Home sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) are on the rise, however, inside Austin’s official city limits, it’s a different story. The Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) recently released their market statistics that show less than one in three central Texas homes were sold in the Austin-Round Rock MSA, and less than one in five homes sold in the Central Texas region were actually sold within the city.

Inside the city of Austin, single-family home sales decreased 4.5 percent in September 2016 to 746 home sales. The Austin-Round Rock MSA shows an increase of 1.3 percent year over year to 2,576 homes sold. Across Central Texas, the number of homes sold rose 6.1 percent.

This shows that people are moving to central Texas, but are aiming for the affordable housing prices offered in Hayes and Williamson Counties. Cities like Buda, Kyle, Leander, and Cedar Park are continuing to grow at steady rates. Hayes County went up four percent to $230,000, and homes in Williamson County went up five percent to $250,915. This is significantly less than The City of Austin, where home prices increased a whopping 10.6 percent year over year to $345,000. Across the MSA, homes sat at $275,250.

Housing inventory remains frighteningly low, as more people move to the region each day. In ABoR’s report, President Aaron Farmer warned, “Both Austin’s current housing stock and infrastructure are not sustainable for our region’s projected population growth, which is expected to double by 2040.”

Months of inventory were similar in the City of Austin and Williamson County at 2.4 months. Both are far below the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s 6.5-month balanced housing market. The region as a whole is doing a bit better at 2.7 months, while Hayes County has the most inventory at 3.0 months.

Homes also continued to sell quickly throughout the metro in September 2016. In Austin proper, they spent 40 days, in WilCo they spent 44, and in Hays they spent 48 days. This is especially true for homes under $300k, and less true for those that are above $800k.

In the Austin Board of Realtor’s market report for July, Aaron Farmer said, “The city of Austin’s high development costs make it virtually impossible for homes under $250,000 to be built within city limits. In return, this pent-up demand is driving home prices up in surrounding areas in where lower-priced housing stock can be built. The result is a catch-22 of housing development, where the homes that can be developed are largely in price classes where both prices and inventory are higher, while the much-needed housing stock under $250,000 goes un-replenished.”

It’s safe to say that as long as Austin’ job market remains stable, more and more people will continue flocking to the area. This should continue to drive home prices upward not only in the city but in the surrounding areas. This makes for an incredibly hot housing market, where low-income and first-time homebuyers will be competing for the best deals. Having a knowledgeable, well-connected real estate agent by your side in situations like this is imperative.