AUSTIN, Texas – November 17, 2016 – Single-family home sales jumped within the city of Austin but declined across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in October, according to the October 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.
Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS® said, “Home sales typically slow down in the fall, so it’s encouraging to see a surge of sales within Austin’s city limits last month. Much of this growth is being driven by new home sales in the city, which are up nearly 38 percent year to date. Homes within Austin’s city limits continue to be in strong demand, despite having a significantly higher price point than housing stock in surrounding areas.”
After relatively flat growth throughout much of the year, single-family home sales in the city of Austin jumped 7.5 percent year-over-year to 703 home sales in October 2016. Median price increased 6.5 percent year-over-year to $332,250, while housing inventory increased 0.2 months to 2.2 months. Active listings increased 11.3 percent year-over-year to 1,667 listings during the same time frame, while homes spent slightly more time on the market, or an average of 42 days.
Conversely, single-family home sales fell across the Austin-Round Rock MSA in October 2016, declining 3.1 percent year-over-year to 2,219 home sales. Median price rose 9.3 percent from October 2015 to $279,000, while housing inventory edged up 0.1 months year-over-year to 2.6 months of inventory. Single-family homes spent an average of 51 days on the market in October 2016, two days more than October 2015.
Single-family home sales in Hays County were flat in October 2016, increasing 0.8 percent year-over-year to 258 home sales. The median price for single-family homes in Hays County jumped 17.5 percent to $249,945 in October 2016. Largely in part to active ongoing housing development throughout the area, housing inventory increased 0.4 months to 3.1 months of inventory in October 2016, while active listings for single-family homes jumped 17.6 percent year-over-year to 874 active listings.
The largest annual decline in home sales in October 2016 was in Williamson County, where single-family home sales fell 12.2 percent year-over-year to 744 home sales. The median price for single-family homes in Williamson County increased 7.1 percent year-over-year to $255,000, while housing inventory fell 0.1 months from October 2015 to 2.2 months of inventory. Active listings for single-family homes in Williamson County remained flat in October 2016 at 1,859 active listings, an increase of 0.5 percent from October 2015.
“Williamson County’s unprecedented housing demand continues to keep housing inventory at record low levels, despite having one of the strongest housing development activities in the region,” added Farmer.
Vaike O’Grady, Austin Regional Director for Metrostudy, agreed: “An extraordinary number of homes are under construction in Williamson County, but nearly everything that’s going on the ground is being sold. In the city of Austin, single-family housing growth is concentrated in a few subdivisions, such as the Mueller community.”
Metrostudy’s recent 3Q16 survey of the Austin housing market showed that housing starts and closing throughout the Austin area are at their highest level since 2006. Builders are attempting to fill the growing affordability gap by offering smaller floor plans and fewer features as well as a greater number of condominiums and townhomes, but primarily only in areas outside the city.
“Austin homes command a premium, so you don’t see a lot of lower-priced housing options within the city. Most new single-family homes being offered in the city of Austin are priced at $400,000 or higher,” added O’Grady.
“Housing development is at the center of solving Austin’s growing affordability crisis, but it has to be the right kind of housing being developed – a variety of housing stock at all price points and where it’s needed most,” concluded Farmer. “This can only happen once a new Land Development Code is put in place. The Austin Board of REALTORS® urges our city’s leaders to make reworking Austin’s Land Development Code their top priority.”