The Rising Prices of Austin Real Estate Properties
Published January 2, 2020
Austin is a thriving community with a rich history and a diverse culture that continues to draw people and businesses to the area. The draw is so great, and the demand so high that the Austin real estate market continues to break records for growth and rising prices.
The monthly report by the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR) saw double-digit growth in October 2019. Home sales grew 14.5 percent over the previous year, while available housing inventory sits at an all-time low. New houses on the market decreased by 5 percent to 840, though sold homes rose to 745 pending sales, an increase of 8.4 percent.
Higher Demand, Lower Availability Lead to Rising Prices
The basic rules of supply and demand would suggest that the high demand and decreasing availability of real estate properties in Austin would lead to higher home prices, and that is exactly what has happened. The ABOR report revealed that the median price for home sales in Austin rose to $405,000, the highest on record for October, and an 8.9 percent increase over the previous year.
The October median home sale price came in just under the all-time high of $410,000 last summer and is a slight decrease from September, though experts believe the reduction was caused by the end of the summer selling season. Less than a third of the way through the city's 30-year growth plan adopted in 2012, the median price for a single-family home has risen to $505,000 from $301,900, an alarming 67 percent increase.
Growth Extends to Outlying Round Rock Community
With more people moving to Austin, the rapid, continuous growth has extended to the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area, where October 2019 home sales increased 16.8 percent over the previous year. The median price for homes in the outlying areas increased to $327,500, a rise of 7.4 percent.
The surrounding counties have also seen significant growth. In Travis County overall, where Austin is located, single-family home sales rose an astonishing 20.8 percent, with home prices rising 9.1 percent to $385,000. With the growing communities of Round Rock and Georgetown, neighboring Williams County has also seen a growth of 14.3 percent in home sales with a median price of $295,000, an increase of 4.2 percent. The outlying counties of Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell have felt the growth of the area, as well, with solid increases in home sales and median prices.
Rising Prices, Lower Availability Cause Concern for Austin Realtors
The skyrocketing prices for homes in Austin and the surrounding areas have local realtors and activists concerned that it is not sustainable for the long-term future of the community.
ABOR's President Kevin Scanlan said stated that Austin cannot sustain this rate of growth, noting that with an average of 100 people moving to Austin daily, there are simply not enough available homes.
The organization is calling for the development of more flexible land use codes to manage the growth and create a more balanced real estate market.
The challenge is making marketing adjustments without losing the charm and character that inspired people to move to Austin in the first place.