Last year was another record-breaker for Central Texas’ housing market, the latest numbers show. And some local real estate agents and housing market experts predict 2018 will look a lot like 2017, with the market staying strong even as concerns about affordability linger as prices continue to climb.
The Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday that both the volume of sales and the median home-sales price in the region hit all-time highs in 2017, the seventh year in a row that the previous year’s numbers were topped.
The board said home sales rose 2.4 percent to a record 30,059 sales in the Austin-Round Rock metro area, which spans five counties stretching from Georgetown to San Marcos.
Half of the homes sold for more than $299,900 and half sold for less, marking a 5.4 percent increase in the median sales price over 2016.
“While the Austin area continues to break records, the pace at which annual home sales and prices are increasing in Central Texas is beginning to normalize, indicating a more stable market,” Steve Crorey, president of Austin Board of Realtors, said in a written statement. “Affordability in Austin and the surrounding areas remains a concern for potential buyers,” he said, noting that the issue must be addressed “through policies and development codes that allow for more diverse housing options…”
The year closed with 2,653 sales in the Austin region in December, up 12.6 percent over the same month in 2016. December’s median price was $310,000, up 7 percent from the prior December.
Within the city of Austin last year, the median sales price rose to $362,000 — an all-time high — and sales increased annually by 2.5 percent, with 9,278 houses changing hands.
Cord Shiflet, an agent with Moreland Properties in Austin, said 2017 “was a great market for homes” in the Austin area, and said he doesn’t see anything changing for 2018, barring any turmoil with the stock market or unexpected world events.
“I expect we will see another banner year,” Shiflet said.