Austin’s housing market may keep surging after record year

Prices are up and the new Tesla factory could be to blame

(iStock, Tesla, Zillow)
(iStock, Tesla, Zillow)

Austin’s white-hot housing market just keeps heating up.

Home prices jumped 31 percent in 2021 to a median of $476,700 in the metropolitan area, rising 19.4 percent to $555,000 in the city itself, the Austin Business Journal reported. A record 41,316 homes valued at $23 billion changed hands.

New listings are rising, meantime, even as supply thins out. The metro area had slightly more than half-month of inventory in December, well short of the six months considered normal for a healthy market. Builders face hurdles including the rising cost of raw materials and outmoded land development codes.

“New listings were higher than we’ve ever seen because people saw opportunity,” said Cord Shiflet, president of the Austin Board of Realtors. “A market like this, that’s demand driven and boosted by companies like Tesla and Amazon creating so many jobs in Austin, have led folks to list their homes because they saw an opportunity to enjoy such a great return on their investment.”

Austin homes sell within about 20 days of listings, less than half as long as in 2020.

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The lack of supply has made it difficult for investors and international clients to buy homes, Compass Realtor Lara Pavanelli told the outlet.

“There have been many, many instances where clients could not find what they were looking for, or they could not find anything in their price point, or they got outbid by people that have deeper pockets,” Pavanelli said.

High taxes and rising interest rates are making things more difficult, Pavanelli said. Many investors are discouraged by the high rents needed to recoup their investment. Homeowners may decide to sell as surging prices push up property tax bills, she said.

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[Austin Business Journal] – Madeline Sperling