In January, the Austin-Round Rock MSA housing market experienced an overall decline in closed sales compared to January 2021 as the number of closed listings fell 5.8% to 2,295, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® latest Central Texas Housing Report. Even with the slight downtick in closings and new listings, REALTORS® are looking forward to helping their clients navigate a busy and competitive market in 2022.

“This was the second-most active January on record in our market,” Cord Shiflet, 2022 ABoR president, said. “We need to make it easier to build homes across all price ranges in the region so that anyone who wants to own or rent a home has the opportunity to do so. Recent housing development announcements across the region like Trinity Ranch in Elgin and Prairie Lakes in Hays County are welcome news, but our community—including elected official — needs to do more to address the systemic issues we face when it comes to getting new homes built quickly and residential redevelopment projects completed faster.”

In January, median sales price rose 30.4% to $476,000, a record for the month of January—and sales dollar volume rose to 18.2% to $1,318,618,884. New listings decreased 10.1% to 2,614 as active listings also dropped 0.7% to 1,351. Pending listings increased 3.8% to 3,352, as months of inventory stayed flat at 0.4 months. Homes spent an average of 28 days on the market, down six days from January 2021.

“Austin’s unprecedented economic growth shows no signs of stopping, with announcements of new projects almost daily. While this is great for Austin long term, our capacity to house people cannot keep up, with people having to drive further outside city limits to find a home they can afford,” Scott Turner, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, said. “While demand is higher than ever, supply chain issues are contributing to the slowing rate of construction. It is harder than ever for builders to complete homes on time due to a lack of both materials and labor. It takes almost twice as long to build than it did pre-pandemic, so we are building less housing per year, despite our best efforts.”

Turner added that while builders and buyers want new homes built as quickly as possible, the land development code in Austin is outdated and complicating the development pipeline. “Ten years ago, Austin acknowledged that the land development code was inadequate to meet our growing housing needs. Today, we still have the same issues, and it takes longer than ever to navigate the permit process. We need a new code that allows more housing to be built, and we need the city to make the changes necessary to deliver permits in a reasonable time. Until then, home prices will continue to increase like they have for the past decade.” 

However, coming off two consecutive record years for the MSA’s housing market, Shiflet added that morale among REALTORS® continues to trend upwards, with many feeling enthusiastic about the future.

“REALTORS® are optimistic about what this year could bring and looking forward to what will hopefully be a year filled with opportunity for homebuyers, sellers and developers alike. Working with a REALTOR® that understands the complexities of the market is the best decision those interested in getting into the market can make.”   

Read the full original article from the Austin Board of Realtors here.