By Kevin Scanlan
For me, and just about every ABoR member I talk to, this has been one of the busiest summers we can remember.
According to the Mid-year and June 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report, single-family home sales increased 4.3 percent year-over-year to 16,203 sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the first half of 2019. The median price for single-family homes was essentially flat during the same time frame, ticking up one percent to $315,000. While housing supply remains critically low at 2.7 months, the impact of the region’s housing market on our economy is sizeable, with $6.4 billion in single-family home sales dollar volume between January and June 2019.
The housing market within the City of Austin, however, is a slightly different story. In the first half of 2019, Austin single-family home sales declined 1.6 percent year-over-year to 4,736 sales.
This is due to continued increases in home prices combined with record-low inventory levels. In June 2019, housing inventory for single-family homes dipped below two months to 1.9 months of inventory. For the first half of 2019, the median price for single-family homes rose 3.2 percent year-over-year to $387,100.
It’s worth noting, however, that over the summer months, the median price for homes in Austin has topped $400,000c—can all-time high for our city and unaffordable price range for many Austinites.
Dr. James P. Gaines, Chief Economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, reported at ABoR’s Speaker Series last month that the housing affordability “sweet spot” for most Central Texas families is between $200,000 and $400,000, yet housing inventory for these price classes remains “extremely tight” up to $750,000.
Gaines also reported that for the first time in nearly a decade, single-family building permits are on the decline across Texas. Homebuilders throughout the region and across the state are struggling with rising land and construction costs, a shortage of vacant developed lots, and a shortage of skilled labor.
Regardless of these growing pains from continued population growth, Dr. Gaines concluded that now remains a great time to buy or sell a home in Central Texas. Austin continues to be the darling of Top 10 lists around the country and is expected to continue to be a leader for job, population, and economic growth in the state. The Federal Reserve System’s decision to lower interest rates for the first time since 2008 could also positively impact potential homeowners.
The Central Texas Housing Market Report is published monthly and contains hyperlocal data and shareable infographics for ABoR members. Download the Mid-year & June 2019 edition at ABoR.com/StatsJun19.
Take our Diversity Survey
ABoR wants to get to know you better! For the second year, we are asking our members to tell us who they through our voluntary Diversity Survey, because every one of you enriches our Association and make us stronger. Take this anonymous survey to help us cultivate an inclusive ABoR community for all at ABoR.com/DiversitySurvey. The survey is open through the end of this month!