AUSTIN, Texas - Feb. 22, 2016 - According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS®, Austin-area single-family home sales dropped slightly in January 2016 compared to the same month the year prior. Home sales decreased by 1.9 percent year-over-year to 1,459 home sales and median price increased 6.3 percent year-over-year, reaching $254,999 in January 2016.
Aaron Farmer, 2016 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®, explained, "If we're going to successfully address our city's continued affordability issues, we all need to work together. We're excited that several business owners and community leaders are stepping up and bringing new, tangible solutions to the table to help alleviate some of the challenges."
Developers such as President of Momark Development Terry Mitchell are working to provide more affordable solutions through projects that provide workforce housing or subsidized housing for families who make 80 percent or less of median family income.
"We all know someone - our children, parents, our children's teachers and friends - who are affected by the affordability issues in Austin," said Mitchell. "The lack of affordability is affecting transportation, economic development and literally the future of our city. There are solutions, but they require a clear vision and a willingness to change."
Executive Director of HousingWorks Austin Mandy De Mayo plays a large role in ensuring diversified housing is developed in Austin. In 2016, HousingWorks will focus on research, advocacy and education through initiatives involving research on the impact of stable, affordable housing on families' health outcomes, an annual district-by-district analysis of affordable housing, support of CodeNEXT and other key projects.
"Rewriting the land development code is incredibly important to overall market affordability and will ensure that Austin can serve a wide range of households with homes marketed at a variety of price points," said De Mayo. "We haven't had a new code since the 1980s and if we can get it right this time, the end result will be a variety of housing options for all income levels."
Austin-area monthly housing inventory was 2.0 months in January 2016, an increase of 0.1 months from January 2015. This figure is still well below the 6.5 month level the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates as a balanced housing market. Homes spent 56 days on market in January 2016.
"Inventory has fallen below three months for three years and while we've seen this affect home prices for months, it's possible that we're now seeing it affect home sales," added Farmer.
New listings increased by 8.0 percent to 2,399 listings in January 2016 and active listings increased by 11.4 percent year-over-year reaching 4,751 listings. Additionally, pending sales increased by 16.6 percent at 2,207 sales.
Farmer concluded, "We know this climate is confusing for anyone living in Austin and we're equipping our members to help homeowners navigate this competitive market through programs like our upcoming Member Forum. We're bringing in development experts like Terry Mitchell, lending advisors and legislative advocates who are helping to shape the affordability landscape in Central Texas."
January 2016 Statistics
1,459 - Single-family homes sold, 1.9 percent less than January 2015.
$254,999 - Median price for single-family homes, 6.3 percent more than January 2015.
$322,620 - Average price for single-family homes, 3.8 percent more than January 2015.
56 - Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, seven days less than January 2015.
2,399 - New single-family home listings on the market, 8.0 percent more than January 2015.
4,751 - Active single-family home listings on the market, 11.4 percent more than January 2015.
2,207 - Pending sales for single-family homes, 16.6 percent more than January 2015.
2.0 - Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.1 months more than January 2015.
$470,702,965 - Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 1.9 percent more than January 2015.
The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region's most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Department of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com.
* The inventory of homes for a market can be measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.
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