Austin-Area Home Sales Dip In January; Price Growth Slows

By By Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman

In a shift from the typical upward trend for Central Texas, home sales declined in January and home price appreciation slowed, the Austin Board of Realtors said Tuesday.

January’s 1,598 sales was a 1.8 percent decline from the prior January, the board said. Half of the houses last month sold for $296,999 and half for less, for a 2.4 percent increase in the median price — a slower pace of growth than in previous years, the board said.

Kevin Scanlan, president of Austin Board of Realtors, attributed the “slight decrease” in sales last month to new listings on the market having returned to more normal levels in December compared to December 2017.

But growth still is continuing in the local housing market, he said.

“Even though we are seeing slowing home price appreciation, future homeowners are still buying. That means Austin’s market remains extremely competitive and 2019 is highly likely to be another strong year,” Scanlan said in a written statement.

Last year, Central Texas home sales and the median price climbed to record highs. It was the eighth consecutive year the market set records in those categories.

Within Austin’s city limits, single-family home sales were flat last month year-over-year, with 481 sales closing in January, the board said. The median price of those sales rose slightly, up 1.7 percent to $353,250, the board said.

Even as the price gap between existing homes and new homes narrows in suburban areas, the opposite trend is happening inside Austin’s city limits, said Vaike O’Grady, Austin regional director for Metrostudy, which tracks the housing market.

“Older homes on larger lots are priced higher than new homes on smaller lots,” O’Grady said in a written statement. “As Austin runs out of space for inventory, developers are getting more creative with home and lot configuration.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

This article provided by NewsEdge.