First-quarter real estate data in Central Texas has so far not reflected the impact of COVID-19; however, the Austin Board of Realtors is anticipating a small decrease in growth in April’s numbers. That includes more-affluent areas within western Travis County.
Luxury home purchases are expected to decrease as a result of the pandemic, according to the ABoR.
In a virtual meeting with Community Impact Newspaper on May 4, ABoR representatives provided an overview of Austin’s real estate market amid the pandemic.
“There’s a smaller pool right now for buyers for luxury homes, and sellers are going to have to take note that days on the market are going to be longer than they have been historically," ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said.
This is due in part to a decline in financing accessibility for higher-priced real estate markets, such as western Travis County, he said.
Western Travis County is also home to a larger population of residents over age 55. In Lakeway, the 2018 median resident age was reported at 47.7 by the United States Census Bureau.
According to ABoR member Edie Phillips, the Austin area is also experiencing a trend in multigenerational homes being erected throughout the Austin area.
“Some of the 55 [and older] community, they are actually wanting to move in with maybe their children,” Phillips said, adding the trend could lead to an increase in multigenerational homes containing a separate apartment for older family members.
ABoR member Job Hammond agreed: “I certainly see an opportunity for additional [accessibility dwelling unit] or granny flats or conducive environments where perhaps older family members can live together.”
As the real estate market moves into its summer selling season, ABoR representatives are anticipating a slight decrease in growth, according to Hammond.
ABoR’s March 2020 market analysis showed a 2.2% increase in residential home sales in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area from March 2019, a jump up to 3,042 sales.
“I think when the next monthly report for April’s numbers come out, the growth is certainly going to slow a little bit,” Hammond said. “But I still think there will be some growth.”
Hammond said he believes the early summer real estate season will be impacted by COVID-19, but there will still be a market demand in Central Texas.
“Austin is still a very desirable place to live and work—perhaps now more so than ever,” Hammond said.