Sales Take a Dive

Austin home sales take a big dive in one area this year

Austin home sales take a big dive in one area this year

Four Seasons Condo Austin for sale
In the first half of this year, Austin experienced a dip in condo sales compared to 2014. Photo by Casey Dunn

While Austin-area home prices continue to soar, local sales for one type of home are taking a dive.

According to the 2015 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report, only 1,178 condos and townhomes were sold in Austin between January and May 2015. That's a 12 percent decrease from the same time period in 2014. The median condo price increased 4 percent year-over-year from $214,480 to $222,000.

Condo sales in Houston also dipped — slightly. In Houston, sales decreased 1 percent, while condo prices remained unchanged at $145,000. Dallas and San Antonio saw an increase in sales and prices. In Dallas, condo prices rose 7 percent to $171,020 and sales increased 3 percent. In San Antonio, prices rose 9 percent to $189,900. Condo sales in San Antonio increased six percent, but that equates to only 288 units sold.  

"The land and development costs for condominiums in Texas' metro areas are so high that new condos being built today are priced outside of an affordable price range," said Dr. Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "Existing condos, by comparison, are priced significantly less than new condos and therefore have a much higher demand and tighter inventory."

As is the story with the Austin real estate market in general, affordability is a growing concern for condos. Higher prices "could be impacting some Texas homebuyers' ability to afford condos, especially in our state's metro areas," said Scott Kesner of the Texas Association of Realtors.