real estate report
Austin housing market improved over the first 6 months of 2023, despite economic challenges
Despite economic struggles, lack of housing availability, and affordability woes making up a majority of concerns with the Austin-Round Rock housing market, overall trends have improved through the first half of 2023. The latest Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) report details a need for more inventory to address rapid population growth.
"Despite a slight uptick in mortgage rates in June, the median sales price rose a modest 2.7 percent from May," said ABoR's housing economist Dr. Clare Losey. "Overall, the moderation in home prices throughout the region over the past year has eased the affordability constraint posed by higher rates, but more work needs to be done across the region and into the future to fully address this challenge. The Central Texas region simply needs more inventory—particularly at price points affordable to first-time buyers—as home prices remain elevated relative to incomes across the region."
While median home prices in June dropped 9.6 percent across the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area (MSA), residential home sales also fell to 3,147 transactions, a 8.5 percent decline year-over-year from 2022. Pending sales did experience a jump by 19 percent year-over-year from June 2022, and homes are spending 61 days on average on the market.
Active listings are also still on the rise after an initial uptick was reported in May 2023. The number of homes currently on the market has increased to 9,631, which can also be represented as 3.7 months of inventory.
For the first six months of the year, home sales dropped in every Central Texas county. The most dramatic shift was seen in Travis County, which was a 19.4 percent decrease year-over-year from the first half of 2022. For comparison, home sales dropped only by 6.7 percent year-over-year from the month of June 2022.
Hays and Caldwell counties had the least significant drops in home sale percentages during the first half of the year, at a respective 1.8 percent and 2.9 percent decrease from 2022.
In Austin proper, home sales fell 22.4 percent year-over-year, while median prices are currently sitting at $545,000.
Dr. Losey attributed the resiliency of the Central Texas economy as a primary influence on the performance of the overall housing market.
"It is important to remember that the market continues to moderate in the wake of unsustainable price growth and sales activity during the pandemic, but remains robust," Dr. Losey said. "The median sales price in the MSA appreciated by nearly 50 percent from June 2019 to June 2023. The ability to buy a home remains the best way to create generational wealth, and that needs to be more accessible to everyone."