The Austin real estate market continues to outpace itself. The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) closed 2020 by continuing to break records as housing market demand across Central Texas reached historic levels. Austin real estate market activity, according to the December 2020 and Year-End Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), a record-breaking 40,165 homes totaling $17,579,802,503 in sales volume were sold across the Austin area last year.
In December alone, residential home sales across the five-county MSA jumped 16.2% year over year to 3,626 sales, a record for the month of December, and the median price increased by 15.8% to 370,000, an all-time record for the MSA. Sales dollar volume in December also increased 41.1% to $1,784,023,513 and pending sales increased 40.8% to 3,114. Housing inventory declined 1.1 months to a record-low 0.6 months of inventory for the entire MSA. Homes spent an average of 36 days on market, 25 fewer than December 2019.
“This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market,” Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president, said. “The pandemic only increased demand for all types of housing across the region, pushing inventory to near-zero levels and creating the strongest sellers’ market REALTORS® have ever seen. That said if you are
ready to buy a home, now is the time to take advantage of low-interest rates that boost your buying power and plant roots in Central Texas.
” Dr. James Gaines, the former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center, attributes Austin’s record-high housing demand to a perfect storm of economic growth and increased consumer buying power.
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“The Austin-area real estate market is experiencing extraordinarily high demand fueled by years of high population growth and employment gains, lifestyle changes
following the pandemic and record-low interest rates,” Gaines said. “The pandemic fostered an environment where many families increased personal savings helping some transition from renting to ownership while others needed to ‘move up’ for more space while working from home. Despite a steep slowdown during shelter-in-place orders this spring, the market came roaring back in the summer with no drop-off at the end of the calendar year.”
Gaines added that the outlook for the 2021 housing market was very good, noting that Austin’s demand-driven market will continue to show strength and homes will keep selling quickly.
In 2020, the median sales price in the Austin-Round Rock MSA rose 9.2% to $344,000. During this year, new listings decreased 0.4% to 43,816 listings, while active listings declined 34.2% to 4,556 listings. However, pending sales jumped 13.1% to 42,371 pending sales. Pending sales are now outpacing new listings, indicating that homes are selling faster than new ones can hit the market.
“The Central Texas housing market is incredibly competitive and moving at lightning speed right now,” Horton added. “The complexity of a home sale is at an all-time high as it has become commonplace for homes to receive multiple offers well over list price. Whether you’re a home buyer or a home seller, it is more important than ever to work with a REALTOR® who deeply understands your local area and can navigate the near-zero inventory market on your behalf.”