AUSTIN, Texas - April 21, 2016 - According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Austin-area single-family home sales increased 9.3 percent to 2,552 home sales in March 2016 compared to the same month the year prior. Median single-family home price also increased 7.8 percent year-over-year, reaching $278,000 in March 2016.
"Home sales continue to rise throughout the region, but for many Austin-area residents, homeownership is just not a feasible option," said Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. "Longtime Austin residents are being priced out of their homes and many are unable to live close to their work or school. As a city, we have to start being mindful of how our property development, appraisal and code enforcement decisions impact not only housing affordability, but also the diversity of our neighborhoods and communities."
Demonstrating the need for additional housing supply, Austin-area monthly housing inventory was 2.0 months in March 2016, a decrease of 0.2 months from March 2015. This figure is still well below the 6.5 month level the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates as a balanced housing market. Homes spent 54 days on market in March 2016, unchanged from the year prior.
Farmer adds, "The City of Austin's ineffective code enforcement and land development code are immediate barriers to achieving more diverse, affordable housing options throughout our city, both by failing to preserve existing housing stock through proper code enforcement and restricting infill and further development where additional housing options are needed most."
Blanca Garcia, Owner and Broker with Casa Blanca Realty, specializes in rapid re-housing and serving traditionally underserved populations. She connects her clients with the financial education they need to get preapproved for a home purchase through groups that offer homebuyer education classes, such as those offered through Habitat for Humanity.
"Working families and young professionals have been priced out of the city for years and these affordability issues are now extending to surrounding areas of Central Texas like Manor and Kyle, with some current Austin residents looking as far out as Lockhart to find an affordable home" said Garcia. "We need creative and collaborative solutions to provide more housing inventory and help homeowners continue to call Central Texas home."
New listings increased by 12.2 percent to 3,633 listings and active listings increased 1.5 percent year-over-year to 4,669 listings in March 2016. During the same time frame, pending sales increased 7.2 percent to 2,811 sales.
"The Austin Board of REALTORS® is taking action to encourage greater housing diversity in Central Texas by providing enhanced REALTOR® education on fair housing and diversity issues. We want homebuyers and sellers to know that REALTORS® can help them take advantage of homebuyer assistance programs and pre-purchase counseling to find their future home," concludes Farmer.
March 2016 Statistics
2,552 - Single-family homes sold, 9.3 percent more than March 2015.
$278,000 - Median price for single-family homes, 7.8 percent more than March 2015.
$347,734 - Average price for single-family homes, 4.5 percent more than March 2015.
54 - Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, unchanged compared to March 2015.
3,633 - New single-family home listings on the market, 12.2 percent more than March 2015.
4,669 - Active single-family home listings on the market, 1.5 percent more than March 2015.
2,811 - Pending sales for single-family homes, 7.2 percent more than March 2015.
2.0 - Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.2 months less than March 2015.
$887,419,074 - Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 14.1 percent more than March 2015.
The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region's most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Department of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com.* The inventory of homes for a market can be measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.
The Texas Remodel Valuation Report shows whether homeowners get the most bang for their buck. There are many factors that go into whether a remodeling project is a good fit for a home in addition to impact on resale value, such as the homeowner's expected tenure in the house and, for energy-efficient upgrades, how long it will take the project to pay for itself in cost savings. Fortunately for Texans, the Texas Remodel Valuation Report shows that remodeling projects continue to be popular and profitable in the Lone Star State as a whole. In fact:
A growing number of Texas homebuyers prefer to buy a lower-priced home and remodel it to suit their exact needs or make the home more energy efficient.
More and more Texas home sellers are also seeing the value in investing in a few strategically chosen projects before listing to sell their home faster and potentially at a higher price.
Both nationally and in Texas's six major markets, one or more remodeling projects recouped 100 percent or more of project costs in 2015.
Home remodeling projects in Houston, McAllen, and El Paso showed the highest year-over-year growth in profitability. However, a majority of remodeling projects in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas declined slightly in profitability from 2014 to 2015.
Austin Home Remodel Projects At-A-Glance While profitability may have declined slightly in Austin, the area's home remodeling projects still showed the highest recoup costs, ranging between 49.7 percent and 163.4 percent. The five most profitable projects recouped an average 123 percent of the total project cost - 9.3 percentage points more than 2014.
The five least profitable projects recouped an average 55.1 percent of the total project cost - 7.5 percentage points less than 2014.
For more details, download the complete Texas Remodel Valuation Report here. The Texas Remodel Valuation Report is based on data from the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of REALTORS® and Remodeling magazine. The Texas Association of REALTORS® distributes insights about the Texas housing market each month, including quarterly market statistics, trends among homebuyers and sellers, luxury home sales, international trends, and more.