The biggest news in Austin real estate statistics this past month is that, according to the Austin real estate stats just released from the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales volume in Austin slipped 5% in July 2016 over July 2015 with just 2900 home sales.
Even more dramatic, home sales in the city of Austin proper declined 7.3% in July 2016 to just 870 homes changing hands.
For those of you who rarely drive north of Hwy 183, consider that nowadays, 2 out of every 3 homes sales in our “hot” Austin market are actually selling outside of the city of Austin. Where as Austin saw a slight decline in sales volume, cities like Georgetown, where many new homes are selling, saw a 12% increase is sales volume in July 2016 over July 2015. In fact, new home sales had their highest volume month since 2007 in July 2016.
As the sales volume took a dip, home prices went up to all time high in central Austin. In the total Austin market area, the median home price rose 6% to $285,000. In the city of Austin proper, prices went up 5% to $345,000.
Some economists, like Ted C. Jones of Stewart Title, believe the uncertainty of November’s election is causing a slowing of higher end market, which is causing the slowing of sales volume in the Austin real estate market.
Where as, Austin Board of Realtor 2016 President, Aaron Farmer, stated, “When it comes to sales volume, we’ve grown very used to seeing year-over-year increases every single month, but it’s important to remember that 2015 had the strongest summer selling season in the region’s history.”
Other economists attribute the dip in sales volume to not only lack of inventory in Austin (2.8 months – a strong sellers market), but specifically lack of affordable inventory. Inventory of homes priced under $200,000 in the Austin-Round Rock market area is virtually non-existent with less than 1 month of inventory. Where as, homes priced above $400,000 have more than 4 months of inventory and homes priced over $1 million have more than 13 months of inventory (a buyers market).
Still, by many national standards, Austin remains “affordable”. According to this survey by Zumper.com (a startup website devoted to the rental population’s technology needs), although our housing prices are on the rise, Austin remains one of the most affordable cities for first time home buyers to own a home with more than 70% renters making enough income to (theoretically) afford home ownership if they wanted to.