A new land development code is crucial for addressing housing market concerns

AUSTIN, TX–City of Austin home sales dipped as the median price of a single-family home rose, according to the March 2019 Central Texas Housing Market report by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. At the same time, housing inventory remained critically low, and homes continued to spend less time on the market.

“Because Austin’s economy is thriving and the city continues to remain one of the most popular living destinations in the country, the housing market remains extremely tight,” Kevin P. Scanlan, 2019 president of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, said. “In March, new listings, active listings and pending sales all declined, but the median price increased. We need a solution to the ongoing affordability and inventory crisis, which is why a more a more flexible land development code that allows for more housing at affordable price points is imperative.”

Last month, the median price of single-family homes rose by 2.8% to $375,000 in the city and inventory remained flat at 1.5 months, which is well below well below the 6.0-6.5 months of inventory the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University projects for a balanced housing market.

“Austin is growing rapidly and as we look ahead to accommodate existing and future Austinites, there needs to be a plan in place for a more affordable and sustainable city,” Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, said. “That’s why the Downtown Austin Alliance is partnering with the Austin Board of REALTORS® and 30 other Austin nonprofits and business organizations to advocate at Austin City Hall for a new land development code that provides enough transit-supportive housing capacity.”

Austin-Round Rock MSA

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In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, the median home price increased slightly by 0.8% from $302,500 in March of last year to $305,000 last month, while single-family home sales increased 1.9% to 2,740 home sales.

Sales dollar volume within the five-county MSA increased year over year by 1.2% to $1,064,124,011. During the same period, new listings decreased 2.2% to 3,890 listings while active listings increased 8.4% to 6,060 listings. Pending sales increased 18.4% to 3,378 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory increased by 0.2 months to 2.4 months of inventory.

City of Austin

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In the city of Austin, single-family home sales decreased by 4.6% to 781 sales in March. During the same period, sales dollar volume decreased slightly by 0.4% to $371,993,004. New listings decreased 10.4% to 1,038 listings; active listings decreased 1.5% to 1,149 listings; and pending sales slightly decreased by 1% to 902 pending sales.

Travis County

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In March, single-family home sales decreased in Travis County by 4.4% to 1,309 sales and sales dollar volume also decreased, by 4.7%, to $619,129,042. The median price for single-family homes increased 1.4% year over year to $355,000. During the same period, new listings decreased 4.8% to 1,890 listings while active listings barely increased 0.1% to 2,632 listings. However, pending sales jumped 11.7% to 1,590 pending sales. Monthly housing inventory remained flat at 2.1 months of inventory.

Williamson County

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In Williamson County, March single-family home sales increased 9.2% to 989 sales; sales dollar volume experienced a double-digit increase of 11.6% to $311,389,148. During the same period, the median price for single-family homes slightly increased 0.5% to $279,300. New listings decreased 1.9% to 1,320 listings while active listings rose 9.4% to 2,094 listings. Pending sales spiked 24.9% to 1,244 pending sales. Housing inventory increased 0.2 months year over year to 2.3 months of inventory.

Hays County

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In March, Hays County single-family home sales increased 10.8% to 328 sales and sales dollar volume increased 11% to $105,711,500. The median price for a single-family home remained flat at $259,950. During the same period, new listings increased 3.4% to 486 listings; active listings rose sharply by 21.4% to 918 listings; and pending sales jumped 25.9% to 403 pending sales. Housing inventory increased 0.5 months to 3.1 months of inventory.

Bastrop County

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Bastrop County single-family home sales declined 5.6% to 85 sales, and sales dollar volume dropped 4.7% to $21,264,423 in March. However, the median price for a single-family home increased 8.7% to $233,750. During the same period, new listings steadily increased 8% to 148 listings; active listings spiked 50% to 324 listings; and pending sales rose 25.3% to 109 pending sales. Housing inventory increased 1.2 months to 3.8 months of inventory.

Caldwell County

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In Caldwell County, March single-family home sales remained flat at 29 sales, while sales dollar volume increased 18.6% to $6,491,132. The median home price rose 26.6% year over year to $202,500. During the same period, new listings jumped 21.1% to 46 listings; active listings increased 22.7% to 92 listings; and pending sales increased 18.5% to 32 pending sales. Housing inventory increased 1.4 months to 3.9 months of inventory.

For more information, and to download the March 2019 Central Texas Housing Market Report, visit www.abor.com/statsmar19.