The numbers are in, and the past month of October held few surprises for the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The Central Texas Monthly Housing Report revealed that 2,292 single-family homes sold in the Austin-Round Rock MSA last month. That’s a smaller increase than what was seen in previous months, and home sales within the Austin city limits actually fell by 1.7% year-over-year. So why the slow growth?

Housing affordability and availability continues to limit the full potential of the Austin-Round Rock MSA. While inventory levels inched upwards overall, Austin remained at just 2.3 months of inventory for October. Even with the inventory increase, the entire metro area remains a strong seller’s market.

The saving grace has been a surge in development. A recent report from Metrostudy found that home building was at a 10-year high by the end of September 2017. One look at the home sale statistics will tell you where the majority of the building is happening. In Williamson County and Hays County, where much of the home building has occurred, home sales rose 5.4% and 6.2% respectively.

Builders are focusing on smaller single-family homes and townhomes within the $200,000-$300,000 range. They are also concentrating their efforts in suburban areas where regulations are less likely to hold up the building process. It’s a problem city officials hope will be solved in Austin with CodeNEXT, the new land development code. Whoever is named the new city manager could also have a significant impact on the real estate market in coming months.

Other stats worth noting from the Central Texas Monthly Housing Report Include:

  • 2% year-over-year increase for single-family home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA.
  • 3% year-over-year increase in single-family home price – median price of $286,472 in October for the entire MSA.
  • 1% year-over-year increase in single-family home price – median price of $360,000 within Austin.
  • 7% decrease in new home listings in October compared to the year before.
  • 8% more pending sales year-over-year.
  • 6% increase in active home listings compared to October 2016.
  • 8 months of inventory was on the market in October for the entire MSA.
  • 7% increase in total sales brings the amount closed to $846,439,642.

For anyone who’s been following the Austin real estate market, these numbers aren’t too surprising. We’re inching our way towards another record-breaking year, but the issue of inventory still lingers.