Oct 21, 2022 - Real Estate

Austin sees highest home inventory level since 2011

Cities with the biggest change in annual income needed to afford a home, 2020 to 2022
Data: Zillow; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Even as sales are slowing, home prices in Austin are bananas compared to where they were just a couple of years ago.

Why it matters: The minimum income needed to afford a typical house has doubled since 2020 in several major metro areas, including Austin, according to data from Zillow, writes Axios' Emily Peck.

Zoom in: In September, active listings in the five-county Austin area skyrocketed 162%, to 9,671 listings, the highest inventory level since July 2011, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

What they're saying: "The cost of developing and building homes in Austin continues to escalate with little to no relief," Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Austin-based Independence Title, said recently.

  • "This will cause sales to slow, as we see currently with home prices dropping and selling closer to the list price when compared to the past two years."

Between the lines: There are some promising signs, with more available supply and a softer appreciation of home price growth, according to the Austin Board of Realtors report.

  • Home sales, or contract signings to buy existing homes, declined 18.5% in September, to 2,992 closed listings.
  • "We're still in a seller's market, but as homes take longer to sell and are being bought for less than the original list price on average, and with inventory steadily increasing, right now is a great time to be a homebuyer in Central Texas," said Austin Board of Realtors president Cord Shiflet.

Zoom out: Pending home sales nationally fell again in September, according to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors. It's the eighth month this year they've dropped, as rising mortgage rates put already high home prices out of reach for a lot of people.

  • Still, prices for houses remain significantly higher than where they were just a couple years ago.

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