This summer has been a great season for real estate in Texas, to say the least. An in-depth survey by the Austin Board of REALTORs shows that across the board, the Central Texas real estate market has just been through its best summer selling season since records began. For four consecutive months, sales volume topped $1 billion. That’s an increase of almost 6% compared to August 2016, ushering in a new era of prosperity within the Central Texas market. What’s more, the median price for a single-family home also reached $300,000 across the entire region.
Across the whole state, we’ve seen record sales figures for single-family homes, and median prices around Austin have never been higher. That’s great news for homeowners, since it means they will be able to sell their homes much more quickly, and move on with their lives without spending months, or even years, in limbo. If you really want to make the most of this sudden hike in sales figures, though, then it’s not enough to just put your house up for sale and hope for the best. Instead, you should ensure that you partner up with expert REALTORs who know the market inside and out. With their help, you will be able to maximize your equity, and get the best possible price for your property. You might even help to bump those monthly averages up even further!
You might be wondering what’s behind this sudden surge of activity. In essence, it’s all down to the fast turnover of properties in the area. In the real estate market, it’s common to refer to “months of inventory” as a sign of a balanced housing market. This figure is the average length of time that it will take for a property to sell at the current market value. Across the Austin-Round Rock MSA, housing inventory levels are currently at 3.1 months of inventory- a sign that real estate is in hot demand in Austin. Right now, the demand for property outstrips the supply- so those who put their home up for sale are more likely to find a buyer faster. That’s great news for sellers, and with an expert REALTOR by their side to help manage the process, they will also be in a stronger negotiating position. After all, if there’s only so much housing to go around, buyers will need to pay a little more to ensure they get the property they’re after.
However, this kind of situation can only go on for so long. In fact, housing inventory levels are already slowly on the rise. That 3.1 months figure indicates a rise of 0.4 months, whereas the city of Austin itself saw a rise of 0.1 months to 2.4 months. That’s not to say that this increase is a bad thing, though. In fact, Texas A&M University cites an average of 6-6.5 months as a healthy, balanced housing market, where supply can keep up with demand. As inventory levels continue to increase, we can expect to see home price increases slow down, although it’s unlikely that they will halt completely. Eventually, the real estate market will reach a point of balance, where both buyers and sellers are able to secure a fair price for property.
The market doesn’t usually stay at this point of balance for long, though. Usually, it will remain level for a time, and then start to overcorrect. As more and more people seek to take advantage of the current period of prosperity, those inventory rates quickly outmatch demand. What’s more, housing developers will typically choose a time when the market is already strong to go ahead with new housing projects- overcrowding the market even further. All the more reason to sell your home while the going’s good with an experienced REALTOR- you’ll be able to take full advantage of the present situation and secure a higher price for your home than if you had waited a while, and found that average prices are creeping back down again.
For now, though, prices are most definitely on the up. As mentioned above, the median price for a single-family home reached $300,000 across the region. That’s an increase of a whopping 4% over last year, so great news for homeowners. If we examine individual counties, there are some even bigger success stories. For instance, the median price in Travis Country is now $350,000, a rise of 2.7%, whereas Austin sees an increase of 2.7% to $360,000. What’s more, the counties below the median are nonetheless seeing some pretty hefty increases, such as Williamson County, where the average house price went up by 6.4% over the last year.
In conclusion, then, the real estate market in Central Texas continues to grow, although housing inventory levels are somewhat below a healthy level. Over the coming year, it’s unlikely that the current levels of growth will be repeated, and instead we can expect to see a significant rise in inventory levels rather than prices. In the meantime, REALTORs will be focused on helping their clients, particularly first-time buyers, to access affordable housing. While some developers out there do want to take advantage of high demand to boost their prices, there are some that offer truly affordable homes- and while these tend to be oversubscribed, REALTORs are there to help clients ensure that they find a new place that suits them perfectly, and is well within their budget. In addition, they will help sellers to get a fair price for their property, and stop them getting so swept up in the property craze that they accept less than its true value. For the moment, the Austin property market is in a great position- so make sure you make the most of it!
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