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Austin Board of REALTORS® releases August 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 19, 2017 – The 2017 Central Texas summer selling season was the strongest on record in terms of single-family home sales and median price across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Single-family home sales volume jumped in the city of Austin in August, while median price held steady according to the August 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®, commented: “The Central Texas housing market just experienced the strongest summer selling season on record. The Austin-Round Rock MSA saw record breaking growth, during which median price topped $300,000 and home sales volume topped $1 billion four consecutive months in a row.”

In August 2017, single-family home sales volume in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 1.0 percent year-over-year to 2,994 home sales, while home sales within the city of Austin jumped 6.1 percent year-over-year to 927 home sales. During the same month, single-family home sales volume increased 0.9 percent to 1,463 home sales in Travis County, declined 1.1 percent to 365 home sales in Hays County and increased 0.3 percent to 1,025 home sales Williamson County.

Housing inventory levels remained above 3.0 months of inventory in every market except the city of Austin in August 2017. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, the monthly housing inventory levels for single-family homes increased 0.4 months to 3.1 months of inventory. Within the city of Austin, monthly housing inventory rose 0.1 months year-over-year to 2.4 months of inventory, well under the 6.0-6.5 months of inventory the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced housing market.

Coupled with rising home prices, this recent surge in home sales activity made May-August 2017 the highest-grossing summer selling season across Central Texas real estate in the region’s history. For the fourth time this year, single-family home sales dollar volume topped $1 billion ($1,128,565,155) in a single month within the five-county area, which is an increase of 5.9 percent from August 2016.

Dr. Jim Gaines, Chief Economist for The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, agreed: “The Austin-Round Rock MSA looks like it is moving toward a more normalized housing market. Similar to what we’re seeing across the state, housing inventory levels are slowly increasing, despite continued increases in sales volume and median price. That could indicate that in the latter half of 2017, we will likely experience some slowing of the home price increases that have become common in recent years – not price decreases, as the relationship between home buying and selling activity begins to balance out.”

The median price for single-family homes continued to rise at a steady pace in August 2017, increasing 2.7 percent year-over-year in Austin to $361,000 and increasing 4.0 percent year-over-year to $300,000 across the five-county MSA. At a county level, median sales price increased 4.4 percent to $262,990 in Hays County, 2.7 percent to $350,000 in Travis County and 6.4 percent to $276,500 in Williamson County.

Strong gains in listings activity as well as pending sales activity across the region continued in August 2017. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, active listings jumped 16.1 percent year-over-year to 7,781 listings; new listings grew 8.2 percent year-over-year to 3,316 listings; and pending sales rose 8.1 percent year-over-year to 2,710 pending sales.

Guthrie concluded, “With the Central Texas population growing at record levels, housing affordability continues to be strained. While we’re currently seeing positive upticks in housing inventory across our region, housing prices will continue to rise with demand. As Central Texas REALTORS®, it’s our commitment to advocate for affordable housing options, particularly within entry-level homebuyers.”

Information provided by Austin Board of Realtors.

 

 

 

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases July 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 17, 2017 – Single-family home sales volume held steady across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in July, while housing inventory levels posted strong gains, according to the July 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®, commented: “In years past, the high demand of the summer selling season has further constrained inventory levels and further pushed up home prices. This year has been different, with steady gains in sales volume as well as listings and inventory throughout the summer. During a month when housing inventory should reach its lowest point of the year, housing inventory across the Central Texas region is at its highest point since fall 2012.”

In July 2017, single-family home sales volume in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 2.8 percent year-over-year to 2,892 home sales, while home sales within the city of Austin declined 2.5 percent year-over-year to 832 home sales. This dip in Austin’s home sales growth impacted Travis County at large, which experienced a 1.1 percent decline in home sales volume in July 2017, or 1,368 home sales. During the same month, single-family home sales volume jumped 15.3 percent to 376 home sales in Hays County and increased 2.3 percent to 1,004 home sales Williamson County.

Housing inventory levels surpassed 3.0 months of inventory in multiple markets in July 2017. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, the monthly housing inventory levels for single-family homes increased 0.4 months to 3.2 months of inventory. At the county level, housing inventory increased 0.3 months year-over-year to 3.6 months in Hays County, increased 0.3 months to 3.2 months of inventory in Travis County, and jumped 0.6 months to 3.0 months of inventory in Williamson County.

Single-family housing inventory remained under 3.0 months in the city of Austin in July 2017, increasing only 0.1 months to 2.5 months of inventory. Despite strong gains in housing inventory last month, Central Texas housing inventory levels remain well under the 6.0-6.5 months of inventory the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced housing market.

Guthrie continued, “Strong homebuilding activity throughout Central Texas – particularly in Williamson and Hays counties – has been a key driver of housing inventory growth and in starting the region’s housing market on the path towards a balance between supply and demand. It’s important to note, however, that as home prices and development costs continue to rise, so does the price range of homes on the market.”

The 2017 Austin Quarterly Briefing recently released by Metrostudy showed that the pace of single-family home starts in the Austin area are at their highest level in 10 years, with approximately 1,000 more home starts in the second quarter of 2017 than the year prior. More than half of these home starts were in the $250,000-$299,999 price category, with Cedar Park/Leander West, Pflugerville and Kyle/Buda comprising nearly one-third of home starts activity. Metrostudy’s boundaries cover Hays, Williamson and Travis counties.

The median price for single-family homes continued to rise at a steady pace in July 2017, increasing 7.2 percent year-over-year in Austin to $369,900 and increasing 5.2 percent year-over-year to $301,332 across the five-county MSA. At a county level, median sales price jumped 13.1 percent to $270,000 in Hays County, 7.4 percent to $359,865 in Travis County and 4.4 percent to $274,450 in Williamson County.

During the same time frame, active listings for single-family homes experienced double-digit gains throughout the Austin-Round Rock MSA, jumping 16.9 percent year-over-year to 7,965 active listings. Active listings, which indicates the quantity of homes available on the market at any given time, increased 20 percent in Hays County, 13.3 percent in Travis County, 26 percent in Williamson County and 10.2 percent in the city of Austin.

Guthrie concluded, “While housing development is critical to maintaining inventory amidst rapid demand, the long-term sustainability of our market lies not in the pace of development but in the price points and types of housing options being developed. Without sound development policies in place that allow for lower-cost housing solutions to be built in Austin and in surrounding markets, our region’s housing affordability crisis will only continue to worsen.”

 

 

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases Mid-Year 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – July 20, 2017 – Central Texas single-family home sales growth slowed in the first half of 2017 while home prices continued to grow at a steady pace, according to the Mid-Year 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

“The Central Texas housing market continued to show signs of normalization in the first half of the year, with positive but more moderate gains in sales activity,” said Brandy Guthrie, President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. “Homes are spending more time on the market and housing inventory levels have slowly increased throughout the year. While it could take years for the region’s housing market to achieve balance between homebuying and selling activity, these trends indicate that the Central Texas housing market could finally be moving in that direction.”

Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Single-family home sales in the five-county Austin-Round Rock MSA rose 2.8 percent year-over-year to 14,958 home sales in the first half of 2017, while median price rose 6.4 percent year-over-year to $300,000. Home listings also experienced gains in the first half of the year, with active listings jumping 15 percent to 6,153 listings, new listings rising 9.0 percent to 22,293 listings, and pending sales rising 3.5 percent to 16,665 sales. Sales dollar volume in the Austin-Round Rock area was $5,618,721,669, a 10.4 percent increase from the first six months of 2016.

Single-family housing market activity maintained steady growth in June 2017, with home sales volume increasing 4.4 percent year-over-year to 3,415 sales. Median price rose 6.6 percent to $314,000 during the same time frame. Monthly housing inventory jumped 0.5 months annually to 3.1 months, which is just under half of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s benchmark of 6.5 months as a balanced housing market.

City of Austin

Single-family home sales in the city of Austin increased 4.3 percent to 4,680 home sales in the first half of 2017. Of the 22,449 single-family homes sold in the 18-county Central Texas region in the first half of the year, approximately only one in five (20.8 percent) were sold within the Austin city limits. Median price increased 7.7 percent to $365,000 in the first half of the year, while active listings increased 8.7 percent to 1,435 listings during the same time frame.

“So far in 2017, home price appreciation throughout Central Texas has ranged between 5-8 percent,” commented Guthrie. “While this is less than the double-digit home price increases experienced over the last few years, the impact on housing affordability for the typical Central Texas homebuyer is still significant. In the city of Austin, for example, the median price for single-family homes in the first half of 2017 was more than $26,000 higher than in the same time period in 2016.”

In June 2017, Austin home sales edged up 2.1 percent to 1,015 home sales, while median price jumped 13.2 percent to $393,500 during the same time frame. Housing inventory increased 0.1 months to 2.4 months of inventory, while homes spent an average of 36 on the market, an increase of two days from June 2016.

Travis County

In the first half of 2017, Travis County single-family home sales increased 2.2 percent year-over-year to 7,388 home sales – nearly half of all single-family homes sold in the five-county MSA during the same time frame. In the meantime, median price increased 6.6 percent year-over-year to $351,804. In June 2017, single-family home sales increased 5.2 percent to 1,669 home sales, median price rose 7.1 percent to $375,000 and monthly housing inventory grew 0.3 months to 3.1 months of inventory.

Williamson County

Williamson County single-family home sales remained flat in June 2017, declining 0.1 percent year-over-year to 1,167 home sales. Median price rose 5.9 percent to $286,000 during the same time frame. Housing inventory jumped 0.7 months to 2.9 months of inventory in June 2017, which is the lowest housing inventory level of any county in the Austin-Round Rock MSA.

In the first half of 2016, single-family home sales grew 1.2 percent to 5,067 home sales, while median price rose 6.2 percent to $276,000. More homes were sold in Williamson County in the first half of the year than in the city of Austin – despite having less than half the population size of the city of Austin – as strong housing development throughout Williamson County continues to drive sales activity. Active listings soared 23.8 percent in the first half of the year to 1,958 listings, while new listings increased 11.8 percent to 7,407 listings.

“Williamson County’s housing market growth continues to be stifled by incredibly strong demand coupled with low housing inventory levels. While Williamson County’s housing inventory is slowly recuperating from the critical levels reached in 2016, the county’s housing inventory remains among the lowest in the region,” commented Guthrie.

Hays County

In the first half of 2017, Hays County single-family home sales rose 7.3 percent year-over-year to 1,799 home sales, while median price increased 5.7 percent year-over-year to $256,509. As a result of strong housing development and sales activity throughout the county, new listings increased 12.3 percent year-over-year to 2,678 listings and active listings jumped 16 percent year-over-year to 856 listings in the first half of the year. In June 2017, single-family home sales jumped 14.5 percent year-over-year to 427 home sales, while median price increased 6.7 percent to $266,250 during the same time frame.

Guthrie concluded: “Recent Federal Reserve data shows that our region’s job and economic growth are slowing at the same time that rising housing costs are creating a net loss in wagesfor Central Texas residents. Housing affordability is more than just one’s ability to buy a home where one lives and works – it’s also one’s ability to be a participant in their local economy. This ability is increasingly strained as rising home prices push more and more Austin residents into surrounding areas to find an affordable home, increasing distances between housing, workplaces and essential services.”

Information provided by Austin Board of Realtors.

 

 

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases May 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – June 15, 2017 – Single-family home sales volume experienced strong gains across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in May, while home sales dollar volume topped $1.2 billion and set an all-time high for sales dollar volume, according to the May 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®, commented, “Housing is the backbone of our region’s economy and the heart of our communities. Housing demand continues to be at an all-time high in and around Austin, indicated by steady growth in home sales and prices, listing activity and housing inventory. The concurrent gains in listing activity and inventory, in particular, are a positive sign that housing inventory could continue to increase throughout the aggressive summer selling season.”

In May 2017, single-family home sales volume increased 9 percent year-over-year to 3,170 home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA and rose 9.7 percent year-over-year to 993 home sales in the city of Austin. Home sales growth was equally strong at the county level during the same time frame, with single-family home sales volume jumping 14.8 percent to 364 home sales in Hays County, increasing 6.3 percent to 1,546 home sales in Travis County and increasing 8.3 percent to 1,117 home sales in Williamson County.

Coupled with rising home prices, this recent surge in home sales activity made May 2017 the highest-grossing month for Central Texas real estate in the region’s history. For the first time this year, single-family home sales dollar volume topped $1 billion ($1,234,217,617) in a single month within the five-county area, which is an increase of 18.4 percent from May 2016. This is an all-time high for home sales dollar volume in the Austin-Round Rock MSA.

During the same time frame, the median price for single-family home sales increased 8 percent year-over-year to $310,000 in the Austin-Round Rock MSA and rose 8.6 percent year-over-year to $380,000 within Austin’s city limits. At the county level, median sales price jumped 10.4 percent to $262,250 in Hays County, increased 8.5 percent to $371,000 in Travis County and increased 6.5 percent to $284,375 in Williamson County.

Strong gains in listings activity as well as pending sales activity across the region continued in May 2017, which in turn continues to boost both home sales volume and housing inventory levels. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, active listings jumped 22 percent year-over-year to 6,972 listings; new listings jumped 15 percent year-over-year to 4,369 listings; and pending sales rose 7.7 percent year-over-year to 3,437 pending sales.

Housing inventory levels also continued to rise in May 2017, increasing 0.4 months annually to 2.8 months of inventory across the five-county MSA. Within the city of Austin, monthly housing inventory rose 0.2 months year-over-year to 2.1 months of inventory. An analysis of monthly housing inventory at the price class level, however, showed that inventory levels for homes priced under $250,000 mostly remain under one month of inventory throughout the region.

“Housing inventory is on the rise, but the housing stock that’s being added to the market is increasingly at higher price points,” commented Guthrie. “Rising property values and housing development costs are rapidly causing an upward shift in the price range of residential real estate available within Austin and across the region. This trend will not be reversed until our city is able to come together to create strong, purposeful changes to Austin’s zoning maps that paves the way for housing at all price ranges to exist.”

Guthrie concluded, “The Central Texas housing market is moving at an increasingly faster pace. For every day Austin does not have a functioning Land Development Code, our commutes lengthen, housing costs in our neighborhoods increase and our residents’ quality of life is impacted. The Austin Board of REALTORS® urges the City of Austin not to delay this important task any further, and we will continue to work alongside our City and our community to help create the best path to meet Austin’s needs now and with our future growth.”

Information provided by Austin Board of Realtors.

 

April 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report highlights impact of regional housing development on housing market activity

AUSTIN, Texas – May 16, 2017 – Single-family home sales increased throughout the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in April, according to the April 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­® commented, “After a slow beginning to the year, increases in single-family home sales, homes on the market, and housing inventory across the region in April 2017 indicate that the Central Texas housing market is ramping up for a strong summer selling season.”

Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 3.2 percent year-over-year in April 2017 to 2,640 home sales. In the city of Austin, single-family home sales rose 2.2 percent annually to 827 home sales during the same time frame.

At the county level, single-family home sales jumped 8.6 percent year-over-year in Williamson County to 886 home sales in April 2017. In Hays County, single-family home sales grew 3.3 percent during the same time frame to 344 home sales. Single-family home sales in Travis County, conversely, declined 2.1 percent annually to 1,283 home sales in April 2017.

Single-family sales growth across the Central Texas region is partly being fueled by strong housing development activity, particularly in Williamson County. Last week, Metrostudy reported that annual new home starts through 2017-Q1 are up nearly 15 percent year-over-year, with 14,392 new home starts in 2017-Q1. The top five Austin-area submarkets for home starts – Cedar Park/Leander West, Pflugerville, Kyle/Buda, Hutto and Del Valle – comprised 46 percent of annual home starts during that time frame.

“The Austin area is delivering more lots than ever before, and as a result we’re seeing strong gains in new home starts so far this year, particularly in suburban areas in northeast Travis County and throughout Williamson County,” said Vaike O’Grady, Austin Regional Director for Metrostudy. “Rising development and construction costs as well as regulatory hurdles, however, are impeding growth in some markets, causing some builders to look outward in attempt to meet buyers’ affordability needs.”

Both active listings and monthly housing inventory experienced significant gains throughout the five-county area in April 2017, which could indicate strong home sales activity in the summer months to come. Active listings jumped 16.9 percent year-over-year to 6,474 listings in the Austin-Round Rock MSA and rose 14.6 percent year-over-year to 1,564 listings within the city of Austin.

At a county level, active listings increased 24.6 percent to 2,056 listings in Williamson County, increased 15.1 percent in Travis County to 3,233 listings, and increased 13.7 percent to 857 listings in Hays County in April 2017.

Monthly housing inventory increased 0.3 months from April 2016 to 2.6 months of inventory in the Austin-Round Rock MSA. City of Austin housing inventory remains the most constrained throughout the region, increasing 0.2 months during the same time frame to 2.0 months of inventory in April 2017.

Home prices posted moderate gains in April 2017. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, median sales price for single-family homes increased 5.8 percent year-over-year to $305,000. In the city of Austin, median price increased 4.1 percent to $370,600 during the same time frame.

Single-family home prices remain most affordable in Hays and Williamson Counties, but it’s also where home prices are rising the fastest. In April 2017, the median price for single-family homes in Hays County increased 7.1 annually to $267,500, while median price increased 7.0 percent in Williamson County to $275,000.

“Millennials, who make up more than one-third of Austin’s population, are looking for attractive, smaller homes close to amenities and major thoroughfares,” added O’Grady. “Several developers have already proven that communities with smaller homes and lots can be successful in Austin, but it’s increasingly difficult to find areas where this type of product can be built. Our region’s cities need a compromise of vision between preservation and necessary change in development in order to meet the demand for affordable new homes.”

Guthrie concluded, “Initial analyses of the proposed CodeNEXT zoning changes have already unveiled several inherent flaws in the new map’s design and structure to bringing true affordability to our communities. This is a watershed moment to determine the long-term sustainability and livability of our communities, and we have to get it right. The Austin Board of REALTORS® encourages Austin residents to attend an Open House Mapping Meeting for their district this month and discuss what CodeNEXT means for Austin’s current and future residents.”

Information provided by Austin Board of Realtors

March 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report highlights disparities among housing price classes

AUSTIN, Texas – April 20, 2017 – Single-family home sales declined across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and increased in the city of Austin in March, according to the March 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. Analyzing a growing disparity in market conditions among housing price classes, the report underscored the need for policies that create additional housing capacity to meet the market demand and a broader range of housing types throughout the region.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS® commented, “Growing disparities in housing market conditions at all levels of pricing represent an urgent and immediate need to fill the ‘missing middle’ in the region’s housing stock. The City of Austin’s CodeNEXT Zoning Comparison released earlier this week has given us a more tangible view of that need and confirmed the Austin Board of REALTORS® concerns about the draft land development code. Our newly adopted Strategic Housing Blueprint calls for the equitable disbursement of affordability throughout the city and we’ll need more substantive change than what’s been proposed to get there.”

In March 2017, single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA declined 1.4 percent year-over-year to 2,509 home sales. During the same time frame, median price for single-family homes increased 5.6 percent to $295,767, and housing inventory increased 0.2 months to 2.4 months of inventory.

Within the city of Austin, single-family home sales increased 1.2 percent year-over-year to 780 home sales in March 2017. The median price for single-family homes jumped 12.6 percent from March 2016 to $371,606, and housing inventory increased 0.1 months to 1.8 months of inventory.

City of Austin Single-Family Home Sales by Price Class: March 2017
Price Class Sales Volume Change from March 2016
$0 – $69,999 0 0.0%
$70,000 – $99,999 0 -100.0%
$100,000 – $149,999 2 -90.9%
$150,000 – $199,999 28 -56.7%
$200,000 – $249,999 88 -16.5%
$250,000 – $299,999 117 -22.3%
$300,000 – $399,999 211 13.4%
$400,000 – $499,999 119 15.8%
$500,000 – $749,999 141 2.4%
$750,000 – $999,999 46 20.0%
$1,000,000 + 28 13.0%
An analysis of March 2017 housing market data by price class revealed disparities in sales activity, time spent on the market and inventory of single-family homes throughout the region. Price class breakdowns of single-family home sales revealed annual declines in the sales volume and availability of lower-priced homes and corresponding gains in the sales volume and inventory of higher-priced homes.

In the city of Austin, sales volume among single-family homes priced less than $300,000 fell sharply in March 2017, while the volume of homes sold for $300,000 and higher increased significantly during the same time frame (see chart).

The monthly housing inventory for single-family homes priced $250,000 or less in the city of Austin was less than half a month in March 2017, or essentially nonexistent. Single-family homes priced between $150,000 and $250,000 spent less than one month on the market in March 2017. During the same time frame, Austin single-family homes priced $500,000 and higher spent more than 60 days on the market and posted significantly higher inventory levels.

Dr. Jim Gaines, Chief Economist for The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, agreed: “As population grows and residents seek to live in closer proximity to key activities, demand is created for greater density. Without more housing, homebuyers and developers are forced to look outward; but there are often many ways that existing residential neighborhoods can be zoned to allow for greater infill. Central Texas, especially Austin, is rapidly approaching a critical mass of population growth when city leaders may be forced to create imaginative, higher-density options to accommodate popular demand.”

“Townhomes, duplexes, mid-rise condos and smaller single-family homes are all solutions that can increase density throughout Austin, but those solutions continue to be largely prevented in the proposed zoning changes,” said Guthrie. “As local market experts, Central Texas REALTORS® recognize the necessary balance of promoting the greater community benefit of affordability and preserving the character and quality of our communities, but we also believe that this balance can be achieved in a way that enhances, not deters from our neighborhoods.”

Guthrie concluded, “The Austin Board of REALTORS® looks forward to working with the community at large and policymakers to continue to refine the Land Development Code in a way that allows for a diverse set of housing types throughout our communities and gives access to affordability all over Austin.”

Information from Austin Board of Realtors.

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases expanded February 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – March 16, 2017 – The February 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS® showed a slowdown in single-family home sales growth throughout the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in February 2017, indicating that the Central Texas housing market is beginning to normalize to more stable market conditions.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­® commented, “The Central Texas housing market is just now beginning to catch up to itself after years of unprecedented sales growth. It’s important to remember that current figures are being compared to very strong housing market activity in 2016, so a decline in home sales growth does not automatically mean that the market is softening.”

Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital for Independence Title, agreed: “Low inventory levels, high home prices and slowing job growth across the region are preventing a resurgence of the record-breaking numbers experienced the last two years, but overall the region’s housing market remains very strong. The Central Texas housing market is normalizing into a more stable market.”

Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA were essentially flat in February 2017, increasing 0.9 percent year-over-year to 1,829 home sales. Single-family home sales declined from February 2016 in many cities surrounding Austin, with the exceptions of Buda (up 30 percent year-over-year to 26 home sales), Cedar Park (up 20.7 percent year-over-year to 70 home sales), Leander (up 8.8 percent year-over-year to 62 home sales) and Austin (up 6.4 percent year-over-year to 617 home sales).

“Home sales growth in the city of Austin is currently being driven by the sales of single-family homes priced $750,000 and higher, particularly within the luxury housing market,” added Guthrie.

The median price for single-family homes in the five-county MSA rose 6.5 percent to $287,000 in February 2017. During the same time frame, the monthly housing inventory for single-family homes in the Austin-Rock MSA increased 0.1 months to 2.1 months.

“The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise U.S. interest rates yesterday could dissuade some local homeowners from listing their homes on the market, or potential homeowners from buying a home,” commented Sprague. “Even with this increase, however, there’s still no better time to buy than now. Interest rates are likely only to increase over the next few years. Central Texans will not be able to buy a home for as low of a price and as low of an interest rate as they can today.”

Guthrie concluded: “Whether you’re planning to buy or sell a home, the Central Texas housing market is complex and moves quickly. Working with a Central Texas REALTOR® in advance will give you the expert local market knowledge you need to be fully prepared to make an offer on or sell your home.”

Central Texas housing market starts 2017 strong with gains in home sales volume, prices

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases expanded January 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 16, 2017 – Single-family home sales posted strong gains throughout the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in January, according to a new and expanded Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­® commented, “Consecutive years of strong housing demand and sales growth throughout Central Texas have significantly changed housing market conditions in Austin and the surrounding region. The radius of local market areas with critically low housing inventory levels has expanded out from Austin into surrounding counties, shifting the price range of available homes in local communities upward.”

Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 7.0 percent year-over-year in January 2017 to 1,549 home sales. In the city of Austin, single-family home sales jumped 9.8 percent annually to 469 home sales during the same time frame.

Housing inventory levels remained largely flat across the Austin-Round Rock MSA in January 2017, increasing 0.1 months to 2.0 months of inventory. Housing inventory levels in Williamson County and other markets are now on pace with housing inventory levels in the City of Austin, which remained unchanged in January 2017 at 1.4 months of inventory. The inventory of single-family homes priced under $250,000 is now less than 1.0 months of inventory in many local markets.

Area home prices continued to climb at a steady pace in January 2017. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, median home price increased 9.8 percent year-over-year to $279,990, while the median price in the city of Austin increased 2.3 percent year-over-year to $312,000.

“The range of home prices available in local market areas are slowly trending upward, changing the local profile of what homes and price ranges are considered ‘affordable’,” added Guthrie. “Single-family homes priced for entry-level homebuyers are increasingly harder to find throughout the region.”

Starting this month, the Austin Board of REALTORS® has expanded its Central Texas Housing Market Report into a 12-page, regional report exploring housing market statistics and trends throughout the region. To view the full report in its entirety, including January 2017 statistics for the Austin-Round Rock MSA; Hays, Travis and Williamson counties; and the city of Austin, please visit ABoR.com/StatsJan17.

Guthrie concluded, “Housing affordability and development policy decisions made in Austin have a regional ripple effect. It’s increasingly important for area homebuyers and sellers to know not only their local housing market conditions, but how their local housing market is being shaped by the region’s growth at large.”

Central Texas housing market breaks sales record in 2016, shows signs of normalization in 2017

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases December 2016 & Year-End 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 18, 2017 – The December & Year-End 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by Austin Board of REALTORS® reported 2016 as another record-breaking year for Central Texas home sales, while also showing signs that the housing market could begin to normalize in 2017.

“The Central Texas housing market is slowly beginning to align with long-term historical trends. Homes are spending more time on the market and the pace of both home sales and price growth is slowing,” said Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®. “This normalization does not necessarily mean a weakening housing market, but a return to less aggressive market conditions.”

Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

More than 29,000 (29,569) single-family homes were sold in the five-county MSA in 2016, a 3.9 percent increase from 2015 and an all-time high for annual home sales volume. Median price for single-family homes rose 7.2 percent from 2015 to $284,000, while home sales dollar volume jumped 9.1 percent from 2015 to $10,456,084,996. Homes spent an average of 50 days on the market in 2016, an increase of two days from 2015.

Housing inventory levels remained unchanged from year-end 2015 to year-end 2016, ending December 2016 at 2.0 months of inventory. This is two-thirds less than the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s benchmark of 6.5 months as a balanced housing market. In December 2016, single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent year-over-year to 2,373 home sales, while median price rose 6.9 percent to $290,000.

“While the region’s job growth have slowed over the last few years, overall the Central Texas economy and housing market continue to be strong,” said Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital for Independence Title. “The 2017 housing market will likely outpace last year’s levels, but at a less robust margin. Recent increases in mortgage rates could continue the current pace of home sales growth into the first part of the year.”

City of Austin

Austin single-family home sales volume grew slightly in 2016, increasing 1.7 percent from 2015 to 9,049 home sales. Austin home prices rose at a more moderate pace than in years prior, with median price increasing 5.8 percent to $340,000 during the same time frame. Active listings jumped 16.5 percent annually to 1,461 listings and homes spent five more days on the market in 2016 than in 2015, or an average of 41 days.

In December 2016, city of Austin home sales declined 7.8 percent to 705 single-family home sales, while median price rose 9.2 percent to $355,000. Monthly housing inventory increased 0.1 months year-over-year to 1.6 months of inventory. Homes spent an average of 50 days on the market in December 2016, an increase of five days from December 2015.

Guthrie concluded: “The local market areas with critically low housing inventory levels have grown dramatically over the last year, and our region’s housing market will never be balanced until there is a greater influx of housing stock of all types and price points. It will take time to rebuild Central Texas’ low inventory levels, and identifying smarter housing development policies for CodeNEXT in 2017 is the first step to generating more housing inventory in the years to come.”

Travis County

Single-family home sales volume in Travis County increased 3.3 percent in 2016 to 14,621 home sales, while median price increased 6.5 percent from 2015 to $330,000. Homes spent an average of 49 days on the market in 2016, three days more than in 2015. In December 2016, housing inventory increased 0.1 months year-over-year to 2.0 months. In the same month, single-family home sales declined 2.4 percent year-over-year to 1,160 home sales and median price increased 6.4 percent year-over-year to $335,000.

Williamson County

Single-family home sales volume in Williamson County increased 2.5 percent in 2016 to 10,102 home sales, while median price increased 6.2 percent from 2015 to $260,000. Homes spent the same amount of time on the market in 2016 as in 2015, or an average of 48 days. In December 2016, housing inventory remained unchanged from December 2015 at 1.8 months. Single-family home sales increased 1.7 percent year-over-year in December 2016 to 791 home sales, while median price rose 5.1 percent year-over-year to $265,000.

Single-family home sales surge across Central Texas region in November

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases November 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Dec. 15, 2016 – Single-family home sales experienced double-digit growth across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in November, according to the November 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­® said, “This end-of-year surge in home sales is an unusual and welcome surprise to what’s typically the lowest months for Central Texas home sales volume during the year. Home sales throughout 2016 continue to be fueled by our region’s steady population growth. At the current pace, 2016 will likely turn out to be another record year for Central Texas home sales.”

Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA jumped 15.8 percent year-over-year to 2,055 home sales in November 2016, while home sales in the city of Austin jumped 13.7 percent annually to 656 home sales. This double-digit growth was evident in Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties as well in November 2016, with single-family home sales experiencing annual gains of 24.2 percent, 11.3 percent, and 14.7 percent, respectively.

“Uncertainty regarding the election led to a relatively sluggish economy in August and September. It appeared that many buyers were waiting to see how the election turned out before deciding to buy,” said Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title. “Rising interest rates are also likely encouraging more people to buy a home. Millennial homebuyers, who comprise 51 percent of the Central Texas market, have never experienced an interest rate greater than four percent and thus could be motivated to buy sooner.”

Home prices continued to climb in November 2016, but at a slower pace than in previous months. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, median home price increased 7.0 percent year-over-year to $294,245, while median price in the city of Austin increased 4.0 percent year-over-year to $342,000. The exception was Williamson County, which experienced a 12.1 percent annual increase in median price to $275,000.

Housing inventory levels remained largely flat throughout the Central Texas region in November 2016. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, monthly housing inventory levels remained flat at 2.3 months. In the city of Austin, housing inventory crept up 0.1 months year-over-year to 1.9 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that a balance of housing supply and demand is achieved when housing supply levels are between 6.0 and 6.5 months of inventory.

“Housing inventory will continue to be one of the biggest challenges facing the Central Texas housing market in 2017,” added Farmer. “In some local markets such as Round Rock, inventory levels have fallen below 1.0 months, which means that available housing stock is practically non-existent. It’s critical that our cities’ leaders begin to look at housing affordability not as just an Austin issue, but an issue affecting our entire region.”

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