Real estate trends

Austin climbs to rooftop in new ranking of best home markets

Austin climbs to rooftop in new ranking of best home markets

Austin home for sale
This lovely Austin home is on the market for $439,000 — slightly above the city's median price. Photo courtesy of Redfin

Austin's soaring home prices haven't stopped it from racking up real estate accolades. In a ranking released August 25 by personal finance website WalletHub, Austin grabs the No. 7 spot among the best cities to buy a house.

For its study, WalletHub compared 300 cities across 24 key metrics, including median home-price appreciation, home-sales turnover rate, and job growth.

The study divided data into two buckets for its ranking: best real estate market, and best place for affordability and economic opportunity. Austin snags the No. 4 ranking in the real estate category, but a paltry No. 76 ranking in the affordability and economy category. Overall, Austin scored a 65.74.

Among best housing markets in big cities, the Capital City ranked even higher, claiming the third spot behind Seattle (No. 1) and Nashville (No. 2). 

According to a July 2020 housing report — the most recent data from the Austin Board of Realtors — home sales in the Austin-Round Rock metro area skyrocketed 21.5 percent year-over-year to 4,537 homes sold. Median home prices inside the city limits now sit at $423,000 (an 11.3 percent jump over July 2019), while the metro's median price is at $353,000, a 10.7 percent year-over-year increase.

Austin is joined in the top 10 by two other Texas cities: Frisco and Denton.

At No. 3, Frisco manages to keep generating positive buzz. Last year, it was declared one of the country’s fastest-growing cities. In 2018, Money named Frisco the best place to live in America. And the city even appeared atop a recent ranking of the country’s best places to be stuck at home during the pandemic.

Data compiled by Frisco real estate agent Rene Burchell shows the median price of a single-family home in Frisco reached $430,000 at the end of June, up from $426,500 a year earlier. In June, 375 homes were sold in Frisco, compared with 340 the previous June and 240 this May. Burchell says homebuyers in Frisco face competitive bidding and reduced inventory, pushing up home prices.

No. 9 Denton ranked a noteworthy eighth ranking in the real estate category, but, like Austin, earned a mediocre No. 59 for affordability and economy.

Real estate brokerage Redfin classifies Denton as a “very competitive” homebuying market, with many homes up for sale attracting multiple offers. Over the past 30 days, the average sale price for a single-family home in Denton was $276,000, up 8.8 percent since last year, according to Redfin.