AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s housing market is “trending in the right direction,” the president of the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday.
The characterization comes after the release of February’s housing market report.
A statement from ABoR said buyers gained leverage in February, as housing inventory increased to 2.6 months.
“Buyers have more options and negotiating power with each passing month, and sellers have more time to make their next move,” ABoR President Ashley Jackson said. “Remember, a healthy housing market isn’t defined by breaking records every month, but by market activity that’s steady-paced and sustainable.”
Homes are taking much longer to sell than in previous months. Those sold in February spent an average of 84 days on the market, the longest in 11 years. One year ago, homes were spending an average of 28 days on the market.
Median home prices dropped by 12% year-over-year to a metro average of $436,419. There was considerable variation among counties in the metro though.
Prices remain highest in Travis County and the City of Austin itself at $499,990 and $530,000, respectively. Both ticked up slightly compared to January but remain well below peaks seen in May.
Median prices in Hays County dropped to their lowest in 17 months, while prices in Williamson County dropped to 23-month lows.
“Looking at the month-to-month data, we see that pending sales are consistent or rising in neighborhoods that are typically more affordable in areas outside Austin city limits,” Jackson said. “Along with rising inventory, that’s a good sign for housing market activity this spring.”
Jackson said month-to-month data is important to help contextualize the figures against an overall trend of market stabilization.
Across the metro, 2,106 homes were sold in February, a 17% decline year-over-year, but a 29% increase month-over-month.
“With each passing month, homebuilders are gaining more confidence in the stability of our housing market,” said Taylor Jackson, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. “This is evidenced by fewer cancellations and minimized supply shortages. Additionally, first quarter sales incentives have remained strong and for the first time in a long time, builders have a renewed sense of optimism in the direction the market is heading.”
As of February, 7,167 homes are currently listed on the market, a 499% increase since last February.