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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,

 

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February 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report

February housing sales strong, REALTORS® adapt amid COVID-19

Historically low interest rates add another variable to housing market

AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) February 2020 market analysis showed a 6.8% increase in residential home sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and a 12.8% increase in median sales price to $327,140. While sales increased from 2,363 homes in February 2019 to 2,524 homes last month, new listings decreased 11.8% year-over-year, and inventory dropped to 1.5 months of inventory, painting the picture of Austin’s historically competitive housing market and high demand. With the impact of COVID-19 beginning to take hold, it’s uncertain how social distancing will affect the way the market continues to operate.

“Historically low interest rates are a driver in the market response we saw in February and will continue to act as a driver despite our shared concerns over the impact of COVID-19 in our community,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said.

Manzanilla said there are a number of tools and best practices that ensure REALTORS® can continue to serve Central Texas home buyers and sellers safely as we all make changes to accommodate the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines.

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“REALTORS® will work to provide a new homebuying and selling experience in these times. Expanded visual libraries, interactive floor plans and virtual tours are tools that matter more than ever in this climate. The housing market is absolutely still open for business, but the business of real estate is evolving like we all are through this experience,” Manzanilla concluded.

Austin’s economy and housing market could be well positioned to minimize the potentially negative impact of COVID-19, Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title, said.

“Austin’s economy has diversified and strengthened over the past two decades. This leads me to be optimistic that our region is in a strong position to withstand economic downturns that may have a greater impact nationally,” Sprague said. “Effects will still be felt, especially by those who depend on each paycheck to pay their bills and provide for their families, and that cannot be discounted.”

According to Sprague, despite the current uncertainty, buyers are still eager to close sales in Austin.

 

“Current indicators are that Austin’s housing market remains strong and competitive. Any decrease in inventory would only increase competitiveness in our market. Overall, Austin’s economy and housing market look to be resilient during this uncertain time. Once COVID-19 subsides, there is a potential for even more investment by employers in the Austin market, and I would expect those looking for a more affordable cost of living compared to other major U.S. metropolitan areas will still look to move to and buy homes in Austin,” he concluded.

Austin-Round Rock MSA

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, the median sales price for February 2020 was $327,140, an increase of 12.8% from February 2019. February residential home sales dollar volume increased 21% to $1,027,245,686. During the same period, new listings decreased 11.8% to 2,925 listings, and active listings decreased 29.4% to 4,534 listings. However, pending sales jumped 10.9% to 3,137 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory declined 0.7 months year over year to 1.5 months of inventory. Across the five-county MSA there were 2,524 closed sales.

 

City of Austin

High demand across the city and limited inventory pushed the median price for residential homes to $395,000, a 14% increase from February 2019. Residential home sales increased 3.3% to 857 sales and total sales dollar volume increased by 18.1% year over year to $417,071,623 last month. During the same period, new listings decreased 5.6% to 1,032 listings; active listings dropped 34% to 1,072 listings; however, pending sales rose 4.5% to 999 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.6 months year over year to 1.0 month of inventory.

Travis County

At the county level, residential home sales increased 8.8% to 1,301 sales and sales dollar volume increased by 22% to $613,634,673. The median price for residential homes increased 13.2% year over year to $376,500. During the same period, new listings decreased 13.6% to 1,550 listings, while active listings decreased 35% to 2,022 listings. However, pending sales increased 9.4% to 1,615 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory decreased 0.7 months year over year to 1.3 months of inventory.

 

Williamson County

In Williamson County, February residential home sales increased 4.7% to 851 sales; sales dollar volume experienced a double-digit increase of 13.3% to $277,257,487. The median price for residential homes increased by 6.8% to $293,600. New listings declined 16.9% to 863 listings, while active listings decreased 33.7% to 1,398 listings. Pending sales increased 7.1% to 991 pending sales and housing inventory declined 0.9 months year over year to 1.4 months of inventory.

Hays County

In February, Hays County residential home sales increased 3.9% to 270 sales and sales dollar volume jumped 37.6% to $110,763,712. The median price for residential homes increased by 9.6% to $285,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 4.4% to 351 listings and active listings dropped 17.6% to 700 listings. Pending sales spiked 23.7% to 397 pending sales. Housing inventory decreased 0.7 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, February residential home sales spiked 47.1% to 25 sales, and sales dollar volume jumped 40.4% to $5,379,315. The median home price decreased 9.6% year over year to $201,000. During the same period, new listings spiked 85% to 37 listings; active listings increased 18.4% to 90 listings; and pending sales rose by 38.1% to 29 pending sales. Housing inventory rose 0.3 months to 3.5 months of inventory.

For more information, and to download the February 2020 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit www.abor.com/statsfeb2020.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the needs of Austin REALTORS® and consumers for more than 90 years. ABoR provides technology, education, and advocacy for more than 13,000 members, as well as monthly housing market reports for Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties. ABoR’s market reports include the most accurate multiple listing service (MLS) findings for the Austin area.

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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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,