AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin housing market continues to set records despite all the hurdles and barriers it faces, the Austin Board of Realtors said in a report released Thursday.
The Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area covers five counties, and the board’s report said sales volume lost due to the February winter storms was recovered in March, and the median price for a home rose by nearly 29% compared to last year to an all-time high of $425,000.
In a study by online housing brokerage Redfin, Austin’s median housing price jump was the highest in the nation, beating out Fresno, California and North Port, Florida, both at 23%. Redfin’s study said all three destinations have been popular with remote workers who have been leaving the most expensive cities in hopes to find affordability.
In March, home sales increased 13% year-over-year to 3,603, another March record, the board’s report said. Active listings dropped 78% to just over 1,200, which kept the area’s inventory at a record-low 0.4 months. The inventory last year in March was 1.8 months.
“The Austin-Round Rock MSA is one of the fastest growing in the country, people want to live here, and job creators see opportunity to be successful here,” said Susan Horton, the board’s president. “Our housing market is undergoing growing pains and creating a paradox—affordable from the outside looking in, but increasingly unaffordable for those who already call Austin home. While more homes are selling than ever before, it’s more and more difficult to find one.”
Sales volume nearly hit $2 billion in March, a 52% increase, and homes spent half as much time on the market than they did in March 2020, selling in 26 days on average.
Even with the high median prices and low inventory in Austin, a Texas A&M economist says it’s happening not just across Texas, but also across the country. He also contends by those standards, Austin real estate is “still a bargain.”
“While Austin leads the state in home price growth, this trend is also happening in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio due to high demand and limited housing supply,” Dr. Jim Gaines said. “Austin real estate is still a bargain by national standards. Compared to similarly competitive markets in cities like Denver and Atlanta, which are also experiencing rapid population and home price growth, Austin is coming from a stronger position in terms of affordability.”
Gaines said that’s why people are moving here.
“They can buy more house for their money than what they could in the cities they are leaving behind,” he said.
The average closing price of homes across the area is 108% of the asking price, Horton said, so sellers are still getting above what they want for their homes.
“Homebuyers and renters must carefully weigh costs, location, and housing features to determine what’s essential and where there is flexibility for tradeoffs,” Horton said.
County reports from ABoR
In Travis County, residential sales increased 12.4% to 1,785 sales, while sales dollar volume rose 50.3% to $1,204,798,018. The median price for residential homes increased 24.1% year over year to $490,000 as new listings declined 3.9% to 2,143 listings. Active listings plummeted 73.1% to 669 listings and pending sales skyrocketed 51.4% to 2,149 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory fell 1.1 months year over year to 0.4 months of inventory.
In March in Williamson County, residential sales increased 10.6% to 1,206 sales, and sales dollar volume climbed 52.9% to $533,395,535. The median price increased 40.4% to $400,000. During the same period, new listings ticked down 0.7% to 1,359 listings, while active listings tumbled 85.6% to 260 listings. Pending sales increased 32.3% to 1,360 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 1.5 months year over year to 0.2 months of inventory.
In Hays County, March home sales steadily increased 5.4% to 412 sales, and sales dollar volume increased 44.7% to $194,169,038. The median price for homes increased 25% to $350,000. During the same period, new listings increased 10.9% to 538 listings, while active listings fell 78.1% to 180 listings. Compared to March 2020, pending sales increased 34% to 509 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 2.0 months to 0.4 months of inventory.
In March, Bastrop County home sales increased 83.2% to 163 sales, and sales dollar volume skyrocketed 104.8% to $51,605,144. The median price for residential homes ticked up 5.8% to $276,000. During the same period, new listings declined 8.9% to 133 listings, while active listings fell 81.1% to 63 listings. Pending sales increased 61.5% to 147 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 3.0 months to 0.5 months of inventory.
In Caldwell County, March home sales increased 27.6% to 37 sales, and sales dollar volume climbed 57.4% to $12,406,269. The median home price increased 10.1% year over year to $250,000. During the same period, new listings fell 2.9% to 33 listings, while active listings dropped 67.4% to 30 listings. Pending sales jumped 45.8% to 35 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 2.5 months year over year to 1.0 months of inventory.