Though continually evolving policies focused on minimizing the spread of coronavirus have temporarily crippled many businesses and other facets of the Central Texas economy, a report from the Austin Board of Realtors shows optimism, at least for the home sales market.

“Historically low interest rates are a driver in the market response we saw in February and will continue to act as a driver despite our shared concerns over the impact of COVID-19 in our community,” 2020 ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said.

ABoR’s February 2020 market analysis showed a 6.8% increase in residential home sales in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area from February 2019 to last month. The report also showed residential home sales went from 2,363 in February 2019 to 2,524 last month.

According to the ABoR report, at the county level, residential home sales increased 8.8% to 1,301 sales, and sales dollar volume increased by 22% to $613,634,673.

"The median price for residential homes increased 13.2% year over year to $376,500. During the same period, new listings decreased 13.6% to 1,550 listings, while active listings decreased 35% to 2,022 listings," the report states.

In the Lake Travis-Westlake area, residential home sales last month increased 22.70% to 189 over the last year, and the sales dollar volume shot up 42% from last February, reaching $150,768,568.

The median price for residential homes in the Lake Travis-Westlake area also rose 8.6% to $578,500 over last February.

Mark Sprague, state director of information capital for Independence Title, said current indicators show Austin’s housing market remains competitive, and any decrease in inventory would only increase competitiveness in the market.

“Overall, Austin’s economy and housing market look to be resilient during this uncertain time,” Sprague said. “Once COVID-19 subsides, there is a potential for even more investment by employers in the Austin market, and I would expect those looking for a more affordable cost of living compared to other major U.S. metropolitan areas will still look to move to and buy homes in Austin.”