As the saying goes, once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times a pattern, and six months a trend ... at least when it comes to Austin real estate.
On July 17, Austin Board of Realtors released its June and midyear 2019 reports, the latter a compilation of the first six months in Austin and Central Texas real estate, and the numbers indicate the city's housing bubble may be starting to deflate.
Last month, the median price for a single-family home in Austin soared 10.9 percent to $420,000. (It's worth noting that it was only last month that Austin home prices first broke the $400K ceiling with a median price of $407,400.) During that same time, single-family home sales inside the city limits decreased 2.3 percent over last year.
Austin's single-family sales decline/price increase has been happening throughout the first half of 2019, something ABOR says may be indicative of a greater trend. Between January and June, home sales dipped 1.6 percent year over year to 4,736 sales. During that same period, the median price increased 3.2 percent to $387,100.
"We have seen slight dips in Austin's home sales before, but because this decrease is over the course of six months, it could be indicative of a larger trend," says Kevin P. Scanlan, 2019 ABOR president, in a release. "Austin's limited housing inventory — which dropped below two months in June — and increasing home prices have resulted in fewer sales over time."
So, with inventory inside the city limits tightening, where are potential homebuyers looking? The suburbs, of course. "As Austin continues to be one of the most desired cities to live in the United States, the suburbs are benefiting from this demand," Scanlan continues.
While the city cools down, sales in the greater Austin-Round Rock metro area are heating up. In June, the region saw a 4.3 percent year-over-year increase in sales, amounting to 16,203 homes sold. Travis County, meanwhile, held relatively steady, with single-family home sales increasing just 1.1 percent over 2018.
Though Williamson County took a slight dip in June, falling about 0.4 percent over last year, the county has seen an overall growth of 7.8 percent in the first six months of 2019.
Hays and Bastrop counties have also seen near double-digit growth this year. Single-family homes in Hays have increased 6.3 percent in 2019, while Bastrop has seen 9.4 percent growth in sales over the past six months.