REAL ESTATE

Area home prices, sales volume up

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Texas home sales and home prices increased in the third quarter of 2018, while the Texas housing market continued to show signs of ‘normalization.'

According to the Austin Board of Realtors, the median price of Cedar Park and Leander home sales dropped between September 2017 and September 2018 by 5.7 percent and 0.13 percent, respectively. However, nearby Austin ZIP codes 78717 and 78726 saw large increases in the median price of homes sold in September. 

The Avery Ranch and Brushy Creek areas saw the median price of homes sold rise by more than 50 percent, and the median price of homes sold in 78726, which includes the area along RM 620 southwest of Cedar Park, increased by 23.3 percent.

“The record-breaking home-sales activity this summer in Texas is an example of the strong economy, job growth and quality of life in our great state that keeps driving demand for home ownership,” said Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “At the current rate that home sales and active listings are increasing, we are trending towards another record-breaking year in Texas real estate.”

There were 95,225 homes sold statewide in the third quarter of 2018, a 4.4 percent increase from the third quarter of 2017. The median price also increased 4.4 percent in the same time frame to $235,000. Slightly more than 36 percent of homes sold during the third quarter were priced under $200,000, and 31.5 percent of homes were sold in the $200,000-$299,999 price range.

“Our market remains extremely strong but is still slowly moving toward normalization,” said Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Median home prices and home sales are up, but the rate of increase statewide is beginning to slow compared to prior years. With inventory levels for homes priced under $150,000 remaining low, we’re seeing a concerted effort from homebuilders to build lower-cost housing to fit the entry-level homebuyers’ market.”

Active listings increased 4.7 percent year-over-year to 111,144 listings in the third quarter of 2018. Texas homes spent an average of 52 days on the market.

Monthly housing inventory in Texas increased 0.1 months from 2017-Q3 to 3.9 months of inventory. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, a market balanced between supply and demand has between 6.0 and 6.5 months of inventory.

“Despite the strength in our housing market, the limited housing inventory in our entry-level markets can make affordability difficult,” Lybbert said.

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