Austin Housing Market Still Among Hottest in Nation

Image Courtesy of Sitterle Homes

by Cassie McKee

For the fifth straight year, Austin-area home sales set a record in 2015, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.


And for the fourth year in a row, the area’s median home sales price hit a new high, rising to $263,900.


With similar market conditions still in place, experts predict 2016 will be similar for the Central Texas housing market.


Last year ended with 29,068 sales of single-family homes, about 4.7 percent higher than 2014’s total, according to the Board of Realtors. Half the homes sold for more than $263,900 and half sold for less, an 8.8 percent jump in the annual median sales price.


Sales and the median prices also set records for the month of December, the board said. December’s 2,390 sales were up about 5.5 percent over December 2014’s volume. The median price for homes sold in December was $270,000, 9.7 percent higher than December 2014.


Home prices in Central Texas have risen sharply in the past few years as demand for housing has outstripped supply. Still, some real estate agents and local housing experts say the Austin market remains on solid footing.


“As long as people continue to move here, we’re going to continue with a robust economy” and home sales will stay healthy, said Grant Whittenberger, a local real estate agent. “Texas is becoming a destination for people in states facing difficult economic times.”


Amy Bernhard, an agent with Realty Austin, said she thinks the housing market “will be the same, or even a little better, than last year.”


“Everything has appreciated very organically,” Bernhard said. “I don’t think we’re in any sort of bubble.”


Paul Peters, recruiting manager at Assurance Financial, a Louisiana-based residential mortgage lender, said the company plans to open a major regional mortgage loan production office in Austin, which is “high on our list of expansion markets.”


“We view the area as one of the strongest diversified economies and residential housing markets in the country,” Peters said. “We believe that Austin will continue to see robust appreciation in home values and that more affordable housing will surface in the area as more lot development takes place in the market.”

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