Home Sales Dip

Austin home sales take a dramatic dive as prices continue to skyrocket

Austin home sales take a dramatic dive as prices continue to skyrocket

Austin home house Brentwood 1212 Romeria Dr. exterior front Preservation Austin Historic Homes Tour 2016
Prices are going up, but summer sales have cooled down. Photo by Brent Buford Courtesy of Preservation Austin

Home prices in Austin are scorching, but summer sales have cooled off significantly. The latest monthly housing report from Austin Board of Realtors says that Central Texas home sales dipped 3.1 percent in July 2016; in Austin proper, the drop was much more dramatic.

Home sales in Austin declined 7.3 percent year-over-year; only 870 homes were sold last month. At the same time, the median home price in the city hit $345,000, a 4.6 percent increase from the year prior. The median Austin home price for the first half of 2016 was $339,652.

“When it comes to sales volume, we’ve grown very used to seeing year-over-year increases every single month, but it’s important to remember that 2015 had the strongest summer selling season in the region’s history,” says Aaron Farmer, president of ABoR.

“The value of Central Texas real estate has continued to increase, which is good news for homeowners, but those rising prices could start to have a cooling effect on sales volume in the market amidst growing affordability challenges.”

The median Central Texas home price grew 6.1 percent year-over-year, to $260,000, a figure that is outside the affordable range for many first-time buyers ($200,000 is considered affordable). In the Austin-Round Rock metro area, there was virtually no inventory in the $100,000-$200,000 range in July 2016, ABoR reports. Homes in the $400,000-plus range, on the other hand, had more than four months of inventory. 

Despite the recent cool down, Austin still has one of the hottest housing markets, says Realtor.com economist Jonathan Smoke. "In July, listings in Austin moved 20 days faster than the U.S. overall and received 39 percent more views compared to the U.S. average on Realtor.com."