Housing Spotlight – Austin, TX
Your guide to market trends in the coolest cities
|Feb. 2016|| Feb. 2017|
|Median sales price:||$274,055||$295,500|
|Avg. days on market:||59 days||63 days|
|Active listings: || 7080||7337|
|Avg. annual weather:||69.4° F / 34.3” rain / 0” snow|
|Walk score (out of 100):||39|
Austin is the only city in the world that still uses a system of moonlight towers, remnants of 19th century technology. These 165 ft. structures illuminate a 1500 ft. radius, at the time a more cost-effective way to light the streets than hundreds of individual street lamps. Oscar Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, an Austin native, uttered a famous line about them in the cult classic Dazed and Confused: “Party at the moontower!”
Austin is one of America’s brighter and more harmonious cities, featuring sunshine 60% of the time and countless music venues and festivals that draw artists and fans from across the globe. Home to the state capitol and University of Texas, the city is bustling with political and intellectual activity. Built along the banks of the other Colorado River, Austin features a number of recreation options that make it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. This dynamic mix of culture and quality of life is one of the reasons why Austin is #1 in the U.S. News & World Report 2017 ranking of the Best Places to Live in America. Indeed, most of the major publications that put out such lists have the city somewhere near the top.
After years of unprecedented growth and a very active 2016, the Austin housing market is starting to normalize. Home values have gone up 6.6% in the past year, but estimates for the year ahead project a roughly 3% increase. February showed 1% growth in home sales, with prices increasing by 7%. Though lower home inventory and a softer job market may account for some of the pullback, the percentage decreases of both are relative to peak levels and shouldn’t be evaluated in a vacuum. Austin is still recognized as a destination city for Millennials and small business owners, making it a very attractive market for first-time homebuyers.