AUSTIN (KXAN) — Is one of the hottest housing markets in America finally cooling down? Perhaps, the Austin Board of Realtors say.
Compared to August 2020, home sales in the Austin-Round Rock housing market during August 2021 decreased 4.6%. However, median home prices were still at a record-high for August at $470,000 and sales volume increased nearly 19% to more than $2.2 billion.
To say the market is calming down from its sizzling pace earlier in the year is fair, but it’s not “normalizing,” board president Susan Horton said.
“The region’s housing market is calming compared to the hectic pace experienced at the beginning of the year,” she said. “While it wouldn’t be appropriate to say market conditions are normalizing – inventory is still at an all-time low and homes are still selling as soon as they hit the market – August’s housing activity is closer to what we would typically experience in the fall.”
Monthly housing inventory is back to one month, and that’s the highest it has been since October 2020, the board’s August report said.
Based on the demand, the Austin-Round Rock market is “exactly where it should be,” economist Mark Sprague said.
“The Austin market is robust, and sales activity and pricing have been driven by true demand,” he said. “A combination of events, including increased job creation in the market, low-interest rates, shifting priorities for prospective buyers, and in many cases, increased personal savings following stay-at-home orders during COVID, are why the Austin MSA is a top market in the country. When there is this much demand, it is difficult for an entire market to be considered overvalued.”
Sprague also said the market is a national leader in single-family permit applications for new construction.
“The national average for permit applications is down 31% compared to peak applications during 2002-2008, but the Austin area is up 28%,” he said. The bottom line is that Austin’s market can be challenging, there are still many opportunities to find the right home and build equity.”
For full housing market statistics, go to the Austin Board of Relators website.
Condominium, townhome sales spike in past year
Condominium and townhome sales in the Austin-Round Rock market both increased by more than 40% over the past year.
From July 2020 to June 2021, condo sales shot up almost 44.8% to 4,394. Townhome sales increased 40.3% to 540. The local market outperformed the Texas housing market in both categories as well.
Across Texas, the median price of condos and townhomes both went up. The median condominium sales price in June 2021 was $240,000, a 24% increase over June 2020. The median sales price for townhomes was $285,000 in June 2021, an increase of 18.7%.
“Condos and townhomes are available at multiple price points and can be a great option for many entry-level homebuyers, young professionals or retirees looking for a lock-and-leave lifestyle,” said Marvin Jolly, the chairman of Texas Realtors.