Austin-area home sales hit all-time high; where to find more affordable homes

Consumer

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BASTROP COUNTY (KXAN) — Central Texas keeps breaking records for home sales.

According to Austin Board of Realtors’ July housing market report, Austin-area home sales increased by 11.7% to 3,439 sales, setting an all-time high for any July on record.

Here’s a county by county look:

  • City of Austin: 943 sales
  • Travis County: increased by 4.6% to 1,641 sales
  • Williamson County: increased by 15.4% to 1,205 sales 
  • Hays County: increased by 22.4% to 431 sales
  • Bastrop County: increased by 41.1% to 127 sales
  • Caldwell County: increased by 52.2% to 35 sales

“In Austin proper, home prices have been rising steadily for several years now,” said Kevin P. Scanlan, President of Austin Board of Realtors. “In fact, in June of this year, in the City of Austin, we had our highest median home price ever, $420,000.”

Scanlan said that’s why more and more buyers are looking at Austin’s suburbs.

“You’re seeing homeowners taking a look at that, and saying ‘I can spend half a million dollars in Austin proper for a tiny 60-year-old house, or I can go out to some of these bedroom communities in outlying areas and get fairly new construction for under $300,000.'”

Growth in Bastrop County

One of the hot areas buyers are eyeing is Bastrop County.

Realtors in Bastrop said they started seeing a steady increase in home sales starting in 2009. Since then, the median home price has also gone up as well from about $150,000 in 2009 to $250,000 last year.

But comparing that number to Austin’s median price, Scanlan said, “What that’s doing is it’s driving home buyers into the communities that are a little further out where their dollar goes a little further.”

“It’s a great challenge to have, and I think we’re embracing it,” said Becki Womble, President and CEO of Bastrop Chamber of Commerce.

Womble told KXAN at present, there are about 26,000 lots across the county in some stage of development.

“We’re only 20 minutes from State Highway 130, very convenient access there. We’re about 23 minutes from the airport. It probably takes us less time here in Bastrop to get to the airport than it does a lot of people in Austin,” she said.

Womble explained, one way to see the effect of more people moving to Bastrop is through school enrollment numbers.

“We’re at 11,300 students. That’s up 500 students from May when school let out,” she said. “We love our small-town charm, but I think we’re progressive, and we’re very pro-business.”

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