Find out why Northwest Austin home sales decreased 21 percent in August

The number of single-family homes sold fell in Northwest Austin in August, decreasing 21 percent compared to the same time last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Austin Board of Realtors.

ABoR board President Brandy Guthrie said that fewer single-family homes on the market in Northwest Austin could be contributing to decreased sales. She said in well-established and well-liked areas, there are fewer people moving out and less new construction, which could be keeping inventory down.

“Some of those interior neighborhoods like Arboretum and Great Hills are very well-established neighborhoods. There's no new construction happening in those locations,” Guthrie said. “It’s a very desirable location for various reasons, and I think people aren't wanting to move, necessarily, or they have not moved as often as they did the year prior.”

The number of single-family homes sold in the rest of the the Austin-Round Rock area did not change drastically but saw some increases. The number of single-family homes sold in the city of Austin as a whole increased 6.1 percent. Travis County’s sales increased 0.9 percent, and Williamson County increased 0.3 percent.



Across all markets, median home prices in August 2017 increased compared to August 2016. The median price of a single-family home sold in Northwest Austin in August 2017 was $367,000, which is a 2 percent increase from last year.

Guthrie said the Four Points area is in a ZIP code that sticks out from other areas of Northwest Austin because it still has more room for new construction. According to ABoR’s report, 78726, the ZIP code that includes the Four Points neighborhood, saw a 60 percent increase in the number of single-family homes sold when comparing August 2016 to August 2017.

“If you look at 78726, they look strong, they look healthy,” Guthrie said. “You have the new constructions, which I think is driving up the combined median price.”



Austin as a whole saw a 2.7 percent increase in the median single-family home price, rounding out at $361,000 for August 2017.

On par with Austin and Northwest Austin, Travis County’s median single-family home price for August 2017 was $350,000, which was a 2.7 percent increase compared to August 2016.

The median single-family home price in Williamson county increased at a slightly higher rate, growing 6.4 percent. The median price for August 2017 was still lower than the other markets, however, at $276,500.



ABoR also tracks the number of days single-family homes stay on the market each month. In August 2017, homes in Northwest Austin were on the market an average of 25 days. Single-family homes in Austin spent 35 days on the market, and such homes in Travis and Williamson counties spent 45 and 47 days on the market, respectively.



 

Months of Inventory calculates how long it would take to sell all homes currently listed on the market. Northwest Austin was recorded as having 1.9 months of inventory compared to 2.4 months of inventory in Austin overall. Travis County and Williamson County both had 3 months of inventory.



Guthrie said the low months of inventory and low days on market reflect a supply of homes that isn’t keeping up with demands of those looking to move to Northwest Austin. She says that the lack of supply is driven both by less people moving and less new construction.

“What you're seeing happening is a tightening of the available product that's currently there, and you're not seeing that turnover,” Guthrie said. “But the data shows that as soon as something is coming available, it is getting snatched up.”
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.