2018 Four Points homes sales down, prices up

Central Texas had all-time sales volume high

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 slightly in 2018 but the sales prices on average increased per square foot.

There were 395 homes sold in 2018 compared to 408 sold in 2017. The median sale price, however, increased from $525,250 or $165/square foot in 2017 to $555,000 or $166/square foot last year.

“The Four Points area is very desirable, so much so that owners are not wanting to leave,” said Tom Radack, owner Bartlett Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty, located in River Place.

“Also, new buyers are quick to pounce on good opportunities. We are in a great market with many buyers wanting to get in, there is just a shortage of inventory,” he said.   

Active listings decreased by 48 percent and new listings decreased 17 percent, year-over-year.  

“The (Four Points) area is currently experiencing a historic low in inventory and new listings,” Radack said.

This trend continued in December with considerably less active listings and a decline of 47 percent in new listings, only nine, year-over-year.

This trend is also the case in most of the Austin areas mature neighborhoods, he added.   

“There is a continuing large influx of new buyers to the Austin area, but fewer new resale homes coming available, and not enough new homes to support the growth,” Radack said.

The higher cost and less availability of homes are driving buyers to the more affordable areas in the suburbs, and where there is land available for new construction, he said.

“This puts further strain on inventory as current owners are not finding the opportunities to move up or down as they could easily do in the past,” Radack said.

He adds that now is a good time to sell for properly prepared and staged homes, and homes listed at the market price.  

Buyers are more knowledgeable than ever and have lots of data to help with their search and pricing, he has experienced.

“Expect 2019 to be another good year for Austin and our area’s real estate. Inventory will continue to be our biggest concern in the coming months.” Radack said.

Central Texas

Rising property values and increased demand led to an all-time high in sales dollar volume in 2018 as shrinking affordability spread across Central Texas, according to year-end data in the latest Austin Board of Realtors report.

“2018 was the highest-grossing year on record, and for the first time ever, the median price for single-family homes in the Austin-Round Rock MSA (metropolitan statistical area) stayed above $300,000 for 10 consecutive months,” said Kevin Scanlan, the 2019 ABOR president.

Year-End 2018 Central Texas Housing Market Report shows 30,713 homes sold in 2018, generating $11.9 billion in sales dollar volume.

Travis County

In 2018, Travis County’s median home price increased annually by 2.9 percent to $360,000 and sales increased similarly—3.2 percent to 15,240 sales.

City of Austin

In the city of Austin, the median price for single-family homes increased annually by 4.1 percent to $375,760. While 2018 sales remained flat at 9,357 homes, sales dollar volume increased annually by 5.3 percent to $4,365,464,913.  

Austin-Round Rock MSA

In the Austin-Round Rock MSA, one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, the median price for single-family homes increased annually by 3.6 percent to $310,400. Sales increased annually by 2.1 percent to 30,713 sales.  

“Last November, we began to see fewer listings on the MLS (multiple listing service), which is typical of a seasonal slowdown during the holidays. It’s also likely that people are staying in their homes longer to watch their investment increase and keep their current interest rate,” Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title, said.

New listings for the five-county MSA increased annually by 0.8 percent to 38,870 listings in 2018. During the same period, active listings increased 2.5 percent to 6,559 listings and pending sales increased 1.9 percent to 30,805 pending sales.

“Annual sales are still ahead of where we were last year,” Sprague said. “I don’t think 2019 will be any different. Austin’s strong gross domestic product growth will continue to drive our region’s job growth and need for housing.”

Bartlett Real Estate compiled the median value data from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018 from the Multiple Listing Service in Four Points which includes Comanche Trail, Grandview Hills/Parke, River Place, Steiner Ranch and Westminster Glen. This report uses median price, sold price per square foot (SP/Sqft), and cumulative median days on market (DOM).