Austin is on track for yet another record-breaking year in real estate. That’s according to the June and Midyear 2016 Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR), which details the city’s scorching housing market and our steadily increasing home sales.
“Despite the ongoing housing shortage and affordability challenges impacting our region, population growth and housing demand continue to drive home sales upward,” said Aaron Farmer, ABoR president, in a release. “The Austin-Round Rock housing market is on track to outpace 2015 market levels, which was a record-breaking year for home sales.”
Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock area grew 6.1 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2016, while median home price rose 7 percent, to $282,000. In Austin proper, home sales have risen 3.4 percent in 2016 so far, with the median home price rising 5.6 percent, to $339,652. Active listings have also grown by 20.1 percent this year.
For June specifically, Austin home sales increased 2.6 percent, while median home price increased 2.9 percent to $350,000. Monthly housing inventory increased from 0.3 months to 2.1 months, which means we're getting closer to the six-month inventory mark (a balanced housing market), but supply still remains a major concern.
“The Central Texas housing market is performing very well, but extreme housing shortages across the region continue to be a challenge,” said Jim Gaines, chief economist at Texas A&M's Real Estate Center. “Homes under $300,000 have less than two months of inventory in the Austin-Round Rock MSA, which means that housing at these price ranges is essentially nonexistent. The growing ‘doughnut effect’ of homes sales activity as homebuyers move outside Austin city limits in search of more affordable housing is on pace to continue in the near future."
Williamson and Hays counties might be more affordable options for those looking to buy, but with Austin blazing ahead, our neighboring suburbs are starting to follow suit.
“It’s important that we think of the growing housing affordability crisis not just as an Austin issue, but also as a regional challenge,” said Farmer. “Housing supply shortages have reached critical levels throughout the region and areas with affordably priced homes are becoming smaller and farther away from jobs. Some homebuyers are now looking at homes an hour or more outside of Austin to find a home that they can afford."