Home sales in the Capital City dipped slightly, while sales continued to rise across the Austin-Round Rock metro area, according to the latest report from the Austin Board of Realtors. It's the second month in a row that the city of Austin has seen a decline in single-family homes, following the hottest selling summer on record.
Single-family homes within the city limits fell 1.7 percent year-over-year, while the median price for homes continued to rise to $360,000, an increase of 9.1 percent. Despite this decline in Austin, single-family home sales within the metro area rose, with 2,292 homes sold, a 2.2 percent increase year-over-year. The median home price within the five-county area rose 4.3 percent year-over-year to $286,742.
"The Austin-Round Rock housing market continues to slightly outperform last year’s home sales activity, keeping 2017 on pace for another record year for home sales," said Brandy Guthrie, 2017 ABoR president, in a release. "At the same time, low housing inventory levels along with constrained housing development activity throughout the city of Austin are preventing home sales growth at the city level.”
Home sales across Central Texas, including those in Hays and Williamson counties, continued to rise, indicative of the growth we're seeing across the region. Williamson County, which is home to popular Austin suburbs including Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Round Rock, saw a 5.4 percent in home sales, while Hays County recorded a 6.2 percent increase year-over-year.
According to Vaike O'Grady, Austin regional director for Metrostudy, developers are combating an inventory shortage within the greater metro area by experimenting with "lower-cost, higher-density products between $200,000 and $300,000." While this is good news for those looking to purchase homes outside of the city limits, Vaike says it's likely not a sustainable model for Austin proper. “Shortages of vacant developed lots and regulatory hurdles in Austin make it difficult for meaningful housing development activity to occur within Austin’s city limits,” said Vaike in a release.
Despite this shortage of land, housing inventory levels slightly increased in October. In Austin, single-family housing inventory increased 0.1 months to 2.3 months. The trend continued in the five-county area, increasing 0.2 months to 2.8 months. Despite this trend upward, experts say a housing market should have about six months worth of inventory in order to be considered balanced.