The Austin-area housing market started the year strong in January 2015, with single-family home prices reaching all-time highs for the month of January and home sales posting double-digit increases according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. This marks the fifth-straight month of annual home sales increases and the fourth-straight month of double-digit gains in home prices, as housing affordability continues to be a challenge in the Austin market.
Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS¬®, explained, “With housing affordability already a challenge for many Austin residents, this increasing pace of home price growth is concerning. More than half of the homes sold in the Austin-area are now priced out of an affordable range for much of Austin’s workforce.”
In January 2015, the median price for Austin-area homes increased 13 percent year-over-year to $240,000 and the average price jumped 14 percent to $310,187 during the same time frame. January 2015 marks the highest year-over-year home price increase since September 2013 and all-time high for home prices in the month of January.
According to the report, 1,547 single-family homes were sold in the Austin area in January 2015, an 11 percent increase compared to January 2014. However, 54 percent of the homes sold during this time frame were in the $200,000-$500,000 price range, whereas only 35 percent sold for less than $200,000 – the typical price range for first-time and low-income homebuyers.
“Housing inventory is rising, but the current pace is not enough to alleviate Austin’s affordability challenges,” added Cooper. “Furthermore, more homes on the market will not increase housing affordability if those homes are all priced for move-up homebuyers. Austin needs a regulatory environment that will ensure development of all housing types, priced in an affordable range for all Austin residents.”
Austin-area monthly housing inventory was 2.2 months in January 2015, 0.2 months higher than January 2014 but still well below the 6.5-month inventory level the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced housing market.
Active listings in January 2015 rose nine percent year-over-year to 5,005 listings, while new listings increased one percent to 2,360 listings from January 2014. Austin-area homes spent the same time on the market as January 2014, or an average of 63 days, and pending sales increased four percent to 2,026 sales during the same time frame.
Cooper concluded, “While single-family homes will always be a part of Austin’s fabric, Austin’s city leaders should consider housing types that cost less to develop and can allow for a greater range of affordable infill options, such duplexes and small apartment buildings, in neighborhoods where they are needed most. The Austin Board of REALTORS® is hopeful that the Austin City Council will embrace changes to the land development code and permitting process to allow for an abundance of housing in all neighborhoods.”
January 2015 Statistics
1,547 – Single-family homes sold, 11 percent more than January 2014.
$240,000 – Median price for single-family homes, 13 percent more than January 2014.
$310,187 – Average price for single-family homes, 14 percent more than January 2014.
63 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, unchanged from January 2014.
2,360 – New single-family home listings on the market, one percent more than January 2014.
5,005 – Active single-family home listings on the market, nine percent more than January 2014.
2,026 – Pending sales for single-family homes, four percent more than January 2014.
2.2 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.2 months more than January 2014
$479,859,289 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 27 percent more than January 2014.