As Texans recover from February’s unprecedented winter storm, the effects on Austin’s booming real estate market have surfaced.
For the first time since June 2020, residential home sales dropped in the five-country Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, according to the Austin Board of Realtors' February market analysis released March 18.
The historic freeze impeded market activity for roughly two weeks, resulting in an 8% decline in home sales, per ABoR’s data.
Still, experts are not anticipating a lasting impact on the local market, which has been experiencing record sales for months.
“We’re still very much in a seller's market,” 2021 ABoR President Susan Horton said in the release. “Across the region, a high quantity of offers, cash offers, and requests to waive appraisals or option fees are increasingly commonplace.”
Horton’s statement is supported by the low level of housing inventory across the five-county MSA and within the Lake Travis-Westlake region, which represents cities such as Lakeway, Bee Cave, Rollingwood and West Lake Hills.
In February, the region held onto six months of housing inventory, reflecting no change from the prior month. In part due to the seller's market, home prices rose once again.
In the Lake Travis-Westlake region, median home prices saw a 24% year-over-year increase and a 28.5% increase in the dollar volume, which represents the total sales, in February.
However, the area did see a 5.9% decline in home sales for the month, which, per ABoR’s statements could have been spurred by the storm.
“Until we have more supply, the lack of inventory and prices rising nationwide are going to present challenges for homebuyers everywhere,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors.