Condos on the Climb
Almost 1,200 condos were sold in Austin from January through May 2016, a 10.1 percent increase from 2015, when sales were in a slump.
Why the jump? The Texas Association of Realtors attributes the uptick to retirees and first-time buyers seeking a more affordable alternative to single-family homes. "Millennials and retirees who don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities also see condos as an attractive housing option," adds the report.
But the more desirable condos become, the higher the prices rise. The median condo price in Austin increased 6.3 percent year-over-year to $235,000. With a median price of $233,415, harder-to-find townhomes are a (slightly) cheaper option for Austinites.
"A challenge facing new Texas condo and townhome developments is that these types of housing, similar to single-family, are generally not being built for under $200,000 due to high land and labor costs," says Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, in a release.
"However, the older, existing condos are typically the predominant properties left in Texas’ major metro areas that can be purchased for under $200,000, the price range best suited for first-time, entry-level homebuyers."
In Texas' other major markets, condos remain an affordable, attractive option for buyers. Despite double-digit growth, the median prices for condos in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas are $125,000, $130,000, and $160,000, respectively.