AUSTIN (KXAN) — A report released Thursday by the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) claims that an increase in closed sales on homes shows buyer confidence in the Austin-Round Rock Metro housing market. The group also claims that housing inventory has increased, but still lags behind a six-month supply benchmark.
ABoR’s “Central Texas Housing Report” is updated monthly with data from the previous month. According to a press release from the group, the area saw an 8.8% month-over-month increase in closed sales. Homes are also staying on the market 28 days longer than in August 2022, averaging 60 days before sale.
ABoR director and City View Realty owner Brandy Wuensch said that the housing market is always fluid, but Austin’s has remained active.
“We’re seeing buyers get back out into the market, having more opportunities to buy and so you know, now’s a good time to purchase a home while sellers are being a little bit more negotiable in their home prices,” Wuensch said. “Home prices are decreasing. In this market, you definitely need to be up to speed on the various factors that affect the market to make the best decision.”
The supply of homes is enough to meet demand for the next 3.8 months of demand — how long it would take to sell all available homes. But the goal for a “healthy market” is six months.
“We still have a shortage of housing…and a lot of that started pre-pandemic. So we’re still kind of playing catch up,” Wuensch said. “Some sellers are slow to come on the market. Many of them did refinance two to three years ago…so it’s a little bit harder for them to want to sell their home and reenter the market when those rates have pretty much doubled.”
Increasing that supply is a matter of homeowners downsizing, more units being built and local zoning policy allowing for flexible construction options. Short-term rentals
“We don’t really see short-term rentals and investments as much of a factor in our market,” Wuensch said. “We don’t see them really taking much of the inventory right now, we see investors consider other opportunities.”
Additional data provided by ABoR shows the median price for a home in Austin is $541,000 and Travis County’s at $534,500. In Austin, 2,879 listings are active; in Travis County, 4,772.