Sharp Credit – Credit News – Credit Information
After a September dip, the Central Texas housing market got off to a strong start in the fourth quarter, as home sales bounced back to hit a record high for October, the latest figures show.
Sales for the Austin-Round Rock region, which spans from Georgetown to San Marcos, totaled 2,347 for the month, the Austin Board of Realtors reported, a 4.3% increase over October 2017 and the highest number of sales for any October. The sales, which include both pre-owned and new houses, totaled more than $900 million in dollar volume, also a record for October, the board said. The sales jump came after area home sales had declined by about 1% in September.
In addition, the median sales price for homes, both for the overall Central Texas region and for within the city of Austin, set records for the month of October, the board said.
High demand and limited inventory pushed the metro area’s median price for October’s sales to $308,355, up 7.5% year-over-year increase
Within Austin’s city limits, October’s median home sales price was $377,000, 3.7% higher than in October 2017. The board said 735 homes were sold in the city of Austin last month, a 7.8% increase from the prior October.
During the past several years, the Austin area’s housing stock and home sales “have become opposing forces that are widening our housing gap,” Steve Crorey, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said in a written statement. “We saw slight inventory increases across the market, particularly in the suburbs, but they’re not enough to offset ongoing demand.”
Vaike O’Grady, Austin regional director for industry tracking firm MetroStudy, said demand for new homes in the Austin area “continues to be robust this fall, especially in price points below $300,000.
“Factors such as inclement weather have slowed development, and a lack of available lots has pushed the housing market farther out from Austin proper,” O’Grady said in a written statement. “However, the fundamentals in Austin have not changed. The demand for housing is so great that if the product is priced correctly and in a desirable location, it’s going to sell.”
Michelle Jones, a broker associate in Austin, said that although the market has slowed a bit as is typical when the holidays approach, “things are still on an upward trend and the statistics prove that.”
“Overall, it’s still pretty busy,” said Jones, with Grossman & Jones Group in Austin, part of nationwide luxury brokerage Compass Real Estate. “Inventory is still fairly low and buyer demand is high.”
Colleen Lockwood, an agent with Moreland Properties in Austin, said that although the market is slower than it was in the spring, there are still a lot of house hunters out there. Some prospective buyers are being spurred to act sooner rather than later, before interest rates edge up further, Lockwood said.
“Everywhere you turn, there’s someone moving to town from somewhere,” Lockwood said, adding she is working with clients from Florida, Chicago, and even Greece and London.
Husband-and-wife Jason Schaper and Elisabeth Boulard, both transplants to Austin in their 30s and originally from the San Francisco Bay area and Montreal respectively, bought a house in June in Easton Park.
Easton Park, a master-planned subdivision in Southeast Austin with trails, parks and community gardens, ultimately is planned to have 6,500 homes once completed. Two new sections will launch in December: Union Park which will have homes starting in the high $100,000s, and Skyline Park, which will have homes starting in the $300,000s.
With their minds made up to buy at Easton Park but the supply of homes in the second phase, called Nob Hill, sold out at the time, Schaper said the couple swooped in when another prospective buyer’s sales contract fell through.
The 2,500-square-foot house, which has four bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, an office and a second living room, was priced “in the low-to-mid $300,000s,” Schaper said.
In San Francisco, “a house like this would probably be every bit of $5 million or $6 million,” Schaper said.
“We ended up finding the exact house we wanted, where someone else did all the upgrades,” he said. “It worked out to be the perfect fit for us.”
Tribune Content Agency