Much like daily life, Austin's current real estate market is likely not returning to normal anytime soon. On June 18, Austin Board of Realtors released its May 2020 Central Texas Housing Report, and home sales continue their downward trend as prices continue to soar.
Austin city limits
Inside the city limits, Austin's median price for a single-family home rose 10.7 percent year-over-year to $424,050, the highest figure yet for local real estate. (For context, Austin's median home price only cracked $400,000 for the first time in July 2019.)
What's driving that price skyward is home sales. Or, lack of home sales. The pandemic has greatly curbed residential real estate sales in the Capital City. Last month, sales decreased 36.6 percent to 826 sales, which in turn sparked the dramatic rise in price.
"We're seeing home sales drop because we simply don't have enough inventory on the market," said Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, in the report. "We recognize there’s still an element of discomfort with listing one’s home during the pandemic and Austin Realtors are taking every precaution to ensure safe and efficient practices across the market. There’s a lot of opportunity for sellers who are ready — new listings have increased visibility and homes are spending less time on the market."
To Manzanilla's point, Austin's monthly housing inventory — the measure of how long a house is on the market — now sits at 1.7 months, a drop of 0.5 months.
Austin-Round Rock metro area and Travis County
In the Austin-Round Rock metro area, the median sales price increased 0.7 percent to $329,893, while home sales slipped 29.2 percent to 2,697 sales.
In Travis County, the median price for residential homes slightly rose 4.7 percent over last year to $398,345. And though residential sales declined 33.8 percent to 1,319 sales, pending sales in the county actually increased slightly, a sign the experts say is encouraging.
“Pending sales growth is the first sign of recovery, so the strong gains in May pending home sales throughout the MSA is encouraging,” concluded Manzanilla. “With continued population growth and pent-up demand for housing, our region’s housing market will ultimately rebound.”