Local homes sales up 8% from 2013

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The River North area of Austin ​—​ including Steiner Ranch, River Place and Grandview Hills ​—​ continues to show strong growth and momentum for the first half of 2014.

“The median sales price for River North over the first six months of 2014 was $495,000, which is up approximately 8.6 percent from the same time last year,” said Julie Stephens, broker and owner of Nest Properties Austin, and a Steiner resident.River North home sales 2014

River North comprises of zip codes 78732, 78730, part of 78726, and Long Canyon as well as Lake Travis areas north of Mansfield Dam to Bullock Hollow. Steiner, River Place and Grandview Hills are in these zip codes respectively.


Stephens said it is interesting to look at months of inventory, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all current listings at the current sales pace if no additional listings become available, in determining whether a market is favoring the buyer or seller. In general, a supply of around six months generally indicates a balanced market, she said.


Craig Smyser, broker associate RE/MAX Capital City and a Steiner resident, said that currently, there is a four month supply of homes in River North. Steiner is slightly lower at just over a three month supply and River Place is just under a three month supply.

“Over the past few weeks, the overall inventory of homes has remained fairly constant,” Smyser said. “Although there are fewer homes getting contracts, there are also fewer homes coming to the market.  This trend will likely continue as the school year approaches.”

Stephens said that recent months have been experiencing a seller’s market for homes priced under $500,000 and more of a buyer’s market on homes priced over $500,000.

“The sluggish sales for the ‘over $500,000’ market is a result of inflated prices and increased competition due to the number of listings available,” Stephens said.

CraigSmyser saw similar results.

“In Steiner, there were a large number of homes that hit the market in May, especially in the $500,000 to $700,000 range. Although for a while the inventory levels ran very high in this price range, there has been improvement over the past two weeks,” he said.

Smyser expects prices to continue to rise in River North, “though the rate of appreciation will likely slow down a bit over the next six months.”

Stephens also thinks River North will continue to see positive growth and appreciation as compared to the same time last year within all of the neighborhoods of the area.Home Sales charts 2014

In the Greater Austin overview, Austin-area home sales continued last year’s competitive pace in May 2014 while prices increased. Also, for the first time in more than three years, the number of active listings on the market grew compared to the prior year, according to the Multiple Listing Service report released by the Austin Board of Realtors.

“The Austin market has been in need of housing stock for some time now, so it’s encouraging to see an increase in listings over last year. With sales volumes remaining strong, the market is still competitive, but the options for buyers are beginning to increase,” said Bill Evans, 2014 president of the ABOR.

Active listings increased by four percent and new listings increased by seven percent in May 2014 compared to the prior year. Homes also continued to sell quickly, spending an average of 40 days on the market, which is four days less than one year prior.

In terms of sales volume, 2,943 homes were sold in the Austin area in May 2014, which is three percent more than the same month last year. In the same time period, the median price for single-family homes rose eight percent, to $249,000.The Austin market has featured year-over-year increases in median price every month for almost two-and-a-half years.