Housing costs continue to rise for Northwest Austin residents, whether they are renting or buying. Here are five things to know about the local real estate market.
1. Since June 2016, Apartment rent has increased 1.3 percent
Northwest Austin saw a 1.3 percent increase in apartment rental rates over the past year, according to data collected by Apartment Data Services.
The average rent in the area was $1,149 per month in June, which was less than the city average of $1,223. Area rent has increased $15 since June 2016. Historically the northwest area has seen far greater increases in rent prices: In 2016 there was a 5.7 percent increase, and in 2015 there was a 8.4 percent increase.
Dave Sorter content and communications manager Axiometrics, which also collects apartment market data, said even with the smaller increase in rent, Northwest Austin outperformed the Austin-area, which saw a 0.3 percent increase in rent. Several properties in the area are also being rehabilitated, Sorter said, and when work is complete, the average rent in the area should rise.
2. Homes spend less time on the market than other areas in the region
3. Values appreciated faster than the rest of the Austin area
Homes in Northwest Austin are becoming more valuable at a faster rate than the average of the entire Austin area, according to data collected by Realty Austin.
The median price for an average three-bedroom home in Northwest Austin was $418,125 in June, and Austin’s median home price was $412,750. In 2015, Northwest Austin was much more affordable than the city of Austin, according to Realty Austin: The average home price in January 2015 was $274,200 in the northwest area, and it was $318,000 in Austin.
Demand is also fueling appreciation as people move to the outskirts of Austin, said Romeo Manzanilla, northwest market manager for Realty Austin.
4. North Austin has the most affordable homes
Jamestown, Rutland Village and Quail Creek have the most affordable homes on the Northwest Austin market, according to Realty Austin. Homes in these areas were on the market for as low as $160,000 in June.
Neighborhoods near Anderson Mill—including Wooten Village, Village at Anderson Mill and Anderson Mill Village—were the next most affordable neighborhoods with homes selling for prices as low as $169,000-$209,000.
The most expensive neighborhoods were Great Hills, Jester Estates, Lakewood Park, Spicewood at Bull Creek and Laurel Canyon. Homes in these neighborhoods are on the market for $799,000-$1,365,000.
Romeo Manzanilla, northwest market manager for Realty Austin, said the area’s affordability mostly depends on location. The area’s more expensive neighborhoods are more valuable because they are located next to destinations such as Spicewood Springs, Westlake and downtown Austin.
5. It takes a $23-an-hour salary to afford a 2-bedroom unit
A report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that to afford a two-bedroom rental apartment, Austin-area residents need to earn $23 an hour. That is $47,840 per year in income, or more than three times the state’s minimum wage of $7.25. The average area rent is $1,195 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.