The median price of homes across Northwest Austin fell by about $50,000 compared to April’s housing market, according to a new real estate report.

Regardless of that month-over-month dip, the overall market pace in Northwest Austin continues to skyrocket from where the real estate market stood last year. According to the May 2021 Central Texas Housing Market Report from the Austin Board of Realtors, the median price of a single family home in Northwest Austin rose more than 40% from this point last year. That matches a similar increase seen in April’s housing report.

The median price of a single family home in the Northwest Austin market, as defined by the six ZIP code area where Community Impact Newspaper is distributed, now stands at $590,000. The median price for all residential properties—including single family homes, townhouses and condominiums—was $536,150 in May.

Citywide, the median home price increased 34.9% year over year to $566,500. That is the highest median price recorded for any month in the history of the city of Austin, according to ABoR.

“Austin’s housing market has become one of the most competitive markets in the U.S.,” said Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president, in the organization’s June 15 news release. “As new companies relocate to Austin and the city’s popularity draws in new residents, the sheer demand for housing has created a critical inventory shortage, reinforcing that affordability and accessibility to housing across our region is a real concern and should be a top priority for local leaders.”

On June 15, ABoR presented its market analysis of the local real estate landscape to the city of Austin’s Housing and Planning Committee. According to that presentation, the median sales price for homes in Austin has risen by more than $110,000 over the past 6 months.

Data collected by ABoR shows home prices are outpacing wage growth in the Austin area. Over the past decade, household incomes have grown 38% while the median home price in Austin has risen by 138%.

The realtor organization estimates that an Austin household with a median income of $71,576 could afford a home priced at $248,000 with a down payment. That price is approximately half the current median home price citywide.

“We are in a housing shortage, which is causing unprecedented spikes in home prices,” said Greg Casar, Austin City Council member for District 4 and chair of the Housing and Planning Committee, in a June 15 statement. “Our city must bring forward policies to change this trend, and increase the number of homes available for people who are working class and middle class. That means updating our land development rules, providing a diversity of housing types and quickly deploying our antidisplacement funds approved by the voters as part of Project Connect.”

Austin City Council voted June 10 to double the city’s homestead property tax exemption. The vote came one week after members approved a separate increase in exemptions for senior and disabled city homeowners.

The city's previous 10% homestead tax exemption was lifted to 20%, meaning property owners will receive a 20% reduction on their appraised value if they reside in the home.