The Austin Real Estate Market continues to adapt and defy the odds of working through virtual conditions.
Local shelter-in-place orders that went into effect on March 24 had little impact on March home sales, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) latest Central Texas Housing Market Report.
In March, residential sales in the five-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) increased 2.2% year over year to 3,042 sales and median price jumped 11.7% year over year to $335,200. Monthly housing inventory declined 0.7 months year over year to 1.6 months of inventory, and average days on market decreased from 65 days to 54 days.
“For most of March, it was still ‘business as usual,’ and REALTORS® adapted early to continue serving homebuyers and sellers safely,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “Declines in listing activity and pending residential sales in March indicate that we won’t begin to see the true impact of COVID-19 on the housing market until our April report.”
Last month, new listings decreased 12.7% to 3,770 listings; active listings dropped 26.6% to 4,908 listings; and pending sales decreased 19.2% to 2,852 pending sales.
Although COVID-19 has shifted the way real estate business is conducted, closings and home sales have not been negatively impacted thus far, Lea Holubec, senior vice president of education and training for Heritage Title of Austin, said.
“The approach to closing a home looks very different right now, but activity has not dipped,” Holubec said. “Homebuyers should be prepared for the closing process to take longer than usual due to COVID-19 safety precautions and be ready for additional employment verifications at closing, or even after closing, which many lenders are now requiring.”
“Like REALTORS®, sellers should remain cautiously optimistic during this time. Austin-area homebuyers are still looking to buy homes, and fewer homes on the market means stronger demand and increased visibility for your property,” Manzanilla said. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we’re still in a seller’s market and sellers should be encouraged to list their homes.”