REAL ESTATE REPORT
Austin home buyers have more power when it comes to inventory, report says
Confidence in the real estate market has grown since February, with buyers gaining more leverage through inventory increases across the Austin-Round Rock metro area, according to the latest monthly report from the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR).
The report shows that housing inventory in February spent an average of 84 days on the market, a massive 55-day jump from February of 2022. The current median home price for the metro area is $436,419, a 12 percent drop from the previous year.
“Austin’s housing market is trending in the right direction. Buyers have more options and negotiating power with each passing month, and sellers have more time to make their next move,” said 2023 ABoR president Ashley Jackson in a press release. “Remember, a healthy housing market isn’t defined by breaking records every month, but by market activity that’s steady-paced and sustainable.”
Though Austin and Travis County's completed home sales decreased by less than 30 percent during February, active home listings skyrocketed in both areas. New home listings in Austin decreased less than one percent, while pending sales declined nearly 20 percent. Travis County's pending sales also saw a 16 percent decrease, while new home listings increased 5.7 percent.
Outside Austin, median prices continued to fall in Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties. The price decreases led to more completed home sales in Bastrop and Hays, while Caldwell's home sales stayed flat, and Williamson County's home sales decreased.
“Looking at the month-to-month data, we see that pending sales are consistent or rising in neighborhoods that are typically more affordable in areas outside Austin city limits," said Ashley Jackson. "Along with rising inventory, that’s a good sign for housing market activity this spring.”
Taylor Jackson, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, encourages home buyers and sellers to have a wider outlook when trying to understand the housing market. She says homebuilders are “gaining more confidence” in the market’s stability every month.
“This is evidenced by fewer cancellations and minimized supply shortages,” she said in the release. “Additionally, first quarter sales incentives have remained strong and for the first time in a long time, builders have a renewed sense of optimism in the direction the market is heading.”
Jackson also stressed the importance of any incentive that increases housing accessibility for buyers, since many still struggle to afford living in Austin proper.
“There is still plenty of work to do to address systemic issues in affordability, accessibility, and missing middle construction, and those should remain our community’s number one concern,” she explained.