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Cooling down? Austin-metro home sales drop for the first time since May 2020, but prices stay hot

Austin's housing market dipped slightly in July for the first time in over a year. (Bastrop Economic Development Corporation)

Home sales in the five-county Austin metro took a dip in July for the first time since May 2020, according to a monthly report from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Residential home sales in the metro dropped by 9.9% to 4,041 as the market plateaued for the first time in over a year. Despite cooling sales, the market's home prices stayed hot, and broke a July year-over-year record with a median home price of $574,975. Home prices in the city of Austin dipped slightly from a median home price of $575,000 in June, ending a five-month streak of record year-over-year home sales.

Median year-over-year sales prices in the metro rose 37% to $480,000, a record for July, but fell just short of an all-time record of $482,364 set in June. As prices plateaued slightly in the metro, the ever-depleted monthly housing inventory also rose slightly from 0.8 months to 0.9 months of inventory. While still unhealthily low, the metro is showing a slight recovery from a frenzied first half of 2021.

While a slowing market, no matter how slight, is rare to see in Austin, MetroStudy regional director Vaike O'Grady said that prices aren't likely to drop significantly anytime soon.

"Austin is always considered one of the top places to live in the U.S., but we're losing ground due to shrinking housing inventory and affordability," O'Grady said. "With construction delays and regulatory barriers, builders and developers are having increasing difficulty getting new homes on the ground. Because of that, there's not enough supply coming to the market to significantly impact available inventory, which further pushes prices up. Looking ahead, there will likely only be new inventory available further out in the suburbs; meaning, other submarkets may gain traction over Austin."

The cooling market might instead point to seasonality as families go on vacation and enjoy their summer break. O'Grady said the market is still a gold mine for homeowners looking to sell.

"Seasonality has a hand in the increasing home sales growth across our region and nationally," O'Grady said. " If you're looking to buy or rent a home, don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of the market's slower pace. If you're looking to sell, don't mistake this dip as a cooldown—it's still an excellent time to sell a home."


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