Central Austin home sales drop sharply in April

Data from the Austin Board of Realtors showed that new and existing home construction dropped significantly in April. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Data from the Austin Board of Realtors showed that new and existing home construction dropped significantly in April. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Data from the Austin Board of Realtors showed that new and existing home construction dropped significantly in April. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

According to a report from the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in Central Austin dropped significantly in April as compared the same time in 2019 as the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the real estate industry.

ABoR's data shows that there were 242 home sales in Central Austin in April, down 32.8% from April 2019.

Existing homes and newly built homes were affected nearly equally. New construction showed a 37.5% drop, while sales of existing units fell 32.1%.

Condo sales were down further in April than were single-family home sales. There were 66 condo sales in Central Austin during the month, a 51.5% drop. Single-family home sales fell 23.5% as compared to last year.

The trends in Central Austin mirror those in the city and the Central Texas region. Austin home sales fell 33.1% year over year in April, and in the region, sales were down 18.9%.

In a media release, ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said the decrease was expected after government officials enacted stay-home orders in late March. However, the demand for limited supply is still apparent, Manzanilla said.

While sales volume fell drastically in Central Austin, ABoR's data shows prices continuing to rise. The median sale price of a Central Austin home in April was $575,000, up 14.9% from last year.

"Even with the impact on home sales, homes still spent less time on the market and sold at higher prices than last April. Austin’s housing demand is undeterred and possibly strengthened by declining inventory," he said.

Orders from Gov. Greg Abbott defined construction as an essential industry, so work on residential homes has continued through the shutdown orders that closed other businesses.

Now, as Abbott has outlined plans to allow other businesses to open across the state, Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist and senior vice president of research, said he expects a bounce-back in the real estate market.

"As the economy steadily reopens, expect more listings to pop up, which will help ease the housing shortage," Yun said in a media release. "By the end of this year, home sales could be at levels comparable to 2019."
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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