The Austin Metro expanded 2.0 percent from July 2015 to July 2016, according to the latest Census. That makes it the ninth fastest growth rate among U.S. metro areas, and Austin is the fastest growing metro of its size. The city continues to grow even faster than experts predicted, adding a net of 159 people per day on average (this includes births, deaths, and migrations). If we’re talking about migrants only – about 110 people per day moved to the Austin area last year.
By this time most Austinites know the drill. Outsiders are being drawn to the city because of our extremely healthy job market and our exceptional quality of life. "Austin's enormous population growth continues to be driven mainly by in-migrating households drawn here by sustained, robust job creation and a high quality of life,” said City of Austin demographer Ryan Robinson in an interview with the Austin Business Journal. “I keep looking for the crest of this huge wave of growth we're riding, and I just don't see it yet, especially in light of these new data which strongly suggest we are still Boomtown, USA."
The effect this influx of people has had on Austin’s housing market has been profound. Month after month that demand outpaces supply, home prices rise. However, home sales growth seems to be leveling out, which could mean that the market is beginning to normalize. “The Central Texas housing market is just now beginning to catch up to itself after years of unprecedented sales growth,” commented Brandy Guthrie, President of the Austin Board of Realtors in their latest housing market update. “It’s important to remember that current figures are being compared to very strong housing market activity in 2016, so a decline in home sales growth does not automatically mean that the market is softening.”
Single family homes sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area increased .9 percent in February 2017 to 1,829 homes. Single family home sales actually declined in many cities surrounding Austin. The few cities that did see increases were some of the most popular: Buda (up 30 percent year-over-year to 26 home sales), Cedar Park (up 20.7 percent year-over-year to 70 home sales), Leander (up 8.8 percent year-over-year to 62 home sales) and Austin proper (up 6.4 percent year-over-year to 617 home sales).
The median price continues to rise in the five-county MSA, rising 6.5 percent to $287,000. Keep in mind that this includes all the smaller cities in the Central Texas area. Austin proper, however, stayed about the same at $330,000. Williamson County rose 9 percent to $268,000 while Hays County dropped 3 percent to $235,000.
Inventory levels remained low in the Austin MSA, rising only 0.1 month to 2.1 months. Keep in mind that the Texas A&M Real Estate Center cites 6.5 months as a healthy, balanced market. While the market is leveling out a bit, we still have an incredibly competitive atmosphere. Buyers should expect multiple offer situations and be prepared to submit competitive offers in the most competitive neighborhoods, especially in Austin proper. Until the number of homes catches up to the constant influx of people moving to the area, the market will remain hot. Having an experienced Realtor® in your corner when entering the housing market is essential!