The temperature is cooling off, but is the same true for the Austin real estate market? Summer is the hottest season for homebuying, and things ended on a high note in September, suggesting this fall will be good for sellers.

Home prices hit an all-time high for the month of September this year. The median price in the city of Austin was $406,000. The number of sales and total sales volume was also up significantly compared to the same time last year. But the numbers weren’t up across the board. Monthly housing inventory went down, proving it’s still solidly a seller’s market in the Austin-Round Rock MSA.

Active listings were also down by 11.7% despite an increase in new listings. There was a significant increase in pending sales, which totaled 2,861 in September. It’s proof positive that buyers were busy at the end of summer.

The majority of the new listings were in Bastrop and Williamson County. In Bastrop County, there was an increase of 24.8%, and in Williamson County the increase was 18.9%. However, in Travis County, there was only an increase of 5.1%, and Austin’s new listings were flat. Buyers that want a better selection of homes should consider the suburbs just north and south of the city.

September 2019 Single-Family Home Stats to Know

Here’s a look at the September 2019 Austin-Round Rock MSA stats from the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) Central Texas Housing Market Report:

  • Median single-family home price increased 6.7% y-o-y to $320,000.
  • Median single-family home price in Austin rose 11.9% y-o-y to $406,000.
  • A total of 2,654 homes were sold, a y-o-y increase of 13.4%.
  • Total sales volume went up 19.6% y-o-y to $1.06 billion.
  • Months of inventory decreased 0.4 months to end September at 2.5 months.
  • Pending sales increased by an astounding 27.8% y-o-y to end the month at 3,320.

More Inventory and Affordability Depend on a New Land Use Code

Low inventory is a driving force behind the rising home prices. In the Austin-Round Rock MSA inventory levels well below 6 months (balanced market) have been a persistent challenge. Kevin Scanlan, the President of the Austin Board of Realtors, noted that meeting the housing demand in the metro has been difficult due to the land development code. In a recent press release, Mr. Scanlan stated, “Austin and its land use code directly impact Central Texas’ ability to meet buyer demands for more housing that’s affordable.”

Many real estate professionals and affordable housing advocates are calling for a more flexible land development code. Flexibility will allow for more building and a more diverse selection of homes. The city has attempted to update the land development code for years without making much headway. Currently, a proposed code has been drafted and the city is holding open houses to get community feedback. The Planning Commission and Austin City Council will consider the feedback moving forward.