For the first time since February 2019, median home prices in the Austin-Round Rock MSA experienced a 0% year over year increase, according to the Austin Board of REALTORS® November 2022 Central Texas Housing Market Report. As housing inventory and days on the market continue to steadily increase across the MSA, the report indicates normal market activity could be here to stay, as Austin’s housing market maintains its trajectory toward balance and sustainability. For the first time since the spring of 2020, there were no records broken for home sales or median price in either the MSA or City of Austin.
“It’s a relief to see more homes available and sitting on the market long enough to give buyers an opportunity to think before they leap,” Cord Shiflet, 2022 ABoR president, said. “This healthy competition creates an opportunity for homebuyers, who may have struggled within the past two years, to take their time and find a home they love. At the same time, sellers who can still enjoy deep equity should connect with a REALTOR® to discuss the best way to prepare and market their home.”
Last month, home sales declined by 36.6% to 2,026 closed listings— the largest drop in closings by percentage since May 2020 during the initial COVID-19 economic hesitancy when closings fell 29.2%. Sales dollar volume fell by 36.8% to $1,175,435,108 as new listings declined 17.8% to 2,406 listings across the MSA. Pending listings dropped by 38.3% to 1,987 listings and available inventory increased by 2.3 months to 3.1 months of inventory. Homes spent an average of 58 days on market, up 36 days from November 2021.
Dr. Jessica Lautz, deputy chief economist and vice president of research at the National Association of REALTORS®, reviewed the 2022 housing market on a national level, stating that level setting expectations for homebuyers and sellers is crucial now that the market is on track toward normalization.
“In January, we experienced the lowest inventory on a national level since 1999,” Lautz said. “The average number of offers reached an all-time high in the spring, nationally, at 5.5 offers a home, since everyone knew interest rates would increase. Because of this, we saw this frenzied pace in the market, especially here in Austin, where the massive migration flow of people from other parts of the country caused home prices to increase. This was not a good market for anyone.”
Lautz added that homebuyers should seriously consider the length of time they plan on living in a home and speak with a REALTOR®.
“We have to remember that the housing market is local,” Dr. Lautz said. “As millennials age in and senior adults stay in place instead of relocating, people are facing this short housing stock, and it’s becoming an increasing issue.”
While housing inventory almost quadrupled to 3.1 months of inventory year over year for the Austin-Round Rock MSA and City of Austin, there is still a long way to go before a balanced market with six months of inventory is available.
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