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Austin's housing market cools with the seasons, sees September slowdown

Austin's housing market is cooling with the seasons as it once again slowed in September. (Whisper Valley/Facebook)

As an autumn cold front enters the Austin metro, the housing market has responded with a continued cool down for the month of September.

Austin's "hot" summer season and brutal COVID market are slowing down, although median home sales prices still set a September high. Home sales are down year-over-year, according to the latest Austin Board of Realtors report.

Home sales were down 5.1% when compared to September 2020, while median home prices reached a September high of $450,000, a 28.5% year-over-year increase. The median home price set an all-time record in June at $482,364 and fell to $470,000 by August.

While the market is still hot as tech interests including Tesla shift their headquarters to the region, the seasonal dip could give homebuyers a chance to finally break into the inaccessible market, ABOR president Susan Horton said.

"The Austin housing market remains strong and competitive," Horton said. "However, more homes are beginning to hit the market evidenced by the increase in new listings in September, which is creating a greater number of opportunities for buyers. While this is a positive step forward, there is a long way to go for this to be a balanced market."

But homebuyers still have a fair share of obstacles when it comes to securing their dream home. New listings were up 16.9% when compared to September 2020, but monthly housing inventory dipped by 0.1 months to 1.1 months of inventory year-over-year. The average time a house spent on the market was 17 days, down from 22 days a year prior.

With economic growth and national attention comes new issues: a lack of inventory can lead to housing shortages, affordability crises and more. Laura Huffman, president and CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said residents will need to look toward both their officials and community in order to move forward. Horton placed importance on coming together to address the challenge.

"With the region's continued growth, we must focus on creating more inventory to meet the increasingly high and sustained demand for housing," Huffman said. "This isn't just on our elected officials or industry to solve, but rather on the entire community. We have to put housing first and use all the tools we have in the toolbox to address this issue."


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