Single-family home sales in the Austin area were down slightly in January 2016 in comparison to January 2015; according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) and the information they pulled using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Total home sales declined 1.9 percent year-over-year to 1,459 home sales. In the mean time, median price jumped 6.3 percent, up to $254,999, year-over-year.
Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained,
“If we’re going to successfully address our city’s continued affordability issues, we all need to work together. We’re excited that several business owners and community leaders are stepping up and bringing new, tangible solutions to the table to help alleviate some of the challenges.”
Developers in the area are working to bring an affordable solution to the rising costs in home pricing. They are managing to do this through a network of projects that are aimed to provide workforce housing or subsidized housing for families who make less than the median family income.
“We all know someone – our children, parents, our children’s teachers and friends – who are affected by the affordability issues in Austin,” said Mitchell. “The lack of affordability is affecting transportation, economic development and literally the future of our city. There are solutions, but they require a clear vision and a willingness to change.”
(graphic provided by Austin Board of Realtors)
“Rewriting the land development code is incredibly important to overall market affordability and will ensure that Austin can serve a wide range of households with homes marketed at a variety of price points,” said De Mayo. “We haven’t had a new code since the 1980s and if we can get it right this time, the end result will be a variety of housing options for all income levels.”
“Inventory has fallen below three months for three years and while we’ve seen this affect home prices for months, it’s possible that we’re now seeing it affect home sales,” added Farmer.
In January 2016 we saw an increase of new listings of 8.0 percent, up to 2,399 listings. At the same time, active listings increased by 11.4 percent year-over-year reaching 4,751 listings. Additionally, pending sales increased by 16.6 percent at 2,207 sales.
Farmer ended with:
“We know this climate is confusing for anyone living in Austin and we’re equipping our members to help homeowners navigate this competitive market through programs like our upcoming Member Forum. We’re bringing in development experts like Terry Mitchell, lending advisors and legislative advocates who are helping to shape the affordability landscape in Central Texas.”