Real Estate Rumblings

Austin's skyrocketing home prices shatter yet another real estate record

Austin's skyrocketing home prices shatter another real estate record

house for sale sold sign
The median home price hit an all-time high for September: $406,000. Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Another month, another Austin real estate record shattered. Last month, the median home price inside the city limits leapt 11.9 percent to $406,000 — an all-time high for any September ever.

Indeed, it was a very, very busy month for buyers. The Austin Board of Realtors September 2019 Central Texas Housing Report showed that summer selling season showed no signs of slowing down, leading to an uptick in prices and a shrinking inventory.

Austin city limits
As mentioned, the median home price last month for a single-family home hit $406,000, the highest for any September, but slightly less than Austin's all-time high of $410,000 in July 2019. As that buying frenzy raged on, the amount of time a home spent on the market, also known as inventory, dipped 0.5 months year-over-year to 1.6 months of inventory. 

The number of single-family home sales inside the city limits also increased nearly 15 percent to 798 sales.

“The adverse effect of low housing stock within the Austin area is higher home prices,” says Kevin P. Scanlan, 2019 ABOR president in a release. That news is not shocking to anyone who follows local real estate, or has a basic understanding of supply and demand, but it does indicate an underlying need for more diverse housing options. 

This past August, ABOR used its platform to lobby for more housing. In this month's report, it's calling on city leaders to develop a more flexible land use code. 

“Rewriting the land use code is a huge opportunity to improve the imbalance in our housing market and manage our growth. ABoR will support a code that does not infringe on the private property rights of existing owners, embraces the unique character of our community and promotes all types of housing across the city," says ABOR CEO Emily Chenevert.

Austin-Round Rock metro area
The trends inside Austin proper continue to reverberate throughout the metro area. Austin-Round Rock in general saw a 13.4 percent increase in sales year-over-year and a median home price of $320,000 — a 6.7 percent increase. 

Housing inventory remained a bit more encouraging, coming in at 2.2 months. Though that number seems to shine against Austin's, it's still indicative of an unbalanced housing market. (Balanced or "healthy" markets have inventory rates around three to six months.)

Travis County and beyond
Travis County's median home price also shot skyward 9.1 percent, landing at $382,000. Its housing inventory echoes that of the greater metro area, decreasing year-over-year by 5 percent to 2.2 months.

While buyers fare better in Williamson and Hays counties, both are trending towards a seller's market. In September 2019, sales of single-family homes in Williamson jumped 22 percent, while prices rose 6.1 percent to $295,000. Likewise in Hays County, single-family home sales increased 9.7 percent, while prices climbed 5.2 percent to $269,950.

Caldwell and Bastrop counties, however, proved outliers on opposite ends of the real estate spectrum.

Sales in Caldwell jumped an astonishing 26.1 percent year-over-year, while the median home price crept up to $206,930. Bastrop, however, saw sales decline 15.6 percent. That dip didn't stop prices from swelling, however. The median price for a home increased 11 percent to $258,000.