Housing Boom

Red-hot Austin bucks this nationwide real estate trend

Red-hot Austin bucks this nationwide real estate trend

1613 Nash Ave Austin house for sale
Home inventory — and values — are up in Austin. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby's International Realty

Zillow reports that the number of for-sale homes across the nation is dropping at its fastest pace in almost four years, but that's definitely not the case in Austin.

Our red-hot real estate market has nearly 24 percent more homes for sale this year than last — by far the highest in the country — with single-family home rentals and median home values also on an upward trajectory.

Nationally, home shoppers have 9 percent fewer homes from which to choose this year. That's the greatest drop in inventory since August 2013, when inventory was down more than 10 percent. Zillow says those rentals are to blame, but even a 64.4 percent local increase in home rentals can't slow Austin down.

"Thousands of single-family homes that were once bought and sold every few years prior to the recession have now been converted into rental properties by investors, trading hands much less frequently and further contributing to inventory shortages," says Zillow's chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Inventory has been falling for years, with supply no longer meeting demand."

The typical home stayed on the market for just 77 days in April, the fewest days ever reported on Zillow. In Austin, that time frame was 92.5 days. That might be because Austin is enjoying a median home value increase of 7.5 percent, though that's right in line with the nation's increase of 7.4 percent. The median home value in Austin, according to Zillow, is $271,000.

Home values are rising even more rapidly in Dallas, which has a 11.2 percent increase that's second only to Seattle. Inventory in DFW is up a healthy 8.3 percent, with rental inventory also up 66 percent.

The numbers are similar in Houston, where sellable inventory has increased 9 percent and rentals have risen 59 percent. Only H-Town's home values seem to be decreasing, with its -2.7 percentage the smallest in the study.

San Antonio is the only Texas city with lower inventory, but it's negligible, at a mere 0.9 percent. Home values there are also lower than the national median, up only 5.7 percent, while rental growth is also lagging at 38.8 percent.