 7 percent year-over-year to 2,603 home sales. Meanwhile, median prices climbed 8 percent compared to last year, hitting $258,000 in September.

The rapidly increasing prices mean most Austin area home sellers are well-positioned to sell their home for much more than they paid years before. But it creates problems for affordability, not only for those seeking a new home in the area, but for existing homeowners who are seeing their property taxes climb.

That’s why the Board of Realtors is pushing hard for voters to back property tax relief proposals on the Nov. 3 ballot.

“We need a combination of property tax relief, broader development of medium-density housing options, and funding for transportation projects to have a lasting impact on Central Texas affordability and infrastructure,” said Barb Cooper, 2015 president of the Board of Realtors.

One move, Proposition 1, raises the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 for most homeowners. It would increase the exemption for people who have disabilities and those over age 665 by $10,000. So, a chunk of property tax relief that could lower homeowners tax bills by an average of $125. The number varies greatly depending on the value of your home. The proposition also places a permanent ban on real estate transfer tax, protecting Texas’ housing affordability in the future.

Another initiative, Proposition 7, boosts funding for transportation projects, which is seen as key to sustaining Austin’s rapid growth.

Here’s a look at all the housing stats from September:

  • 2,603 – Single-family homes sold, seven percent more than September 2014.
  • $258,000 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than September 2014.
  • $324,150 – Average price for single-family homes, five percent more than September 2014.
  • 47 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, three more days than September 2014.
  • 2,860 – New single-family home listings on the market, 11 percent more than September 2014.
  • 6,759 – Active single-family home listings on the market, four percent more than September 2014.
  • 2,391 – Pending sales for single-family homes, nine percent more than September 2014.
  • 8 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, unchanged from September 2014.
  • $843,762,450 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 13 percent more than September 2014.

Maxavenue Staff