Austin Business Journal shares, "The Austin-area housing market has reached a stalemate between buyers and sellers — and that's allowing much-needed inventory to catch up and prices to hold steady.

A few years ago it was common for some parts of Central Texas to have a week or two of housing stock. Home inventory in May was clocked at 4.9 months — 1.5 months more than a year ago. It's a level of inventory that hasn’t been seen in 13 years, according to the Unlock MLS report on the Austin Board of Realtors websiteHousing experts often say six months of inventory is representative of a healthy market.

“The good news is that we are moving toward a more sustainable level of inventory, which will provide price stability for sellers and more choices for buyers,” Kendall Garrison, CEO of Amplify Credit Union, said in a statement. “The real test will come when the Fed begins to cut rates, as indicated for later this year, making it a challenging market for both parties.”

“We’re in neither a buyer nor a seller’s market,” said Clare Losey, Austin Board of Realtors’ housing economist, in an interview with the Austin Business Journal. “From the buyer’s standpoint, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages… The biggest headwind to them are higher mortgage rates and the decline in purchasing power.”

A shift to more of a buyer's market has its downsides for sellers, obviously. Gone are the pandemic-influenced days of homeowners expecting 10 bids or selling a $400,000 home for $500,000. Some sellers who bought at the height of the heyday are actually looking at a loss.

Partner Agent Jonny Rodgers at DEN Property Group has a client who bought an Austin home for about $825,000 in 2021. It’s being listed for about $800,000, though Rodgers said he’s urging the client to lease the home for the foreseeable future. The housing market is similar to the stock market, many say — time, not timing, is critical.

The vast majority of homeowners in the area are sitting on sizable housing gains.

Active listings last month were up 38% from May 2023 but closed sales were down 13%, according to ABOR.

“We're seeing more robust sales activity among the lowest and highest priced homes,” Losey said. “So homes under $300,000 are selling really quickly, as well as homes anywhere between $800,000 and $1 million. [They’re] selling in higher quantities than we saw last spring.”

For first-time buyers, Losey said she believes this market is shaping up to be a strong one with more affordable inventory, with the biggest constraint potentially being mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve on June 12 kept its key interest rate unchanged and signaled that just one cut is expected before the end of the year.

ABOR's latest monthly report stated the median price for a home in Central Texas is $459,450, down 2% from April and a 0.4% decrease from last May. While home prices have steadily declined in the last year, it's not nearly enough to offset the steep rise that occurred during the pandemic.

Here are how some of Austin’s housing submarkets performed in May, compared year-over-year: 

City of Austin: 

  • 1,038 homes sold, up 2.4% 
  • $608,000 median sales price, up 11.6%
  • 4,740 active listings, up 85.3%

Travis County: 

  • 1,308 homes sold, down 18.8%
  • $555,000 media sales price, up 4.7%
  • 6,276 active listings, up 46.9%

Williamson County: 

  • 1,000 homes sold, down 11.3% 
  • $435,000 median sales price, down 0.5%
  • 3,375 active listings, up 34.8%

Hays County: 

  • 466 homes sold, up 2.4 % 
  • $390,000 median sales price, down 2.5%
  • 1,800 active listings, up 27.2%

Bastrop County:

  • 138 homes sold, down 9.8% 
  • $350,000 median sales price, down 5.4%
  • 633 active listings, up 15.7%

Caldwell County: 

  • 56 homes sold, no change
  • $282,000, down 4.9%
  • 128 active listings, down less than 1%"

Source: Austin Business Journal 

Written by: Melanie Faz

Published: June 14, 2024

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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