Austin Business Journal writes, "As spring rolls on, Austin’s housing inventory continues to grow.

April saw an increase in active and new home listings in the region, as well as pending and closed sales, according to the most recent market data from Unlock MLS published on the Austin Board of Realtors' website.

Unfortunately for home buyers, the median sales price of a home in the metro also creeped up in an already-pricey environment due to elevated interest rates. Still, the increase in inventory has resulted in an uptick in the number of home for sale at many price points, even those priced more affordably.

“The MSA experienced an increase in sales, indicating more opportunity in the market for all buyers,” stated Clare Losey, Unlock MLS and ABOR housing economist. “Despite the higher rate environment, the uptick in affordable inventory in the $300,000 range is allowing more first-time buyers to achieve homeownership. As we progress through the year, mortgage rates are expected to remain elevated with a slight possibility of a gradual decrease, which would result in an increase in buyers’ purchasing power.”

The median sales price of a home in April came in at $469,998, up 4.4% from March and about 1% from a year ago, according to the report. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac reported the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week of May 9 was 7.09%.

Among Texas’ major metros — Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio — Austin is the most expensive, according to March data from residential real estate brokerage firm Redfin.

In March, Austin's median home sales price of $450,000 topped the median of $425,000 in Dallas, $330,000 in Houston and $310,000 in San Antonio.

All of those markets have higher inventories — ranging from 10,790 to 22,764 homes for sale — compared Austin's inventory of 10,252 in March.

Still, the pool of available homes has been increasing in the Austin metro. In April, 4.3 months of inventory was available, up from 3.2 months in January and 1.2 months a year ago.

Active and new listings are also up, hitting 10,808 in April for a roughly 32% year-over-year increase. New listings reached 5,131, a 26% increase year-over-year.

But homes aren’t just hitting the local market, they’re selling too. There were 2,708 sales closed in April, up 62% from 1,667 in January and 5.9% year-over-year.

A national look

Home prices continue to rise nationally, but several metros that once ranked among the nation's hottest housing markets are now seeing price cuts. But Austin isn't one of them.

According to Redfin, year-over-year listing volumes swelled roughly 50% in some metros across the nation. Nationally, new listings are up 6%, active listings are up 4% and median home prices are up 5%, according to Redfin's data.

Increased supply in many metros is just one of many factors shaping the evolution of the housing market — a list that includes uncertainty over interest rateschallenges in the home insurance segment and ongoing affordability challenges, among others.

Sun Belt markets “no longer an amazing value”

Of the 10 cities that saw the largest increases in March year-over-year supply, six were in Florida, including Cape Coral (51%), North Port-Sarasota (48%), Fort Lauderdale (30%), Tampa (29%) and West Palm Beach (20%).

Two Texas communities — McAllen (25%) and Dallas (20%) — also saw an increase in homes on the market, as did Knoxville, Tennessee (23%), and Cincinnati (17%).

“Out-of-town homebuyers no longer see Florida as a place to get amazing value,” said Eric Auciello, a Tampa-based Redfin sales manager, in a statement. “Now they’re moving to North Carolina or Tennessee to get a good deal.”

But even good deals in those states remain relative. Median home prices are up 6% year-over-year in Nashville, Tennessee. Prices are up at least 3.6% year-over-year in all of North Carolina's major metro areas.

Several markets that are seeing a surge in inventory, especially in Florida, experienced significant price cuts over the past year.

North Port-Sarasota saw the highest price cuts in the country at 48%, followed by Tampa (44%), Cape Coral (41%), Orlando (35%) and Jacksonville (33%).

Other markets experiencing drops included Indianapolis (43%), Denver (37%), Portland, Oregon (34%), Houston (33%) and San Antonio (33%). 

Speed of home sales also shifting

Redfin found the pace of sales is slowing in many regions as well.

In Cape Coral, the average home took an additional 31 days to sell last month as compared to March 2023.

North Port-Sarasota and McAllen both needed an extra 20 days, followed by New Orleans (18), Tulsa, Oklahoma (13), and Cincinnati (13).

But while homes are lasting on the market longer in several once-hot markets, median days on market actually declined by four days compared to a year ago.

Raleigh, North Carolina (down 33 days), and Las Vegas (down 24 days) had the two steepest declines in median days on market compared to a year ago.

Insurance crisis weighing on housing market

While mortgage rates remain higher than many hoped, exacerbating a lock-in effect, an insurance crisis is also complicating sales.

Last year, 72% of American homeowners saw their insurance premiums go up, and in areas where those costs are surging, economists believe properties are at risk of gaining less value than in locations with more stable premiums.

State Farm, Farmers Insurance and AAA have all discontinued coverage for certain policies in Florida and California due to severe-weather events.

“We’re seeing sellers offer concessions to hold deals together,” said Auciello, whose own home insurance now costs $14,000 a year, compared to $8,000 in 2022. “We’re at an inflection point. A hefty insurance bill isn’t always a big deal for a luxury buyer, but it can be a really big issue for someone buying a waterfront home on a smaller budget.”"


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Cody Baird & Joanne Drilling

Published: May 14, 2024

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.