With 2,565 home sales so far in 2020, sales in Central Austin still lag behind sales at this time in 2019 by 7.6%. However, home prices in the area have increased since 2019—especially in the last few months, as the local real estate industry has pushed forward following the slow spring months in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Central Austin realtors sold $304,908,375 worth of residential real estate in August, up nearly 36% from August 2019. For the year to date, the dollar volume of sales is up 3.1% compared to this time last year. These increases are driven by the $741,870 average home price for the area in the month of August, up 26% compared to August 2019.
According to ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla, this phenomenon is due in large part to low housing inventory in an increasingly popular market.
“Austin’s popularity has left the market with critically low levels of housing supply, which continues to drive home prices up,” Manzanilla said in a statement.
The summer’s increase in housing prices was seen beyond Central Austin, in the entire Austin metropolitan area. In Austin, what ABoR called “critically low levels of inventory” resulted in a 14.9% year-over-year increase in median home prices for August, up to $435,000, while only 2.4% more residential sales were made. The larger metropolitan area saw a more significant increase in home sales—nearly 13%—with a median price of $355,000.
Mark Sprague, the state director of information capital at Independence Title, praised these strong numbers in a statement, but he expressed concern about the continuing low inventory in the Austin area.
"It’s safe to say that August numbers solidify that Austin’s housing market has fully rebounded," Sprague said. "However, we started this year with a lack of inventory, and we’re going to end this year with a lack of inventory. Inadequate housing stock is going to be the main issue that holds the market back."