Local 2020 home sales increase 25%, prices increase 14%

Housing demand across Central Texas soars to all-time highs in 2020. Credit: spectrumblue – Fotolia

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

During 2020, residential home sales in the Four Points area increased 25% to 445 sales. The median price for residential homes increased 14% year over year to $625,000. 

The Four Points’ statistics are part of the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area which closed 2020 by breaking records as housing demand across the region reached unprecedented levels. According to the Austin Board of Realtors, a record-breaking 40,165 homes totaling $17,579,802,503 in sales volume were sold across the Austin area in 2020.

“Residential real estate activity in our area, as is the case in all of Central Texas is humming along at unprecedented levels,” said Tom Radack, owner of Bartlett Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty in River Place and a longtime resident of River Place. 

“Many companies and people moving here, low interest rates and limited new construction have resulted in our inventory now at an all-time low. The effects of COVID 19 on our lifestyle and the flight of people in the high taxed and poor quality of life areas have made Austin the place to be,” Radack added.

In 2020, new listings declined 2.9% to 462 listings and active listings dropped 72% to 9 (as of Jan. 21) listings. However, pending sales increased 37% to 37 pending sales.

“Homes here are selling in days, if not hours, resulting in very low inventory and higher prices,” Radack said. “Buyers are frustrated as they experience multiple offers and fewer choices. Prices are high and buyers are making concessions to get the home they want.”  

Real estate agents agree that if one wants to sell, now is the time. Experienced agents are networking and working diligently to find homes as soon as they list if not before, Radack said.

“This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market,” Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president, said. “The pandemic only increased demand for all types of housing across the region, pushing inventory to near-zero levels and creating the strongest sellers’ market realtors have ever seen. That said, if you are ready to buy a home, now is the time to take advantage of low interest rates that boost your buying power and plant roots in Central Texas.”

In December, home sales increased from nearly 24% to 26%. Additionally, the median price declined 7.8% year over year to $673,000. 

Agents are aware of COVID requirements and follow the rules to be safe. Exposure in showing homes is limited with virtual tours and non-face to face communications and closings if needed.  Using a real estate agent will get you the best overall deal while following a safe process whether buying or selling.

Radack predicts this will change, however, when the COVID scare diminishes and sellers are not reluctant to list. Prices will flatten with more inventory available.

“Also buyers from other parts of the country may find Austin too expensive and go elsewhere,” he added.

Dr. James Gaines, former chief economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center, attributes Austin’s record-high housing demand to a perfect storm of economic growth and increased consumer buying power.

“This is a historical and unprecedented time for our housing market,” Gaines said.

The pandemic fostered an environment where many families increased personal savings helping some transition from renting to ownership while others needed to ‘move up’ for more space while working from home. Despite a steep slowdown during shelter-in-place orders this spring, the market came roaring back in the summer with no drop-off at the end of the calendar year,” said 2021 ABoR President Gaines.

Gaines added that the outlook for the 2021 housing market was very good, noting that Austin’s demand-driven market will continue to show strength and homes will keep selling quickly.

In 2020, the median sales price in the Austin-Round Rock MSA rose 9.2% to $344,000.

“The Central Texas housing market is incredibly competitive and moving at lightning speed right now,” Horton added. “The complexity of a home sale is at an all-time high as it has become commonplace for homes to receive multiple offers well over list price.”

City of Austin

In 2020, residential home sales in the City of Austin increased 1.7% to 12,745 sales, an all-time record, while sales dollar volume jumped 16.3% to $6,746,602,345. The median sales price for residential homes rose 12% year over year to 420,000 this past year, also an all-time record.  

Travis County

During 2020, residential home sales increased 4.3% to 20,081 sales, while sales dollar volume rose 19% to $10,663,700,312. The median price for residential homes increased 12% year over year to $405,000.  

Bartlett Real Estate compiled the median value data from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020 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 sold price, sold price per square foot (SP/Sqft), and
cumulative median days on market (DOM).