By Mary Lynne Gibbs • 2018 Director

How fortunate we are to live in such a great city as Austin, Texas. The Austin-Round Rock MSA is the 31st largest metropolitan area in the U.S. I love that we continue to be on the top performers lists in the state and we continue to attract national attention. The area is predicted to continue to outperform most of the nation and lead by expansion in manufacturing, producing and distributing information and cultural products.   

According to David Tandy, president of Texas National Title:

  • Job growth will be strong because of companies expanding and moving here. The challenge is the very low unemployment rate. There are no employees to hire.
  • Median home price will increase 3 to 4 percent. It was 3.2 percent for 2017. Price points and interest rate increases will keep it from being more of an increase.
  • Rates will rise gradually, especially if the stock market continues to increase.
  • We will build about the same number of homes (15,000 to 16,000).
  • Active listings will be at 2017 levels, not 2016 levels because we are still not building enough homes.
  • Days on market increased an average of 60 DOM in 2016 to an average of 77 DOM in 2017. That will probably increase another 10 percent or so in 2018.

As we see our inventory decrease in the heart of Austin the suburbs tend to be where more affordable choices are found. Folks that typically prefer to be downtown are looking to the outskirts of town for newer options with more square footage and space.

“The bottom line is that a lack of first time buyer inventory is the root cause of home prices going up. In addition, interest rates are the only thing keeping home affordability in check. Prices are now higher than ever. If the fed does get to raise the rates like they want, then we will see a decrease in demand. The reason they may not raise them anymore this year is because inflation is low, unemployment is low and GDP is close to normal,” says Gary Keller, co-founder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams Realty.

Come hear from Texas State Senator Kirk Watson share his Vision for Central Texas at our Central Texas CRS luncheon at 11:30 a.m. until  1 p.m. on Feb. 21. Tickets are $20 for CRS members and $25 for non-members.

Also, mark your calendars to hear CRS Instructor and 2011 CRS National President Frank Serio from Delaware teach “Building an Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business” from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6 and 7 at the Keller Williams Realty – Lake Travis office. It will be a highly interactive course designed to deliver all the essentials for refocusing your business plan to be customer service centered in order to attract repeat and referral clients for life.  RL