Local home sales dip slightly but prices increase 40%

January – June 2021

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

From January through June, home sales in Four Points decreased by 3.5% compared to last year while the median price increased 40%.

“Our area is extremely desirable and will continue to be so for those that have the ability to pay for these higher priced homes,” said Tom Radack, owner of Bartlett Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty in River Place and a longtime resident of River Place. 

In the first six months of this year there were 183 home sales with a median price of $838,000 in the local area including River Place, Westminster Glen, Steiner Ranch, Grandview Hills, and Comanche Trail. Home sale “days on market” declined 63% to 11.

“Our area continues to struggle with the lack of inventory,” Radack said. “We are certainly in a mature area with not much available land for new construction.”

“This affects new listings and tends to raise the median price which is now at a historic price of $838,000 ($278/sqft),” he added. 

Looking at June only, home sales increased 50% year over year to 33 sales in Four Points. During the same period, the median price increased 33% to $825,000. 

The majority of the sales this year in Four Points are from resale homes with only 21 of 183 homes sold in the first half being built in the last two years, all others were built in 2016 or earlier, he said.

Buyers should expect to pay higher prices, make concessions for closing costs, offer leasebacks, waive inspections, offer appraisal waivers and be facing multiple offers. 

“Sellers are in an enviable position of being able to get great terms and a high price,” Radack said.

Looking ahead, “expect prices to be at this level or rise in the future as demand for homes continues to increase,” he said. “New buyers continue to flood into Central Texas; many of the new company transfers are not even here yet.”

According to the Austin Board of Realtors latest Central Texas Housing Report, the median price for a home in the Metropolitan Statistical Area rose by

“In the first six months of the year, we saw a confirmation that Austin’s housing market is one of the strongest in the nation,” Susan Horton, 2021 ABoR president said. “Our market has established its own new normal, as median prices climb while inventory remains low. With the unprecedented growth our region continues to experience, we can expect these trends to continue.” 

According to Jessica Lautz, vice president, demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors, buyers have shifted priorities since the onset of COVID-19, adding fuel to the housing market boom across the Austin-Round Rock MSA.  

“The pandemic has changed buyer preferences. Reliable broadband access, at least one home office and flexible working and living spaces are top priorities. Remote work, along with incredibly low interest rates, has allowed buyers to purchase homes in suburban areas that provides more square feet, outdoor space, and increased buying power than in urban core areas,” Lautz said. 

Austin-Round Rock MSA
In the first half of 2021, home sales in the Austin-Round Rock MSA including Four Points increased 16.5% year over year to 19,991 home sales; the median price increased 35.4% to $440,000. 

Homes spent an average of 22 days on market from January-June 2021, 31 fewer days than the same time period in 2020.  

City of Austin
In the city of Austin, home sales in the first half of the year increased 21.6% year over year to 6,467 sales, while the median price increased 30.9% to $530,000. 

Travis County
From January through June in Travis County, home sales increased 19.1% year over year to 10,072 sales. During the same period the median price rose 32.5% to $510,186.  

Williamson County
In Williamson County, home sales in the first half of 2021 increased 11.4% year over year to 6,554 home sales. During the same period, the median price increased 42.1% to $414,936.

Generally, more homes are also being listed across the MSA. New listings increased 23.8% to 5,170 listings in June 2021.

Even as more homes continue to be listed and transactions completed, ABoR’s Horton cautioned that more needs to be done to address affordability within the market. 

“While we’re encouraged that housing has led our region’s economic recovery, action must be taken to bring more units on-line to meet the demand for housing and address affordability,” Horton said. 

She thinks that local leaders should collaborate regionally and with their state and federal partners to think creatively to address this complex issue. 

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, but we must use all the tools available to us to employ an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy,” Horton said. “Addressing this challenge head on and prioritizing housing will go a long way to ensuring that our local economy remains healthy, our market reaches a more balanced position, and more people have access to homeownership.”