Housing sales, prices hit record highs in July

Housing sales, prices hit record highs in July

One of the hottest markets for home sales last month was Georgetown, where 132 single-family residences changed hands last month — a nearly 26 percent jump from a year prior. But much of Central Texas had a sizzling July as residential real estate activity reached historic levels.

That’s according to the latest Austin Board of Realtors numbers, released Thursday. The data show the median price for single-family homes hit $320,000 across the five-county area in July, the highest monthly level ever recorded.

The Austin metro also hit a seven-year high for home sales with 3,103, the most since July 2011 and a 8.8 percent year-over-year increase.

So demand is clearly high. On the supply side, permitting for new single-family homes and apartments is back to pre-recession levels and Metrostudy data show construction started on 4,064 homes in the first quarter, up more than 17 percent year over year. However, housing inventory — the measure of how long it would take to sell all of the homes on the market if new listing stopped — continues to fall in many places. In Austin it dropped to 2.1 months in July; most real estate experts consider at least six months needed for a balanced market.

“Home sales are up across the board in the Austin area, but declines in housing inventory are almost just as steep," Steve Crorey, 2018 president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said in a statement. He said the ABOR figures highlight "the critical need for more housing stock at all price points in and around Austin."

Supporters of CodeNext had hoped Austin’s overhaul of the land-use code would increase density and allow for more home construction, but the process was killed earlier this month. That puts all eyes on City Manager Spencer Cronk, who has been tasked with leading the next overhaul of the code.

More quick takeaways:

• Within Austin city limits, the median price jumped 6 percent year over year to $390,000. There were 952 sales of single-family homes, up 13.5 percent year over year.

• In Williamson County north of Austin, median price increased 2.1 percent to $280,734. There were 1,054 sales of single-family homes, up 5.7 percent year over year.

• In Hays County south of Austin, the median price fell 3 percent to $265,000. There were 347 sales of single-family homes, up 2.7 percent year over year.

• For the entire metro, there were 3,065 pending sales in July, an increase of 10.8 percent from the same month last year. But the number of homes on the market fell 2.7 percent to 7,522.

• For the entire metro, 27 percent of single-family homes sold for less than $250,000, 54 percent sold between $250,000 and $500,000 and 19 percent sold for $500,000 or more.

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