Austin Real Estate Report March 2016: Sales, Prices Soar Heading into Busy Sales Season

The first couple months of 2016 signaled a slight slowdown in home sales in the Austin area. But the local market came surging back in March, just as we head into the most active part of the year for sales.

The pace of single-family home transactions in March jumped by 9.3 percent, compared to March 2015, according to new data from the Austin Board of Realtors. And prices tracked alongside them, as the median price climbed to $278,000 during the month. That’s a 7.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

That trendline is bringing big profits for many homeowners who have opted to sell. And the Austin real estate market’s upward trajectory, which is creating median price increases almost every month for the past few years, has created continued opportunities for real estate investors.

But those rapid increases in sales and prices are also making life in the area financially difficult for many homeowners.

“Longtime Austin residents are being priced out of their homes and many are unable to live close to their work or school,” said Aaron Farmer, 2016 president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “As a city, we have to start being mindful of how our property development, appraisal and code enforcement decisions impact not only housing affordability, but also the diversity of our neighborhoods and communities.”

Farmer attributed some of the city’s growth struggles to ineffective code enforcement and land development codes that he says are preventing more housing options and blocking infill opportunities in some neighborhoods.

Affordability remains one of Austin’s most talked about issues, as more families abandoned higher-priced, centrally-located neighborhoods for more affordable suburbs and nearby communities, such as Kyle, Cedar Park and Manor.

Throughout the Austin region, new sales listings climbed by 12.2 percent in March compared to a year prior, with 3,633 listings, and pending sales grew by 7.2 percent, to 2,811 sales.

Here’s a look at other sales stats from the month of March.

  • 2,552 – Single-family homes sold, 9.3 percent more than March 2015.
  • $278,000 – Median price for single-family homes, 7.8 percent more than March 2015.
  • $347,734 – Average price for single-family homes, 4.5 percent more than March 2015.
  • 54 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, unchanged compared to March 2015.
  • 3,633 – New single-family home listings on the market, 12.2 percent more than March 2015.
  • 4,669 – Active single-family home listings on the market, 1.5 percent more than March 2015.
  • 2,811 – Pending sales for single-family homes, 7.2 percent more than March 2015.
  • 0 – Months of inventory of single-family homes, 0.2 months less than March 2015.
  • $887,419,074 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 14.1 percent more than March 2015.