I Dip, You Dip, We Dip
Austin real estate market takes an unexpected summer dip for first time in years
Despite the Austin metro area's red-hot real estate market, sales saw a dip — or perhaps a blip — in June. On July 17, the Austin Board of Realtors released its June 2018 Market Report, detailing an interesting trend within the local market.
While sales soared during the first half of 2018, sales of single-family homes declined 2.7 percent year-over-year in the month of June — a first since 2013.
The Austin-Round Rock area sold 3,299 single-family homes in the month of June, down from 3,415 in 2017. Even with the decline, however, the median price for a single-family home still rose 4.9 percent year-over-year to $326,250.
A slight dip doesn't mean sellers should hit the panic button, however. Instead says Steve Crorey, 2018 president of the Austin Board of Realtors, June's numbers need to put into perspective.
“Despite a decline in home sales volume across Central Texas in June, 2018 is on track to be another record-setting year for the region’s housing market,” Crorey notes in the report. “Consecutive years of record-breaking sales activity have set the bar incredibly high, and it’s important to remember that we’re comparing June 2018 figures to that strong activity.
While the greater Austin-Round Rock metro area saw a slight decline in June, the city itself took a harder hit. Within the Austin city limits, single-family home sales in June fell 4.5 percent to 988 home sales. Median home prices also dipped 0.4 percent to $388,000, which is still well over the national median sale price of $238,800, according to Zillow.
Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties mirrored the Austin anomaly, declining 2 percent, 1.7 percent, and 7.1 percent year-over-year, respectively.
Though the reason for a decline — especially in the midst of a traditionally hot summer selling season — remains unclear, it likely doesn't point to a growing trend. “The Central Texas housing market is among the top three in the country. The region’s population growth, particularly along the I-35 corridor, is fueled by diversified economic opportunities that bring jobs, new businesses, and resources across multiple industries,” says Jim Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
“Strong population growth and home sales activity are expected to continue in the Central Texas region for the rest of the year and into 2019,” Gaines continues. Considering sales dollar volume already topping out at over $6 billion for the first six month of 2018, June's numbers are far more likely to be a blip rather than a dip.