December 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Austin-Round Rock MSA closes year with record-breaking  $17B housing market 

Housing demand across Central Texas soars to all-time high 

AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) closed 2020 by breaking records as housing demand across the region reached unprecedented levels. According to the December 2020 and Year-End Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), a record-breaking 40,165 homes totaling $17,579,802,503 in sales volume were sold across the Austin area last year.  

In December alone, residential home sales across the five-county MSA jumped 16.2% year over year to 3,626 sales, a record for the month of December, and the median price increased by 15.8% to 370,000, an all-time record for the MSA. Sales dollar volume in December also increased 41.1% to $1,784,023,513 and pending sales increased 40.8% to 3,114. Housing inventory declined 1.1 months to a record-low 0.6 months of inventory for the entire MSA. Homes spent an average of 36 days on market, 25 fewer than December 2019. 

“This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market,” Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president, said. “The pandemic only increased demand for all types of housing across the region, pushing inventory to near-zero levels and creating the strongest sellers’ market REALTORS® have ever seen. That said, if you are ready to buy a home, now is the time to take advantage of low interest rates that boost your buying power and plant roots in Central Texas.”   

Dr. James Gaines, former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center, attributes Austin’s record-high housing demand to a perfect storm of economic growth and increased consumer buying power. 

“The Austin-area real estate market is experiencing extraordinarily high demand fueled by years of high population growth and employment gains, lifestyle changes following the pandemic and record-low interest rates,” Gaines said. “The pandemic fostered an environment where many families increased personal savings helping some transition from renting to ownership while others needed to ‘move up’ for more space while working from home. Despite a steep slowdown during shelter-in-place orders this spring, the market came roaring back in the summer with no drop-off at the end of the calendar year.”  

Gaines added that the outlook for the 2021 housing market was very good, noting that Austin’s demand-driven market will continue to show strength and homes will keep selling quickly.  

In 2020, the median sales price in the Austin-Round Rock MSA rose 9.2% to $344,000. During this year, new listings decreased 0.4% to 43,816 listings, while active listings declined 34.2% to 4,556 listings. However, pending sales jumped 13.1% to 42,371 pending sales. Pending sales are now outpacing new listings, indicating that homes are selling faster than new ones can hit the market.  

“The Central Texas housing market is incredibly competitive and moving at lightning speed right now,” Horton added. “The complexity of a home sale is at an all-time high as it has become commonplace for homes to receive multiple offers well over list price. Whether you’re a homebuyer or a home seller, it is more important than ever to work with a REALTOR® who deeply understands your local area and can navigate the near-zero inventory market on your behalf.” 

City of Austin 

In 2020, residential home sales in the City of Austin increased 1.7% to 12,745 sales, an all-time record, while sales dollar volume jumped 16.3% to $6,746,602,345. The median sales price for residential homes rose 12% year over year to 420,000 this past year, also an all-time record. New listings slightly increased 1.1% to 14,735 listings while active listings dropped 23.8% to 1,332 listings, and pending sales increased 3.8% to 13,062 pending sales.  

In December 2020, the median sales price in the city of Austin rose 18.7% to $461,000, an all-time monthly record. Residential sales increased 16.4% to 1,191 sales, a record for the month of December in any year, as sales dollar volume jumped 43.1% to $711,984,698. During the same period, new listings jumped 31.3% to 755 listings, while active listings decreased 33.6% to 753 listings, and pending sales jumped 31.1% to 928 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.4 months year over year to 0.7 months of inventory. The City of Austin now has a higher inventory than surrounding markets like Williamson County, which is historically not the case.  

Travis County

During 2020, residential home sales increased 4.3% to 20,081 sales, while sales dollar volume rose 19% to $10,663,700,312. The median price for residential homes increased 12% year over year to $405,000. This past year, new listings declined 1% to 22,744 listings and active listings dropped 32.6% to 2,226 listings. However, pending sales increased 8.1% to 20,986 pending sales.  

In December, residential home sales increased 18.1% to 1,885 as sales dollar volume in Travis County spiked 46.5% to $1,137,805,715.  Additionally, the median price rose 20.2% year over year to $435,000. During the same period, new listings jumped 29.5% to 1,216 listings while active listings dropped 54.9% to 1,038 listings, and pending sales increased 38.6% to 1,537 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory fell 0.8 months year over year to 0.6 months of inventory.  

Williamson County

In 2020 in Williamson County, home sales increased 9.1% to 13,523 sales, and sales dollar volume rose 17.7% to $4,603,742,735. The median price for homes increased 7.7% to $307,000. New listings dropped 2.9% to 13,794 and active listings fell 41.4% to 1,322 listings in 2020. However, pending sales increased 12.6% to 14,158 pending sales. 

During the month of December, residential sales in Williamson County increased 4.1% to 1,152 sales, and sales dollar volume jumped 20.4% to $424,133,483. The median price increased 14.3% to $326,650. In December, new listings jumped 15.6% to 784 listings, while active listings tumbled 77.8% to 405 listings. Pending sales increased 24.9% to 987 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 1.4 months year over year to 0.4 months of inventory, which is the lowest inventory in the MSA.  

Hays County

During 2020, Hays County home sales increased 21.9% to 4,864 sales, and sales dollar volume rose 36.8% to $1,833,669,611. The median price for homes increased 10.9% to $295,000. This past year, new listings increased 6.6% to 5,220 listings, while active listings fell 30.3% to 657 listings compared to 2019. Pending sales increased 31.7% to 5,330 pending sales.  

December 2020 home sales in Hays County increased 35.6% to 423 sales, and sales dollar volume spiked 60% to $170,517,335. The median price for homes increased 17.5% to $314,900. During the same period, new listings increased 11.6% to 279 listings, while active listings dropped 64.8% to 297 listings. However, pending sales soared 73.5% to 399 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 1.8 months to 0.7 months of inventory.  

Bastrop County

In 2020 in Bastrop County, home sales increased 20.8% to 1,350 sales, and sales dollar volume rose 35.1% to $395,575,892. The median price for homes increased 10% to $263,000. New listings increased 9.3% to 1,654 listings while active listings fell 15.3% to 272 listings. However, pending sales jumped 34.6% to 1,524.  

In December, Bastrop County home sales climbed 57.5% to 137 sales, and sales dollar volume soared 72.4% to $42,432,735. The median price for residential homes increased 13.5% to $269,000. During the same period, new listings jumped 58.1% to 117 listings, while active listings dropped 44.9% to 163 listings. Pending sales skyrocketed 126.9% to 152 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 1.8 months to 1.4 months of inventory.  

Caldwell County

Last year in Caldwell County, the median price increased 7.1% year over year to $212,500. Residential home sales increased 15.7% to 347 sales, and sales dollar volume jumped 23.9% to $82,877,777. New listings slightly dropped 1.9% to 404 listings and active listings decreased 20.4% to 78 listings. At the same time, pending sales jumped 24.3% to 373 pending sales in 2020.  

In Caldwell County, December home sales increased 61.1% to 29 sales as sales dollar volume increased 58.3% to $7,325,243. The median home price increased 3.8% year over year to $212,850. During the same period, new listings climbed 47.1% to 25 listings, while active listings dropped 45.7% to 51 listings. Pending sales soared 160% to 39 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 2.0 months to 1.8 months of inventory.   

For more information or to download the December 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit ABoR.com/MarketStatistics. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors December 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report.

November 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Austin on pace to break housing records

Housing Inventory Drops to All-Time Low

AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) posted a record-breaking month of sales this November, according to the latest Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR). MSA home sales jumped 23.8% year over year to 3,397 sales, indicating no sign of a typical season slowdown heading into the new year. 

Additionally, the median price across the MSA increased 19.7% to $365,000, and sales dollar volume spiked 49.3% to $1,576,178,429. At the same time, new listings increased 5.7% to 2,762 listings, active listings dropped 55.2% to 2,842 listings and pending sales increased 23.9% to 3,269 pending sales. For the first time ever, housing inventory dipped below one month across the five-county MSA, falling 1.2 months year over year to 0.9 months of inventory.   

“Despite the economic roadblocks and challenges the global pandemic has presented, Austin’s housing market activity is stronger than it’s been in several years,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “Housing demand has only increased over the past several months and Austin REALTORS® are working hard to ensure clients find a home that works for them. Our main challenge in this market is navigating the critically low levels of inventory. This near-zero level of housing inventory throughout the region is staggering, and it will put enormous pressure on home prices and the rental market.” 

November 2020 marks an all-time low for housing inventory throughout the region and the first time that inventory across the five-county MSA has dipped below one month. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates 6.5 months of inventory as a balanced housing market.  

“With a steady influx of job creation in the pipeline, the housing market will continue to post strong numbers well into 2021,” Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title, said. “But, because Austin’s housing market is not slowing down, we will continue to see demand outpace the inventory available. This growth is not sustainable. The one variable that will hold the market back is the lack of inventory.” 

“While we’re grateful that the housing market rapidly recovered, last month’s numbers should give us all pause,” Manzanilla concluded. “Central Texans who could not find a property within Austin’s city limits have historically been able to expand their searches outward to find a home. But, when the entire region has virtually zero inventory, its leaders must think about how such a broad lack of housing will ultimately impact Austin’s suitability as a destination for businesses and economic growth.” 

City of Austin  

The median sales price in the city of Austin rose 10.1% to $433,493 in November. Residential sales increased 28.2% to 1,105 sales, as sales dollar volume jumped 47.2% to $600,496,127. During the same period, new listings increased 9.9% to 897 listings, while active listings decreased 28.2% to 1,064 listings, and pending sales jumped 16.8% to 1,038 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.4 months year over year to 1.0 months of inventory.  

Travis County  

In Travis County, residential sales increased 25.2% to 1,720 sales, while sales dollar volume spiked 54.6% to $961,793,770. The median price for residential homes rose 19.7% year over year to $425,000. During the same period, new listings increased 8.2% to 1,388 listings, active listings decreased 47.2% to 1,523 listings, and pending sales jumped 22.4% to 1,642 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory fell 0.9 months year over year to 0.9 months of inventory.  

Williamson County  

In November in Williamson County, residential sales increased 19.8% to 1,127 sales, and sales dollar volume jumped 38.4% to $404,718,496. The median price increased 18% to $326,725. During the same period, new listings slightly increased 2.2% to 903 listings, while active listings tumbled 71.8% to 604 listings. Pending sales increased 12.2% to 1,046 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 1.6 months year over year to 0.5 months of inventory.  

Hays County  

In Hays County, November home sales increased 30.4% to 403 sales, and sales dollar volume spiked 54.6% to $170,600,406. The median price for homes increased 18.5% to $303,525. During the same period, new listings increased 6% to 338 listings, while active listings fell 50.7% to 439 listings. Compared to November 2019, pending sales soared 54.6% to 422 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 1.6 months to 1.1 months of inventory.

Bastrop County  

In November, Bastrop County home sales climbed 14% to 114 sales, and sales dollar volume increased 17.4% to $31,303,538. The median price for residential homes increased 6.4% to $260,950. During the same period, new listings slightly increased 2.8% to 109 listings, while active listings dropped 37.7% to 208 listings. Pending sales skyrocketed 81.4% to 127 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 1.7 months to 1.9 months of inventory.   

Caldwell County  

In Caldwell County, November home sales increased 65% to 33 sales, and sales dollar volume increased 70.4% to $6,961,699. The median home price increased 11.4% year over year to $204,750. During the same period, new listings rose 14.3% to 24 listings, while active listings dropped 32% to 68 listings. Pending sales jumped 52.4% to 32 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 1.5 months to 2.5 months of inventory.   

For more information or to download the November 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit ABoR.com/MarketStatistics. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors November 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report.

October 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Central Texas housing market continues strong sales growth

The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) posted another strong month of sales growth, according to the October 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR). The MSA experienced a 29.4% increase to 3,780 in October home sales year over year, while homes continued to sell faster and at higher price points than ever before.

In addition to a third-consecutive month of double-digit home sales growth, median sales price increased 13.2% to $365,000, an all-time record, and sales dollar volume skyrocketed 55.3% to $1,778,706,460. Pending sales jumped 28.8% to 3,829; new listings increased 10.2% to 3,747; while active listings fell 50.3% to 3,501 sales. Homes spent an average of 35 days on market, 19 fewer days than in October 2019, and inventory fell 1.2 months to 1.1 months across the five-county area.

“The continued stability and strength of our market will be crucial heading into 2021. As we come to the end of a challenging year, I’m proud of the work that Austin REALTORS® have done to stabilize and grow our market,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “While the full impact remains to be seen, the passage of Propositions A & B in Austin will increase the property tax bill homeowners receive over the next few weeks. Combined with rising home values, increasing demand and limited inventory, homeowners should be prepared for their property taxes to continue to increase regardless of tax rates.”

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce expressed a positive outlook for the local economy and job market for 2021 but echoed concerns around housing affordability and accessibility.

“Austin’s rank as one of the best places to live, work, and thrive in the country is evident by not only the growth of our housing market, but also by the growth of our local economy,” Laura Huffman, president and CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said. “Our region has a lower year-over-year job loss than any other major metro, and despite the pandemic, a record number of businesses have chosen to relocate to or expand in the region this year. We expect this growth—attributed to Texas’ business-friendly environment paired with Austin’s deep talent pool—will continue through 2021. Despite this, in 2021 the region needs to address housing affordability to help people from being priced out of the market, even as salary and job growth continues.”

“With a major transportation solution for our region now in place, we expect Austin City Council will turn their attention to the housing affordability crisis, which has only worsened during the pandemic,” added Manzanilla. “The Austin Board of REALTORS® looks forward to collaborating with both new and returning Council Members on ways to address this important issue.”

City of Austin

The median sales price in the city of Austin set an all-time record, rising 13.1% to $441,250 in October. Residential sales increased 22.7% to 1,224 sales, as sales dollar volume soared 52.6% to $705,053,179. During the same period, new listings increased 19.7% to 1,345 listings while active listings decreased 23.6% to 1,349 listings, and pending sales jumped 29.8% to 1,221 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.4 months year over year to 1.3 months of inventory.

Travis County

In Travis County, residential sales increased 22.4% to 1,921 sales, while sales dollar volume jumped 54.2% to $1,105,700,927. The median price for residential homes climbed 16.2% year over year to $430,000. During the same period, new listings increased 14.9% to 2,008 listings, active listings decreased 41.8% to 1,932 listings, and pending sales rose 29.9% to 1,931 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory fell 0.9 months year over year to 1.2 months of inventory.

Williamson County

In October in Williamson County, residential sales jumped 36.9% to 1,265 sales, and sales dollar volume skyrocketed 52.6% to $450,779,835. The median price increased 11.4% to $323,115. During the same period, new listings slightly increased 1.2% to 1,135 listings, while active listings dropped 67.9% to 750 listings. Pending sales jumped 21.5% to 1,248 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 1.6 months year over year to 0.7 months of inventory.

Hays County

In Hays County, October home sales increased 38% to 432 sales, and sales dollar volume increased 64.2% to $169,973,568. The median price for homes increased 11.9% to $305,000. During the same period, new listings rose 5.3% to 395 listings, while active listings fell 44.9% to 519 listings. Compared to October 2019, pending sales soared 38.3% to 451 pending sales. Housing inventory dropped by 1.6 months to 1.3 months of inventory.

Bastrop County

Last month, Bastrop County home sales jumped 54.2% to 128 sales, and sales dollar volume soared 84.4% to $41,431,066. The median price for residential homes increased 6% to $265,000. During the same period,
new listings increased 35.5% to 164 listings, while active listings declined 33.3% to 224 listings. Pending sales increased 57.1% to 165 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased by 1.6 months to 2.1 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

In Caldwell County, October home sales increased 9.7% to 34 sales, and sales dollar volume increased by 33.4% to $8,855,872. The median home price increased 26.7% year over year to $245,000. During the same period, new listings rose 36.4% to 45 listings, while active listings fell 29.6% to 76 listings. Pending sales rose 21.4% to 34 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 1.6 months to 2.8 months of inventory.

For more information or to download the October 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit https://www.abor.com/october-2020-central-texas-housing-market-report. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors October 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report.

How To Choose a Home Inspector

I would never recommend that you purchase a home without first getting that home inspected. You’re making a huge investment and not just a financial one. You’re also going to move your family into this home and you want to make sure that home is dependable and safe for the people that you care about to live in. But what should you look for when choosing the right person to inspect your potential investment? In this episode, Episode #19 of “Real Estate, Real Answers,” I’m going to share with you what makes a good inspector and, at the end, I’ll show you how to find the right inspector for you.

The first thing I think of when I think of a good home inspector is someone who is trustworthy and thorough. You’re making a big investment, probably thousands of dollars into this home that you’re buying. You want to make sure that it’s a good financial decision and that it’s a safe and dependable home for you to move your family into. For that reason, a good home inspector is first trustworthy and thorough. But how do you know if he’s trustworthy or thorough in his work? Well, you can ask for recommendations and look at reviews but I’ll go into more depth and share with you how to pick the right inspector in the end.

The second thing that makes a really good home inspector is someone who can help you understand the difference between a major issue and a minor issue. A good home inspector will do more than just email you his or her report when that inspection is done. He might meet you at the property or another location or maybe have a phone conference with you and explain that report to you, answer any questions and help you understand what are those major and those minor issues. Some issues can be insignificant like maybe a small building code change that happened since the home was built (he has to report all of those) or an issue could be a significant issue that you really want to have addressed and taken care of if you’re gonna move forward and purchase that home. Knowing the difference in major and minor issues is really important because when you’re negotiating for repairs with a seller you want to focus on the items that really matter and not waste time on insignificant or small items that will distract and probably prevent you from getting those major issues taken care of.

A third thing that can make a really good home inspector is someone who can do multiple types of home inspections. When you’re purchasing a home and getting inspected there are a lot of different reports and inspections that you can have done. Some you might want to have a specialist for but others are fine to have one inspector do all of those different reports. The inspector who can do multiple types of home inspections might have a broader base of experience and understand how the different systems in a home all work together. Also, you can save time and money by having one company do multiple inspections. Usually, they will give you a slight discount when you order more than one inspection and you also save time and stress by not having to coordinate with different inspectors to get each one into the home and inspect it at different times and to get them access to the home.

Those are the three things that I think make a really good home inspector, but I told you at the end that I would share with you how to find the right home inspector for you.  First I would suggest asking your real estate agent for recommendations. They’ve usually worked with a lot of different inspectors, seen a lot of different reports and developed a level of trust and dependability with certain home inspectors. They or maybe friends or family who have also gotten home inspections can usually give you a recommendation of a good home inspector.

The second thing to do to find the right home inspector for you is to ask WHY. When someone gives you a recommendation for a home inspector ask them why they’re recommending that person. It could be something simple like they’re a friend or a family member (that’s not really important) but it could be something significant like the reports or the way that they interacted with that inspector that was extremely valuable to them. Knowing why will really help you to pick the right home inspector and sometimes the reason that an inspector is good for someone else will help you know that that person might not be the right person for you. People value different things and what someone else might value in a home inspector might not match what’s important to you.

The third thing to do to find a good home inspector is to look at online reviews. Online reviews can be helpful but should be taken with a grain of salt. Usually, the people that do online reviews are people who are either really happy or know a home inspector or maybe had a terrible experience. When you look at online reviews, often you’re getting people on both ends of the spectrum and not hearing from all the people in the middle who had just a normal everyday experience with that inspector. So just understand that when you’re looking at those reviews you might not be getting a full picture of the work that inspector does.

Anyways, I hope this Real Answers been helpful for you! I’m Kyle Pfaffe, local Austin-area REALTOR and certified Texas First Time Homebuyer Specialist. Through professional and exceptional service, I focus on helping homeowners sell their homes for the most money they can net and helping home buyers purchase the “most house” for the least amount of money!

If you have a question, concern or need that I can help with, contact me and I’d be happy to help any way I can!

By your Texas REALTOR, Kyle Pfaffe

512.636.9707   kpfaffe@cityscapepg.com