As I have told you for many months, an ongoing — and worsening — shortage of homes for sale is driving prices higher, with very fast sales and competitive (multiple offer) purchases more and more common. Today’s market update from the Austin Board of REALTORS® shows the continuing trend clearly.
The number of monthly new listings in 2020 grew slightly in January and February, then declined from 2019 in March through June. The only meaningful year-over-year increases in new listings were in July and October (with November still incomplete). Look at the % Change column under Active Listings, though — down every month this year, with the decline in inventory accelerating for most of the year.
Here’s the reason for that trend:
The number of closed sales and newly accepted contracts were constrained in March, April, and May, but pay attention to what happened since June this year: significant growth, especially in the number of pending sales, which increased an average of 32% over 2019 every month even as listing inventory declined an average of 43% each month during the same period.
The underlying data show that these market conditions are not isolated. All five counties in our metro area are feeling the pressure, and it shows in resulting changes in sale prices reported in our MLS system:
Closed sales dipped in March, April, and May, in the early days of the pandemic, and we haven’t completely made up for those months. We saw declines in listings, sales, and pending sales in the week that included the Thanksgiving holiday, but the number of pending sales near the end of November is up from 2019. We can expect a pause around our December holidays, but there really is no sign of softening housing demand. Onward to 2021!