Real Estate Rumblings
Austin home sales skyrocket as prices finally begin to stabilize
Central Texas home sales soared in April, but, shockingly, prices did not, according to a new report from Austin Board of Realtors. After a somewhat sluggish start to 2019, single-family home sales saw a massive jump in April, climbing almost 15 percent over last year in the Austin-Round Rock metro area.
In the city of Austin, sales were a little more tempered, increasing 3.6 percent over 2018 with 889 sales, according to the April 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report. Travis County, meanwhile, increased by 8.4 percent, selling 1,449 single-family homes last month.
Surrounding counties, however, are on a massive real estate roll. Hays, Bastrop, Williamson, and Caldwell counties all saw double-digit increases from last year. Hays' single-family home sales rose 17.2 percent with 302 sales, while Bastrop saw an increase of 11.1 percent, or 90 sales.
Growth in Williamson and Caldwell was even crazier; year-over-year increases in those counties increased 22.6 percent and 83.3 percent, respectively.
Despite the growth, it appears prices are starting to stabilize, a welcome trend, considering Austin's increasing affordability issues.
"In the first quarter of the year, the median price of a single-family home in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased by just 0.2 percent, which is a much smaller margin compared to previous years. Between 2012 and 2015, we saw price increases as high as 9 percent," Kevin P. Scanlan, 2019 president of ABOR, said in release. “These narrower margins are a strong indication that market prices are starting to stabilize.”
Indeed, prices in both the city of Austin and Travis County increased just 1.1 percent to $394,450 and $379,250, respectively. In the greater Austin-Round Rock metro area, they increased to $320,000.
The stabilization comes, says ABOR, in part due to "smaller homes on smaller lots" and buyers increasingly searching outside the city limits.
“What we are seeing along the eastern crescent, from Georgetown to Buda on the south side of State Highway 130, is quite remarkable. In the last five years, annual home starts have more than doubled in this area,” Vaike O'Grady, Austin regional director of Metrostudy, said in a release. “At the end of March this year, nearly a quarter of new homes were on lots smaller than 50 feet wide.