Following up on More on Austin-area Home Prices and 1st Quarter 2019 – Market imbalance continued, here is a look at how the price distribution and days to sell in the Austin metropolitan area have changed over the past five years, highlighting the change in the $200,000 to $400,000 range:
The percentage of total unit sales in the $200,000 to $400,000 range grew from 46% in 2014 to 62% in 2018, and to 66% in the 1st quarter of 2019 because the availability of homes under $300,000 fell dramatically:
- The below-$300,000 price range, which represented 64% of sales in 2014 declined to just under 50% by the 1st quarter of this year.
- Over the same five years, the percentage of sales under $200,000 fell from 34% to 7%. That’s a loss of almost 7,000 dwelling units in this important price range!
With the supply-demand imbalance still in place there is no reason to expect anything but a continuation of those trends. Yes, the Austin area continues to attract jobs and population, but low and moderate income workers are being forced to the suburbs, trading housing cost against commuting time and expense and requiring the public sector to expand all infrastructure and support resources to support that sprawl
Work on a new land development code in the City of Austin continues but should allow the market to participate in deciding what gets built where, while respecting the integrity and character of existing neighborhoods. That effort is no longer working under the project name of CodeNEXT but is expected to move forward later this year. Austin’s Strategic Mobility Plan and Project Connect aim to create transportation and mobility infrastructure to make multi-modal transportation accessible in most of the city. Together these initiatives move toward implementation of the “compact and connected” goal for the city as laid out in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. By themselves these won’t “fix” the problem of urban sprawl, but regional transportation plan from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and active current projects throughout the area are making progress.