Real Estate Rumblings

Austin's red-hot real estate market steams into surrounding suburbs

Austin's red-hot real estate market steams into surrounding suburbs

San Marcos aerial skyline
Hays County, where San Marcos is located, is seeing record real estate numbers. City of San Marcos - Government/Facebook

In 2020, when up is down and right is wrong, it's no surprise that a traditionally slow month for real estate would see shocking numbers. And that's just what the Austin Board of Realtors is reporting in its September housing report

ABOR says the spring shutdown led to a flurry of summer sales, a trend that leaked into September. Overall, the five-county metro area, including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell, saw a 51.7 percent jump in sales volume and a 12.1 percent climb in median sales price, which now sits at $355,000.

Of course, it's the dramatic drop in active listings (49.9 percent year-over-year) that's causing the frenzy — and leading to another record-breaking month both inside and outside the city limits. 

In Austin, median home prices rose 8.7 percent year-over-year to $415,500, and the city saw a 30 percent jump in sales over 2019. Meanwhile, residential sales and sales dollar volume both saw double-digit increases. New listings also rose 16.4 percent, but active listings declined 24 percent, illustrating that properties are coming onto the market, but they're not staying very long. Monthly housing inventory now sits at just 1.4 months, or about 42 days.

“The housing market is pumping billions of dollars into our region’s economy at a time it’s greatly needed, but we also need to be cognizant of the impact such rapid activity is having on record-low inventory levels and rising home prices,” said Romeo Manzanilla, ABOR president. “Austin's suburban markets have historically offered housing stock at lower price points that created opportunity for people when buying or renting inside Austin city limits was not an option. Now, these markets are showing the same gains in prices and declines in inventory as we’re used to seeing inside Austin, putting pressure on the market as a whole.”

Last month, Travis County actually surpassed the city of Austin's median home price, hitting $420,000, a 13.8 percent increase. Sales dollar volume leapt 50 percent, and like Austin, the county's new listings did climb 8.4 percent, but active listings fell 41.8 percent.

These trends are echoed in neighboring counties, where median home prices universally climbed, though some more than others. Williamson and Bastrop counties both saw median home prices climb a relatively "normal" amount. Williamson's now sits at $318,050, a 9 percent increase over September 2019, while Bastrop hit $270,000, an 8 percent bump over last year.

Likewise, Caldwell County's median home price increased 5.1 percent year over year to $217,500.

Hays, however, saw the biggest leap in price of any of the five counties. Last month, the county's median home price jumped 15.1 percent to $310,000. Home sales leapt more than 50 percent, and sales dollar volume hit $184,817,195, a 78 percent increase over September 2019.

“The Austin area needs more housing supply at all price points in order to stabilize home price growth and help make homeownership accessible, especially for first-time homebuyers,” Manzanilla said in the report.