By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The number of homes sold in the Four Points area — including Steiner Ranch, River Place, Grandview Hills and Comanche Trails — were down 3 percent in 2017 but sale prices increased per square foot.
There were 408 homes sold in 2017, down from 421 homes sold in 2016 in Four Points, “continuing a six-year trend of reduced unit sales,” said Tom Radack, owner Bartlett Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty.
“However, the median price increased to $525,250, or $165 per square foot, continuing the trend of previous years,” Radack said. Last year, the median price was closer to $492,500 or $160 per square foot.
Days on market continued to stay low at 38 days, as well as low total inventory. Steiner Ranch has most of the activity because it is much larger than the other local communities.
The fourth quarter of 2017 had a 16.4 percent increase in sales compared to the same quarter in 2016, 85 vs 73. There were strong sales in December of homes that had been on the market for some time, Radack said.
“Four Points is positioned well for 2018, to continue the positive growth that it has been experiencing,” Radack said. “The area is highly desirable for mid- to upper-income families.”
Radack added that three things somewhat limit sales increases: having one of the highest median prices ($525,250) in the area, less inventory in lower priced homes and minimum new construction.
“This in turn continues to fuel higher prices and less inventory,” he said. “Compared to the other Central Texas areas, Four Points will continue to show increased sales, particularly in higher priced homes, but will experience significant competition for homes in the surrounding neighborhoods priced less than $500,000.”
In the Austin-Round Rock MSA — the 31st largest metropolitan area in the U.S. — the price of homes increased by 5.4 percent to $299,900 in 2017. Home sales increased annually by 2.4 percent to 30,059 sales, an all-time high for the area.
“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,” said Steve Crorey, 2018 president of Austin Board of Realtors.
“Affordability in Austin and the surrounding areas remains a concern for potential buyers. It’s important to address this issue in the coming years through policies and development codes that allow for more diverse housing options so that everyone can participate in home ownership.”
City of Austin
In the city of Austin, the median price for single-family homes increased annually to $362,000—an all-time high—and sales increased annually by 2.5 percent to 9,278 sales.
While the number of houses available in Austin declined, inventory gradually increased in the suburbs. Home sales indicate families continue to move to surrounding areas, seeking more affordable housing options.
For Travis County, the median price for single-family homes increased annually, year over year, to $349,500 and sales increased annually by .9 percent to 14684 sales.
In December, sales increased by 9.4 percent to 1270 sales for the month, a contrast to the quarter which saw sales at 3368, an increase of 1.9 percent.
By the end of 2017, Williamson County saw steady increases in single-family home sales and inventory. Leander experienced the greatest growth with a 7.4 percent increase in sales, followed by Cedar Park (4.5 percent) and Round Rock (3.7 percent).
While the median home price in Williamson County increased to $275,000, it still remains significantly lower than pricing in Austin.
“As more families move outside city limits, the city of Austin will lose out on economic development opportunities,” Crorey said. “Initiatives such as CodeNEXT can pave the way for smarter more sustainable growth in Austin, and in turn make housing more affordable across the region. It’s imperative that we get a handle on our growth as a region through these types of initiatives.”
Annually, single-family home sales increased by 4.8 percent to 3,472 sales in Hays County. Buda contributed to this growth with a 2.9 percent increase in homes sold, while sales in Kyle declined by 3.3 percent. The median price of homes in Hays County rose to $259,000.