Four Points home sales outperform Austin, 5-county area

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Home sales in the Four Points area have been outperforming the city of Austin, Travis County and the five-county area.

The Four Points area is performing better than the other Austin-Round Rock MSA areas, according to Austin Board of Realtors data.

The increase in sales and pendings have resulted in a significant shortage of inventory. 

In the first half of 2020, home sales increased 11.7% year over year. The median price climbed 9.4% to $600,000. New listings dropped 5.6% and active listings fell 57%. 

“The pandemic is certainly affecting the local market,” said Tom Radack, owner of Bartlett Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty in River Place. “An outstanding June overcame the earlier months’ activity to bring the first half results even higher.”

In June, home sales increased 41.8% year over year. During the same period, the median price increased 8.2% to $628,000. Pending sales increased to a whopping 336%, “yes, from 11 in 2019 to 48 in 2020,” Radack said.

Record low interest rates and increase in people and jobs moving to the area will further increase demand and lower inventory in the area, he added.

New listings are few and selling in only days on the market, and many buyers are dealing with multiple offers, Radack said.   

“It appears that in July and August this trend will continue. This is a fantastic time to sell, as the market is screaming for inventory,” he said, adding that good real estate agents know how to show homes safely in this environment and can quickly put a home in front of many potential buyers.  

“We all are having to deal in our own way with COVID-19, but if one needs to buy or sell in this market, it can be done safely. As shown by the data, others are definitely doing it, successfully,” Radack said. 

Austin-Round Rock MSA

According to ABOR, midyear performance In the first half of 2020 declined 5.2% year over year for homes sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA, and the median price increased 4.9% to $325,200.

Across the five-county MSA in June, residential home sales increased 9.3% year over year, and the median price increased by 4.6% to $340,000. 

“Strong home sales in June are good news for the real estate market across the region,” Romeo Manzanilla, 2020 ABoR president, said. “The increased sales last month helped limit the impact of the pandemic on the first half of the year overall. Increased pending sales signal a strong month of sales in July, but we have to remain cautious as Texas experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases and we are seeing shrinking housing inventory.” 

City of Austin 

City of Austin home sales in the first half of the year decreased 13.6% year over year, while the median price rose 9.7%.  

In June 2020, home sales were down 5.3% year over year, while the median price

slightly increased 3.3% to $407,000.

Travis County 

Travis County home sales decreased 10.3% year over year in the first half of the year. During the same period, sales dollar volume dropped 6.5%, as the median price rose by 7% to $385,000.  

In June, home sales decreased 0.8% year over year. During the same period, the median price increased 3.5% to $398,250.  

Economist outlook

James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, thinks perspective is needed when interpreting the market throughout 2020.

“There are plenty of unknowns in the months ahead, but June home sales across the MSA being up 9.3% YoY was tremendous when considering the strength of 2019. And while home sales declined throughout the Austin-MSA during the first six months of 2020, we are still on track for a strong year,” Gaines said.

Gaines noted that while June saw strong numbers throughout all of Texas, Austin’s inventory shortage remains extremely problematic.

“Extremely low inventory is one of the factors that affects overall sales dollar volume while simultaneously creating a very competitive and tight market. Home builders aren’t building quite as many new homes and sellers were hesitant to list their home during shelter in place orders. Even if we end up with a 3 to 4% decline in sales in 2020, that would still be a strong year for the region.”