Austin Continues to Have One of the Highest Demands for Housing in the Nation18 Dec Irina Kay
Single-family home sales declined in the city of Austin but increased across the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for the second month in a row, according to the November 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, “Due to rapid population growth throughout Central Texas, Austin continues to have one of the highest demands for housing in the nation. Homes sales are the strongest where price points are the lowest and where development options are available, such as parts of Williamson and Hays counties. We are seeing some slowing home price appreciation and housing inventory gains, which is normalizing us to a more stable market and aligning us with long-term historical market trends.”
Single-family home sales in the city of Austin declined 3.3 percent to 653 home sales in November. During the same time frame, single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA increased 3.7 percent year-over-year to 2,196 home sales. At the county level, single-family home sales volume jumped 10.2 percent in Williamson County to 778 home sales and Hays County jumped 14.3 percent to 280 home sales. Due to the decline in home sales volume within the city of Austin, single-family homes sales volume declined 1.3 percent year-over-year in Travis County to 1,032 home sales.
“Even with the market normalization trends we are seeing, home sales volume throughout the Austin-Round Rock MSA is still on-pace with 2016 year to date,” added Guthrie. “If this month’s home sales volume exceeds that of December 2016, 2017 will most likely be another record-breaking year for the Austin-area housing market.”
The pace of home price growth continued to slow in November. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, the median price for single-family homes increased 2.9 percent year-over-year to $296,500. In Williamson County, the median price for single-family homes was unchanged from November 2016, or $275,000. In Hays County, median price increased 4.0 percent to $260,000 and in Travis County, median price increased 6.1 percent to $341,000. In the city of Austin, the median price for single-family homes increased 6.8 percent year-over-year to $360,000.
“The 2018 Austin-area housing market will be a lot like this year’s housing market – slower, but still very strong housing market activity,” said Mark Sprague, State Director of Information Capital for Independence Title. “However, there are multiple economic factors to watch out for going into next year. Slowing job growth in Central Texas, the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the price of building materials and housing development costs, and the overhaul of the U.S. tax plan are all factors that could hinder housing market growth and negatively impact housing affordability in the Austin area in 2018.”
Housing inventory increased 0.2 months to 2.5 months of inventory across the Austin-Round Rock MSA and 0.1 months to 2.0 months of inventory in the city of Austin in November. At a county level, housing inventory was 2.9 months in Hays County, 2.5 months in Travis County and 2.4 months in Williamson County.
Both pending sales and active listings figures throughout the Austin-Round Rock MSA indicate that single-family home sales growth could continue through the end of 2017. In November, active listings for the five-county MSA increased 13.7 percent to 6,391 listings and pending sales jumped 14.9 percent to 2,340 sales.
“2018 will be an incredibly important year in determining the future health and sustainability of Austin’s housing market and its communities,” concluded Guthrie. “Due to high home prices, stagnating job and household income growth, and ongoing development hurdles, Austin continues to lose out on economic development opportunities to surrounding suburban markets. Our city desperately needs a fresh vision and a new Land Development Code that paves the way for smart growth in both our residential and commercial sectors. The longer we wait to implement CodeNEXT, the more of a foothold housing affordability has on our region’s ability to grow in a sustainable way.”