Austin, Texas March 2021 Housing Market Statistics
If you’re considering selling your home in Austin, Texas, it’s an ideal time for you. However, if you’re thinking of buying a home, act fast. The Austin housing market is on the rise, so while you will pay more for a home now than a year ago, it’s better to purchase now than waiting another six months. The truth is, the prices likely will be even hirer as we shift in a new direction. With the help of a REALTOR®, whichever side of the coin you’re sitting on, you’ll be able to make a deal and come out ahead with either a new home or tidy sale.
Not only is the Austin, Texas housing market recovering from the 2020 shelter-in-place orders, but it’s also certainly booming for the sellers. As a result, Austin sees dramatic numbers affecting the way buyers and sellers handle real estate transactions. The April 2021 Central Texas Housing Market Report shows record-setting numbers with incredible growth in each major county.
Since residential housing is selling faster (on average, currently, a residential listing is on the market for 17 days), it’s changing the marketplace to be competitive and affecting the choices both for the buyer and the seller. Instead of competing against other sellers, buyers compete against each other to land the property they want at a price they can afford.
When the selling market is hot like this, prices rise, sales happen fast, and buyers need to reflect on their finances and the residential location of their prospective home. For example, a buyer considering the city of Austin needs to prepare for the median home price of over $550K vs. Bastrop County at just over half the median price at $290K.
Each county plus Austin itself is seeing spikes in the housing market. When considering purchasing a home, it’s essential to look at the price in each area. Remember, these are the average prices. Every area and every residential property has its unique perceived and real property values. The median home prices of each section rose to new levels:
- City of Austin: up 31.7% to the highest it’s ever been – $550,562
- Travis County: up 37.8% to $537,500
- Williamson County: up 45.4% to $430,000
- Hays County: up 33.3% to $380,000
- Bastrop County: up 11.8% to $290,000
- Caldwell County: up 28.3% to $254,100
Even with higher median pricing, the sales in each area continue to rise at significant levels:
- City of Austin: up 51.4% (1,167 sales)
- Travis County: up 46.8% (1,813 sales)
- Williamson County: up 34% (1,219 sales)
- Hays County: up 9.5% (416 sales)
- Bastrop County: up 47.6% (124 sales)
- Caldwell County: up 88.2% (32)
Keep in mind, though, when considering the number of sales by percentage, the original size of the pool changes the meaning behind the number. For example, Caldwell County sales rose by 88.2%, which meant they sold 32 properties. By comparison, the city of Austin rose 51.4% (which is significant) by selling 1,167 properties. So, the percentage number of sales is relative.
Housing prices are affected by the number of new listings, too. While we’re currently in a seller’s market, things can shift quickly, as we all experienced with the pandemic. For now, let’s take a look at the new listing numbers.
- City of Austin: up 33.3% to 1,545 new listings
- Travis County: up 30.9% to 2,336 new listings
- Williamson County: up 37.8% to 1,576 new listings
- Hays County: up 20.7% to 559 new listings
- Bastrop County: up 53.7% to 146 new listings
- Caldwell County: up 54.2% to 37 new listings
Now, let’s have a reality check. Prices are rising while interest rates remain reasonable. As a result, the number of new listings keeps increasing. The one area that is dropping is the number of active listings.
- City of Austin: down 57.2% to 683 listings
- Travis County: down 64.1% to 1,029 listings
- Williamson County: down 73.5% to 537 listings
- Hays County: down 76% to 221 listings
- Bastrop County: down 75% to 81 listings
- Caldwell County: down 63.3% to 33 listings
Rising prices are fantastic for sellers. With a market like this, they receive multiple offers and are in the best negotiating position. Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR President, feels “there is home and optimisim for the months ahead.”
But, as expected, April showed active listings falling 69.5% from a year ago. However, the housing report shows “pending sales jumped 50.4% to 3,920 pending sales and new listings increased 32.6% to 4,654 new listings.”
Horton mentioned in the housing report article “that the rush on the housing market at the beginning of the year could be easing.” However, while it may be slowing, residential real estate is still on the rise.
Horton explained that the “homebuying process continues to be complex and it’s common to submit several offers before one is accepted.” This complexity comes from a competitive marketplace.
For example, prospective buyers need to consider the following:
- Work patiently with your REALTOR®
- Be creative when making an offer. Be bold!
- “Cash isn’t always king,” John Schutze, regional director and senior home loan officer at Texas Loan Experts, stated.
- Higher upfront investment required.
- Appraisal shortages = the buyer needs to provide additional funds.
- Be prepared for the long haul.
- Interest rates are holding steady.
Explaining Appraisal Shortages
U.S. News outlined in the article “Your Guide to the Housing Market,” that in a seller’s market like Austin is currently experiencing, appraisal shortages often happen. These shortages affect the buyer’s ability to purchase the home. In addition, the article explains that the prices are inflated “beyond the rate of property value growth. When this happens, lenders may catch an inflated price during appraisal and refuse to lend the full amount.”
This appraisal shortage means a buyer bidding at $550,000 may not receive the total selling price from their lender. If a buyer doesn’t have the cash to make up the difference, it could mean losing out on the property.
Before entering the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, consider your options. Review your financial situation and talk with a REALTOR® to make the right choice for you right now.