You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Austin housing market cools a bit, but still on record pace

The Austin area housing market is cooling a bit, some local real estate agents say. But the region is still on track to set another record for sales this year, the Austin Board of Realtors said Tuesday.

Homes sales and prices were both up in Central Texas last month compared to the prior September, the Austin Board of Realtors said.

The board said 2,576 single-family homes changed hands in September, 1.3 percent more than in September 2015. The median sales price was $275,250, up 7.5 percent year-over-year.

Year-to-date through September, the Austin area logged 22,839 sales, a 3.5 percent increase over the same nine months last year, the board said.

Last year closed with 29,068 singe-family home sales, the fifth year in a row of record sales.

“Typically we see a slowdown during this time of year with people going back to school and fall kicking into gear, but prices have been so strong in Austin since last spring that people are still putting their homes on the market, and prices are still on an upswing,” said Lauren Johnson, an agent with Redfin in Austin. “Our Redfin agents in Austin are still quite busy and seeing a lot of offer activity. In fact, the last five offers I wrote were all multiple-offer situations.”

Several real estate agents, however, said conditions are cooling, with some buyers reducing prices.

“We’re still seeing some multiple offers, but it’s definitely become a little softer than last year,” said Natasha Baker, an agent with Keller Williams Realty.

Baker said two factors are at play: “You’re seeing buyer fatigue and sellers getting overzealous on pricing. (Some sellers) think the market is so hot that they can do whatever they want, and I think buyers are getting tired. If a multiple-offer situation is going on, I’ve seen where some buyers don’t want to deal with it and don’t even put in an offer.

Shannon Schmitz,an agent with Keller Williams Austin Portfolio Real Estate, also is seeing some owners with “unrealistic expectations.”

“Some sellers are still believing our market is red hot, and that’s not the way our market is right now,” Schmitz said. Some agents are advertising properties — including a house in the luxury Barton Creek area — with “motivated sellers.”

“We haven’t seen ‘seller -motivated’ in three or four years, so we’re definitely seeing a shift in our market,” Schmitz said. “There’s a lot of inventory.”

But Schmitz said market conditions vary by area. “If it’s central and under $800,000, it’s not slowing down. If you’re out toward Lakeway, though, absolutely (it is),” Schmitz said.

Within Austin’s city limits, home sales fell 4.5 percent last month, while the median sales price jumped 10.6 percent, to $345,000.

Isabel Affinito, a real estate agent with JB Goodwin in Austin, said that although the number of listings and the average time houses spend on the market have increased slightly, homes still are selling quickly and, on average, at close to the asking price.

“It’s a cool down from white hot to red hot… I don’t think the sky is falling,” Affinito said.

Henry Valles, an agent with Realty Austin, said some of the market cooling could be due to seasonal factors, as well as buyer fatigue and uncertainty about the next president’s impact on the economy.

Johnson, the Redfin agent, said the election isn’t a factor for most of her buyers, but “I have had quite a few people ask me if they should buy now while interest rates are low, since we don’t know what will happen after the election. But real estate is local, so my advice to clients is to ask themselves if now is the right time for them personally, and not worry too much about how national politics might or might not affect the market.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

An acceptable alternative to Obamacare

Brenda Davis, 60, lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Her husband is 65, retired and on Medicare. But for Brenda, who is self-employed, her only option is Obamacare. Brenda earns too much to get an Obamacare subsidy. Last year Brenda enrolled with Aetna in a PPO policy. A PPO is a preferred provider policy; it lets Brenda choose her doctors and hospitals...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOME SALES Austin-area home sales jump in January: Continuing its six-year bull run, Central Texas’ housing market kicked off 2017 with gains in both the number of home sales and the median sale price, the Austin Board of Realtors said last week. The board said January saw 1,549 pre-owned and newly built houses change hands in the overall Austin...
BUSINESS DIGEST: U.S. rig count up 10 this week; Texas adds 16

OIL & GAS U.S. rig count up 10 this week; Texas adds 16 HOUSTON — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 10 this week to 751. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 597 rigs sought oil and 153 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous. Texas increased...
Zima is ready to make a comeback
Zima is ready to make a comeback

For those waxing nostalgic for the 1990s, a clear blast from the past may reappear soon at bars and on store shelves. MillerCoors will bring back Zima this year, according to a Crain’s report. The clear malt beverage debuted in 1993 and was a popular fixture of the nightclub scene, but sales declined over time, and the company discontinued Zima...
Business Digest: Q2 Holdings shares soar on earnings report

SOFTWARE Q2 Holdings shares soar on earnings report Shares Austin’s Q2 Holdings jumped Thursday after the digital banking company exceeded Wall Street expectations in the fourth quarter. The company, which sells online banking software, reported a loss of $7.5 million in its fourth quarter, or 19 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for one-time...
More Stories