ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR AUSTIN, TX
The Austin Board of Realtors® reported another record-breaking year with home prices increasing 5.4% year-over-year to $299,900 on the back of home sales volume of 30,059, a 2.4% annual increase and an all-time high for the area. Within the city limits, median home prices increased to $362,000 year-over-year and housing inventory decreased from 1.6 months of inventory to 1.5 months of inventory. It is still a very strong seller’s market as the industry calls for 6 months of inventory to bring parity between buyers and sellers. In Williamson County, which contains most of the northern suburbs, housing prices also increased year-over-year, but housing remains well priced at an annual median of $275,000. Inventory in Williamson county increased slightly year-over-year from 1.8 months of inventory to 2.1 months of inventory. Hays County, at the southern end of the Austin-Round Rock MSA, is even more affordable with a median price of $259,000 and 2.4 months of inventory available. Sales growth was strongest in Williamson county with a 7.4% year-over-year increase in the number of homes sold versus 4.8% in Hays County and 2.5% in the City of Austin.
ECONOMIC TRENDS POINT TO CONTINUED GROWTH
The overal picture for Austin’s real estate market portends well as many factors that influence the economy, and thus real estate, point in a positive direction.
The unemployment rate in Austin is low and Austin’s workforce is particularly well suited for tomorrow’s digital jobs. While the national unemployment rate hoovers at 4%, which is considered by economists to be nearly full employment of the eligible workforce, Austin’s unemploment rate is even lower at less than 3% based on The Texas Workforce Commission & Federal Reseve Bank of Dallas. Addtionally, 40% Austin’s employee pool 25 years old and over holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. As a reference, the top six job markets have have over 50% of their 25+ year old population with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, and the national average is 30%. These factors make the Austin workforce attractive to employers in high-growth undustries that create well paying jobs.
Economic growth is also a factor as Austin’s overall economic activity gained 7.4% in the last 12 months. Gains among Texas’ other major metros over the same period range from 1.9% in Houston to 4.8% in Dallas according the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Bureau of Economic Analysis lists Austin as the #2 fastest growing large metro area at 34.7%, topped only by San Jose CA at 37.3%. This activity generated an additional 27,800 jobs throughout the region, a 2.7% increase according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
These along with other macro trends such as population growth and high consumer confidence point to continued demand for housing in Austin. And with low resale inventory and builders struggling to keep up with the demand for new homes at the needed price points, it is expected that housing prices will continue to trend upward. Of course we all await Amazon’s decison on their new campus, which will bring 110,000 new jobs with an average salary of $100k per position to the region chosen over the next 10-15 years. Austin is on the final 20 list and a decision is expected to be made before the end of 2018.
MARKET SPECIFIC STATS
Click the links below to check the December 2017 market statistics in your area. And you can always call me if you need information about a specific property or neighborhood.