Real Estate Report

Affordability a growing concern in booming Austin real estate market

Affordability a growing concern in booming Austin real estate market

The latest real estate report from the Austin Board of Realtors points to a growing concern of affordability in the local housing market.

According to ABoR, single-family home sales — and prices — skyrocketed in January 2015. Home sales jumped 11 percent over January 2014, but the real concern is the rapid increase in home prices. The median price for Austin-area homes increased 13 percent year-over-year to $240,000, while the average price increased 14 percent to $310,187.

"With housing affordability already a challenge for many Austin residents, this increasing pace of home price growth is concerning," says ABoR President Barb Cooper in a release. "More than half of the homes sold in the Austin-area are now priced out of an affordable range for much of Austin’s workforce."

The report states that more than 50 percent of the homes sold in January 2015 were in the $200,000-$500,000 price range. Only 35 percent sold for less than $200,000, which ABoR says is the typical price range for first-time and low-income homebuyers.

"Housing inventory is rising, but the current pace is not enough to alleviate Austin’s affordability challenges," Cooper says. "Austin’s city leaders should consider housing types that cost less to develop and can allow for a greater range of affordable infill options, such duplexes and small apartment buildings, in neighborhoods where they are needed most," she concludes.