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Austin Real Estate Report



Home sales decline across Austin-Round Rock MSA, inventory rises in September 2017
Austin Board of REALTORS® releases September 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 17, 2017 Single-family home sales declined across most of the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in September, while inventory levels continued to increase, according to the September 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.

Brandy Guthrie, 2017 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS­®, commented: “Despite last month’s dip in home sales activity, it’s important to remember that we’re comparing our current figures to the record-breaking housing market activity in 2016 and it’s not necessarily indicative of a downturn.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®, agreed: “Austin has had one of the fastest job growth rates in the country over the past decade and consequently one of the strongest housing markets with rising sales. But steady depletion of housing inventory is resulting in a fast rise in home prices and affordability challenges. The construction of single-family homes as well as condominiums needs to ramp up higher in order to fully satisfy housing demand and maintain housing affordability. Otherwise, job growth could stall and bring less dynamism to the local economy.”

Single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA decreased 4.3 percent year-over-year to 2,433 home sales in September 2017. Single-family home sales also declined in most of the counties in Central Texas, with the exception of Williamson County (up 1.0 percent year-over-year to 873 home sales). Home sales declined in Travis County (down 8.6 percent year-over-year to 1,146 home sales), Hays County (down 0.3 percent year-over-year to 299 home sales) and the city of Austin (down 4.1 percent year-over-year to 719 home sales).

“For 2018, slightly higher mortgage rates will further pressure affordability and therefore attest to even greater need for new home construction to tame home price pressure,” commented Yun. “Home sales, based on recent past job creation, should continue to modestly increase in 2018. But home sales in 2019 will depend critically on inventory availability.”

Dr. Jim Gaines, Chief Economist for The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, agreed: “The Austin-Round Rock MSA looks like it is moving toward a more normalized housing market. Similar to what we’re seeing across the state, housing inventory levels are slowly increasing, despite continued increases in sales volume and median price. That could indicate that in the latter half of 2017, we will likely experience some slowing of the home price increases that have become common in recent years – not price decreases, as the relationship between home buying and selling activity begins to balance out.”

Home prices in the five-county MSA continued to rise at a steady pace in September. During the same time frame, the monthly housing inventory for single-family homes in the Austin-Rock MSA continued to rise for the ninth consecutive month increasing 0.3 months to 3.0 months. In the city of Austin, median price increase 4.0 percent to $355,000 in September, while monthly housing inventory remained unchanged at 2.4 months of inventory. The increase in housing inventory has led to a recent spike in new and active listings.

Guthrie concluded: “The City of Austin’s latest draft of our new Land Development Code, CodeNEXT, shows that there’s still a long way to go to create a code that ensure all types of housing at all price points throughout our great city. True housing affordability will never be achieved until we have a land development code that allows this type of healthy, balanced and diverse housing stock. The Austin Board of REALTORS® will continue to advocate for policies which support this happening.”

For additional housing market statistics and infographics for the Austin-Round Rock MSA; Hays, Travis and Williamson counties; and the city of Austin, please visit ABoR.com/statssep17.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region’s most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Department of Public Affairs at marketing@abor.com or 512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com.

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* The inventory of homes for a market is measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.