After a dizzying year in which Austin housing went especially wild, with offers over asking price grew unfathomably high and people lined up in the rain to tour and presumably try to buy a very average, midsized Round Rock two-story in the middle of a pandemic, good news! The market calmed a bit in October.
“Calm” is a relative term, of course, so don’t get overly excited. According to the latest Austin Board of Realtors report, the median home price for the month was $455,000—24.7 percent higher than it was in the same month last year, setting a record for October. Despite the fact that the number of sales for the month were down 12.1 percent from the previous month, the numbers kept Austin on the path to a record-breaking year.
In the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, sales dollar volume increased 6.4 percent year over year, to $1,836,686,318. New listings increased 0.9 percent, to 3,777, but active listings decreased 0.5 percent, to 3,475, since last year, while pending sales increased 4.4 percent, to 3,774, over October 2020. Monthly housing inventory was down slightly, to one month’s worth of inventory, and homes spent an average of 20 days on the market, down 16 days when compared to last year.
“While activity appears to have leveled off somewhat in recent months,” said Jon Hockenyos, president of economic analysis and public policy consulting firm TXP, “Austin’s residential real estate market remains extraordinarily hot, as prices have risen drastically over the past year.”
As with so many things this year, the problem, and the solution, could come down to the supply chain, said Hockenyos: “Real estate in Austin remains a seller’s market as historically low interest rates, strong in-migration, a rapidly recovering local economy, and unprecedented stimulus all drive up the demand for housing. When the lowest inventory on record is factored into the mix, it’s clear that price pressures are unlikely to ease any time soon. Hopefully, the coming months will bring more supply to the market, as materials shortages ease and new development occurs.”