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January 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Steady gains in January home sales signal strong year ahead for Austin area

Housing inventory continues to decline

The first Central Texas Housing Market Report of the year shows steady gains in both home sales and prices across the five-county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR).

Compared to January 2019, residential home sales in the Austin area increased 8.5% to 1,947 sales, and the median price increased 4.8% to $308,000, setting a record for the month of January. Housing inventory––which fell to 1.6 months––was driven to critically low levels across the MSA due to drops in both new and active listings. At the same time, increases in pending sales activity in January could signal further declines in inventory in the year ahead amidst strong housing demand.

“While this January showed significant gains compared to January 2019, the beginning of the year is a traditionally slower time for new and active listings,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “We expect to see a significant increase in activity in the spring when market activity should climb naturally.”

The January 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report also marks a transition to reporting on all residential properties (single-family homes, condos, and townhomes), rather than previous reports reflecting only single-family homes.

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“Austin’s competitive housing market is changing the landscape of traditional homeownership. We’re seeing more homebuyers purchase condos and townhomes in an effort to live closer to the urban core or stay within their budget,” Manzanilla added. “Focusing only on single-family housing leaves out half of the story, especially in the city of Austin where multi-family housing options are not only desired but greatly needed.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of REALTORS®, commented on the Austin area’s continued growth.

“Austin’s engine of job and population growth is not projected to slow down anytime soon,” Yun said. “Looking at other metro areas across the U.S. that have faced similar circumstances, this level of rapid, positive growth will not be sustainable without a continued influx of a variety of housing types and careful transportation planning.”

Manzanilla concluded: “The discussion in Austin at the local level has been around addressing these very issues––diversifying our housing stock so families of all different backgrounds and income levels can afford a place of their own in Austin.”

Austin-Round Rock MSA

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, residential home sales in January rose 8.5% to 1,947 home sales, with a 9.6% sales dollar volume increase to $726,157,216. During the same period, new listings decreased 14.3% to 2,723 listings, and active listings decreased 24.1% to 4,889 listings. However, pending sales jumped 13.1% to 2,956 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory declined 0.6 months year over year to 1.6 months of inventory.

City of Austin

In the city of Austin, the median price for residential homes experienced a double-digit percent increase of 13.5% year over year to $384,750. Residential home sales increased 0.6% to 638 sales and sales dollar volume increased by 8.2% to $290,628,094. During the same period, new listings decreased 10.6% to 960 listings; active listings dropped 32.5% to 1,099 listings; however, pending sales rose 8.6% to 956 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.5 months year over year to 1.1 months of inventory.

 

Travis County

At the county level, residential home sales slightly increased 2.9% to 1,001 sales and sales dollar volume increased by 3.5% to $431,960,522. The median price for residential homes increased 7.8% year over year to $351,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 14.4% to 1,435 listings, while active listings decreased 28.8% to 2,178 listings. However, pending sales increased 9.1% to 1,481 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.6 months year over year to 1.4 months of inventory.

Williamson County

In Williamson County, January residential home sales increased 11.6% to 654 sales; sales dollar volume had a double-digit percent jump of 15.3% to $202,314,400. The median price for residential homes slightly increased 2% to $279,990. New listings declined 15.1% to 838 listings, while active listings decreased 27.1% to 1,557 listings. Pending sales increased 11.4% to 990 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 0.8 months year over year to 1.5 months of inventory.

Hays County

 

In January, Hays County residential home sales spiked 22.8% to 205 sales and sales dollar volume jumped 22.2% to $67,627,774. The median price for residential homes declined by 2.6% to $255,000. During the same period, new listings dropped 19% to 298 listings, while active listings decreased 15% to 745 listings. Pending sales spiked 29.2% to 354 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.6 months to 2.3 months of inventory.

Bastrop County

In January, Bastrop County residential home sales increased 22.2% to 66 home sales and sales dollar volume sharply increased 42.2% to $18,081,527. The median price for residential homes increased 12.6% to $241,000. During the same period, new listings increased 3.6% to 116 listings; active listings rose 8.6% to 317 listings; and pending sales spiked 28.8% to 94 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.1 months to 3.4 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

In Caldwell County, January residential home sales spiked 50% to 21 sales and sales dollar volume skyrocketed 188.8% to $5,924,220. The median home

 

price sharply increased 62.1% year over year to $232,807. During the same period, new listings increased 9.1% to 36 listings; active listings increased 15% to 92 listings; and pending sales rose by 94.7% to 37 pending sales. Housing inventory rose 0.3 months to 3.7 months of inventory.

For more information, and to download the January 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit www.abor.com/statsjan2020. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors December & Year-End 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report,

 

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December & Year-End 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Austin area closes decade with record-breaking $13B in home sales

Single-family home sales increased by 84% since 2010

AUSTIN, TX – While Austin continued to rank high on “Best of U.S.” lists, Central Texas REALTORS® sold more homes in 2019 than any year on record, according to the latest Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) analysis. The December and Year-End 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report reflects a record-breaking 33,084 home sales and $13,158,737,333 in sales volume.

“Austin’s unprecedented population growth during the past decade has heavily impacted the real estate market. Compared to 2010, home sales in 2019 increased by 84%,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president said. “That type of exponential growth has put enormous pressure on the market, raising the median home price from $193,520 in 2010 to $318,000 in 2019. As we look forward to this year, the market is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.”

Austin is one of only eight U.S. metro areas to have fully recovered in the last 10 years to prerecession values, Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title, said.

“Austin’s GDP, which grew 117% over the last 20 years, helped the real estate market recover from the recession,” he said. “The closest metro out of the top 50 in the U.S. to see this type of growth was Silicon Valley, which grew its GDP by 99% during the same period.”

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Austin-Round Rock MSA

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA—now the 30th largest U.S. metropolitan area—the median price for single-family homes increased by 2.6% to $318,000 in 2019. During the same period, sales increased by 7.2% to 33,084 sales. New listings for the five-county MSA increased year over year by 1.4% to 39,309 listings in 2019. Active listings decreased 4.3% to 6,216 listings, but pending sales increased 10.5% to 33,976 pending sales.

Sprague said every real estate channel in the Austin metro—from homes to warehouses—is doing well, even though not enough inventory is available.

In December 2019, sales volume in the Greater Austin area increased by 9.2% to 2,608 sales, while inventory decreased by 0.5 months to 1.7 months of inventory. Growing demand pushed the median price of a single-family home to $323,000, a 7.1% increase from December 2018.

“If we don’t take action to increase housing supply in Austin, we will continue to see exponential increases in home values,” said Manzanilla. “ABoR continues to advocate for an updated land development code in Austin for exactly this reason—so that folks who want to purchase a home in the area can afford to do so.”

City of Austin

In 2019, Austin’s median home price increased by 5.3% to $395,000 compared to the previous year. During the same period, sales rose by 1.8% to 9,572 homes and sales dollar volume grew 6.9% to $4,678,400,967. In December, the median home price increased 8% year over year to $405,093 and sales increased 8.9% year over year to 738 home sales. Austin’s monthly housing inventory decreased in December from 0.5 months to 0.9 months of inventory.

Travis County

 

In Travis County, the median price for single-family homes grew by 3.6% to $372,000 for 2019 vs. 2018 and sales grew similarly—4.7% to 16,042 sales. The December median home price rose 6.3% year over year to $369,000 and sales increased 8.8% year over year to 1,257 sales. The monthly housing inventory for December dropped by 0.5 months to 1.4 months of inventory.

Williamson County

 

While Williamson County’s median home price increased in 2019 to $287,774, it remains significantly lower than the median in both Travis County and the city of Austin. Single-family home sales in Williamson County increased by 10.5% to 11,797 sales in 2019 compared to 2018. In December, the median home price rose 4.3% year over year to $290,280; sales increased 14.1% to 970 sales. Housing inventory declined 0.5 months year over year to 1.8 months of inventory.

Hays County

In Hays County, the median home price increased by 1.8% to $268,000 in 2019. Sales increased by 6.9% to 3,829 sales. The median home price in December grew 1.5% year over year to $269,000; December sales increased 2.2% to 279 sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.2 months to 2.6 months of inventory.

 

Bastrop County

In 2019, Bastrop County’s median home price increased by 5% to $239,450 in 2019 and sales increased by 12.2% to 1,120 sales. In December, the median home price grew by 2% to $234,500, but sales dropped 3.4% to 86 sales. December’s monthly housing inventory increased by 0.1 months to 3.3 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

Caldwell County’s median home price increased by 11.1% to $199,900 in 2019 and sales increased by 3.9% to 296 sales. In December, the median home price rose 17.1% to $205,000, but sales dropped 23.8% to 16 sales. Monthly housing inventory grew by 0.5 months in December to 3.8 months of inventory.

For more information and to download the December and Year-End 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit www.abor.com/statsdec19. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors December & Year-End 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report,

 

 

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We love our city. From our hills to our lakes, our streets to our suburbs, we want to help you experience Austin in the best way possible. Have a question about a neighborhood, city or street? Ask Us! Looking for the best tacos or dog park? We have a suggestion for that to!

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Filing Your 2020 Homestead Exemption

Taxes. Nobody likes them; everybody pays them. I’m sure when you considered buying a home you heard about the potential tax savings. Now you own a home and pay your own property taxes. You want to pay as little as you have to, because who would want to pay more? The good news is that you can reduce your property taxes by claiming a homestead exemption!

What is a homestead exemption?

A homestead exemption (HS) removes a slice of your home’s value from being taxed. A homestead is a separate structure, condominium or manufactured home on owned or leased land up to 20 acres. To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must:

  • Own the property
  • Use it as your primary residence as of January 1 of the year in which you are applying (2020 – so you had to close in 2019)
  • The address on your driver’s license must match the address you are claiming the HS exemption on.

How much is my homestead exemption in Texas?

Texas law requires school districts provide a $25,000 exemption for property tax. So if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a homestead exemption, you pay school taxes as if your home was worth $75,000. Taxing units also have the option to offer a separate exemption, which will vary based on where you live. For example, Williamson County offers a $3000 exemption for the special tax collected to farm-to-market roads. With your HS exemption, your county cannot raise the appraised value of your home by more than 10% each year, even if the actual value is greater. With the current rate of appreciation for many homeowners, this has saved many people a lot of money over the past few years!

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What other exemptions are available in Texas?

The most common other exemptions claimed are the Senior Exemption (Over 65), Disabled Exemption and Veteran’s Exemption. Both the Senior Exemption and Disabled Exemption requires school districts to offer an additional $10,000 HS but one cannot qualify for both. When you turn 65, you may also qualify for a “tax ceiling” on your school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The Veteran’s Exemption is available to disable veterans and the surviving dependents and entitles a disabled vet an exemption equal to his service-connected disability, up to 100%. Here is a list of most of HS exemptions.

How do I apply for my homestead exemption?

You can apply for FREE for your HS exemption by completing and turning in the correct form to your local county tax office. For Williamson County, you can also apply online. When you purchase a home, you will likely receive many official looking pieces in the mail offering services to file your HS exemption for you for a fee. THIS IS A SCAM. Please save yourself some money by filling out and mailing in the form yourself! You can apply for your HS exemption from January 1 – April 30 in the year after you purchased your home.

  • Homestead Exemption Form for Williamson County (FORM) or (Fill it out ONLINE). Mailing Address: 625 FM 1460, Georgetown, TX 78626-8050
  • Homestead Exemption Form for Travis County (FORM). Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012

If you have questions about your homestead exemption, property taxes or any other real estate question, contact us and we’ll get back to you right away. I hope you have found all of this information helpful!