Slight slowdown

Austin home sales cool following ‘post-COVID boom’ but prices remain hot

Austin home sales cool following post-COVID boom but prices remain hot

Austin aerial skyline with bridges and Lady Bird Lake
Summertime in this city means rising temps and rising home prices. Ryan Conine/Getty Images

It doesn’t seem possible: In July, the Austin metro area saw its first dip in home sales since May 2020. However, home prices continued to rocket upward.

The number of home sales in the five-county region fell 9.9 percent last month compared with the same time in 2020, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

“July 2020 established the all-time-high watermark for home sales in the region due to pent-up housing demand after several months of stay-at-home orders and increased consumer purchasing power,” Susan Horton, 2021 president of ABoR, says in a news release.

“As we have moved away from the post-COVID boom, the market has begun to stabilize,” Horton adds. “The typical seasonality for the summer returned as people reengaged in other activities, including travel. There are fewer instances of dozens of offers over list price even as home prices continue to rise, albeit at a slower rate month to month than the surge experienced in the first half of the year.”

While the number of home sales tapered off in July, home prices keep marching higher.

Last month, the area’s median sale price jumped 37.1 percent year over year to $480,000, a record high for the month of July, ABoR says. Among the region’s five counties, Williamson County notched the only increase in the median sale price that was above 40 percent.

Vaike O’Grady, regional director for housing data provider Zonda, says the frenzy to buy a home in Austin has steadied versus this time last year, but it’s unlikely that home prices will go down anytime soon. 

“Austin is always considered one of the top places to live in the U.S., but we’re losing ground due to shrinking housing inventory and affordability. With construction delays and regulatory barriers, builders and developers are having increasing difficulty getting new homes on the ground,” O’Grady says in the news release.

Here’s a rundown of median sale prices in the region for July:

  • In the city of Austin, the median home price rose 37.6 percent year over year to $574,975.
  • In Travis County, the median home price jumped 34.4 percent to $551,000.
  • In Williamson County, the median home price rose 43.4 percent to $445,000. 
  • In Hays County, the median home price increased 26.9 percent to $392,576.
  • In Bastrop County, the median home price went up 30.1 percent to $345,500.
  • In Caldwell County, the median home price increased 22.2 percent to $249,250.