The housing market in Hays County has continued to be highly active as prices rise and inventory remains low, according to a housing report from the Austin Board of Realtors, or ABoR.

April housing inventory in Hays County dropped to half a month's supply from 2.2 months a year earlier, but was up from 0.4 months of stock in March. Home sales increased 9.5% year over year to 416 sales, and increased slightly from 412 sales in March.

The increase in demand for homes has led to new challenges for buyers who are needing to make larger upfront investments, according to John Schutze, regional director and senior home loan officer at Texas Loan Experts.

“Homebuyers are having to get creative as the Austin housing market continues to be competitive," Schutze said in an ABoR news release. "Potential buyers must be prepared to have a source of extra funds to make up for potential appraisal shortages but also need to understand that cash isn’t always king when it comes to catching a seller’s eye."

Hays County's median sales price has grown 33% year over year in April to $380,000, and it was up from $350,000 in March. Houses spent an average of 19 days on the market, which is down from 41 days in April 2020. In March, homes were on the market for an average of 33 days, which was down from 37 days year over year.

“One year ago, shelter-in-place orders effectively ground real estate transactions to a halt, leaving uncertainty in the market,” said Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president, in the release. “Although striking at face value, last month’s housing market activity demonstrates not only a strong recovery since last spring, but significant growth beyond that recovery.”

Active listings were down 76% year over year to 221 homes on the market, which was up 22.77% from 180 listings the previous month.

New listings were up 21% year over year with 559 homes listed in April, up from 538 in March. Pending sales jumped 64% year over year to 543, and were up from 509 a month earlier.

The value of home sales in April jumped 63% year over year to $214,225,202. Monthly home sales in March were $194,169,038.

Horton noted the slowing growth in recent months could signal a cooling of the market.

“Austin-area housing inventory was slightly higher in April than in March, and the pace of home price appreciation month to month is slowing, indicating that the rush on the housing market at the beginning of the year could be easing,” she said. “While the homebuying process continues to be complex, and it’s common to submit several offers before one is accepted, there is hope and optimism for the months ahead.”