The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) has compiled the monthly Austin Market Statistics for single-family home sales in the month of January, 2015, and they look encouraging. The information was pulled using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Home prices reached record breaking highs for the month of January while home sales posted an 11% increase year-over-year. January marked the fifth-straight month of annual home sales going up, and the fourth-straight month of double-digit gains in home prices.
Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained,
“With housing affordability already a challenge for many Austin residents, this increasing pace of home price growth is concerning. More than half of the homes sold in the Austin-area are now priced out of an affordable range for much of Austin’s workforce.”
Median prices of Austin-area homes are up 13 percent year-over-year to $240,000, and the average price now sits at $310,187, which is a 14% increase. January 2015 marks the highest year-over-year home price increase since September 2013 and all-time high for home prices in the month of January.
According to the information in the report, a total of 1,547 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in January 2015. However, 54 percent of the homes sold during this time frame were in the $200,000-$500,000 price range, whereas only 35 percent sold for less than $200,000 – the typical price range for first-time and low-income homebuyers.
“Housing inventory is rising, but the current pace is not enough to alleviate Austin’s affordability challenges,” added Cooper. “Furthermore, more homes on the market will not increase housing affordability if those homes are all priced for move-up homebuyers. Austin needs a regulatory environment that will ensure development of all housing types, priced in an affordable range for all Austin residents.”
Active listings went up nine percent year-over-year to 5,005 listings, while new listings increased one percent to 2,360 listings from January 2014. Austin-area homes spent the same time on the market, 63 days, as January 2014. During the same time frame pending sales increased four percent to 2,026 sales.
“While single-family homes will always be a part of Austin’s fabric, Austin’s city leaders should consider housing types that cost less to develop and can allow for a greater range of affordable infill options, such duplexes and small apartment buildings, in neighborhoods where they are needed most. The Austin Board of REALTORS® is hopeful that the Austin City Council will embrace changes to the land development code and permitting process to allow for an abundance of housing in all neighborhoods.”