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May 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

COVID-19 exacerbates inventory shortage in Austin area; home sales drop

AUSTIN, Texas—The Greater Austin area continued to feel the stark effects of COVID-19, as housing inventory dropped to critically low levels of less than 2 months of inventory in Austin, Travis County and Williamson County, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) latest Central Texas Housing Market Report.

Compared to May 2019, residential sales in the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) decreased 29.2% to 2,697 sales, while sales dollar volume dropped 30.8% to $1,092,374,935. At the same time, the median sales price increased 0.7% to $329,893 and homes spent three fewer days on the market—an average of 47 days. 

“We’re seeing home sales drop because we simply don’t have enough inventory on the market,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “We recognize there’s still an element of discomfort with listing one’s home during the pandemic and Austin REALTORS® are taking every precaution to ensure safe and efficient practices across the market. There’s a lot of opportunity for sellers who are ready—new listings have increased visibility and homes are spending less time on the market.” 

Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title, said that although real estate was deemed essential, it was significantly impacted by the slowing economy. 

“If you compare Austin’s home sales to the majority of large cities in the U.S., you’ll find Austin’s market has remained strong,” Sprague said. “But, because sales numbers have a one-to-three-month lag time, it was no surprise May sales declined and we’ll likely see the same in June and July. The solution is increased housing stock. Until more homes are put on the market, we won’t see home sales recover anytime soon.” 

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, an 18.8% decline to 6,086 active listings pushed housing inventory down further to 2 months, 0.6 months lower than May 2019. During the same period, new listings declined 15.8% to 4,151 listings, while pending sales jumped 14.2% to 4,287 sales.

“Pending sales growth is the first sign of recovery, so the strong gains in May pending home sales throughout the MSA is encouraging,” concluded Manzanilla. “With continued population growth and pent-up demand for housing, our region’s housing market will ultimately rebound.”

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City of Austin

In the city of Austin, continued demand and limited inventory drove home prices up, as sales dropped due to fewer listings. The median price for residential homes increased 10.7% year over year to $424,050. Residential sales decreased 36.6% to 826 sales, and sales dollar volume decreased 32.5% to $418,410,453. During the same period, new listings fell 18.7% to 1,348 listings, active listings decreased 13.5% to 1,684 listings and pending sales declined 4.9% to 1,216 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.2 months year over year to 1.7 months of inventory. 

Travis County

At the county level, residential sales declined 33.8% to 1,319 sales, and sales dollar volume dropped 35% to $644,917,945. The median price for residential homes increased 4.7% year over year to $398,345. During the same period, new listings decreased 17.1% to 2,162 listings, while active listings declined 19.7% to 2,959 listings. Pending sales slightly increased 1.1% to 2,016 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.5 months year over year to 1.9 months of inventory. 

Williamson County

In Williamson County, May residential sales decreased by 27.1% to 914 sales, and sales dollar volume decreased 26.4% to $297,560,285. The median price fell 2.7% to $290,000. New listings dropped 20.1% to 1,269 listings, while active listings slightly decreased 23.7% to 1,826 listings. Pending sales jumped 23.6% to 1,497 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 0.7 months year over year to 1.8 months of inventory. 

Hays County

In Hays County, May residential sales fell 19.1% to 340 sales, and sales dollar volume decreased 20.5% to $115,545,478. The median price for residential homes declined by 0.8% to $265,900. During the same period, new listings slightly decreased 0.4% to 528 listings, and active listings decreased 8% to 890 listings. Pending sales jumped 44% to 583 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.5 months to 2.6 months of inventory. 

Bastrop County

In May, Bastrop County residential sales fell 13% to 100 sales, while sales dollar volume decreased 10.1% to $28,723,638. The median price for residential homes increased 9.3% to $260,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 5.6% to 152 listings, active listings decreased 8.5% to 323 listings, while pending sales jumped 29.1% to 151 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.6 months to 3.5 months of inventory.  

Caldwell County

In Caldwell County, May residential sales decreased 14.3% to 24 sales, and sales dollar volume decreased by 13.5% to $5,077,774. The median home price dropped 12.1% year over year to $179,900. During the same period, new listings fell 7% to 40 listings, active listings decreased 14.6% to 88 listings, while pending sales jumped 42.9% to 40 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.7 months to 3.5 months of inventory.  

For more information or to download the May 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit http://www.abor.com/statsmay20. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors May 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report,

 

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April 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Austin-area home sales feel impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Signs of optimism remain

AUSTIN, Texas—Austin-area home sales declined across most of the region in April as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and local shelter-in-place orders was felt in the housing market, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) latest Central Texas Housing Market Report.

Compared to April 2019, residential sales in the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) decreased 21.6% to 2,611 sales, while sales dollar volume fell 18.3% to $1,060,228,668. A 7.3% decline in active listings to 6,349 listings drove housing inventory down further to 2.1 months, 0.2 months lower than this time last year. At the same time, median sales price increased 3.2% to $325,000 and homes spent nine fewer days on the market, or an average of 43 days.

“We anticipated a sharp decline in April home sales activity, as it directly correlates with the decline in listings activity recorded in March due to government stay-at-home orders,” ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said. “Even with the impact to home sales, homes still spent less time on the market and sold at higher prices than last April. Austin’s housing demand is undeterred, and possibly strengthened by declining inventory.”

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Continued declines in listing activity in April 2020 could mean a second consecutive month of declining home sales. During the same period, active listings dropped 7.3% to 6,349 listings, new listings declined 21.1% to 3,516 listings, and pending sales declined 25% to 2,801 sales.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of REALTORS®, said while Central Texas has not been more negatively impacted than the U.S. housing market at large, he anticipates improvement in the market.

“As the economy steadily reopens, expect more listings to pop up, which will help ease the housing shortage. By the end of this year, home sales could be at levels comparable to 2019,” Yun said. “The local economy will also get an additional boost from more home construction that is needed for improving the market going into the next year,” Yun concluded.

Manzanilla is equally optimistic on the resiliency of Austin’s housing market. “It could have been much worse. Efforts to recognize real estate as an essential business helped lessen the negative impact of the pandemic during April; now listing and showing activity is already on the rise again. We’re hopeful this growth will continue in the coming weeks and months.”

City of Austin

In the city of Austin, the median price for residential homes experienced a double-digit increase of 12.3% year over year to $421,000. Residential sales decreased 33.1% to 759 sales, and sales dollar volume dropped by 23.9% to $387,921,787. During the same period, new listings decreased 24.8% to 1,158 listings, active listings fell 6.2% to 1,631 listings and pending sales declined 39% to 814 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.1 months year over year to 1.6 months of inventory.

Travis County

At the county level, residential sales declined 28.6% to 1,223 sales, and sales dollar volume dropped 23.7% to $602,124,601. The median price for residential homes increased 9.7% year over year to $395,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 26.5% to 1,779 listings, while active listings declined 12.8% to 2,929 listings. Pending sales also dropped 34.4% to 1,331 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.3 months year over year to 1.9 months of inventory.

Williamson County

In Williamson County, April residential sales decreased by 23.1% to 887 sales, and sales dollar volume declined 19.2% to $292,880,025. The median price showed resiliency and rose by 6.6% to $300,000. New listings declined 16.4% to 1,140 listings, while active listings slightly decreased 4.4% to 2,046 listings. Pending sales decreased 17.8% to 982 pending sales. Housing inventory declined 0.2 months year over year to 2.0 months of inventory.

Hays County

Despite the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Hays County residential sales in April spiked 16.2% to 395 sales, and sales dollar volume jumped 18.6% to $136,147,504. The median price for residential homes declined by 1.6% to $284,950. During the same period, new listings increased 4.4% to 475 listings, and active listings increased 4% to 945 listings. Pending sales slightly decreased 1.9% to 368 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.1 months to 2.8 months of inventory.

Bastrop County

In April, Bastrop County residential sales dropped 6.5% to 87 sales, while sales dollar volume marginally increased 3.1% to $24,229,255. The median price for residential homes increased 10.6% to $260,000. During the same period, new listings tumbled 41.7% to 98 listings, active listings slightly increased 0.9% to 339 listings and pending sales fell 9.3% to 98 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.3 months to 3.6 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

In Caldwell County, April residential sales declined 36.7% to 19 sales, and sales dollar volume decreased by 45.2% to $4,095,899. The median home price slightly dropped 1.9% year over year to $202,500. During the same period, new listings fell by 51% to 24 listings, active listings decreased 10% to 90 listings and pending sales declined by 12% to 22 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.5 months to 3.6 months of inventory. 

For more information, and to download the April 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit http://www.abor.com/statsapr20. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors March 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report,

 

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March 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

Austin area home sales hold steady in March

Central Texas REALTORS® remain cautiously optimistic during COVID-19 pandemic

AUSTIN, Texas – Local shelter-in-place orders that went into effect on March 24 had little impact on March home sales, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) latest Central Texas Housing Market Report.

In March, residential sales in the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) increased 2.2% year over year to 3,042 sales and median price jumped 11.7% year over year to $335,200. Monthly housing inventory declined 0.7 months year over year to 1.6 months of inventory, and average days on market decreased from 65 days to 54 days.

“For most of March, it was still ‘business as usual,’ and REALTORS® adapted early to continue serving homebuyers and sellers safely,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “Declines in listing activity and pending residential sales in March indicate that we won’t begin to see the true impact of COVID-19 on the housing market until our April report.”

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Last month, new listings decreased 12.7% to 3,770 listings; active listings dropped 26.6% to 4,908 listings; and pending sales decreased 19.2% to 2,852 pending sales.

Although COVID-19 has shifted the way real estate business is conducted, closings and home sales have not been negatively impacted thus far, Lea Holubec, senior vice president of education and training for Heritage Title of Austin, said.

“The approach to closing a home looks very different right now, but activity has not dipped,” Holubec said. “Homebuyers should be prepared for the closing process to take longer than usual due to COVID-19 safety precautions and be ready for additional employment verifications at closing, or even after closing, which many lenders are now requiring.”

“Like REALTORS®, sellers should remain cautiously optimistic during this time. Austin-area homebuyers are still looking to buy homes, and fewer homes on the market means stronger demand and increased visibility for your property,” Manzanilla said. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we’re still in a seller’s market and sellers should be encouraged to list their homes.”

City of Austin

In March, the median price for residential homes in the city of Austin rose 14% year over year to $415,000, an all-time high for any month on record. Residential home sales remained flat at 985 sales, while total sales dollar volume experienced a double-digit increase of 11.2% year over year to $503,132,316 last month. During the same period, new listings decreased 7.5% to 1,299 listings; active listings dropped 27.8% to 1,237 listings; and pending sales dipped 18.3% to 922 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.5 months year over year to 1.2 months of inventory.

Travis County

At the county level, residential home sales slightly increased 0.4% to 1,545 sales and sales dollar volume increased 11.8% to $783,614,704. The median price for residential homes jumped 15.1% year over year to $397,250. During the same period, new listings decreased 12.6% to 2,004 listings; active listings decreased 30.5% to 2,277 listings; and pending sales decreased 22.6% to 1,393 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.7 months year over year to 1.4 months of inventory.

Williamson County

In Williamson County, March residential home sales increased 0.4% to 1,007 sales and sales dollar volume increased 5.2% to $327,850,432. The median price for residential homes increased by 6.8% to $293,805. New listings declined 11% to 1,202 listings and active listings dropped 28.8% to 1,520 listings. Pending sales decreased 19.9% to 976 pending sales and housing inventory declined 0.8 months year over year to 1.5 months of inventory.

Hays County

In March, Hays County residential home sales increased 16.5% to 381 sales and sales dollar volume jumped 29% to $133,789,771. The median price for residential homes increased by 11.8% to $285,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 17.6% to 404 listings and active listings dropped 21.3% to 704 listings. Pending sales slightly decreased 6% to 359 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.8 months to 2.1 months of inventory.

Bastrop County

In Bastrop County, residential home sales remained flat at 77 home sales, while sales dollar volume increased 13.7% to $20,306,295. The median price for residential homes slightly increased 3.7% to $239,950. During the same period, new listings spiked 27.8% to 124 listings; active listings rose 16.1% to 324 listings; and pending sales jumped 20.7% to 105 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.1 months to 3.3 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

In Caldwell County, March residential home sales remained flat at 29 sales, while sales dollar volume spiked 33.8% to $8,153,889. The median home price increased 18.7% year over year to $237,450. During the same period, new listings decreased 23.3% to 33 listings, while active listings increased 15.6% to 89 listings. Pending sales dropped 21.9% to 25 pending sales. Housing inventory rose 0.1 months to 3.4 months of inventory.

For more information, and to download the March 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit https://www.abor.com/statsmar20/. All information taken from the Austin Board of Realtors March 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report,