Central Austin home sales increased 17.2 percent year-over-year in May, while the median price rose 7.6 percent to $554,000, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' Central Texas Housing Market Report released today.

For the first time this year, single-family home sales topped $1 billion in a single month in the Central Texas region, an increase of 18.4 percent from last May. It was the highest-grossing month ever for the region.

A little more than 3,000 homes sold in the Austin area during the month of May, a 9.7 percent increase over last May.

Nearly 1,000 of those were sold within the city limits, but the number of sold homes priced under $300,000 "continues to decline by double digits year-over-year, signifying worsening housing affordability as Austin's price range for single-family homes shifts upward," according to the report.

Active listings in the Austin area jumped 22 percent year-over-year to nearly 7,000 listings. ABoR officials predict this trend will continue through the summer months, which is a change from last year.

But, ABoR officials wrote in the report, houses in the area priced under $250,000 "remain critically low, as rising property values and housing development costs are rapidly shifting the price range of available housing upward.

“Rising property values and housing development costs are rapidly causing an upward shift in the price range of residential real estate available within Austin and across the region," ABoR President Brandy Guthrie said.

The report showed about 30 percent of single-family homes in the Austin-Round Rock MSA sold for less than $250,000. Within the city limits, that number drops to 14.5 percent.

"Housing demand continues to be at an all-time high in and around Austin, indicated by steady growth in home sales and prices, listing activity and housing inventory," Guthrie said.