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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,

 

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!

 

Homestead Exemptions: What You Need to Know

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
  • The address on your drivers license must match the address you are claiming the HS exemption on.

How much is my homestead exemption?

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. Travis County offers a 20% exemption and 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!

What other exemptions are available?

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 filing 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.

Anyways, I hope this REAL ANSWER has been helpful for you. Sign up in the right column to receive more REAL ANSWERS because someone you know needs accurate answers. You can also ask your own questions and see the REAL ANSWERS to other questions.

Homestead Exemption Form for Travis County (FORM)
Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012
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 Hayes County (FORM)
Mailing Address: 21001 IH 35 North, Kyle, Texas 78640
Homestead Exemption Form for Bastrop County (FORM)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 578, Bastrop, TX 78602

Knowing WHEN to Sell in 2014 – FREE Guide

Strategic Guide for Savvy Home Sellers

Home sellers who are considering selling their home in 2014 will have to make a few very important decisions. These decisions can affect how much money they will make, how easy or difficult the experience is and how quickly their new plans can become a reality. Arguably the most important and impactful decision sellers will make will be which agent they will chose to sell their home, but deciding when to put the home on the home on the market is a close second. My Strategic Guide for Savvy Home Sellers – Timing the Market looks specifically at when is the best time for savvy sellers to put their home up for sale. To make this decision, savvy sellers will look at supply and demand, pricing trends and buyer trends. With interest rates, buyer demand and the number of homes available for sale in 2014 all projecting to be very close to the levels of 2013, savvy sellers will lean heavily on how the market performed last year to come up with the best strategy. Click HERE for my FREE Guide…

Here are some of the questions answered:

  • When will homes sell the fastest?
  • When do home owners receive offers closest to their asking price?
  • When is the least or most competition for buyers?

Download the FREE Guide >>> Timing the Market in 2014

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com
   

Deadline for Filing for Your Homestead Exemption for Property Taxes!

The time has come to file for the Homestead Exemption for property taxes. If you have purchased your primary residence in 2013 (resided there as of 1/1/2014), then you can claim the homestead exemption on your property taxes. Homestead Exemption forms can be filed between January 1st and April 30th. In an effort to help make your life a little easier, I have provided the links or phone numbers to download or request the Homestead Exemption forms that apply to all homeowners. The Homestead Exemption forms for those over 65, the disabled, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses are also included.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

In short, a homestead exemption in Texas is an exemption that removes part of the value of your property from being taxed and thereby lowering your property taxes. For example, if your home has a tax appraised value of $100,000 and you qualify for an exemption of $20,000, you pay taxes on your home as if it is only work $80,000.

What Exemptions Are There?

Beyond the standard Homestead Exemption, there are also exemptions for the disabled, seniors over the age of 65, veterans and other local & county exemptions.

For more information on exemptions…Click Here.

Here are the forms!
Travis County               Williamson County               Hays County

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help however I can!

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

How to Protest Your Property Taxes for Travis County or Williamson County

Attention Home Owners! You should have received your tax-assessed valuation for 2013 in the mail from the county by now or should receive it shortly. Unfortunately, the county often does not get an accurate valuation of your house because they simply value your home according to the area. If you believe that the county has assessed your property at a value that is higher than it is worth, effectively increasing the property taxes you owe, you can protest it with the county appraisal district to have it corrected and we can help!Property Taxes

We can help you by pulling market comps for homes that were sold in your neighborhood during the correct time frame and give you advice on the best ways to protest your valuation to give you a better chance of lowering the taxes you owe! Drop me a note or call me at 512-636-9707 for help or to receive our tip sheet to protest your taxes.

Property Tax Protest in Travis County, CLICK HERE.

Property Tax Protest in Williamson County, CLICK HERE.

Here are some frequent questions:

How do I determine my home’s market value? You can contact your REALTOR who can provide you with market data for homes recently sold in your neighborhood, collect purchase prices from your neighbors who have recently bought homes in your neighborhood or you can contract a company who specializes in assisting with tax valuation protests.

Should I appeal my property valuation? If you believe that your home is actually worth more than the assessed value, then NO. If you believe that the property valuation given to you by your county appraisal district is too high, then YES!

When should I receive my property valuation? The county appraisal districts begin mailing out your valuations after April 15. Most homeowners will have received their valuations.

How long do you have to appeal? You have until May 31st or 30 days after you receive your valuation to appeal (whichever is later).

Why is tax-assessed value different from market value? Simply put, assessed value is what the county believes that your property is worth. They attempt to set values at market values, but generally make changes according to your area or neighborhood. They do not evaluate an individual market analysis of your home or account for differences in size, location, amenities, condition or other various factors. A market value takes into consideration all of those factors and is individualized for your home.
For a Tip and FAQs guide from Gracy Title >> Gracy Title Tax Appraisal Tip Sheet

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team