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Is the hot Austin housing market finally cooling down?

Is the hot Austin housing market finally cooling down?

Modern Home Tour Austin_603 Jessie Street_exterior_2015
The first half of 2017 was relatively cool for the Austin housing market. Photo courtesy of Austin Modern Home Tour

Could Austin's hot housing market finally be cooling down? According to the midyear housing market report from the Austin Board of Realtors, single-family home sales growth slowed between January and June 2017.

"The Central Texas housing market continued to show signs of normalization in the first half of the year, with positive but more moderate gains in sales activity," ABoR president Brandy Guthrie says in a release. "Homes are spending more time on the market and housing inventory levels have slowly increased throughout the year."

Compared to the same time period in 2016, home sales in the Austin-Round Rock metro area only increased by 2.8 percent. However, the median home price increased by 6.4 percent year-over-year to $300,000.

"While this is less than the double-digit home price increases experienced over the last few years, the impact on housing affordability for the typical Central Texas homebuyer is still significant," Guthrie says.

In June 2017, Austin-Round Rock witnessed 3,415 home sales, 4.4 percent more than June 2016, and median home prices went up by 6.6 percent to $314,000.

ABoR's midyear report says that home sales in the city of Austin for the first half of 2017 grew by 4.3 percent year-over-year, totaling 4,680 homes sold. The median home price was $365,000, up 7.7 percent year-over-year — "more than $26,000 higher than in the same time period in 2016," Guthrie says.

In June 2017 only 1,015 homes were sold in Austin proper, a mere 2.1 percent increase year-over-year. But the median home price rose to a whopping $393,500, 13.2 percent higher than June 2016.

While the prices may be intimidating, the relatively slow growth witnessed so far in 2017 is still a good sign.

"While it could take years for the region's housing market to achieve balance between homebuying and selling activity, these trends indicate that the Central Texas housing market could finally be moving in that direction," Guthrie says.