real estate report
A notable drop in closed home sales in September has produced the highest number of homes on the market in more than eight years, according to the latest report from the Austin Board of Realtors. But falling median home closing prices coupled with rising mortgage rates means affordability is still the most prominent concern for buyers.
Median home prices in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area (MSA) dropped less than 5 percent year-over-year from September 2022, to $452,080. Closed sales dropped to 2,287 last month; an 18.2 percent drop from 2022. Homes are spending an average of 65 days on the market, which is 24 more days than this time last year.
2023 ABoR president Ashley Jackson stressed the importance for potential homeowners to strategize a "game plan" with their realtors, but also reiterated that the current housing market has vastly changed from what it was a few years ago.
"The benefit of this for buyers is they can take advantage of this extra time to get pre-qualified, while sellers can improve their home’s curb appeal," Jackson said. "These intentional preparations will result in better experiences and outcomes on both sides of the transaction."
Even with the greater number of homes available on on the market, ABoR housing economist Clare Losey, Ph.D. says a similar vast number of them are simply "not attainable" for the average Austinite.
"While our current market shows signs of health with more housing supply becoming available, they are not necessarily attractive options for first-time homebuyers or those shopping for more affordable homes," she said.
A total 1,085 homes were sold in September 2023 in Travis County, with median prices dropping 4.2 percent year-over-year to $525,000. There were 4,875 active listings on the market; about 9.4 percent more than August 2022.
Fewer than 800 homes were sold in September, with median prices decreasing slightly to $426,752. There were 1,070 new home listings in Williamson County, with a total 2,873 active home listings.
341 homes were sold last month in Hays County, with median prices sitting at an even $400,000. Pending sales were up by 24.5 percent year-over-year to 356, while active listings also rose nearly 38 percent to 1,685 homes.
Home sales dropped nearly 12 percent this past month in Bastrop County, and median prices have remained at $340,000 for the second consecutive month. There are 23.5 percent more active listings on the market, coming out to 610 homes.
Homes in Caldwell County sold for a median price of $289,330 in July, which is a 13.9 percent drop year-over-year. 37 homes were sold last month, nearly 10 percent less than the year before, and there are more than 190 active homes on the market. Continuing the dramatic rise in new home listings, Caldwell County had 81 new homes on the market in September, or 68.8 percent more than this time last year.