Austin area housing market on track to break another sales record


AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s going to be yet another record-breaking year for home sales in Central Texas.

A new report from the Austin Board of Realtors found while we are seeing a slight decrease in the number of homes sold within Austin city limits, that’s being made up by increases in home sales in Williamson and Hays Counties.

“Sales are up 3.3 percent year-to-date for 2018,” Steve Crorey, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said in a news release. “Pending sales volume in December, the Central Texas housing market is on track to have one of the highest-grossing years on record.”

Chris Beer, Owner of Green City Realty, told KXAN while home prices aren’t increasing as quickly as they did three to five years ago, but the numbers are going up.

“2014, 2015 we saw about a 10 percent increase in average price, whereas now, it’s closer to 6 to 7 percent,” Beer said. 

He’s also seeing increases in the number of new homes.

“This year, I’ve seen a lot of new construction contracts, especially in the beginning of the year,” Beer explained. “New construction is definitely an option for people that can’t find inventory. They can’t find a home they’re looking for because there’s not a ton of inventory.”

“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in the future. It’s crazy,” said Rachel Mustian. 

Mustian and Tracey Wallace are newlyweds who recently sold a condo and bought a house.

“We were absolutely not looking to move,” Wallace said. “Not something in our plans.” But they happened to come across a listing they liked and decided to put in an offer.

“I thought it was going to be super easy,” said Mustian. “I was like, oh for sure, our place is just going to, go on sale and a day later, we’re going to have six offers.”

That’s what happened two and a half years ago when Wallace had to compete against other offers to buy, but selling it now, they said, was a little more challenging.

“We had a bunch of foot traffic into our condo but no real offers until about a month in,” Wallace said.

“We’re seeing things stay on the market longer than it has been,” Beer said. “A few years ago, you had to be out there. Lots of multiple offers. But now, things are a little bit easier for buyers.”

Still, Beer explained, Austin remains a seller’s market.

Beer also suggests acting sooner rather than later if you’re thinking about buying a home in 2019.

“The outlook for interest rates is that they’re going to continue to raise interest rates, so it’ll become more expensive to buy the same house,” he said.

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