Real Estate Rumblings

Austin home prices hold at $405,000 following another record-breaking year

Austin home prices hold at $405K following record-breaking year

Austin home for sale exterior
Austin real estate had another record-smashing year. Photo courtesy of Zillow

It was another record-breaking month — and year — for Austin real estate, which isn't exactly breaking news. But in its monthly report, released January 16, Austin Board of Realtors revealed just how many of those records were not only broken, but shattered in 2019.

Before delving into the past 12 months, however, let's review ABOR's December numbers. Single-family home sales and prices continued to climb last month, capping off a year that saw Austin's median home price break the $400,000 mark for the first time ever, eventually hitting a peak of $420,000 in July.

December 2019
Sales across Central Texas, an area that includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties, continued to heat up last month, with a 9.2 percent increase across the region over last December. 

Inside the Austin city limits, sales increased 8.9 percent year-over-year while the median home price climbed 8 percent to $405,093. Perhaps most tellingly, the monthly housing inventory now sits at 0.9 months, or less than 30 days.

The Austin-Round Rock metro, an area ABOR points out is now the country's 30th largest metropolitan region, boasted a 7.2 percent increase in sales coupled with a median price of $318,000, a 2.6 percent rise over last year. The metro area's monthly housing inventory is now 1.7 months.

Sales in Travis County last month also climbed 4.7 percent over December 2018, landing at 16,042 sales. According to ABOR, the median price for a single-family home is now $372,000.

Austin-Round Rock from 2010-2019 
In the past 12 months, realtors sold 33,084 single-family homes in Austin, more than any other year ever, racking up a mind-boggling $13.1 billion in sales volume.

"Compared to 2010, home sales in 2019 increased by 84 percent," said Romeo Manzanilla, ABOR's newly minted 2020 president, in a release. "That type of exponential growth has put enormous pressure on the market, raising the median home price from $193,520 in 2010 to $318,000 in 2019."

Manzanilla's numbers are the result of 10 years of explosive growth in Austin, growth that has included almost 225,000 new residents since 2009. Now, with the city poised to hit 1 million residents in the next few months, the pressure for affordable housing is mounting.

"As we look forward to this year," Manzanilla continues, "the market is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.” 

And though Austin real estate stories tend to be nail-biting exposés into affordability, ABOR does point out the market's silver lining: Austin's economy is in good shape. Not only has the Capital City recovered from the Great Recession, ABOR points out it's one of only eight cities in the entire country to have reached that milestone.

"Austin’s GDP, which grew 117 percent over the last 20 years, helped the real estate market recover from the recession,” said Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title. “The closest metro out of the top 50 in the U.S. to see this type of growth was Silicon Valley, which grew its GDP by 99 percent during the same period.”